I’ve been doing The Keto diet for 3 weeks now. I’ve lost 5.5lbs. I am having an issue with low energy. It’s very difficult for me to workout or run. I usually run 3 times a week 3-6 miles each run. But I haven’t been able to complete a run in 3 weeks. Today I went to the gym, I did 20 minutes of the stair climber and 30 min circuit and now I barely have enough energy to go to work. Any suggestions on what I can do for supplements for energy?
It could be that you’re low in sodium. Definitely make sure you’re taking in 2.5-3 tsp of salt per day. If you’re doing that, up your fats. It gets better.
It just goes away. Most people suffer this in the first 4-6 weeks but you will start to feel better soon. In the meantime increasing your salt intake will help.
There are quite a few reasons this could be happening, and the above answers are really great. Sometimes when people make the switch to Keto they don’t consume enough fat. Since the body really only burns glucose and ketones, it could be the case that you cut out carbs, but didn’t replace with enough fat and so your main food source is protein which is very difficult to use as energy. That’s one possibility. I don’t usually recommend for people to track macros too extensively, but every once and a while it can be helpful to assess how things are going.
However, another thing is that maybe you want to take a break from heavy exercise Your body has to get fat adapted and each process in your body will adapt differently and over disparate amounts of time. If your body is not used to using fat for fuel yet you might be over stressing yourself to demand a lot of energy output this early in the game. I would recommend taking things slow, and add things gradually. For instance, I am almost four months in and I do not exercise and only focus on my nutrition and fasting and have had fantastic results. I want to cycle in some exercise, supplementation, etc. But I think doing a hard 180 on the highway is unsustainable. Obviously you love to exercise and so you might not go that long, but I think scaling things back and working your way back up might be worth a try!
Everything said so far is right on. I would agree with @Joebagdanov that is takes time to get fully fat adapted and thus efficient burning fat for fuel. Also the exercise during that transition is not going to be high performance compared your past experience. It takes time and for some it even takes longer. I will mention that now that I am fat adapted I have added some fasting and I can hardly believe the energy I have. It’s incredible and I feel like I am having that runner’s high for many hours. I work a 12 hour shift and feel like I just wanna run around the building all day. I am 56 and a Type II Diabetic. I have no regular workout plan other than some 5ks mixed in. Fasting will also help fat adaptation.
Take it easy on the high intensity workouts for now Suzzane. Give your body a chance to adjust to using ketones to fuel. Right now it’s screaming for glucose when you are exercising hard and it’s just not getting enough of it. In another month’s time it’s likely that you are able to work out more efficiently than you ever have.
I’m trying to be patient. But I can’t stop exercising. I will be training for a Half Marathon in 3 weeks so I need to get adapted quickly. Each week I can feel that I have more energy than the week before. I just wanted to see if there was something I could add that would help me adapt quicker. Thanks for all the input!
I felt the exact same way about my first 5k early into keto and with no training at all… I did a thread on it. It went better than expected. Don’t expect a PB and you may be pleasantly surprised. Some fasting may help you get more fat adapted quicker. There are plenty on runners around here and may chime in… You can also use the search for more threads to similar situations. You’re gonna do fine.
I usually refer people who are active exercisers who start a keto diet to read this by Mark Sisson, who is an athlete and trainer:
It took me about three months to get the suck out of my runs but I was also out of training due to a torn ligament (skiing low speed fall) in my ankle. I just powered through it and at the one year mark on keto I always run fasted. I can’t wait to do a half or even a full on keto now that I have gotten my miles up to 25 a week. I say stay with it but don’t expect to break any records on this attempt. You can also getting some carbs in before and during the race but you may feel bad and it would be a set back to the keto WOE. Good luck!
No. A system that is accustomed to metabolizing glucose all the time can get out of the habit of metabolizing fatty acids at all (this is because hyperclycaemia is potentially toxic, so the body goes all out to try to limit serum glucose to no more than 4-5 grams total–so the muscles have to burn and store as much as they can, and the rest gets turned into fatty acides and stored in the adipose tissue).
The result is that when we drastically cut carbohydrate intake, the body has to readjust to fatty acid metabolism, and there is an adptative phase that generally takes 6-8 weeks, sometimes more, sometimes less. Michondria have to heal from the damage done by processing all that glucose, and hormonal pathways need to be revised, and so on, which takes time. During this period, the muscles limp along, using ketone bodies, and gradually shift to fatty acids as their cells adapt. When the shift is complete, perfomance returns to its previous level, or sometimes even better.
The upshot is that you now have a decision to make: i.e., whether performing well in this one race is more important than your long-term metabolic health. There is no doubt that at this stage, returning to your previous carbohydrate-laden diet will restore your performance; you simply need to decide if the resulting metabolic damage is a price you are willing to pay.
Welcome to the forum Suzanne.
This should help =).
Thanks for all the info!
What she said!