We live in a world obsessed by carbs, and the introduction of the keto diet has been a revolution to many. But it’s also been a bit of a shock to the system! Keto flu is a very real thing, and unfortunately, it often deters dieters from continuing with the nutrition program. But before we get into that, let’s look at what a keto diet actually entails.
A keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet, but it’s a lot stricter than the regular version of this diet. When following keto, over 80% of your calories should come from fat, you should eat a max of 15g of carbs, and consume 1g of protein per kg of body weight on a daily basis. Considering that the average person gets a significant amount of calories from carbs, this is usually a dramatic dietary change.
Interesting Fact: The original ketogenic diet was actually created to treat epilepsy in children!
What Is Keto Flu?
Keto flu represents the flu-like symptoms experienced by people who have started a low-carb diet, and the symptoms arise from your body getting pretty darn confused. When your body has previously become used to deriving energy from the carbs you eat, it doesn’t know what energy source to turn to when you stop eating carbs. If you’d like to know more about the science behind this check out this post.
Let’s Start With Prevention
Before talking about how to get rid of keto flu, let’s look at how you can avoid it in the first place.
Make Carb Elimination A Gradual Process
If you cut out all carbs overnight, your body will not thank you for it. Taking a gradual approach to transitioning from your regular diet to a keto diet is the best way to control this process. Start by eliminating all processed carbs, then grains, followed by fruit and starchy veg. By taking a step-by-step approach, your body will have much more time to adjust.
Increase Your Electrolytes Intake
Often, keto flu is caused by an electrolyte imbalance. When you stop eating salt smothered processed foods, your water retention decreases – which is good – but the bad news is that you also flush electrolytes out along with the excess water. You can avoid keto flu in this instance by increasing the salt you add to your food, consuming bone broth, adding magnesium supplements to your diet, and eating high potassium foods like avocados, nuts, leafy green veg, and salmon.
Drink Water Like Your Life Depends On It
Since you’re going to be flushing all of that excess water out of your body, it’s pretty important to ensure you don’t get dehydrated – which can lead to symptoms like fatigue, headaches, and nausea. Avoid keto flu by staying hydrated with water, tea, and bone broth.
Keto Flu Symptoms To Watch Out For
If you think you’ve still managed to come down with a case of keto flu, here are a few symptoms to watch out for:
- Stomach aches
- Brain fog
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Dizziness or confusion
- Lack of concentration
- Muscle cramping or soreness
How To Cure Keto Flu Quickly!
As mentioned, an electrolyte imbalance is a key player in causing keto flu, but you can do your best to prevent it by increasing your salt intake and supplementing your diet with magnesium, and high potassium foods such as leafy greens.
Getting an appropriate amount of sleep is essential for your well-being in this regard, but even more so when you’re on a keto diet. Remember, your body is switching fuel sources which results in a certain amount of stress and fatigue. Getting enough sleep can help to reduce that.
Go For A Run
There’s no doubt that your energy for exercise is going to dwindle at the start of your keto diet. But some light exercises twice a week can help your body to become more efficient at making the switch between carbs and fats for energy. Which will help to decrease those keto flu symptoms even sooner.
Add More Fats And Calories To Your Diet
As your body can’t rely on carbs for fuel anymore, it needs fat. Don’t forget to ensure that the calories you’re losing from carbs are replaced by keto-friendly fats.
Exogenous Ketones Will Help
These are ingestible ketones that give your body the additional ketones it needs to enter ketosis faster, which can help to prevent and even get rid of the symptoms of keto flu.
And Finally: Patience Is A Virtue
These tips should help you to reduce your keto symptoms and even avoid having to deal with keto flu at all. But if you do get hit, try to remember that this is simply an induction phase and the symptoms will start to ease up and disappear in time. They’re also usually worth it in the end! The majority of people will experience weight loss after this initial period in addition to having more energy with fewer digestive problems and less bloating! Like the saying goes, nothing worthwhile ever comes easy.5