If you’re just starting a new diet regime, your body will go through a transition period when making this change, so it’s natural that you’ll feel a bit of a shift during the first week or so of the keto diet reset. It’s important to understand the effects of the keto diet and what you may experience in the first 10 days. To help set some clear expectations around the transition, I’ve outlined a general timeline for entering ketosis and what you may encounter along the way. Keep in mind that there are exceptions to this timeline, as some people reach ketosis faster than average, while others may find the process slower than expected. While everyone’s body is different, the outline below gives you a general idea of what the transition to ketosis is like.
The First Day of a Keto Diet Plan
You’re on your first day of keto and you’ll probably feel great. On the first day (the first few days, really), what can be the most nagging is figuring out your macro ratios and what eating 75% fat actually looks like. This is a big change for most people compared to the standard American diet. Keeping protein low (about 15%) can also be tricky, especially if you’re used to eating lean meats. You’ll soon learn that your options are 1) eat very little animal protein, or 2) choose fatter meats.
Starting to feel rough? Days 2-3
On the second day of the keto diet, you may start to experience keto flu, also known as carb flu, while your body tries to figure out what to do without carbs. There are some symptoms to watch out for, such as nausea, headaches and fatigue, and these symptoms may get worse on the third day, which may be the worst carb flu day you experience. The transition process where your body realizes it’s no longer getting carbs and starts breaking down fat for fuel can feel brutal at first. Be very gentle with yourself during these days of keto transition – there is no need to exercise if you feel lethargic or nauseous. Try to keep activity to a minimum, and if you can, minimize how much work you have to do, too.
Getting to grips with the keto diet: Days 4-7
On the fourth day, you can see some light on the other side! This should be a better day than yesterday. Your body is getting used to running on fat and the worst of the transition is behind you. It’s normal to continue to feel slightly tired and uncomfortable, so don’t be discouraged. Use your newfound energy to meal prep for the upcoming week, as preparation is the key to your success in the first few days. By the end of the first week, you may already be in the groove. You may not be officially in ketosis yet, but you’ll know if you’re close based on your ketone level readings (thanks to your urine or blood test). Some people can reach ketosis in the first week, but many do not. Don’t worry if you haven’t reached your goal. It is perfectly normal to still be in transition. Keep testing and stay confident!
After a week: Days 7-10
It does take time for the body to enter ketosis and it varies from person to person, but most people should reach ketosis by day 10. During this phase, it’s important to stay hydrated and to stick to a well-proportioned keto diet plan, even if you don’t feel hungry. You may also notice an increase in your energy levels and performance.
Your keto journey should get easier from here on out. Remember that this is a lifestyle change that requires hard work and commitment. Get expert help to find what works best for you if you need it.
Now that you’ve made it to the other side, enjoy all the benefits the keto diet has to offer!