Many people who start the keto diet don't last much longer after the keto flu hits — and understandably so. Common symptoms can include headaches, stomachaches, dizziness, nausea, and bad breath and can last anywhere between a couple days to a couple weeks. It's at that point when most probably wonder, How much longer? And I'm sorry to report that you'll to have to hang in there for a while before you begin seeing any major results.
Although the timeline varies from person to person, training your body to start burning fat for fuel requires patience. "Ketogenic diet isn't just low-carb, it's not just high-fat; it's actually converting your metabolic pathway," Molly Devine, RD, LDN, and advisor to Ketologic told POPSUGAR. It also largely depends on what your diet was like prior to getting on the keto. For example, if you were someone who drank multiple sodas a day and consumed a ton of carbohydrates regularly, it'll take you much longer to deplete your glycogen storage than someone with a healthier diet. Those who've been conscious of their diet can take an average of four to six days to begin shifting into ketosis, according to Devine. Making that full transition, however, requires much more time.
"I really believe it's two to four months of truly following a ketogenic diet before you are 100 percent in ketosis," Devine said.
Keep in mind that some doctors don't recommend staying on keto for more than three months because of our bodies' need for carbs to function properly. Devine, on the other hand, supports making keto part of your lifestyle and says that one of the perks of this diet is that you can reintroduce carbs after four to six months.
"Your body doesn't really go in and out of ketosis; it's not just like you're shifting gears," she said. "You can have a little bit of a carb binge here and there and it's not going to kick you out. The longer you've been on it, the more adapted your body is. I know people that still remain in ketosis but they can eat up to 50 grams of carbohydrates a day."
But before we get ahead of ourselves, Devine says give it a minimum of two weeks before tapping out. As always, speak to your doctor before making any significant changes to your diet.