What are the transition symptoms and how do I manage them?

This is really dependent on the person. Most fairly healthy people (30% of people) tend to feel better immediately, especially if they have gone from an already low carb diet to a cleaner diet or the Lion Diet. The higher carb your diet originally was, the harder this transition is going to be. If you have an autoimmune disorder it might be fairly difficult. But life is difficult when you’re sick so it’s not really out of the ordinary.

Here are some symptoms I’ve had and I’ve heard reported from most to least common:

  • Diarrhea for the first 1-3 weeks (usually starts 3-5 days in and lasts for a few weeks)
  • Nausea particularly in the first two weeks (seems to be the worst at the end of Week 1 around Day 4)
  • Cravings for the first 24 days (these seem to stop quite suddenly around Day 24)
  • Mental fog/muscle cramps/fatigue – generally if you increase salt and electrolytes these symptoms will diminish.
  • Bloating – switching to lamb for a few days can help. Eating leaner cuts of beef can also help. Eating un-aged meat is very important to avoid bloating if you’re experiencing it. Avoid liver and broth. HCl supplements can help people with low stomach acid. They didn’t help me but I’ve heard people like them.
  • Rashes – this can take a bit longer to fix. If you get a rash from switching into ketosis, adding in honey can help if you don’t just want to wait it out.

I know that’s a scary a long list. There are fewer transition symptoms the slower you ease into the diet. Generally speaking though, some symptoms improve right away such as:

  • Joint pain sometimes goes within the first 2 weeks
  • Fatigue after meals should disappear pretty quickly
  • Some people’s mood improves within days (first couple of weeks say – especially if they haven’t been on meds)
  • Weight loss right away (some of this is water)