How to deal with Keto Flu
When you adopt a low-carb way of eating, like the ketogenic diet, you are likely to experience a rush of flu-like symptoms.
But don’t worry! Not everyone gets keto flu, and it’s avoidable.
Even the term “keto flu” is a bit of a misconception. Most symptoms like drowsiness, queasiness, giddiness, carb cravings and irritability aren’t related to the state of ketosis or flu.
This is the body’s natural reaction, sort of a withdrawal, to carbohydrate restriction.
This worrisome fake flu can be somewhat discouraging for those just starting the keto diet. Many give up at this stage and resort back to eating carbohydrates again to control the symptoms. When you switch back to carbs, you are doing the opposite of what’s necessary to stay in ketosis.
Common Symptoms of Keto Flu
The keto flu typically hits within the first few days of ketosis. This is the time when your body is adjusting to switching fuel types from sugar to fat. The keto flu may vary in length and severity.
The typical symptoms of the keto flu are:
- Brain fog
- Muscle ache
- Lack of concentration
- Bowel issues; diarrhoea or constipation
- Sugar cravings
Some of you may not experience any symptoms at all, and others might experience the keto flu for a week or more.
Don’t give up! It does go away once the body fully adapts to the new fuel source, but there are also measures to help decrease the intensity of symptoms.
Tips to Reduce / Avoid Symptoms of Keto Flu
Don’t give the keto flu a fighting chance!
The flu is dreadful in general, but we can help eliminate and even avoid the symptoms altogether with a few simple measures:
- Electrolytes – This is the best defence in circumventing the keto flu completely. Electrolytes are essential and should be tracked daily along with the macros (carbs, fat and protein).
Sodium: Target to consume 5000-7000 mg per day. The perfect source is bone broth, but if that’s not available try supplementing with bullion or sole water.
Magnesium: Goal 300-500 mg per day. The easiest way to supplement magnesium is from magnesium pills. Be careful while taking magnesium citrate or magnesium stearate as they are used typically for constipation. Also, if you take gel caps, add one carb to the diary.
Potassium: Goal 1000-3500 mg per day. Try to achieve this with potassium-rich foods like raw spinach, avocado, mushrooms, salmon, pork tenderloin or sirloin steak. Also, salt alternatives like Lite Salt and No Salt are acceptable.
- Water – When you start a keto diet, there is a significant amount of water loss. Drink water regularly throughout the day and always drink to thirst to avoid dehydration. Clear urine is a sign of being well-hydrated and yellow urine indicates that your body needs more water.
- Increase Fat Intake – This sounds crazy for a diet, but it’s true. In a stage of ketosis, your body is using fat for energy instead of sugar. Assist this process by consuming more fat. It’s a good practice to stick with good fast, which is keto-approved.
- Light exercise – One can prevent keto flu-related muscle soreness by exercising regularly. Moderate exercise also keeps the heart happy and increases your energy and endurance.
- Sleep – To tackle increased stress on the body and fatigue, make sleep a priority. Sound sleep is essential regardless, but even more so when the body is experiencing a change of this enormity.
- Up the Carbs – This should be your last resort. However, in some cases, a drastic reduction in can be traumatic for your body. In this extreme scenario, try eating clean carbs and decrease progressively. Few good carbs will help in fending off the keto flu symptoms.
After the Keto Flu
The keto flu can be rather tough to handle. It’s important not to give up. Try the suggested remedies to help eradicate the symptoms.
It’s possible even to avoid them altogether if you monitor these measures closely along with macros from the very beginning.
Luckily, the keto flu is the only pitfall to the ketogenic diet. From this point forward, there should be positive results!
And not just fat loss!
When earnestly followed, a keto diet will deliver abundant energy. Your sugary food cravings virtually disappear, and you will experience an increase in mental sharpness.
Remember, taking the body into ketosis is a different experience for everyone. Sedentary lifestyle before starting the keto diet increase chances of you developing keto flu. Symptoms might be less or even nonexistent for those with an active lifestyle or those who have a higher metabolism.
Either way, keep pushing and stay focused on the plan. The results will be life-changing!