Earlier this year, I trained for a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition and needed to lose weight to make my weight class. I woke up at 4:30 am 4 days a week to get to the gym by 5 am. I also made sure to go to Jiu Jitsu classes at least 3 times a week. In short, I busted my ass. Because working out isn’t enough, I also went Keto. My carb count was roughly 20–30 grams a day.
The day of the competition, I woke up at 113 pounds. I weighed in before the competition at 116 with my uniform (gi). My weight class was set at 118 so I was all set. All in all, I ended up losing 14 pounds for the tournament. I didn’t register for the weight class above because I wasn’t at my usual weight and didn’t want to compete against bigger, stronger women.
Going Keto helped me lose weight quickly. I was happy with all the recipes available. I even pulled in some friends to help me meal prep. We made Keto chocolate muffins, Keto Reese’s Pieces (delicious by the way) and all kinds of Keto goodies. We also made tons of Keto food. I understand there is a difference between healthy and unhealthy Keto and I opted for a mix between the two. I ate meals like I normally would (I enjoy vegetables) and had Keto friendly snacks when I was hungry.
Tournament day came and went. I lost but had a good match. Immediately after I started adding carbs back into my diet. 113 pounds wasn’t a sustainable weight for me long term.
Roughly a month after the tournament, I adopted more of a low carb diet. It seemed more sustainable and allowed me to still maintain my weight through the summer
I started noticing clumps of hair coming out in the shower. I thought it was my age. Doesn’t one begin to lose hair at 38? It continued and I continued to accept it. I had noticed this during my time on Keto as well but I didn’t pay any attention to it.
I’ve always had long hair and I could notice it was visibly thinner. I started taking biotin supplements. They helped. I resumed my normal diet and went to see a doctor. As I didn’t change anything else, my doctor confirmed my hair loss was likely due to Keto. Researching this it seems the hair loss is a result of not getting enough protein while on Keto.
No diet in the world is worth losing your hair.
After stopping Keto and resuming normal eating habits, I noticed cloudy urine a couple days in the morning. I then went to the bathroom, was in pain and saw some tiny stones in the toilet. Though my kidney stones passed naturally and were tiny, I was still alarmed. I have been fairly healthy all my life.
My water intake in generally poor. I have to make myself drink the recommended amount and I usually don’t make it. During Keto, you absolutely must drink more than the recommended amount due to all the fat you are consuming. Combine my poor water intake with the amount of meat I was eating and there you have it — kidney stones.
Keto Flu and Low energy
This one was fine once it passed but during the time I was Keto, I felt ill in the beginning. I didn’t have much energy to do anything. In fact, I remember telling my husband several times I was too tired to go out. The headaches were the worst. They affected my friends that did the diet as well. Over time the headaches passed but it did take a week or two to get through.
For those considering Keto, I urge you to consider going low carb instead. Keto is in the range of 20–30g of carbs a day while low carb is roughly 70g/day. These numbers vary based on your current and goal weight.
Dropping your carb count to a maintainable level while keeping energy levels up is the key for long term success. You don’t need the headaches, lethargy, hair loss and kidney stones, trust me.