The keto cleanse, whether it’s a 7-day or 30-day cleanse, is useful not only for those just starting out on a keto diet, but also for those who have fallen out of ketosis or into old habits with their meal choices. Read on to find out who needs a keto cleanse and what that cleanse entails.
The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, moderate-protein, high-fat diet not unlike the Atkins diet and other low-carb diets. By dramatically reducing your carbohydrate intake and upping your healthy fat intake, your body is required to switch its go-to fuel source from glucose (sugar) to ketones (from fat). This invariably leads to your body doing the hard work to burn the stored fat on your bones, a metabolic state known as “ketosis.”
Ketones can help reduce your blood sugar and insulin levels, and they can supply your brain with energy. Once they are circulating, you may find you’re experiencing health improvements far beyond the beneficial weight loss that comes with a ketogenic diet.
There are a few reasons you might recommit to keto by going on a cleanse, which entails making sure you only eat the cleanest whole and homemade foods appropriate for a ketogenic diet (no processed foods or snacks that may have hidden ingredients). Here are those reasons.
When you first get into ketosis, the weight loss you experience will be fast and welcome. However, soon enough your body will adjust to your new diet and you’ll hit a plateau when it comes to fat burning. Many people just starting out on keto will use ketone test strips to check their blood or urine for ketone levels to monitor when they’re in danger of getting knocked out of ketosis. When that day comes, it’s time to do a dietary overhaul. A keto cleanse will help reset your diet and force your body to adapt once again to this new metabolic state.
Changing your diet so drastically has some unintended side effects (see the symptoms of “keto flu” in the next section), one of which is a possible interruption of hormone production. Nutritionist Lily Soutter, interviewed by Sabrina Barr for The Independent, states that low-carbohydrate diets “may negatively affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, the three glands which are essential for keeping our hormones in balance,” and “may also suppress our production of a hormone called leptin, which may ultimately interfere with our body’s abilities to regulate sex hormones.”
Once the body adapts to this new diet, researchers say that the dieter’s natural libido will most likely reset, so if you find yourself experiencing withdrawal symptoms from quitting carbs, jump-starting the diet again with a cleanse can put you back into the efficient and high-energy state of ketosis.
Speaking of withdrawal symptoms, one of the most unpleasant ones related to the early stages of keto is what’s known as “brain fog.” Your energy feels wrung out and your brain just isn’t as perked up and alert as you’d expect, and you know you’re in the doldrums of a readjustment period.
Many people will try to improve their energy using exogenous ketones—”exogenous” meaning they come from outside the body—like by making their morning coffee a keto coffee, dropping in a dollop of MCT oil or coconut oil. Another way to clear the fog is to go harder with a keto cleanse: sometimes the only way out of the fog is through.
Who knew the body was so sensitive to change? Probably anyone who’s traveled to a new region of the world, tried a new cuisine for the first time, and found themselves sick with digestive distress. Your healthy gut bacteria are creatures of habit, and when you suddenly change a diet they’ve been a long time accustomed to, there’s a shuffling of resources that takes place that could be quite unpleasant. From stomach upset (queasiness, nausea), to constipation, to diarrhea. A keto cleanse utilizing clean, whole foods like lean meat, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats could help clear the slate and reset your gut bacteria ratios to healthier levels.
While studies show that low-carb diets like keto do not significantly affect the concentration of liver enzymes, if you have an underlying liver issue like non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a ketogenic diet could make a positive difference.
One 2016 study found that keeping a ketogenic diet for 6 months improved fatty liver disease in obese participants, while a 10-day study from 2006 found that a low-carb diet decreased the amount of liver fat in healthy participants.
A 2011 study found the same result in those with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in a span of 2 weeks, decreasing the patients’ liver fat by 42%. If you’re diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a keto cleanse might be right for you—ask your doctor if it’s the prescribed lifestyle change to reset your metabolism.
In the early days of keto, you may experience flu-like symptoms and side effects, including:
|Loss of appetite||Thirst|
A keto cleanse could help you push past these early issues and get you to a state of ketosis faster.
There’s a book called the 30-Day Ketogenic Cleanse by Maria Emmerich, which contains keto meal plan recipes (including slow cooker options), but there are multiple ways to tackle a keto cleanse. You can incorporate intermittent fasting into your diet plan, prepping delicious recipes for dinner each day and keeping your calorie intake until then limited to keto coffee and water, which encourages your body to seek energy from the right source: body fat. The quicker you can reach ketosis, the sooner you’ll have increased energy levels, improved health, and a slimmer physique.
Getting into a keto lifestyle might be improved by using our Keto Diet: Step-by-Step Action Guide as well, along with changing your eating habits to tasty whole-food recipes. Going keto is not just a new way of eating, it’s a shift in lifestyle that ideally should include improved fitness along with a reduction in your net carbs. The adjustment period is the hardest part, especially if you have other dietary restrictions to consider, like needing gluten-free, dairy-free, or nut-free meals.
Check out some of our keto recipes just to get an idea of what a shopping list should look like for keto cleanse meal plans.
With almond flour, soy protein, vanilla, ground flax seed, and almond milk, you can cook up these vegan keto pancakes for breakfast. With cinnamon and strawberries for extra sweetness, this is the perfect recipe to kickstart your energy levels first thing in the morning.
For the pastry part of this perfect lunch or dinner masterpiece, you’ll use coconut flour, almond flour, xanthan gum, butter, salt, rosemary, and apple cider. For the filling: eggs, cream, shredded chicken, chopped mushrooms, and season with garlic and thyme.
Last but not least, for dessert we have a deliciously keto cheesecake recipe made with almond flour, peanuts, cashews (so not for those with nut allergies), grass-fed butter, cream cheese, sour cream, plus vanilla and lemon. You don’t have to be sorry about giving up any food for keto with the variety still available to you with every meal of the day.
A keto cleanse can help you feel better, balance your hormones, improve your liver health, bust through keto flu symptoms, and lose weight, all at the same time. If you need a cleanse, check out our keto recipes to get started right away.