Enjoy this beautiful beef footage of my dinner, as it’s the best I can do as far as motivation goes. This post will be be short because I’m experiencing the two worst symptoms of so-called “keto flu.” First, I would probably punch someone for cheesy garlic bread and a bucket of Twenty Tap french fries — maybe even a grandma. Second, my brain doesn’t work. It’s pretty much the worst part about going into ketosis.
I’m an awful person who forces myself to exercise into ketosis, which isn’t really a problem: you just get on the machine and go until you get really sweaty and tired. It requires zero thought. Unfortunately, pretty much everything else I do for a living requires a lot of creative thought. For me, this part is more torturous than the sugar and carb cravings. I can’t do phone interviews. I have to edit things nine and ten times just to clean up basic grammar and syntax errors. I poured whole coffee beans into my grinder, plugged it in, and then poured the whole, unground beans into the filter. It’s been a tough day.
I am burning through my carb reserve, and my body is responding like a Miami club promoter when his vial gets empty. You’ll never feel a craving any stronger than the ones you feel getting off of all carbs, unless you get pregnant, I’m told. Here’s how you deal:
Replace it with other chemical crutches
This is not about cleansing or detoxing or being better. Ketosis, at least for me, is about fat loss, period. In my first few days of ketosis, I am constantly eating bacon and guzzling both caffeinated and decaf coffee while running 2-6 miles total per day to torch whatever glycogen I might have onboard. I do not recommend this for better health or general good feelings. I do recommend it for getting through ketosis induction without punching someone in the throat if these are vices you already enjoy.
When I say “eat through induction,” I mean indulge in something fatty and heavy when you crave carbs the first few days. I really liked this buffalo jalapeno popper casserole recipe (so did my dogs), and fat is one of those things we eat that always tastes good and “feels” good in the brain. Have a bowl of no-bean chili with extra cheese and sour cream. Don’t worry about calories right now. In the beginning, they can’t really hurt you.
Second, lean on fake sugar when you need to. Swerve sweetener is pretty darn tasty as fake sugar goes, and you can usually find sugar-free versions of coffee syrups that you can use to sweeten whipped cream, homemade hot chocolate and other dessert things. Personally, I don’t keep a lot of sweet stuff in my house in the first place, so I supplement with a box of SF bridge mix from Fresh Market and I always get a carton of Carb Smart ice cream from Marsh in Broad Ripple. Since the bridge mix has nuts, I keep that to less than 10 pieces in a day. You can also make a really good homemade version of carb-free frozen custard by leaving out the whole milk in most ice cream maker recipes. One of the most versatile things you can have on hand is whipped cream lightly sweetened with sugar free coffee syrup. Get yourself some flavored decaf coffee with chocolate notes in it. Brew up an extra-strong pot or pop it in the espresso maker and pour it over your sugar free whip for a dessert version of a con panna. For me, the scent of coffee has always tricked my brain out of cravings by distracting it with a stronger chemical dependence.
A word of warning about sugar alcohol: you’re going to want to keep it to a minimum. It’s been the cause of some very famous gastrointestinal pyrotechnics, and abusers will reap what they sow.
The long and the short is that going into ketosis is a bummer, forwards and backwards. It’s unpleasant for a reason: so we run back into the loving, fattening arms of delicious, easily-burned carbs. All I can recommend is patience, coffee, some deep breathing and wish you the best of luck.
I really hope this post made any kind of sense.