If anyone has experienced carbohydrate withdrawal before, you know it isn’t a joke.
Those cravings for sugar kick in harder than any drug.
You’ve probably heard this a million times before but let me say it again…
SUGAR IS A DRUG.
In fact, sugar is said to be 8x more addictive than cocaine.
Just like cocaine, sugar will eventually blunt your brains ability to release dopamine.
Both drugs light up similar areas within the brain.
Everyone who has gotten into ketosis knows that carbohydrate withdrawal is a shitty part of the process you just need to go through.
Reason being: your body has been powered primarily by carbohydrates / sugars for X amount of years or even decades and now your body has to switch all of its cellular machinery to burn fat for energy instead.
Carbohydrate withdrawal symptoms can include:
- Muscle Aches
I remember going through this and fatigue was my biggest issue.
Going through this stage sucks but it is well worth the plethora of benefits from ketosis thereafter.
The severity of the carbohydrate withdrawal you experience will depend on many factors.
- How carbohydrate-heavy your previous diet was.
- Your current metabolic health.
- How quickly you decide to cut out carbohydrates.
- Frequency of exercise.
Now let’s get down to the useful information.
Here are 4 ways you can ease your journey into ketosis and negate the negatives of carbohydrate withdrawal!
1.) MCT Oil
MCT (Medium Chain Triglyceride) oil is a smart thing to supplement while transitioning into ketosis.
It will help up-regulate your body to produce the cellular machinery necessary to burn fat as a fuel.
An added benefit of MCT oil is instant energy.
The liver breaks down most fats for energy.
However, medium chain triglycerides effortlessly enter cells without needing to be broken down.
Thus, immediately being utilized for energy.
On a ketogenic diet, MCTs are also converted to ketones by the liver.
This makes for an optimized fuel for the brain as ketones effectively cross the blood-brain barrier.
If you want to take advantage of MCT oil, I would recommend using Bulletproofs MCT Oil.
A lot of people seem to have different ‘criteria’ when it comes to fasting.
For instance, coffee consumption being okay.
Personally, I don’t consume anything but water and thats that.
Nonetheless, fasting will help your body get into fat burning mode quicker by depleting glycogen stores and lowering your insulin levels.
By lowering insulin, you increase your HSL (hormone sensitive lipase) and start to burn fat.
Not to mention, fasting also increases autophagy.
Autophagy has been of growing interest lately due to its anti-aging properties.
Essentially, autophagy rids your body of weak, old cells and replaces / recycles them with newer, stronger cells.
Fasting also supports the immune system and inflammation.
I love fasting for the increase in energy levels and potent anti-inflammatory effects.
Electrolytes are balanced differently on a ketogenic diet.
So anyone who argues: “Sodium is bad for you!” should really consider the context of the situation.
In ketosis, your insulin is lowered.
Lowered insulin = Increased sodium excretion
High insulin = Increased sodium retention
So, if your insulin is low, your sodium requirements WILL be higher than those who eat carbohydrates as a primary fuel source.
As I’ve outlined in this article (What is Ketosis & Why You Should Care), this is what you should shoot for starting off.
Optimal Daily Doses of Electrolytes for Ketosis:
- Sodium: 4000mg-6000mg per day
- Potassium: 1500mg-3000mg per day
- Magnesium: 300mg-500mg per day
Sodium deficiency will manifest itself as:
Potassium deficiency will manifest itself as:
- Muscle Weakness
Magnesium deficiency will manifest itself as:
- Muscle Spasms / Cramps
- Impaired Coordination
Use some of these symptoms to troubleshoot for yourself and supplement accordingly.
Being in touch with your body and recognizing what it does and doesn’t need is important.
The same way nobody can tell you what’s right for you:
Nobody can explain how you feel like you can.
In some ways, exercise works like fasting.
It prepares your body for fat burning by depleting glycogen levels, lowering insulin and increasing insulin sensitivity.
If you really want to accelerate fat burning, one of my absolute favorite ways is fasted cardio.
Fasted cardio combines two special tools.
Fasting AND exercise.
The ‘natural high’ that you get from fasted cardio is unlike any other high.
You just feel great.
Try it out sometime and let me know how it is!
I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised if you’ve never done it before.
Until Next Time,