Why You're Exhausted on the Keto Diet

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Ketogenic Diet Side Effects: Keto Flu Explained (With Remedies): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwsuJkQtpA0

Keto Brain Benefits | How a Ketogenic Diet Boosts Clear Thinking: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZwtcARGdU4&t=2s

Are You Tired After Intermittent Fasting?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40EhTY3CEz8

Special Thanks to my team and Nicholas Norwitz – Oxford Ketone PhD Researcher and Harvard Med Student – for working diligently on research as well!

Why You’re Exhausted when You Start Keto – Thomas DeLauer

Hey, so you started keto and now you’re fatigued, and you want to throw in the towel because it’s been maybe a couple of weeks, maybe even a couple of months, and you’re just not getting your energy back and you’re just, “I am so exhausted.”

I’m going to give you some reasons to why this could be happening. I’m going to break them down in a timeframe, like okay, if you just started, it’s probably this. If you’re six weeks in, it’s probably this. If you’re a couple months in and you’re still fatigued, it’s probably this. And I’ll give you some solutions and I’ll also give you some peace of mind because I don’t want you to quit because there is an explanation to it.

All right, let’s break this down. The first reason that you might be exhausted after starting the keto diet is more than likely a mineral issue. Now, before you turn off this video, because it’s things that you’ve heard before, let me give you a little bit of a different explanation.

Okay. You’ve probably heard of the keto flu and the keto flu is not a real flu. It’s not literally a flu, it’s usually a mineral issue. Now what happens is when we first deprive ourselves of carbohydrates for any period of time, our kidneys expel water. So, the kidneys are like, “Hey, what’s going on? Like there’s no carbohydrates coming in.” It’s a natural response for them to just shuttle water out.

But you know what goes along with water? Minerals. We lose our sodium. We lose our potassium. We lose our magnesium. And this is where issues arise. And let me explain a little bit more in depth. Okay, so sodium for instance, when we’re deprived of sodium, or we start exceeding it rapidly, we end up having a massive migration of fluid from outside the cell to the inside of the cell.

Now, if you have gone through keto for a couple of weeks and you’re still fatigued, it could be the simple carb transition and what it’s doing with dopamine in your brain. Okay, hear me out on this. What happens is in the nucleus accumbens portion of the brain, we receive dopamine hits and they give us the satisfaction, sense of reward, much like a recreational drug would. It’s called the mesolimbic pathway.


So, the journal Nutrients published a study that found that there was a significant change in cravings and hunger after 12 weeks on a ketogenic diet compared to a high fiber diet, which is also supposed to be a very highly satiating diet. So the point is, yeah, if you can stick it out for 10, 12 weeks, then you’re definitely going to get over the whole dopamine issue.


There’s a study that was published in the journal Metabolism, clinical and experimental, and it took a look at the renal excretion of ketone. The main ones it looked at, of course, acetoacetate betahydroxybutyrate. Now, the reason it was measuring this is that it wanted to see what happened when individuals were producing a bunch of ketones over a period of time. Now, what they found was that over time, our bodies actually lessened the production of ketones because they got very efficient at it and increased the retention of them.

Renal clearance of blood acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate remained constant – but In contrast, acetoacetate reabsorption rate increased significantly from 47 plus or minus 10 mmoles/min on day 3 to 106 plus or minus 15, 89 plus or minus 10, and 96 plus or minus 10 mmoles/min on days 10, 17, and 24, respectively
Similarly, bHB reabsorption rate increased significantly from 154 plus or minus 27 mmoles/min on day 3 to 419 plus or minus 53, 399 plus or minus 25, and 436 plus or minus 53 mmoles/min on days 10, 17, and 24, respectively


Nicholas Norwitz – Oxford Ketone PhD Researcher and Harvard Med Student:
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20 thoughts on “Why You're Exhausted on the Keto Diet

  1. If I start eating normally again, say porridge and banana for breakfast, jacket potato and tuna for lunch and rice and salmon for dinner, am I going to gain all the weight back?

  2. Thank you Thomas My left eye keeps twitching like it did almost 4 years ago when I started Healthy keto. I've been very inconsistent as of these past 5 months and I can't seem to stick with it anymore. My weight is good but I'm retaining water because I can't seem to stay away from cashews and Rit. I am so mad. I am 5ft 4 60 year old woman and weigh 110.4. Still retaining fluid.

  3. Been doing keto for 5 months now but I am sick ! Fever , have no energy. Feel like faling on the ground the whole day. Can’t work. Can’t walk 😅

  4. I just started. These 4 days went great. Not hungry. Eating enough fat. It was easy. And then the fifth day…. I am so exhausted. No energy at all.

  5. I’m feeling that heavy feeling now, but I’m definitely happy and satiated.
    My only fear is using stevia now because I’m used to unsweetened nut-butters for my sugar. Otherwise – I’m pretty satisfied.

  6. Mostly KETO diet and weigh yourself EVERY morning! If there is even an ounce of weight gain, then NO food that day!! Fasting is the solution to weight gain.

  7. I'm 53 and have been doing Keto for 4 months. Yes still tired and walk for exercise 3-4 times/week for approx 50 min. Aerobic exercise not good on my knees. What else would you suggest I do? Weight loss very little (keto snacker).

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