The “keto flu” is the name given to that bad feeling some people get when they have carbohydrate withdrawals.
Not everyone will experience it, in fact, I haven’t experienced it when I’ve gone low carb but I have a few friends who have.
If you’re going through it right now then you need this information so you can get past it.
Keep reading – Don’t miss the Bonus Hack!
What Is Keto Flu
These “flu” like symptoms are happening as your body learns how to burn fat more efficiently. Your body has to adjust and become metabolic flexible.
Again, not everyone will feel bad when they are switching to a low carb or keto.
Symptoms Of The Keto Flu
These are some of the symptoms people report when their body is adjusting to low carb.
- Mental Fog
- In some extreme cases, high blood pressure and arrhythmia
It’s safe to say that since none of us are alike that the “keto flu” experience will look different for everyone.
So someone might get one or several of these symptoms or they may be like me and get none.
A Misunderstood Condition
People who experience keto flu after going on a low-carb diet are sometimes forced to believe that they are suffering due to the diet they are on and carbs are good for their health after all.
However, this only shows how dependent they have been on carbs, as their body is trying to survive without carbs and sugary substances.
Carb intake and especially refined carbs from processed food, sugary foods, and drinks are at an all-time high.
Carb addiction is rampant in the United States and other parts of the world.
Carbs are everywhere.
How Long Does The Keto Flu Last?
The duration of keto flu varies for each person.
While some may have slight and even unnoticeable symptoms for a day or two, others might have an over-the-top symptom for a week or more, it really depends on how quickly your body adapts and starts burning fat for fuel.
It’s been noticed that once keto flu is over you can expect a huge surge in energy levels, and once that sugar habit is fully kicked, often people feel better than ever.
Being patient as your body adapts is key.
If your body doesn’t adjust within a few weeks you should seek the attention of a qualified medical professional.
How To Reduce Keto Flu Effects
Keto flu can be a pain, however, there are some things that you can do to reduce the symptoms.
1) Replenish Your Electrolytes
Lack of electrolytes in the body is one of the major causes of keto flu.
Electrolytes are the minerals found in the body such as potassium, salt, and magnesium.
They affect our body’s water content, the acidity of the blood, and the functionality of the muscles.
Low carb diets do help lower insulin levels which can signal the kidneys to discard excess water, making you drink more and this results in flushing out electrolytes potentially causing you to become deficient in those important minerals.
You will need to replenish them by using supplements and food.
Normally, the average diet is overloaded with salt, but when you eat low carb and eliminate processed food your salt intake will naturally be less. Generally, 5 grams of salt (potassium) daily is ideal for keto flu symptoms.
Here’s how to get more salt in your diet:
- Drink organic bone broth
- Add 1/4 tsp of Redmonds to your water and sip throughout the day (get it here)
- Add salt to your food
- Eat cucumbers and celery which naturally contain salt
Eat avocados, spinach, kale, mushrooms.
About 300 mg in supplement form is easy to take and since most of us are deficient anyway this supplement is good regardless of the keto flu or not.
My favorite electrolyte drink: Lemon Lime Hydrate
2) Reduce Sugar Tasting Foods
As I wrote this I just finished off a low-carb chocolate cake in the mug.
It was so good.
However, sometimes too many “sweet treats” make the symptoms of keto flu last longer.
Some say that artificial sweeteners (sadly, even stevia) can affect your body the same as carbs do.
That means your body won’t get efficient at burning fat as fast.
We want to get adapted to burning fat as soon as we can so avoiding sweet treats with artificial sweeteners will be helpful especially if you feel sluggish or tired when you are low carb.
3) Eat More Fat and Less Protein
When I first went implemented cycling my carbs, intermittent fasting, and allowing my body to get into ketosis I started out eating mostly foods high in protein.
As I researched more into ketosis and the benefits I realized I needed to eat more fat.
Fat is pretty easy to get.
Try adding avocados, full-fat cream, virgin organic coconut oil, virgin organic olive oil, and butter to your diet.
Tip: Be sure to get organic and grass-fed dairy whenever possible.
If it helps, use an online keto macro calculator to make sure your calories are as close as possible to your target.
Have you ever taken a walk when you were tired and it perked you up?
That’s the same when you are experiencing some of the symptoms of keto flu.
Moving your body will energize you.
I mentioned above that taking magnesium will be helpful but there are a few other supplements you can take.
A high-quality green drink (like some of these) will fill in nutritional gaps and could help reduce fatigue.
How I Hacked Keto
I’ve varied my eating over the years and recently started following the Elimination Reset Diet plan created by some colleagues of mine.
I wasn’t really expecting to notice much but since it allowed me to drink my favorite protein shake and still stay keto I tried it out.
The first week I lost 5lbs and discovered some foods that I didn’t realize were causing me trouble.
It’s certainly worth checking out (I wrote about the ER Shred here) if you want to keep your diet simple and avoid processed foods while still enjoy drinking protein shakes.
It’s A Process
Getting used to a low-carb diet is a process and keto flu may be part of the initial side effects.
It can’t be avoided for some but hopefully, you can use some of these ideas to reduce your symptoms while your body adapts.
Obviously, I’m not a doctor.
I like to research and learn about health-related topics especially those related to essential oils, anti-aging, cleansing, and weight loss.
Low carb and keto can help you recover from insulin resistance and lose weight but you need to find out what works for your body.
If you plan to adopt any method of eating don’t believe me or your doctor until you’ve read a few books and researched for yourself.
Also, taking some time to think about why you want to make changes will help increase your likelihood of success.
Did you find these tips helpful? If you eat keto, what are your favorite tips?
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Very helpful article! I’m going to save this as I’m going to show this to my friends who just started doing keto. I’m sure they’re going to like this. Thanks a lot for posting!