How To Get Rid of Keto Flu
You're unbelievably tired, have crazy intense nausea, and a headache. You just started a Ketogenic Diet, and you'd bet your right arm that this new diet is making you feel this awful.
Removing carbohydrates from your diet rapidly, like with a Ketogenic, Low Carb, or Paleo Diet, may very well be the reason that you feel like you legitimately have the flu, and that's why it's called Keto Flu.
Ready to learn how to get rid of Keto Flu?
Read on for my best tips:
Keto Flu is a symptom of starting a low-carb diet.
Any low carb diet (not just Keto) such as LCHF, Paleo, Whole30, or even Atkins can produce the Keto Flu.
The symptoms you're feeling are caused by your body being used to using the carbohydrates you eat for fuel. When you stop eating carbs, your body “panics” for a few days until your switch over to Ketosis: burning stored and dietary fat for fuel, rather than carbohydrates.
The good news is that it takes most people's bodies only a few days to fully move int Ketosis, so while your Keto Flu symptoms might make you feel awful, they should subside in 2-3 days.
In some regard, Keto Flu actually dehydrates you:
Your body stores water in it's muscles by binding water to carbohydrates, so when you stop eating carbs, your body starts to use those stored carbs in your muscles, flushing the water attached to those carbs out of your body as a side effect.
I'll tell you how to keep from getting dehydrated during the transition into Ketosis in just a moment.
If you have Keto Flu, don't panic, because there are ways to get rid of it.
1. Eat More High-Quality Fats
Since your body can no longer get it's energy from carbohydrates (and the sugars it turns carbs into), your body still needs energy and can find it in the form of dietary far. So if you eat more healthy fats such as avocados, coconut oil and MCT oil, this will help your body switch to burning fat for fuel faster, ending your Keto Flu sooner rather than later.
2. Eat More Food
Just because you don't feel good, don't let that be an excuse not to eat.
Your body is going through a tough transition that requires lots of energy, and if you're not feeding it you will only prolong the symptoms of Keto Flu.
If you're looking for Fat Bombs or recipe ideas, check out my Keto Recipe Index for lots of inspiration.
3. Cut Carbs Slowly
If you're an athlete or used to an extremely high carb intake, it may be wise to slowly wean yourself off of carbs rather than going cold turkey. You'll still have Keto Flu symptoms but they will be much milder than they would normally.
Your body will still find it's way into Ketosis, the process will just happen slower than going cold turkey, and there's absolutely no shame in that.
4. Increase Your Electrolytes
Remember how I told you that your body flushes the carbs and water out of your muscles when you start a Ketogenic Diet? Well, this process can cause your electrolytes to become imbalances, and dehydrates, making you feel absolutely awful.
To reverse this, add a lot of salt to your food, use sugar-free Powerade or Gatorade, or even salt you water to get a lot of sodium in your diet.
As weird as it seems, this will help re-hydrate you (without the help of carbs) and should help with the nausea and headaches.
5. Drink Lots of Water
If you can flush all those carbs out of your system, and keep yourself hydrated, you'll find Keto Flu becomes much easier.
Dehydration is never good, but it's even worse when cutting carbs, so aim to drink at least 1 gallon of water each day the first week of two going Keto.
Related Reading: Keto 101
My husband laughs at me, because when I am trying to go into Ketosis, I always make the first 3 days zero-carb days, and then schedule a very intense spin class at the end of day 3.
Why would I torture myself like this?
Because 90% of the time, that spin class, while absolutely awful, kicks me into ketosis, ridding me of the Keto Flu and resulting in a HUGE burst of energy.
Yes, exercise will suck during Keto Flu, but even moderate exercise like walking will help you body switch from using carbs to fat for energy, so power through if you can!
7. Supplement with Ketones
I am not an advocate for using Exogenous Ketones (drinkable Ketones) every single day, but in my experience with Keto Flu, I've found they can really help make it easier.
I've done the research on Exogenous Ketones and believe that used correctly, they can really help not only with Keto Flu, but with supplying energy during tough workouts (without using carbs)
Don't quit keto just because you have Keto Flu
Having Keto Flu is actually a good thing because it means your body is transitioning into Ketosis.
So if you're having trouble getting rid of Keto Flu, pat yourself on the back for sticking with it, and use some of these tips to help make the symptoms much better.
What is your favorite method for beating Keto Flu? Give me your best tips in the comments!
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