If you've just started the ketogenic (keto) diet, you may be looking forward to the benefits many people have experienced, such as increased energy, reduced cravings, or weight loss. Eating keto-style is a big change for a lot of folks, and there can be some bumps along the road. Here are four common keto setbacks and some herbal products that may help you along your journey.
Eating more meat and dairy than you're accustomed to can put temporary stress on your liver while your body adjusts to your new way of life. That's because your liver helps digest and store fat.
A bitter root known for its detoxifying properties, Burdock may help your liver do its job.* Gaia Herbs offers Burdock root as a single liquid herbal extract, as well as in combination formulas, such as Liver Cleanse Liquid Phyto-Caps®, which help support toxin elimination by the liver.*
Perhaps the most famous of liver-loving herbs, Milk Thistle has been used as a liver tonic for thousands of years.* Its active constituents have traditionally been used to improve the flow of bile essential for fat digestion from the liver.* Gaia Herbs offers Milk Thistle as a single liquid herbal extract, in Liquid Phyto-Caps, and in combination formulas, such as Liver Health Liquid Phyto-Caps, which provide daily support for a healthy liver.*
Dramatic dietary changes can cause stomach upset, and for most people, cutting carbs down to almost nil is a pretty dramatic shift from their normal diet.
Substances that reduce occasional gas, bloating, and a feeling of heaviness are the trick here.* Activated Charcoal and Fennel absorb and eliminate gas, while Caraway, Cumin, Peppermint, and Star Anise all have venerable histories for supporting healthy digestion.* You can find all of these in Gaia Herbs Gas & Bloating formula, available in Liquid Phyto-Caps and a tasty herbal tea.
On the keto diet, you will not be eating traditional sweets made with sugar. If you've got a sweet tooth, you may find your sugar cravings kicked into high gear for the first couple of weeks, as you make the transition from burning carbs as your primary fuel source to burning fats.
Cinnamon bark is well known for its ability to help maintain blood sugar balance.* When your blood sugar is in check, you're less likely to have those pesky cravings.* The good news is that once you adapt to the keto diet, the cravings should eventually go away by themselves.
Many people embarking on a keto diet experience temporary aches and pains, brain fog, and tiredness, commonly called the keto flu. Don't worry. You most likely do not have a bug and you're probably not contagious, it just feels like it.
Your body will adjust on its own within a week or so, but if you'd like extra support during the transition, Turmeric Supreme Pain could be just the ticket. Turmeric is widely recognized for helping support a balanced inflammation response.* Gaia Herbs Turmeric Supreme Pain also contains Wild Lettuce and Devil's Claw which have been used traditionally to help ease occasional pain in the body.*
Keto-induced brain fog may result from a drop in serotonin, since this neurotransmitter is made from carbs. St. John's Wort, one of the most revered herbs, may be able to help, as research indicates it increases the brain's production of serotonin1 and it has long been used to help support positive emotional health.* Gaia Herbs offers St. John's Wort as a liquid herbal extract, in Liquid Phyto-Caps, and as part of the award-winning formula Mood Uplift, which combines St. John's Wort with a harmonious blend of herbs traditionally used to help the body cope with daily stress, support a balanced mood, and foster a better outlook on life.* Just remember that St. John's Wort may take a few weeks to build up in the body, so you should plan on taking this supplement before beginning your new keto diet.
Be Prepared & Be Patient
As you plan for your new keto lifestyle, make sure you are giving yourself plenty of time to prepare. It's not just knowing what foods you can eat and which to avoid you should also research how your body may feel as it adapts to this new diet, so that way you have the proper herbal support on hand before you dive in. The challenges of a keto diet are many, but the more prepared you are, the better your chances will be for long-term success.
And be patient and kind to yourself. As with any big changes in life, you are bound to have small setbacks along your journey. Remember to focus on the big picture, forgive yourself, and move on. As, after all tomorrow is another day.