Why Am I Tired on the Keto Diet?

The ketogenic diet is high in fat and low in carbohydrates; its goal is to induce ketosis. Ketosis speeds up the fat-burning process by converting excess fat into usable energy. Over 25 million searches were made worldwide in 2020 for “keto,” making it the most popular food-related search phrase on Google. However, some people have this question “why am I tired on the keto diet?”

Tiredness is a common side effect of switching to the ketogenic diet since it forces the body to adapt and adjust. In case you were wondering, you are not alone in experiencing fatigue while on the ketogenic diet. As there are some side effects of the ketosis process. In this primer, we’ll go into greater detail about the ketogenic diet and discuss the potential for exhaustion and lethargy among those who change their weekly diet to gain its benefits.

How much does the ketogenic diet make you tired?

How much does the ketogenic diet make you tired?
How much does the ketogenic diet make you tired?

Although studies show many positive outcomes for those who choose a healthy ketogenic diet, the diet has drawbacks, especially during the adaptation period. The fatigue some keto dieters experience is due to the many changes the body undergoes. 

The most frequently cited reasons are as follows:

Keto Flu

Keto flu describes the symptoms experienced by some people on the ketogenic diet. The keto flu occurs when a person makes a dietary change to consume fewer carbohydrates. The ketogenic diet typically demands a daily carbohydrate intake of 50 grams or less. To put this in perspective, the average daily carbohydrate intake of adults who eat a balanced diet is between 200 and 300 grams. Some people have flu-like symptoms on a drastically reduced carbohydrate diet within the first week. These are some of the signs and symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Tiredness,
  • Weakness
  • Exhaustion.

After beginning a new diet; it is normal to experience withdrawal symptoms and general malaise. Most people with keto flu will recover without medical intervention, with symptoms subsiding after a few days.

If, after beginning the ketogenic diet, you have symptoms of keto flu, take care of yourself by getting plenty of rest, drinking plenty of water, and engaging in regular exercise. Furthermore, looking into electrolyte supplements can be helpful.

Inadequate Fluid Intake

Feeling fatigued and run down when on a diet could be due to something as simple as not drinking enough water. Drinking enough water is essential no matter what you’re eating. Brain fog, weariness, confusion, muscle soreness, and headaches are some uncomfortable and even deadly symptoms that can result from dehydration.

Dehydration is a common problem for those on the ketogenic diet. This is because there are fewer carbs in the ketogenic diet. When you eat foods high in carbohydrates, your body responds by secreting insulin to control your blood sugar. When carbohydrate intake is minimal, the body is less likely to release insulin to regulate blood sugar. 

Although insulin’s primary role is to keep blood sugar levels stable, it also ensures that the kidneys retain electrolytes and minerals like potassium and salt. Water, minerals, and electrolytes are all lost through urine when a low-carbohydrate diet is followed. That’s why it could help to take supplements and ensure you get enough water. Electrolyte loss coupled with inadequate replacement can lead to dehydration.

When beginning the ketogenic diet, it’s important to remember to drink enough water and replace any electrolytes you may have lost. Determining how much water or salt you need to drink or ingest can take some time. Get some guidance to ensure you’re using the right supplements.

It’s essential to watch for common signs like

  • Daytime sleepiness has increased.
  • A lack of moisture in the skin and hair
  • Smelly, dark urine
  • If you are experiencing vertigo or dizziness,
  • Torn muscles
  • Headaches
  • Lessening the frequency you need to urinate

Weak, low-quality fare

When transitioning to a ketogenic diet, you have a lot of leeway in terms of meal planning. The issue is that not all ketogenic diets are the same, and in some cases, people who try to adhere to a ketogenic diet end up eating a lot of junk food. Using fat for energy instead of carbs is the primary goal of the ketogenic diet. However, you need to fulfill your fiber intake while on the keto diet. 

Although there are many health benefits to following a ketogenic (high-fat, low-carb) diet, it is easy for individuals to undermine those gains by selecting poor-quality foods. Diets low in beneficial nutrients, sometimes called “dirty keto” foods, might leave you tired and weak.

Fighting fatigue, improving your health, eating clean, and following a ketogenic diet plan are two great places to start. Even though the macros for fast food or processed foods are acceptable for the ketogenic diet, these foods are generally high in chemicals and low in nutrients. Eating the wrong meals regularly can cause deficiencies, imbalances in essential oils and fats, and other underlying health issues, all of which can amplify weariness.

The following are some suggestions for menu additions:

  • Foodstuffs derived from marine organisms
  • Veggies, including broccoli, kale, peppers, zucchini, cabbage, and asparagus, are high in fiber and low in carbohydrates.
  • Cheese 
  • Avocados
  • Meat and fowl
  • Eggs
  • Cubed curd cheese
  • Real yogurt
  • Ingredients: seeds and nuts
  • Oil of olive
  • Butter
  • Berries that are low in carbohydrates include strawberries and raspberries.
  • Noodles made from shirataki rice

Extreme physical activity

Working exercise has many positive effects on health and well-being for individuals of all ages, but it’s possible to overdo it and harm yourself. Particularly in the beginning of the ketogenic diet, while your body is still adjusting, excessive exertion and pushing yourself to your limits can leave you feeling exhausted. 

Keeping up with a regular exercise routine can improve your energy and happiness, but only if you give yourself time to recover and pay attention to your body. Stop and rest if you need to, or choose an activity with less intensity, like walking or swimming. Overtraining can lead to injury, fatigue, and a heightened desire for food.

As health professionals recommend, exercise moderately for at least 150 minutes per week. Activities like jogging, tennis, golf, yoga, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and spinning are all fair game.

When beginning the ketogenic diet, those who regularly engage in physical activity should keep a close check on their bodies, as well as their energy and mental state. For some, dietary changes have little effect on their ability to exercise, while for others, the initial days of a new eating plan can be marked by increased fatigue. 

Keep going, but slow down and frequently rest if you’re tired. Take it easy for a while until you feel stronger and more energized. This is especially true if you’re used to jogging at full speed on the treadmill or long walks, or bike trips.

The Deficit in Calories 

The simplest explanation for weight loss is that it occurs when caloric expenditure exceeds caloric intake. To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit regularly. Fatigue is a common complaint among those following the ketogenic diet. This is mainly because the ketogenic diet results in a chronic calorie deficit, constantly causing the body to need more fuel. Low-calorie diets are a common misconception. 

Cutting back on calories might help you lose weight slowly and healthfully, but you might hurt yourself if you go too low. Due to increased fat-burning and decreased hunger, the ketogenic diet makes it simple to drop excess pounds. An increased metabolic rate is another benefit of this diet.

Maintaining optimal health and bodily functions while adhering to the ketogenic diet necessitates paying close attention to calorie consumption. Too much calorie restriction can lead to chronic exhaustion, rapid weight loss, and hormonal problems, especially with thyroid function.

If you’re afraid you aren’t getting enough to eat while on the ketogenic diet because you’re feeling exhausted, try eating more healthy fats and nutritious meals that release energy slowly. Increasing the number of times you eat each day may also help.

Insufficient Fat Intake

Getting the body to run on fats instead of carbohydrates is the primary goal of the ketogenic diet. Your body needs carbohydrates and fat for fuel; without them or good fat in your diet, you will feel exhausted and listless. The ketogenic diet requires a high-fat intake because it forces the body to alter its metabolism. Varied fats have different effects on the body, and some are healthier than others. Choose foods that are high in quality nutrients and healthy fats.


The ketogenic diet has exploded in popularity as people search for effective means of weight loss and adopt healthier eating and living habits. Although fatigue in the first few days of the ketogenic diet is common, it may indicate a more severe problem if it persists. Dietary and calorie adjustments, regular moderate activity, an increase in fluid intake, and the replacement of lost electrolytes can increase energy and prevent fatigue.

Does this conclude our article on why am I tired on the keto diet?

Additional Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does keto make you feel tired?

How long does keto make you feel tired?

Your keto flu symptoms may go away on their own in a few days, but it’s also possible that they’ll linger for weeks. Usually, individuals feel better within 10 days, but if you’ve been experiencing symptoms like a persistent headache, lethargy, cramps, or irritability for more than that, it’s best to consult a doctor.

Why do people feel tired on the ketogenic diet?

One of the most challenging aspects of starting a ketogenic diet is making the initial transition. Weakness and weariness are common symptoms (15). These symptoms discourage dieters, who often give up before reaching full ketosis and enjoying the diet’s many long-term benefits. These are normal reactions.

Do you feel weary when you cut carbs?

Do you feel weary when you cut carbs?

When carbohydrates are severely limited, fat is broken down into ketones for energy—entering a state of ketosis. Negative symptoms of ketosis include halitosis, brain fog, and general weakness.

In what time frame do you expect to feel the effects of the ketogenic diet?

You should be in ketosis between two and four days after beginning the process. However, a week or more may be necessary for some. Considerations including age, metabolism, exercise routine and current carb, protein, and fat intake all have a role in how long it takes to reach your goal.

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