Should you decide on the keto diet, within a few days you may feel some discomfort from bloating. Do not worry too much as bloating is a typical side effect of beginning many new diets as you are changing how you eat and what you eat.
The bloating can feel like there is undue stress on your stomach and may become increasingly irritating. Thankfully, it is so common with the keto diet that it has its own name, keto bloat. In this guide, we will look at why keto bloat occurs, how long it lasts, and how you can debloat.
Why Keto Bloat Occurs
When you shift your diet, your body will naturally take some time to change and adjust. You can still consume tasty foods like nut butter and cheese yet by taking out various carb-heavy foodstuffs like rice, pasta, and bread, you may feel bloated.
This keto bloat typically starts when you begin the diet and lasts for between a few days and a couple of weeks because carbohydrates have been taken out of your diet and the body is still adjusting.
The bloating is the body’s reaction to this change of diet, specifically entering ketosis. To anyone who suffers from bloating, it feels as if the stomach has expanded so it feels tight.
Your gut may also feel full which is mainly due to the build-up of some bad gasses and even constipation. It may be uncomfortable and your pants could feel tight as well but it is a natural part of the process.
Due to the keto diet introducing a new way of consuming food, the digestive system may need time to adjust. While it does adjust, the gut may begin to expand with bad gasses which is aligned with what it thinks is bad digestion.
Common causes of bloating can be dehydration or simply not enough fiber being introduced into the digestive system.
How Long Does Keto Bloat Last?
When you do suffer bloating on a keto diet, this should occur in the initial stages of taking up the diet. The bloating is a symptom of a condition infamously known as ‘keto flu.
Once you cut out carbohydrates, the keto flu can last for about two weeks. After that initial period, your body should have fully adjusted to ketosis.
Other symptoms that do occur along with the bloating include simple nausea, diarrhea, irritability, dizziness, and headaches.
Anyone taking up the diet can also expect to go through muscle soreness, cravings for sugar, poor sleep, and decreased concentration.
Keto bloat can reoccur as part of keto flu as soon as you decide on eating far too many carbohydrates for the diet. Even one cheat day can shift your body out of ketosis and back into keto flu.
How To Debloat
Once you become committed to the keto diet, you should be able to work past dipping back into keto flu after a single cheat day.
If you do feel bloated, there are some simple remedies you can try to avoid that discomfort. You may feel dehydrated as your water weight is lost so ensure you keep drinking water to stave off dehydration and that discomfort.
During any diet, dietary fiber is vital to your digestive system. That’s the same for keto so keep things moving by looking after your fiber intake.
If you are known to consume fiber-rich foods like cereals, pasta, bread, rice, and potatoes then with less of those, your body may produce more gas.
There are other sources of fiber you can try which are still low-carb and include kale, spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower. Stock up on those vegetables and you should feel better but do not go overboard as that can cause bloating too.
In many cases, starting a new diet is going to come with various side effects. For the keto diet, and several others, one of those side effects is bloating and that should last for a few days or a couple of weeks.
If it does, do not panic and try to help out your digestive tract with more water and more high-fiber vegetables. Give it time and soon enough your body will adjust to ketosis and you can feel the benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions
Aside from the keto bloat, you may experience bad breath which is down to the ketones being released. There may even be a strange sweet taste in your mouth.
As the keto diet flushes out more water by limiting glycogen levels and inflammation, you are likely to urinate more.
That means taking in more water as with fewer carbohydrates comes less capacity to retain water in the muscles and liver.
The changes in bowel movements are not likely to be fun yet tend to ease off after a couple of days.
There is also an increased chance of cramping due to an imbalance in electrolytes so combat that with more sea salt, nuts, and seeds which are high in minerals.
Sleep may be a struggle in those early days which can also be combated with increased hydration and mineral-rich foods. Due to the increased body energy from blood sugar balancing, you may even have a boost in your sex drive.
Finding a new diet should come with the ambition of losing weight, yet you may indeed look fatter after starting a keto diet.
This is largely because our bodies are built to store those excess calories and ensure we have reserves in case food becomes scarce in the future.
That usually means the excess fat, even from keto-friendly foods is stored as fat instead of going to waste. Like many side effects of a new diet, this should pass too.