If you’ve embarked on the journey of weight loss and fitness, you probably already know a bit about the keto diet. It could be you’ve tried it before, or maybe you’re even giving it a try right now.
Those who are on a keto diet may experience some side effects. Many people ask, “Why am I sweating on a keto diet?” We’re here today to talk about some of these side effects and how to deal with them.
But first, let’s start with the basics.
What’s a Keto Diet?
One fact we can all agree on is that one diet doesn’t fit all. This is true, no matter what type of diet you’re following. Not all diets work the same for everyone, and a keto diet is no different. Some people swear by it, others don’t care for it at all.
However, Keto diets have been gaining popularity in recent years. But is it right for you and your body type? Let’s find out.
A keto diet is also known as:
- Ketogenic diet
- Low carb high fat
- Low carb
Basically, with a keto diet, you consume foods low in carbohydrates. This stimulates the liver to break down fat cells, which in turn produces ketones. Your body takes these ketones and uses them for energy. So the keto diet doesn’t restrict your calories, but only restricts your carb intake.
When this occurs, your body enters a metabolic state known as ‘ketosis.’ Ketosis is your body’s way of surviving when its food intake is reduced. Our bodies quickly adapt to this new source of energy and use ketones to their advantage.
It’s easy to customize a keto diet for your body type. It’s a great way to eat all the foods you love while still losing weight and getting fit.
There are four main types of keto diets:
- The standard (74% fat, 20% protein, 5% carbs)
- The high-protein (60% fat, 35% protein, 5% carbs)
- The cyclical (5 days on a low-carb keto diet followed by 2 days of high-carb foods)
- Targeted (allows you to add carbs according to your workouts)
Why Am I Sweating on a Keto Diet?
Sweating, in itself, is a healthy way to let your body cool down. But with a keto diet, it can be more frequent and more severe, even while you’re doing normal things.
However, it’s a normal part of the beginning stages of a keto diet. Your body is trying to adapt to the changes you’re putting it through. So intense sweating (and frequent bathroom visits) is how you know there’s a shift in your body’s metabolism.
The science behind the extra sweating is that during ketosis, your body burns ketones for energy. This process elevates your body temperature, causing you to sweat more than usual.
Another reason is that your body stores 4 grams of water for every gram of carbs you consume. Before starting your keto diet, you probably ate a fair amount of carbs. So your body has plenty of stored fluids.
Once your keto diet begins, and you start eating low-carb foods, your body has to get rid of all that retained fluid. So you sweat. A lot.
Now that we know why we sweat so much on a keto diet, let’s find out if there’s a way to make it stop, or at least reduce it a bit.
These are some tried-and-tested tips for a faster, less sweaty shift into your keto diet.
Increase Your Water Intake
Try to drink even more than the usual 16 ounces of water per day. A great idea is to infuse your water with lemon slices, cucumber, or herbs, which boost its benefits.
Use Supplements and Replenish your Electrolytes
When you sweat (and pee), your body is drained from certain minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, and, of course, sodium.
Did you know that just by adding 1 teaspoon of salt to your food, you can balance out the number of electrolytes in your body during ketosis?
Make sure your body has the right amounts of these, and other, minerals by replenishing them with supplements and electrolytes.
Talk with your nutritionist about creating a meal plan that allows you to slowly transition into a keto diet. This can reduce the side effects of ketosis by giving your body time to adapt.
You can also try these tips:
- Wear lightweight, breathable fabrics
- Reduce your caffeine intake
- Don’t drink carbonated beverages
- Stay away from spicy foods
How to Reach Ketosis
With all the information out there, a keto diet can seem overwhelming. You wonder whether you’ve achieved ketosis, or if you’re even on the right track.
We’ve broken it down into 6 basic tips so you know exactly what to do.
1. Limit your Carbohydrate Intake
Your daily carbs should be limited to 20g net carbs. Also, try to keep your overall carb intake lower than 35g total carbs each day.
2. Don’t Fear Fat
In a keto diet, fat is vital for ketosis. It’s important to note that there are two types of fat, the ‘good’ unsaturated fats and the ‘bad’ trans-fat. Make sure you stay away from processed foods.
Eat more fish, nuts, and seeds. Also, don’t forget to eat foods that include vegetable oils (olive, sunflower, canola, and soy).
3. Reduce your Proteins
The best amount to shoot for is between 0.6 and 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body mass. There’s a keto calculator to help you figure out exactly how much protein you should consume.
The problem with too much protein is that it can reduce your ketosis levels.
4. Drink Plenty of Water
On average, you should try to drink a gallon of water each day. That’s 16 cups (236 ml or 8 ounces) of water. The reason why water is so important is that it keeps your organs functioning properly. Plus, it boosts concentration, reduces fatigue, and controls your hunger levels.
We all know the importance of exercising, no matter what type of diet you’re on. Try to integrate working out in your weekly routine. For 15 – 30 minutes, 3 – 5 days a week, find something you enjoy doing that gets moving and raises your heartbeat.
6. Reduce Snacking
It’s simple. Snacking leads to more insulin spikes. The more frequent the insulin spikes, the slower the weight loss process. If you’re hungry, pick healthy snacks, such as fruits, vegetables, seeds, or nuts.
Signs You’re in Ketosis
When you start a keto diet, you need to be prepared to help your body through this transition. It can be hard at first because your body is used to high levels of fats and glucose.
Once you reduce these food components, your body will take time to adjust. During that time, you’ll experience certain side effects. A great way to reduce these side effects is to drink plenty of water. Another thing is to increase your sodium intake, you’re helping your body get through it in a healthy way.
The good news? All the side effects of ketosis usually last for a few days. You’ll definitely start feeling yourself again once your body adapts and gets used to using ketones for energy, instead of glucose.
Here are a few side effects to watch out for during ketosis.
- The keto flu (you may experience flu-like symptoms, but they last for only a few days)
- Initial quick weight loss
- Dry mouth
- Reduced ability to focus
- Increased urination
- Bad breath
- Irritability and nervousness
- Slight dizziness
- Lack of motivation
- Increased sweating
Benefits of a Keto Diet
It’s easy to see the various benefits of a keto diet. Your body weight drops, your energy levels rise, and you feel more focused and alert.
Read on for a list of some other benefits you can reap from a ketogenic diet.
- Helps with weight loss
- Increases mental clarity
- Balances blood sugar levels
- Controls diabetes (maintains Type-1 and can reverse Type-2)
- Boosts energy levels
- Controls your appetite
- Reduces cholesterol and blood pressure levels
- Improves skin, hair, and nails
- Reduces migraines
- Helps treat certain types of cancer
- Improves digestion
- Aids in the treatment of epilepsy
What Foods Should I Eat on a Keto Diet?
Going on any type of diet requires discipline and determination. But one of the best things about a keto diet is that it doesn’t cut back on your favorite meals. It just allows you to pick and choose from the foods you like. That’s why a custom keto diet is so practical.
Most of your meals should focus on these foods:
- Nuts and seeds
- Butter and cream
- Fish and seafood
- Vegetable oils
- Low-carb veggies
- Dark chocolate
- Herbs and spices
A Final Note
We’ve seen how a keto diet improves various health issues, especially one that’s tailored to meet all your nutritional needs. But it can be hard to start one, especially on your own. That’s why we recommend talking to a dietary specialist or nutritionist before beginning a keto diet.