The decision to pursue a keto lifestyle is already a difficult one, and with the COVID-19 Stay-at-home order, it makes things even harder. You are faced with the temptation of seeing your fridge and your kitchen stocked with your favorite pastries, sodas, and snacks at your disposal.
Also, there is the fact that since you now work from home, there are no co-workers or bosses to judge you or determine when you eat.
Let’s face it….this can be really difficult. If you are thinking of giving up your journey to ketosis or your keto lifestyle, do not! We at bone and oaks have got you covered. Here are four challenges you might face on your Keto journey as you work from home, and how to overcome them.
Challenge I: Loss of Energy or Constant Fatigue
Since keto dieting involves a reduction in the consumption of carbohydrates, some keto subscribers tend to reduce their carbohydrate intake excessively. This drastic reduction in carb consumption usually leads to loss of energy for daily chores and also affects daily exercise routines; exercise is an integral part of the ketosis journey.
Solution: One way to combat this is to practice ‘carb cycling’. Carb cycling is a dietary approach in which you alternate carb intake on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. With this, you can ensure your body is not robbed of its natural energy source.
Experts have suggested that carb refeeding can be done once or twice a week by replacing fat sources in your diet with friendly carbs sources like plantain, cassava, yam, or sweet potatoes.
However, when practicing carb cycling you need to pay attention to how you feel. Do you feel energized or still feel fatigued with fewer carbs in your diet? If you feel excessively tired for more than two days, your body could be telling you it needs more carbs to maintain balance.
Challenge II: Uncontrollable Eating Habits
Adapting to the keto lifestyle is a major challenge that all new keto adopters face. More than ever, the natural craving for junk food is amplified with the stay-at-home order and all these might feel like a punishment. However, when you re on your keto journey, you have to define your goal and be disciplined enough to stick with it no matter the temptation.
Solution: One of the most successful methods of preventing excessive eating is to create a daily meal routine and adhere to it. You could write a list of keto-friendly groceries, and use your stimulus check to stock up your fridge with healthy foods which you could use for your meal prep.
It is important to note that skipping meals can lead to cravings and an increased chance of overeating. A two-month research study revealed that consuming one big meal a day can increase blood sugar rates and the hunger-stimulating hormone (ghrelin) to a greater degree than consuming three meals a day.
Another solution is to get enough sleep. Sounds simple? I know. Sleep influences your hunger levels and appetite, and binge-eating may be correlated with sleep deficiency. A study on 146 people revealed that those with BED(Binge Eating Disorder) recorded substantially more insomnia symptoms than those without a history of this disorder.
Another major study showed that shorter length of sleep(8 hours or fewer) was correlated with higher levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and lower levels of leptin — the hormone responsible for promoting fullness.
Challenge III: Weight Stagnancy
At some point, as you progress through your keto journey, you might notice that you are no longer losing any weight. This is a normal occurrence. However, to be sure that you are practicing keto right, and that you are truly building more ketones that aid weight loss, be sure to test with these keto testing strips.
Solution: If you are sure that you are practicing keto right, and there is still no improvement in your weight loss, the first thing experts suggest is to increase the fat content of your food. You increase fat content strategically by making sure that at least 60-80 percent of your diet is high-quality fats, like coconut oil, olive oil, butter from grass-fed animals, avocados, and pastured eggs.
Engaging in intermittent fasting is another way to speed up your weight loss. The most interesting thing about intermittent fast or fat fasting is that it is a way of fooling your body system into believing you cannot access food for energy, which forces it to use up excess fats which in turn results in weight loss.
Also, ensure you do not make the mistake of ‘guesstimating’ instead of estimating your food intake by keeping a proper eating plan or tracker. With this, you will know what to eat, when to eat it and what exact quantity you need to eat.
Challenge IV: Physiological Body Changes
Due to the unusual eating pattern that accompanies the ketogenic lifestyle, keto subscribers might notice some waves of physiological shocks to the body system. These shocks could present themselves in different ways like constant fatigue, cold, joint aches, digestive disorders, and depression. Adopting a ketogenic lifestyle may disrupt the menstrual cycle in some females as well as cause severe post menstrual syndrome.
Solution: Understanding these strange reactions will tell you if and when you need to tweak your diet to what your body system needs. But, if you are struggling to understand your body system you may seek the help of a professional dietitian who can critically access your observations and recommend a dietary change that fits your body system.