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When you’re in the state of ketosis, your body is burning fats instead of glucose. This is the ultimate goal of the ketogenic diet.
Cutting out carbs is the way to lose weight on keto. This includes limiting carbs, starches, and sugars found in foods and drinks.
We often talk about how wonderful the keto diet is, but no one talks about the unwanted side effects, such as feeling cold.
Is being cold a sign of ketosis?
We share with you how being cold on the keto diet is one sign you are entering ketosis, whether it is only temporary, and what you can do about it.
Carbs and Energy
Carbs are sugar molecules that produce glucose for energy. It’s common knowledge that carbs are the main source of energy for the human body.
However, it should be noted that the body can also derive glucose from fat and protein. It’s just that carbs are more convenient to break down.
Carbohydrates are easy to metabolize and distribute to the bloodstream.
On the keto diet, you are encouraged to eat and drink less than 50 grams of carbs a day, much lower than the normal recommended intake.
When your body experiences a sudden carb deficiency it comes with symptoms like headaches, fatigue, sweating, being cold, and feeling thirsty.
That’s because your body is still getting used to the metabolic state of ketosis. This occurs when the body starts burning fat to produce ketones for your energy needs.
In short, the keto diet forces you to enter a state of ketosis.
Being Cold on the Keto Diet is a Sign of Ketosis
When you restrict carbs and there are not enough glycogen stores, your body switches to using fat for fuel.
Entering the state of ketosis means your body has to adapt because it’s using a different method for obtaining energy.
Sweating Causes Feelings of Coldness
One symptom of these metabolic changes known as ketosis is a cold sweat. Ketosis may make you feel cold because of excessive sweating.
Sweating is your body’s way of releasing heat on the keto diet. This indicates that your body is adjusting to the use of fat for fuel instead of glucose.
It’s like experiencing the flu, except a virus isn’t the cause.
Aside from sweating, ketones are expelled through urine and breath as well. You may also experience excessive thirst while in ketosis.
It is a good sign that you are transitioning to ketosis once you experience cold sweats and changes in your urine, breath, and thirst.
The reason behind this is simple. When carbs are stored in the body, water is also carried. So, as the excess carbs are burnt off your water weight is also released.
Night sweats are also linked to issues like insomnia, low blood sugar, dehydration, weakened immune system, and sugar withdrawals.
Side Effect of Nausea
Nausea is common when you have keto flu symptoms.
When you’re nauseous, you may also experience cold sweat. The association between the two can be explained by your body’s fight or flight response.
You feel nauseous on the keto diet because your body is still adapting to the fat-centric diet.
You’re Losing Fat
You may be feeling cod because you’re already losing fat. Congrats! You’re one step closer to your weight loss goals.
Your body fat cushions your vital organs, serves as an energy reserve, and provides insulation.
When you lose fat, you will be thinner, hence the insulation loss. You can be more sensitive to cold as you have less fat to keep you warm.
Reduced Thyroid Levels
Triiodothyronine or T3 is the main active thyroid hormone that affects most of your metabolic processes.
T3 levels are related to your carb count and calorie levels. So, you may end up with diet-induced hypothyroidism when you’re on keto.
Many people with this condition often experience a lower body temperature of about 98.6.
A Drop in Blood Sugar Levels
Another reason why your sweat makes you feel cold is the drop in your blood sugar levels. It is Also known as hypoglycemia, it’s your body’s reaction to a lack of blood sugar.
Low blood sugar levels are expected and normal when you undergo a high-fat, low-carb diet, so there is no need to worry unless you have diabetes.
This happens because your body uses up all its stored glucose and you’re not adding more via carbs.
Other Signs of Ketosis
Aside from feeling chilly when entering ketosis, other signs to look out for include the following:
- leg cramps
- fruity breath or taste in the mouth
- heart palpitations
- intense hunger
- irritable and anxious feelings
- bad coordination.
These tell-tale signs of ketosis are also called the “keto flu” because of the flu-like symptoms.
It should be noted that the keto flu is not caused by a virus. It’s a good sign that you are going into ketosis, the key to the diet’s success.
Feeling Cold on Ketosis is Temporary
Feeling cold on ketosis, along with any other keto flu symptoms, is normal and temporary.
Being on the keto diet has its ups and downs, but after all the bad comes the good. You’ll only be likely to experience feeling cold for a few weeks or so.
Some don’t even encounter this feeling at all!
Instead of giving up because of the negative changes you’re noticing, consider it as a good sign that you are entering the state of ketosis.
How to Prevent or Reduce Keto Flu Symptoms
Don’t be too hard on yourself on the keto diet! Keto is not a no-carb diet, so make sure to maximize your carb intake by choosing healthy whole food sources like fresh vegetables.
Make the most of your daily carb allowance by opting for healthy sources instead of fries, rice, and other starchy foods.
We know you want to lose fat as quickly as possible but being in starvation mode can do more bad than good.
The less food or fuel you eat, the less heat you will produce.
Try increasing your daily carb intake for a few days to reduce or eliminate your symptoms.
Don’t Make Abrupt Dietary Changes
If you’re making the most out of your daily macros and you still feel cold, it’s probably because your dietary change was too abrupt.
Create a meal plan that slowly transitions from a high-carb diet to a low-carb, high-fat one.
Gradually reduce your carb intake for a few weeks until you hit your target.
Drink More Water
You also want to drink more water to make up for the water you lose with sweating. The usual eight glasses of water may not be enough.
Try adding at least two more glasses to keep yourself hydrated.
You can also try electrolyte supplements to make up for the sodium, potassium, and other minerals you lose.
Fasting Can Make You Feel Cold
You may also be feeling cold on the keto diet because you are fasting as well.
It’s quite common whether you do it intentionally or not.
When you are fasting, your body is not digesting any food. So, it’s normal to feel cold at times.
Your body requires energy to feel heat. Eating gives you this energy.
You may also feel cold when fasting because blood flow is diverted to other parts of the body.
Lastly, the production of the hormone called orexin is inhibited when you’re fasting because of lower blood glucose levels.
Orexin neurons regulate the body temperature by promoting wakefulness and increasing body temperature.
FAQ Keto Diet and Ketosis
How Tell You are in Ketosis?
The keto flu is one way to indicate that you are getting into ketosis. However, the symptoms are different for everyone and may not be measurable.
Some don’t even experience keto flu symptoms at all.
The most exact way to know if you are entering the state of ketosis is by testing your ketone levels. This method is great because it shows numbers and not just observations.
Ketone level testing can be done through breath, urine, or blood. Find out how to read your ketone levels now!
Can I Exercise on Keto to Stay Warm?
Yes, but only a little.
You need to be careful about exercising on keto because too much too soon can cause fatigue. As your body adapts to the low-carb diet, the energy you burn should remain minimal.
And because your athletic performance on the keto diet may not always be the best, you shouldn’t work out too intensely.
Light exercises not only provide tons of health benefits but also help you reach ketosis more quickly.
Does Ketosis Make You Thirsty?
Aside from feeling cold, starting the ketogenic diet may make you feel thirsty or dehydrated. This is because water is stored along with glycogen.
So, when your body releases the rest of your glycogen stores, it also releases the water in your body. It is excreted through sweat or urine, often leaving you with a dry mouth.
But this symptom is normal and temporary. All these negative changes in your body only mean it hasn’t fully adjusted to the use of ketones for energy yet.
Check out what you can do to quench your thirst on the keto diet!
Does Ketosis Make You Sweat?
The keto diet makes you sweat more since your body is releasing water along with the remaining carbs in your body and getting ready to use fat for fuel.
It also happens when your blood sugar level is low. Having incredibly low blood sugar makes you sweat, so make sure to make the most out of your daily carb limit on keto.
There is no clear time frame on when your body will stop sweating so much, but it usually lasts only for a week or two.
Here are some things to help if you’re sweating on keto.
Patience is the Best Solution!
Unfortunately, the best way to deal with the feeling of coldness on keto is by simply waiting it out.
This frigid feeling will soon go away once your body has adapted to the use of fat for energy.
Check that you are also maximizing your daily carb limit on the keto diet and staying hydrated.
You can also take ketone supplements to support your ketosis.
We have a detailed guide on what ketone supplements do. Check it out to learn the best ones for you and your diet.