The Ketogenic diet has been around for a while now and I’m sure you have heard so many good things about it (just like I have). The one thing I hadn’t heard much about though was the keto flu. While it is normal, it can feel kind of concerning or even discouraging. Here are a few tips to help you power through the keto flu and feel better.
Keto Flu – Symtoms & Cure
What is Keto Flu?
The ‘keto flu’ is the name given to the crummy feeling that a person can get when starting the Ketogenic diet. These symptoms typically show up somewhere between day two and day seven after starting your ketogenic diet / lifestyle.
What Causes the Keto Flu?
‘Keto flu’ happens when the body is adjusting to burning fat instead of sugar (glucose). During the transition the body eliminates more water and salt (sodium). Drops in those levels contribute to the symptoms as well.
Keto Flu Symptoms
Brain Fog (Difficulty Concentrating)
How long does Keto flu last?
Thankfully, this crummy feeling doesn’t typically last more than the first week. Some people find that it only lasts a few days. it hangs around just long enough for your body to get used to the transition. Rarely, these keto flu symptoms can stick around for up to a month but, that isn’t the normal time frame.
Keto Flu Cure
Thankfully there are ways that you can try and get past the keto flu sooner.
Since increased urination means loss of water, increasing your water intake will help to relieve some of your Keto Flu symptoms. Keeping yourself properly hydrated will increase your energy and help ease the headache.
The sudden increased sodium output in the urine will cause a fast drop in sodium levels in the body. By increasing your sodium intake during the beginning of your keto diet you will help to combat the extra loss thus, making your keto flu symptoms better.
Going low carb and low fat at the same time will only increase your keto flu symptoms. Add healthy fats (things like avocados, egg yolk, butter or bacon) to your diet and it can help to minimize the keto flu symptoms.
If increasing your salt, water and fat intake doesn’t help ease your keto flu symptoms than a slower transition may be needed. Try adding a small amount of carbs back into your diet (somewhere between 20 and 50 grams a day). Once your body is accustomed to the low carb diet, try to decrease your carbs and see how your body does.
By adding more carbs into your diet you will potentially slow down your weight loss but, it will help to eliminate your keto flu symptoms. Once your body adjusts to the lower carbohydrate diet, you can go back to the full keto diet.
By trying to do too much too soon at the beginning of your keto diet it is very likely that your keto flu symptoms will increase the overall crummy feeling of the keto flu. Try gentle workouts like yoga instead of intense workouts.
Once your body adjusts you will be able to go back to your normal physical level (if not increase it).
On the flip you might need to incorporate exercise in your lifestyle, if you were not exercising try it to help you feel better.
Getting enough rest is very important but, falling asleep or staying asleep can be an issue during the keto flu period. If this is a symptom you are dealing with, an Epsom salt bath before bed will relax your achy muscles and ease the muscle cramps. A keto friendly tea may also help you relax before bed.
Increase Fiber Intake
It is very important when living a Keto lifestyle to make sure you are eating enough fiber. Consider adding more leafy greens or flaxseed to help up your fiber intake.
Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is not eating for a certain period of time each day. It does not mean getting rid of meals, it simply is eating more within a certain period of time. Major changes to the body can happen during a fasted period.
Keto Flu Tips
‘Keto Flu’ is not recognized in the medical field since it isn’t a normal flu or sickness.
If you are feeling sick enough that you cannot continue your daily routine, you should seek medical attention.
Not everyone will experience the keto flu. Those who do experience it may experience it to different degrees.
There is no need to go and buy special supplements to get past the keto flu. Simple sports drinks will give you the electrolytes and magnesium your diet may be missing.
If you have diabetes and rely on insulin or other medications to manage it, the ketogenic diet could be problematic. Be sure to talk to your health care professional before beginning so that your levels remain correct.
What To Eat To Cure Keto Flu
- Leafy green vegetables (spinach + kale)
- Fat bombs
- Nuts – almonds, pecans, macadamia, and brazil nuts
- Lemon water with sea salt
- Roasted seaweed
- Bone broth
- Coconut oil
- Full fat cream cheese
- Magnesium supplement
- Dark chocolate
- Pumpkin seeds
- Chia seeds
- Brussel sprouts
A few of my favorite recipes to help combat Keto flu:
- Keto Broccoli Fried Rice
- Keto Chicken Alfredo Casserole with Brussel Sprouts
- Avocado Bacon and Egg Cups
- Keto Ice Cream Bites
- Keto Chocolate Bites
Don’t let the Keto flu discourage you from giving the Ketogenic diet a try. These simple things I shared with you will help to ease (and hopefully eliminate) your keto flu symptoms. Just remember that these symptoms are temporary and will subside once your body starts burning fat instead of sugar. The important thing is to stick with a Keto lifestyle and the symptoms of Keto flu will subside and you will feel great, have more energy, weight loss, and more in no time!
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