So you hoped onto the keto bandwagon, eliminated all those delicious, mouth-watering carbs, and started eating, drinking, bathing in the pool of FATS. But SOON enough, things get overwhelming and every cell of your body begins to ask “Why am I exhausted on the keto diet?”
There is absolutely no need to worry! Fatigue and tiredness are some common unwelcome side effects that many beginners experience in their keto journey.
It happens because your metabolism is going through a HUGE change in terms of energy supply. Switching from carbs to fats comes as a shock to your system, especially if you have been a carb junkie in the past (damn those lovely donuts!).
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You might have heard other people on keto ravishing about the benefits of this modern diet: “OMG! My mental clarity and energy levels are through the roof man!”
And they are not lying!
Some of the reasons why I love this high-fat, low carb diet:
- Steady and sustained energy
- Laser-sharp focus
- No energy crashes
- Diminished cravings
After going through all the benefits above, you might be thinking that something is inherently abnormal with your body. Or perhaps, the keto gods are upset with you.
Read along to find out what’s making you helplessly exhausted on keto and how you can turn the keto game in your favor.
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Why am I Exhausted on the Keto Diet
Some of the common culprits that send you into a turmoil of fatigue and tiredness on keto:
- Lack of electrolytes,
- Too few calories,
- Not being keto-adapted (fat-adapted).
The keto diet exhaustion comes under the wide umbrella of the keto-flu symptoms, that occur as your body transitions from utilizing carbs to relying on fats. It happens when you first begin your keto journey, and also after cheating on keto.
Mental clarity and a blazing level of energy are surely desirable, but what most people need to realize is that in order to reap those benefits, you have to pass through a transitional period first.
“Why does this transition makes me keto tired?”
As you already know, keto is a highly unique diet that focuses on high-fat consumption and super low carbs.
When you start to experience low energy on keto diet and have other symptoms of the keto flu, that’s your body signaling that the diet is working.
Your body is finally shifting from burning sugar for energy to burning fats.
In this phase, your body is converting fat into ketones to use instead of the usual glucose. Once your stores of glucose are depleted, the insulin levels begin to drop. You start pumping out more urine than ever but also leak a lot of this essential electrolyte: Sodium.
Here are some of the less-fun side effects that are likely to accompany you along with the keto diet fatigue:
- Sugar cravings
- Muscle cramps
- Brain fog
- Lack of motivation
- Being Annoyed
But don’t let these pesky little hurdles scare you into quitting this amazingly powerful diet.
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How Long Will I Experience Keto Diet Low Energy
Are you burned out by this keto fatigue and always wondering “Why am I feeling exhausted on the keto diet?”
Then I have THREE pieces of hope-inspiring good news for you:
- The onset of keto-flu implies that you are getting closer to ketosis, hence closer to success
- Most of these symptoms will disappear on their own within 2 to 3 weeks of following the diet.
- In many people, this discomfort lasts for only a few days
If you are wondering “Why am I so tired on ketogenic diet”, then I have some life-changing tips that can help you beat the shi*t out of this keto flu.
How to Overcome Fatigue on Keto
Everyone has to go through a small transition period when shifting to this new metabolic state known as ketosis.
Sometimes the side effects aka keto-flu can be really intimidating and you might end up giving up the diet completely. But I won’t let my lovely readers fall into this trap.
Here are my top recommendations to get through the keto flu and ace your weight-loss goals!
Track Your Macros
Knowing how to master a ketogenic diet, starts with deciding your daily macros based on your goals, and then tracking your them every day.
Macronutrients play a vital role in any diet to be successful. The three major macronutrients are:
Ideally, your keto diet should consist of 5% carbs, 25% proteins, and a whopping 70% of fats.
This specific combination of macros is intended to send you into ketosis and trick your body into utilizing more fat for energy instead of sugars or carbs.
If you are someone who is following a well-designed keto diet plan (like this one), then tracking everyday meals isn’t required. However, meal tracking becomes an essential element if you are choosing your own meals and designing your diet plan yourself.
Use an app like My Fitness Pal for journaling your meals and making sure that you stick to your daily macros.
It is often said that “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
I just can’t overemphasize this point enough for the keto diet beginners who are all revved up to shed those extra pounds ASAP.
If you don’t know the right amount of macros required for effective ketosis, you’ll simply be wasting your precious time and efforts. Your glucose levels will be low enough to make you feel tired and fatigued, but not low enough to switch to the fat-burning zone.
Eat Frequent Meals
Our beloved keto diet is extremely high in fat, which leaves us quite satiated after each meal. This is the only reason why foodies like me can lose weight effectively. Otherwise I am hungry round the clock!
But in your quest to melt belly fat as quickly as possible, don’t restrict your calories too much to a point that it leads to weakness.
If you cut down your calories too low, you’re more likely to be exhausted on keto diet. It is of utmost importance, especially for the beginners. When you are new to the ketogenic diet, your metabolism is not yet fully keto-adapted.
So if you wonder “Why am I exhausted on the keto diet?”, then you may need to recheck your calories and nutrition plan.
Skipping meals early on the diet won’t help you. You might have heard that combining keto with intermittent fasting can surge your weight loss through the roof. However, one should wait for at least 2 months before reaping the benefits of fasting on the low carb diet.
Remember, keto diet in itself is a magical shortcut to lose significant pounds in a short span of time. But don’t go over-board with the calorie restriction in the greed of even faster results.
Invest your time and energy in a well-designed nutrition plan like this Customized Keto Diet, which is backed by industry leaders and experts.
Slowly Ease into the Keto Diet
Going cold turkey and eliminating all carbs isn’t for everyone. Major changes like these are hard to sustain.
Switching your body’s fuel source suddenly from carbs to fats can leave your system confused, and the surge in cravings can be overwhelming.
If you have been mindlessly binging on carb-loaded delights like pizza, pasta, puddings, then cutting all carbs straight away can be a disastrous shock to your body.
That is why we recommend that you slowly ease into the keto diet to go easy on yourself.
Try to cut a single carbohydrate source from your diet each week. For example:
- 1st Week: Eliminate soda and sugary drinks with no carb drinks like coke zero.
- 2nd Week: Drop desserts and sugary snacks like cakes, ice cream, pie, sweets, etc.
- 3rd Week: Get rid of fast food items like pasta, pizza, chips, wafers or other packaged snacks.
- 4th Week: Eliminate the major source of carbs: Bread
Another important tip to be mentally well-equiped for keto is to get rid of high-carb foods from your kitchen shelf. This includes any bread, chocolates, sugary drinks, rice, pasta, flour, grains.
You won’t see magical results quickly, but your transition period will be effortless and easy on your mind and body. Also, making slow and steady changes over a period of time is more sustainable for most people, instead of going cold turkey.
Eat Clean to Beat Exhaustion
Don’t waste your daily carb allowance on packaged foods full of additives and artificial flavoring agents. They can disturb your energy levels and also make you crave more sugar- which is strictly a no-no on this diet.
The more sugar you crave, the lower your energy levels will be, thus making you more tired and fatigued on keto.
Try to incorporate natural, wholesome foods in your diet so that your body rewards you with high levels of energy and mental clarity.
Spend your precious carb allowance on natural, vitamin & mineral-dense foods, like green leafy vegetables, bell peppers, broccoli, high-fat creams, grass-fed meat, salmon.
Just had a cheat meal? Find out how you can quickly get back into ketosis!
Exercise Gently to Beat Keto Exhaustion
When you are burned out and exhausted on keto, exercise might be the last thing that comes to your mind.
However, you need to give a slight PUSH to your body to take the edge off and begin utilizing ketones for energy consumption.
Go for low intensity, steady state forms of workouts instead of high intensity bursts of exercise. It can be walking, light jogging, yoga, or any other light intensity form of exercise.
The aim is to do something that expends energy, without exhausting you further. It will fully deplete your remaining extra stores of glycogen and lead to better keto-induction.
Also, if you are someone looking to max your benchpress PR, or wanting to create a new record in your HIIT session, you may want to wait a while for your metabolism to settle into ketosis.
Before the body gets adapted to ketosis, you may find a reduction in your gym performance. However, the changes in energy and performance after settling into ketosis will be magnificent.
Essential Minerals to Fight Keto Fatigue
During your transition to ketosis, you lose a lot of water, along with vital minerals like potassium and magnesium.
Supplementing with these essential minerals can help you tackle unwelcomed symptoms like headaches, weakness or fatigue on keto.
One of the major causes of exhaustion on keto is sodium deficiency. The more sodium you leak out, the harder you’ll be hit by keto fatigue.
Simply add a pinch of pink Himalayan salt in your water to fill up on your deficiencies.
Here is a round-up of the top 10 common foods high in electrolytes that you should include in your diet:
|Salmon||46 mg||617 mg||100 mg|
|Bone Broth||120 mg||528 mg||1104 mg|
|Avocado (large)||58 mg||975 mg||10 mg|
|Beef Steak||39 mg||581 mg||94 mg|
|Pork Chop||42 mg||585 mg||94 mg|
|Yoghurt||27 mg||352 mg||104 mg|
|Mackerel||129 mg||534 mg||153 mg|
|Tuna||60 mg||750 mg||77 mg|
|Turkey Breast||42 mg||403 mg||211 mg|
|Parmesan (1 oz)||12 mg||26 mg||333 mg|
However, if adding more meals to your current diet plan seems intimidating, then you can always take the help of supplements.
Here are the recommended dosages for various minerals to help balance your electrolytes and fight keto exhaustion:
- Sodium: 3,500 mg/day
- Potassium: 1,000 mg/day
- Magnesium: 300mg/day
Almost everyone wonders “Why am I exhausted on the keto diet?” as they begin this magical weight loss journey. But I would like to tell you that it is totally worth it!
Before you know it, you’ll be loving that extra burst of energy and mental clarity, as you watch the numbers go down on a previously-stubborn scale.