Extreme fatigue on keto (more info inside)

(keto) #1

I was eating gluten-free low glycemic index grains with 70% of calories being from butter for about 6 months and I started feeling very fatigued a month after. I kept eating it anyway because I’m financially very poor, but now I decided to start keto for all of its health benefits (I believe it’s the healthiest diet there is), and I have been doing this for about a week now.

My day goes like this:

  1. I wake up feeling kind of weak and cold, have a cup of coffee to get enough energy to not feel the overall weakness in my whole body. It gets better for about 4 hours, and then I start getting hungry a bit at about the time my cup of black coffee wears off.
  2. I get around 100-150g bacon outta fridge and fry it on low heat, eat it and the weakness usually goes away.
  3. After 2-3 hours I visit the fridge for 3 eggs and some salad (about 10-15 carbs), I fry it on low heat in about 80g of olive oil (I can’t consume it raw, it upsets my stomach). I usually eat the whole thing within an hour in two sittings.
  4. About 2-3 hours later, I start feeling weaker and weaker, and 4 hours later I start getting slightly hungry (discomfort in my stomach).
  5. After around 4h I start getting discomfort in my stomach (getting slightly hungry) and I feel a lot weaker than in the morning (that is, after around 16 hours of fasting). Both in the morning, but especially in the evening at this time I get dizzy when standing up, especially if I’m laying down. Note that I did not get hungry for around 12 hours when I was eating grains, which is a huge deal for me, as hunger (discomfort in my stomach) is a huge distraction from anything I’m doing.

So what’s the problem? I get around 3g of potassium, 3g of sodium (mainly from the bacon, but I add some salt to the eggs too), every single nutrient and amino acid that I need (even more than the RDA), and I get around 1600 calories. I’m not physically active and I’m maintaining my weight (not aiming to lose weight anyway). I also get around 60-80g of animal protein, which is what I need for my body weight and height (apparently bacon has around 30g of fat and protein).

It sounds like hypoglycemia or keto flu, but I don’t get the shakes like I do if I’m on high-carb diet and don’t eat for a while, I also don’t get headaches. And it’s been the same on 70% fat 25% carb diet with grains that I mentioned, and it is the same after a week of this specific keto diet with very low carbs. I am not fat (lack of money means lack of food means eating just enough calories to maintain weight), so I should not have insulin resistance. I of course did not get all the nutrients on the grain diet, but on this I get all the nutrients that I need and more. My mind seems to be working as usual as well. I’m also not especially moody or have strong cravings. I just want the foods that I always found tasty, perhaps slightly more than usual, but I always want them no matter what I eat. A week should definitely be enough for me to switch to fat burning.

(Brian) #2

Hi @ketohere, I’m only 4 months in but went through a period of feeling pretty lousy a week in. I found this video and gave me some things to think about. . I had was a low potassium issue which made me feel very tired as well as other things. After the second full week I started to feel better. I would caution you to eating too much pork. You need to find some other fats to consume especially unsaturated fats, I think that is very important. Avacado, walnuts, olive oil etc. I also like making this keto roll recipe to make sandwiches with. I don’t make it into rolls anymore just one big blob in the skillet.Keep it up and best of luck.

(Ellie) #3

How much pork is too much?
I’ve never heard of any issue with eating a lot of bacon on keto.

(keto) #4

Thank you for the links! Unfortunately any other meats cost too much for me. Avocado I could include (around 200g) if I reduced the amount of salad (and not get my potassium and a bunch of other nutrients), and so do nuts. I do get most of my fats from olive oil as I mentioned already, though. Bacon is just for the protein, as other sources cost too much and I cannot digest soaked nuts too well if I eat 100g, which is what I need to get a minimal amount of protein. The money problem also applies for keto roll recipe, unfortunately…

As for the video, I do get sodium from pork (more than I need in fact), and I get 3g of potassium from the salad (normally I would get up to 1g, so it’s a lot more than I’m used to). I also get all B vitamins and everything else that I need without extremely costly nutritional yeast as the guy suggests. I also noticed that I have already dumped all the fluid, but that happened already a couple days back.

(Ellie) #5

@ketohere To answer your post a bit, 1 week is enough to get into ketosis but not enough to become fat adapted. That can take 6 weeks or more. Ketosis is producing ketones, fat adapted is using them efficiently.
I suspect that you may just need to eat a bit more. Maybe just a couple of extra boiled eggs mashed in some butter or something, but it sounds like your body is running short on fuel. Fat adaption will help but then you will be using body fat as fuel, and you say you don’t have weight to lose. Unless you are quite short, I doubt that 1600 cals a day is enough.
Also for what it is worth, I don’t know of any reason to limit the amount of bacon you eat. I think I would go for butter over Olive oil to cook the eggs but that is just because I prefer the flavour.

(karen) #6

Try upping sodium. - if it doesn’t help, it really won’t hurt. Dr. Phinney has recognized 6g as an appropriate amount for most people, saying that people on keto may even need more than this.

(keto) #7

@bcy83 I have replied to your post, but Akismet stopped it. It has to be approved by a moderator.

@Jacymac Well, I could try adding maybe 20g extra olive oil to the mix, the price would allow it, and it would give me extra 180cal. Olive oil is also cheaper than butter, and it’s probably healthier than not organic butter anyway. I do prefer the flavor too, though. :slight_smile:

(keto) #8

@kib Thanks for the tip, I’ll try adding more salt. I normally add around 1g to the eggs, and I get A LOT from bacon. Although now I wanted to double check the amount, and I noticed that there’s a lot of different nutrition information for bacon. I just buy raw bacon at a supermarket (it’s weighed, so there’s no nutrition info). I’m not even sure about protein/fats, but I’m counting 30g of each. It’s hard to know what you’re getting with bacon I suppose. Tomorrow I’ll try adding a lot more salt and see w hat happens.

(Brian) #9

My comment on the bacon was more a concern for the heavy saturated fat and to look for a balance of unsaturated and saturated fats to mix in with the diet. I love bacon and sausage btw.

(Ellie) #10

Another idea, and a way to up the salts is to buy bones and make bone broth.
Highly nutritious, very cheap - if you find a friendly butcher you may get them for next to nothing, you can make a big pot and then have a cup when you get peckish or light headed.

(keto) #11

It’s a great idea because bone broth is really healthy, but I already eat not organically and bones concentrate all that animals consume, so by buying those, I would consume a lot more of all the crap that’s put into foods these days. I’ve decided to just have some salt periodically, I don’t mind it with some water.

(keto) #12

Today I have tried a lot of salt and I still feel weak, except that I feel slight pain in my heart after eating. An hour later it went away. I definitely am not going to take so much salt like this again, and it was maybe 3-4g only. Today I also added more oil and ate more meat so I consumed total of slightly over 1700kcal but I am still feeling the same, as I mentioned.

@Jacymac I am actually quite short, 5’8.