What to Expect During the First Part of Your Journey Towards Reversing Type 2 Diabetes

There is a lot of evidence that living a Ketogenic lifestyle may significantly help in your quest to reverse a Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis.

Successfully transitioning from a Standard American Diet to a Keto Diet usually involves a minor adjustment period over the first few weeks.

It can be a bit strange at times for sure, but if you take a few preventative measures and stick to a Keto lifestyle you could reap the rewards of weight loss and better health leading to reversing your Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis.

Here's what to expect along the way.

The First Two Weeks: I Don't Feel So Good

During the first 3 to 14 days of staring on a Keto Diet, you may occasionally feel a little like you have the flu. This is called the "Keto Flu" and don't worry, you are not actually sick and are not contagious.

During this time your body is transitioning from using glucose as a primary fuel source to using healthy fats as a primary fuel source. Remember that all carbohydrates - sugars, grains, starchy vegetables (like potatoes, carrots, corn etc.) - quickly get converted to glucose in your body.

Just because you didn't eat much sugar in your past life doesn't mean you didn't eat a lot of other things that get converted to glucose. Even if you ate a lot of whole grains and brown rice in the past, these are still getting converted to glucose so your body until very recently ran mostly on glucose as a primary fuel source.

It turns out your body can run on healthy fats instead of glucose (see this article for more info).

When you go Keto, after a few days your body switches to directly burning fats that you eat and also can more easily burn your excess body fat as fuel.

It may feel a little strange during this transition period. It's totally normal to experience some of these "Keto Flu" symptoms including the following:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Irritability
  • craving of carbohydrates
  • Digestion issues

All of these issues will quickly pass.

Make sure to drink lots of water and get enough electrolytes (sodium, potassium and magnesium).

Sodium in particular can help with headaches during the transition. If you feel sick or have a headache, try drinking some water with 1 tsp of dissolved salt.

You'll also need more sodium, potassium and magnesium as part of your regular ongoing Keto lifestyle even after the transition period - anyone on a Keto Diet naturally loses more sodium, potassium and magnesium vs. anyone on a Standard American Diet. For this reason, Reverse2 has plenty of the  electrolytes you need.

The First Month: Fat Adaptation Adjustments

Becoming "Fat Adapted" sounds like it's a bad thing but in the world of Keto Diets and Type 2 Diabetes it's all good.

Being Fat Adapted just means your body has completed the transition from using glucose as a primary fuel source to using healthy fats as a primary fuel source. When you are Fat Adapted, this means your body has become very good at using fats for fuel.

During the first month you may feel a bit more tired than usual and may see a small decrease in athletic performance. However, this will turn around between months one and two. Most people start to see the exact opposite happen - they have more energy and see a small increase in overall athletic performance especially for anything that involves endurance or sustained output.

You should also start to notice that you are less hungry in general when you become Fat Adapted, particularly if you end up having to wait longer than usual between meals. People who stick to Keto Diets often can go 12 to 20 hours or more between meals without the extreme hunger you'd normally feel when eating a Standard American Diet. This helpful aspect of Keto Diets is due to being in a Fat Adapted state.

Finally, if you were overweight before starting Keto and are doing Keto correctly, then it's almost guaranteed you'll lose some weight at a slow and steady rate.

Don't expect any miracle diet results with Keto. Most people can realistically expect to lose one to two pounds per week (which is a very safe rate of weight lose by the way). You may see a few short periods of more rapid weight loss over a few days. Don't get too worried (or too excited) as this is often you just losing water weight - don't get discouraged if you don't stay at the same rapid rate of weight loss.

Studies show that you have a much greater chance of reversing a Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis if you lose at least 10% (or more) of your body fat over a period of two to six months then can keep that weight off indefinitely by using Keto for a maintenance mode diet.

Remember to be patient during the first month or so as everyone's body reacts differently. Some people can become Fat Adapted quickly while still eating a few carbs while it takes other people longer and they also may have to become much more dedicated to consistent day-to-day adherence with a strict Keto Diet.

The Second Month and Beyond: Smooth Sailing

Most people find that if you can make it through the first 2 months, then a Keto Diet can easily become a permanent a way of life that is easy to stick with for the long term. "Diet" is probably not the best word to use along with Keto as the Keto Diet is one of the few "diets" that doesn't require a radical drop in total calories and does not force you to be hungry all of the time.

One last note, make sure to monitor your blood glucose closely during all phases of your Keto journey. If you start to see a continual downward trend on your meter readings and/or A1C numbers then you may want to slowly reduce the dosages on some of your medications - but only under your Doctor's supervision and with her or his blessing.