Before entering the keto diet, I am a person who everyone always judges to have a high body temperature. I was always at an average temperature of 36.5 – 36.8 degrees Celsius.
After half a month of entering the state of ketosis, I remember very clearly that it was a hot summer day, but my hands and feet are so cold that they are shaking.
This really surprised me, and then I started doing dozens of studies to see if I was always cold was one of the side effects of ketosis.
Although many side effects are associated with the keto diet and flu, does keto make you cold? And is cold a sign of the keto flu? This article will give you all you need to know about feeling cold on keto and how to be warmer if you accidentally fall into that situation.
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Does keto make you cold?
The answer is Yes. In general, if you are not properly equipped to handle the low-carb state, it is possible to get cold more easily. This is because your body has begun to metabolize fat, which means less glucose and glycogen in your bloodstream for keeping your body warm. Carbohydrates provide this energy when you don’t have enough fat on hand.
Feeling cold when keto is one of the most obvious signs that you have entered a state of ketosis. But you should know that ketosis should not make you feel cold.
Why does keto make me feel cold? Top 5 reasons
Keto is not to blame for making you cold, but the following causes during the body’s adaptation to ketosis mode will make you cold.
There are 5 reasons that may cause this phenomenon. After understanding the 5 main reasons you are cold, I also give you 4 tips to help you overcome this situation and be warmer in the next section.
Reason 1 – Eating too few calories because you are impatient to lose weight fast
Yes, some people have an extreme mindset that eating as little as possible will help them lose weight faster.
A calorie is a unit of energy. The amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 kg of water by 1 °C from 14.5 °C to 15.5 °C, or one-kilogram calorie (4.2 kJ) is equal to 4184 joules or approximately 4 kilojoules (kJ).
In food and nutrition, a calorie is defined as a unit of food energy that accounts for digestible and non-absorbable nutrients in food such as fats, proteins, carbohydrates, alcohol, and vitamins with specific heat values per gram.
You need to use the calories in your food and drink to perform essential bodily functions, such as breathing, walking, moving, talking,… In other words, calories are energy that helps you maintain life.
Carbs are the ingredient that contains the most calories but has been minimized in the keto diet. You only need to consume protein, fat, and fiber.
This results in a lower calorie intake than usual. The fact that you lose weight negatively by limiting your calorie intake to the lowest level will make your body won’t have enough energy to produce heat.
Following the USDA, the recommended number of calories for adults in a day is 2,000. And this research shows that Middle-aged adults who consume 2,300 to 2,900 calories per day have higher body temperatures than those who eat 1,769 calories a day.
When the body’s temperature is raised, it gives off heat to the surroundings to maintain a certain body temperature. The more calories we consume, the faster our bodies burn these calories to maintain their body temperatures.
Therefore, if you eat less, the energy may not be enough to maintain normal daily activities. According to statistics from a study, if you do not provide enough 800 calories per day, thyroid levels will drop, negatively affecting health.
In short, The more calories you consume, the hotter your body temperature.
It’s essential to know how many calories you should be eating to lose weight. For a woman who wants to lose at least one pound, she should consume 1,200 to 1,800 calories a day. For men who want to lose one pound per week, they should consume 2,000 to 2,400 calories per day on average.
The formula to calculate how many calories you need to consume for your weight loss goal is:
CALORIES PER DAY = YOUR WEIGHT * 10-12
(ex. 120 pounds * 10-12) = 1200 – 1400 calories per day
Reason 2 – Dropping thyroid level
Triiodothyronine is a hormone that comes from the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland uses iodine to produce thyroxine and triiodothyronine hormones. Low levels of Triiodothyronine, also called hypothyroidism, can cause fatigue and other symptoms.
The level of the thyroid gland commonly referred to as t3 is also known as Triiodothyronine. This is the primary active thyroid hormone. It takes responsibility for many metabolic activities in the body. The level of t3 depends on the carbohydrate content and the calorie level in the diet.
So what does this mean for you?
The ketogenic diet is known as a strict low-carbohydrate regimen. If you make sure you get enough calories every day, the other factor that causes low T3 levels is the number of carbs you eat.
As you know, people following the keto diet are required to eat very low carbs, less than 50grams per day, even in fact only 20-30grams, an insufficient number.
Then you finish up with diet-induced hypothyroidism. According to statistics, people who’ve experienced an underactive thyroid (hypothyroid) will have a lower body temperature than average.
The body will then reduce thyroid hormone production to keep the body temperature at an average level. If you’ve made sure you’re getting enough calories, what you can do now is increase your carbs slightly.
Don’t worry about getting out of ketosis. You need to adjust the amount of T3 better for your body.
Reason 3 – Low physical activity.
In keto, sometimes, you are limited in your options for physical activities. As a newbie to the keto diet, you will feel weak at first and have no energy. You don’t feel any energy to do physical activities.
Keto reduces the level of carbohydrates in your body. This means that energy from foods is now used to keep you warm, so you need to do some physical activity to burn triglycerides and ectoine that have been released from fat deposits.
I know that for keto followers, exercise is not a top priority. Many people lose weight spectacularly with keto but don’t go to the gym even once.
However, if you are new and are in a state of feeling cold, you should spend time doing a little physical activity every day to boost metabolism, burn fat inside the body to heat production.
If possible, do some low-intensity cardio exercise like walking to increase your daily physical activity and burn more fat.
As your physical activity increases, then you will see the benefits of ketosis faster.
Reason 4 – You may be losing fat
This is one of the common reasons why you are cold. Anyway, losing weight is your #1 goal when it comes to the ketogenic diet.
The primary purpose of body fat is to surround organs, insulate them from the external environment, and serve as a physical barrier.
It was explained that the fat tissue could also act as an endocrine organ to secrete hormones such as leptin, estrogen, and testosterone.
At the same time, fat is also a source of stored energy and a warming agent. So when losing fat, of course, the fat layer will be thinner. This means your body has lost some of its natural ‘fat’ insulation. This makes your body more sensitive to ambient temperature and more easily cold.
Reason 5 – Women on menstruation may feel cold while abiding by a keto diet
A woman on her period may experience feeling cold while eating a keto diet. This is because women are more susceptible to PMS symptoms, and as menstruation is one of the most common PMS symptoms, it’s not uncommon for women to feel cold.
A keto diet deprives the body of glucose, leading to somebody cells using an alternative fuel source called ketones instead. The problem with this process is that it requires energy for muscles and tissues to create new energy molecules from these alternative fuel sources.
This means that if women eat too few carbs during menstruation while they’re on a keto diet, blood sugar levels can go down because muscles and tissues now need less energy from glucose.
This leads to the fact that during menstruation during the periods, their body becomes sensitive to the temperature. The fluctuation of hormone levels at that time alters the body temperature and makes the women feel cold.
How to feel warmer when ketosis makes you cold?
Some foods and minerals will help you in warming up your body and boosting your metabolism. Here are 4 things I have added to my daily diet to stop freezing extremities, especially hands and feet.
Adding hot soup to your keto meals
On cold days outside or when I feel cold, for me, there is nothing better than having a bowl of hot, delicious soup at the table. A slow-cooked soup or stew is perfect for feeling warmer.
Some keto soups I recommend are:
- Chicken noodle soup
- Chili chicken soup
- Asparagus and leek soup
Taking magnesium to your daily supplements
Magnesium is an essential part of body temperature regulation. Maybe you’re low and need to supplement. In a keto diet, it is difficult to take in enough food. So if you decide to supplement, check that it is well absorbed rather than an oxide.
Last summer, after cutting too many carbs suddenly, I was freezing. Then my sister told me to take a liquid gel pill of magnesium ASAP. Within 30 minutes, I was taking my hat off, removing my jacket, etc. It is an experience I will always remember, and now I take magnesium daily.
Enjoying some spicy
Some spices are excellent warmers on top of tasting great. I love garlic (note this is not a good choice if you have GI distress and enteritis), turmeric, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. There’s something about the spicy taste that goes great when it’s cold out.
- Cayenne pepper is the spiciest of all and is also one of the top ingredients to help you burn fat.
- Cinnamon is a popular spice to add flavor to your coffee or tea, improving blood sugar levels.
- The whole spice turmeric has been shown to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s, ai??i?? the list goes on! Just go light on this one if you don’t like spicy food because it’s not as hot as others.
Hot tea will make you feel better
Herbal teas are an excellent option for cozying up when feeling cold. These plants don’t contain any caffeine, so they’re a perfect choice for those looking to get warm without getting loopy from too much of the stuff.
- Mint tea: peppermint, spearmint, and ginger are great choices.
- Rooibos tea: this variety of herbal tea does not have caffeine-like black or green teas and has less than half the amount that a cup of coffee contains.
You can try Ginkgo Biloba to improve your blood circulation and have more energy.
I recently started drinking hot tea for the health benefits, i.e., close to a cup of tea every day, and it keeps me warm without being too hot or burning my throat as coffee does.
Is coldness a sign of ketosis?
For me, being cold is not a good sign that you are in ketosis. Overall, if you start with a keto diet, you probably will feel cold while your body adapts to the new diet.
We should not rely on emotional signs to conclude that we have successfully entered ketosis. You can check your ketone levels in your blood or urine from a test kit.
There are many methods that you could use to test if you are in ketosis. One could be the “ketone urine test kit”. This is a home-use purpose testing kit that detects and measures how much ketones are in your blood or urine. I bought my ketone urine test kit on Amazon. You can check it here!
Another way to test if you are in ketosis is using the “blood ketone meter” (like a blood glucose meter for diabetics), which costs around $100 or so, you can easily find a quality one here.
This is a professional-grade testing device that gives you instant results and is considered the gold standard for testing ketosis.
Top other signs that indicate you have entered ketosis
If you are not strict about implementing ketosis tests, here are the top subjective signs to help you believe that you are in ketosis.
The top signs that indicate you are in ketosis are:
- Increased energy levels – if you’re feeling more energized and alert.
- Decreased cravings – if you’re having less desire for sugar, carbs, or other unhealthy foods.
- Increased clarity of thought, mental focus, and general mood improvement – if you feel clearer-headed and happier than before.
Does keto flu make you feel cold?
If you feel cold, along with a few other common symptoms of keto flu that I’m about to talk about below, the answer is yes. However, if you feel cold with no other symptoms, it’s not keto flu.
Keto flu is a term used to describe the common temporary feeling of being exhausted, mood swings, etc.
Some people experience this when they switch from their regular diet to the ketogenic diet. Sudden onset of symptoms characterizes it, usually lasting for one or two days and then subsides.
- Mood swings
- Muscle cramps or weakness
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long does the keto flu last?
Typically, the keto flu lasts about 1 to 3 weeks. However, this time may be shorter or even longer. Because if you don’t know how to prevent it, the keto flu will get worse. This leads to a longer duration of infection and vice versa.
2. How to get rid of keto flu? (Actionable tips)
To get rid of keto flu, you have to know the cause and find a corresponding treatment. For example, if you’re not getting enough electrolytes in your diet, you need to change that. If your digestion is off because of food intolerance or gut problems, then a change in diet will help.
You also have to make sure that you are eating plenty of healthy fats because keto flu tends to be caused by an imbalance in the body’s fuel source between glucose and fat.
So it’s important to balance out the amount of fat vs. carbohydrates so that the body switches over as quickly as possible into ketosis mode.
You should also pay attention to a few factors to manage keto flu from the beginning.
- Start slowly
- Drink more water
- Adding an electrolyte supplement
- Focus on consuming more healthy fat
- Get enough sleep and take naps if needed
- Do light exercise every day
In conclusion, I hope this article has helped you answer the question does keto make you cold, is being cold a sign of ketosis, or is it a sign that you are in keto flu. And how to stay warm, how not to suffer from the symptoms of keto flu. Hope you will reread it to learn and take note of the most necessary information. Talk soon!