What is the keto flu, and what can you do about it? Today, I’m answering all of your frequently asked questions about the keto flu.
Let me guess, you’ve started the keto diet, but now you feel like total garbage?
Headaches, muscle cramps, nausea, dizziness with a touch of constipation. You feel awful.
You need answers and remedies – ASAP.
You’re in the right place. I’m Heather, and I’ve been following a keto diet for the past six years. And yes, it worked. (I’ve lost 100 pounds.) But guess what? The keto diet isn’t super easy to stick to, and it can be hard to understand, especially if you’re new.
What Is The Keto Flu?
First, the good news. The keto flu isn’t a bug or virus.
The keto flu is the name given to the symptoms your body experiences when it goes through carbohydrate restriction.
What Causes The Keto Flu?
Look at keto flu symptoms as your body’s reaction to using a new fuel source. Remember, you’re switching from running on carbs and glucose to fat and ketones.
When Do Symptoms Start?
Ok, so while there is no definite timeframe, the symptoms of the keto flu happen within the first week of restricting carbs.
You may begin to feel them within 12 hours of starting the keto diet, or you may never feel them at all.
Why Does The Keto Flu Not Impact Everyone?
Your metabolic flexibility determines your experience with the keto flu.
Metabolic Flexibility is also known as your body’s ability to adapt from burning carbs for energy to burning fat for fuel.
Let’s break that down.
Your metabolic flexibility is determined in part by genetic predisposition and part lifestyle.
So, if you’ve been on a high carb, high sugar “diet,” it is likely that you will suffer more keto flu symptoms than your best friend who has been off sugar for years and maintains relatively good eating habits.
How Long Does The Keto Flu Last?
Symptoms of the keto flu usually go away within a few days as your body becomes adjusted. Depending on your metabolic flexibility. Some people have reported symptoms lasting for weeks, but this not typical.
Symptoms of The Keto Flu
Keep in mind these that the symptoms vary from person to person. Symptoms range from mild to severe.
Lack of Focus
Cramps (Leg & Muscle)
High or Low Blood Pressure
Keto Flu Symptoms Causes & Remedies
Electrolytes (sodium, magnesium, potassium) are must-have minerals your body needs to function correctly. They play a significant role in the overall functioning of your heart, muscles, and brain. When you start a keto diet, you flush out a lot of electrolytes, so it makes sense to replenish them.
If you’re having headaches, dizziness, muscle cramps, difficulty concentrating (brain fog) or you have little to no energy, you may need more sodium.
Up your salt intake by adding 1/2 teaspoon Pink Himalayan salt to a glass of water- a tall glass of water.
Or, consider sipping on nutrient-rich bone broth.
Having muscle and leg cramps?
You may need magnesium.
Take a 300-500 mg supplement or add more magnesium-rich foods to your diet like almonds, chia seeds, chicken, beef, spinach, and beef.
Symptoms of low potassium are muscle cramps and pains, weakness, and increased heartbeat.
To increase potassium levels, you could take a supplement or add more potassium-rich foods like avocado, fish, meat, mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli.
Keto Flu Remedies
The keto diet can cause you to drop water weight, especially in the first week, which can lead to dehydration.
Dehydration leads to all kinds of nasty keto flu-like symptoms like headaches, dizziness, weakness.
Stay on top of your water game by drinking plenty of H20! Tea and coffee count too, but nothing is better than water.
Drink even more if you are suffering from diarrhea – which can also cause dehydration.
Cut Carbs At A Slower Pace
If you’ve been following the Standard American Diet for years, cutting out sugar and all carbs at one time may be too taxing on your body.
Start with small steps and work your way up.
You may want to go with a low carb diet instead of going all-in with keto.
Remember, your goal is progress over perfection.
Cut out junk food and sugar first.
Give your body time to adjust then move on to grains, pasta, and rice.
Trying to do all the things all at once could be self-sabotage.
Eat More Healthy Fats
Eat more healthy fats to help your body transition. Here are a few of the healthiest sources of fat for a ketogenic diet.
Since you are using fat for energy instead of carbs, you likely need more fuel if you are feeling tired and worn out. Try snacking on a few fat bombs to add fats and replenish your energy levels.
Avoid Heavy Exercise
Keep walking, swimming, and practicing yoga, but avoid strenuous workouts for the first couple of weeks while your body is adapting.
Did I Miss Anything?
Do you have enough information to explain your symptoms and try a remedy?
Or are you still confused about the keto flu?
Either way, please let me know by leaving a comment below!
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Hey! Thanks for sticking around.I started this blog to help people like you take control of their health – achieve their fitness goals – lose weight – and gain the confidence they need to go out and live life to the fullest. (Because that’s what losing 100 pounds on the keto diet did for me:) If you need help, please reach out. In addition to blogging full-time, I’m a Health Coach, and I’m a mom of three awesome kids – 2 girls & one son who happens to have autism.
I’m continually seeking balance to do all of the things – and I’d love to help you do the same.
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