Monday, September 26, 2022

How To Get Over The Keto Flu

Get More Sodium Potassium And Magnesium


When levels of key electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and magnesium are low, it’s important to replenish them. Water is essential to stay hydrated, but you’ll need to replenish your electrolytes through the foods you eat or an electrolyte supplement.

Potassium-rich foods include:

Good dietary sources of magnesium are:

  • Cashews
  • Dark chocolate
  • Leafy greens

You can add more salt to your foods to increase your daily sodium intake or add a pinch of salt to your water.

Back Off Carbs Slowly

While depriving your body of sugar sources is the quickest way to get into ketosis, the side effects can hinder long term success. If you slowly reduce your carb intake while increasing your fat intake, you can smooth your transition to ketosis.

Once you convert yourself to around 70% of calories from fat sources, see how you feel. If you still feel sluggish, try eating more frequently to stabilize blood sugar. I go over how to gradually reduce carbs in the image below and in greater detail in this article.

Groups Who May Be Harmed By The Effects Of The Keto Diet

Before even trying the keto diet, youll want to check with your healthcare team to ensure the approach is right for you. It is for some: For instance, previous research has shown the diet to provide anti-seizure benefits to children with epilepsy, although its not given to them for weight loss. There’s also a growing body of research that suggests the keto diet may be effective in adults with epilepsy, too.

But people with the following conditions should avoid it, say Gorin and Kristen Mancinelli, RD, who is in private practice in New York City:

Eating Disorders The strict limitations of the diet could increase the risk of compulsive overeating.

Kidney Disease or a History of Kidney Stones The ketogenic diet may increase the risk of kidney stones. In fact, one study suggests 3 to 10 percent of children with epilepsy who are on the diet have kidney stones, compared with one in several thousand in the general population. The diet may also put people with kidney disease at risk, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. People with kidney disease must follow a specific diet plan and should work with their healthcare provider to determine what they should be eating.

RELATED: How to Test for Ketones in Your Urine, and What They Mean

The dietitians caution anyone with an active health condition to consult a doctor before making any drastic dietary change, including those required by a ketogenic diet.

Recommended Reading: Is Splenda Bad For Keto

The First Weeks Of Going Keto Can Leave You Feeling Worse For The Wear But With The Right Approach You Can Fight The Keto Flu Or Even Prevent It Altogether

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A pounding headache, an uneasy and unsettled stomach, dizziness these are all common symptoms of the seasonal flu. But if you recently started the keto diet, they can also be unexpected side effects of what youre eating.

The keto diet is all about low carb, high-fat foods and achieving ketosis. Once ketosis kicks in, your body starts producing ketones and burning fat for fuel. And that can lead to a whole bunch of benefits, from weight loss to reduced risk of health conditions like diabetes. Yet ketosis can come with some unexpected side effects, which are called the keto flu.

If you arent prepared to face the keto flu, it can make you feel terrible. Fortunately, there are simple ways first-time keto dieters can tackle this unusual flu head-on and combat its symptoms.

Eat More Fat & Calories

Keto Flu A

If you are not eating enough, this can cause some symptoms similar to keto flu. Be sure to eat enough that you arent hungry. Remember, the primary fuel source on a keto diet is fat, so you need to add enough to keep you satisfied and to help you adapt to burning fat for fuel.

Resist the urge to make your diet both low carb and low-fat, which will just put your body into starvation mode. Youll be hungry, miserable, and are bound to run into the telltale signs of keto flu.

As you increase fat, watch the type of fat. You may need to watch your medium chain triglycerides , such as coconut oil:

  • If you have abdominal pain, you may need to ease into MCTs slowly to avoid stomach issues. Balance them out with long chain triglycerides, such as olive oil or avocado oil.
  • If you can handle MCTs without a problem, try increasing them because they will get you into ketosis faster.

Recommended Reading: Can You Have Beans On Keto Diet

From Keto Flu To Ketosis Success Checklist:

  • Choose or design a meal plan. Our new keto warriors use the 15-day Keto Kickstart Challenge. Its completely free and you can use it too for meal plans, grocery lists, workout routines, etc.
  • Plan your schedule accordingly. You know that the next week is going to be your toughest. If you have some days available to take off work, or can begin the keto diet on a Friday do it.
  • Adjust your exercise for lighter work. Light intensity exercise like brisk walking and calisthenics naturally stimulates fat metabolism for energy . This is good, and can increase the grace and speed towards ketosis. Heavy lifting on the other-hand can be too much.
  • Increase your water and electrolyte intake. As your glycogen and insulin drops, you will be releasing tons of stored water and electrolytes. This can be up to 10 lbs, that you will rapidly release in the first week or so. This quick shift towards dehydration can attribute to the keto flu symptoms, be prepared to drink a lot of water and salt your food with Himalayan sea salt for electrolytes while your body balances out.
  • Prioritize sleep. While the keto flu makes most people feel completely exhausted, come nighttime falling asleep may be tougher than expected. To help, head to bed 30 to 60 minutes earlier than normal. This will give you the greatest chance at falling asleep before you miss your natural sleep window.
  • Increase Your Intake Of Electrolytes

    Often, keto flu is caused by an electrolyte imbalance.

    Switching to a keto diet means we stop eating processed foods which are high in added salt. This decreases water retention, but unfortunately we flush electrolytes out of our bodies along with the excess water.

    Keep your electrolyte levels topped up to avoid keto flu:

    Increase the amount of salt you add to your food.Try and opt for healthy Himalayan Pink Salt if you can.

    Consume more bone broth.Either use it as the base for a soup or drink it straight out of a mug.

    Take magnesium supplements.

    Eat foods which are high in potassium.Like salmon, avocados, nuts, mushrooms and leafy green veggies.

    Read Also: Can I Eat Bologna On Keto

    Dont Consciously Restrict Food Intake

    Some people find that they arent very hungry the first week of keto because they are nauseated or have a headache that reduces their appetite. Yet others may get pretty hungry and worry that theyre eating too many calories to achieve the kind of fast weight loss theyve heard about.

    The Atkins diet begins with induction, its strictest phase that allows for maximum fat burning and getting into ketosis quickly. On this diet, as long as carbs are restricted to 20 or fewer grams per day, you can eat as much of the allowed foods you need to feel full.

    Its not a good idea to focus on calories when youre trying to become keto adapted. Letting yourself get hungry or stressing about the amount of food youre eating might even make keto flu symptoms worse.19 Once youre steadily in ketosis, your appetite will likely go down, and youll naturally end up eating less.20

    Eat as much of the allowed foods as needed until youre no longer hungry, and have keto snacks like hard-boiled eggs available in case hunger strikes between meals. On the other hand, make sure to avoid getting overly full by eating slowly and paying attention to hunger and fullness signals.

    Top 5 Symptoms Of Keto Flu

    How To Survive The Keto Flu | 5 Ways To Help Get Over The Keto Flu

    Keto flu doesn’t affect everyone the exact same way, and some people can transition to a ketogenic diet without getting any sort of flu-like symptoms at all.

    But if you notice any of the following issues within the first week to two weeks of adopting your new keto lifestyle, rest assured you’re likely dealing with keto flu :

  • Muscle cramps, weakness and headaches
  • Sugar cravings
  • Dizziness
  • Read Also: Can You Eat Fried Foods On Keto

    Follow A Nutritious Ketogenic Diet

    One of the main reasons beginner keto dieters start to feel unwell on keto is the lack of proper micronutrients.

    The ketogenic diet is not just about macronutrients. You could technically hit your macros by eating nothing but cottage cheese, but youd end up with electrolyte and other nutrient imbalances, which would contribute to keto flu.

    The key to transitioning to keto with few to no side effects is starting with a nutrient-dense ketogenic diet that covers all your vitamin and mineral needs.

    Heres a list of all the healthy foods you can eat on a ketogenic diet. Bone broth is especially popular with people transitioning into keto.

    To make your life easier, follow this 7-day meal plan to get used to eating keto.

    ts also important you avoid unhealthy foods that raise your blood sugar, insulin levels, and kick you out of ketosis.

    How A Keto Diet Works

    On a keto diet you dramatically reduce the number of carbohydrates that you eat.

    Thats not simply intended to cut out the calories associated with bread, pasta, cake and soda. In fact, most of those calories are replaced by eating a lot more fat than you would on a normal diet.

    Theres a scientific reason to follow a low-carb diet: it forces the body into the metabolic state known as ketosis.

    The body needs energy to function, of course, and it normally gets that energy by burning the carbohydrates we eat. That produces the sugar called glucose, and the body uses glucose as its everyday fuel.

    When following an ultra-low-carbohydrate diet like keto, though, the body is basically starved of the carbohydrates it needs and it has to find a different fuel source in order to survive.

    What it does is burn stored fat and convert it into molecules called ketone bodies, or ketones for short. The body is able to function just fine using ketones instead of glucose as fuel, so it continues to burn stored fat unless more carbs are added back into the diet.

    The metabolic state in which the body runs on ketones is known as ketosis, and achieving ketosis is the goal of ketogenic eating.

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    Why Do We Get Keto Flu And Its Symptoms

    With a deeper understanding of the why behind the keto flu, we can gain insight into how to alleviate its negative symptoms. Whether you are metabolically flexible or not, there are three changes that will occur in the body when you restrict carbohydrates. These three changes are the main culprits that cause common keto flu symptoms:

    1. Water and Sodium are Flushed Out of The Body

    When we restrict carbohydrates, we remove from our diet the one macronutrient that triggers the most insulin release. You may already know that insulin helps shuttle sugar into cells for fuel, but you may not know the effect that insulin has on the kidneys.

    While insulin is letting the cells know that there is excess energy, it also triggers the kidneys to hold onto sodium and water. As soon as insulin levels drop, sodium is released from the body, taking water along with it. This can cause up to 10 pounds of water weight to be lost during the first 5 days of the ketogenic diet.

    Glycogen and fluid levels are intimately connected as well. Every gram of glycogen is stored with around 3 grams of water. Thus, when we breakdown glycogen, some water will be released as well.

    During the first day of the ketogenic diet, your main fuel source becomes the stored glycogen from your liver and muscle. This can lead to an extra pound to a pound and a half of water loss.

    2. T3 Thyroid Hormone Levels Decrease

    3. Cortisol Levels Increase

    Drink Plenty Of Water

    How Long Does It Take To Get Over The Keto Flu?

    As mentioned above, a ketogenic diet causes a lot of water loss in the beginning, which can leave you dehydrated. Ironically, dehydration can actually lead to bloating and water retention, as well as dizziness and fatigue .

    TIP: Keep a bottle of water near you all the times to encourage drinking frequently.I love this bottle that has time markers, so that I can stay on track for the day!

    Aim for 16 cups of water per day , but listen to your bodys signals and dont overdo it. The goal is to reempt your thirst.

    Dont forget to replenish electrolytes as you drink water, to avoid diluting their concentration in your body even more.

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    Signs Of Keto Flu & How To Treat Them

    As your body is adapting to a ketogenic diet like Atkins20® or Atkins40®*, a number ofchanges may occur. These changes are often referred to as the keto flu. While these changesarent dangerous, and usually subside after a week or two, they can be uncomfortable andinconvenient. Below, weve outlined some helpful tips to help you identify signs of keto flu, curepesky keto flu symptoms, and break through this transition while sticking to your diet.

    What is Keto Flu?

    When your body begins to metabolize fat, ketones are created. Ketones have a diuretic effecton your kidneys, which speeds up the amount of salt and water they process. This, for some,may cause dehydration and an imbalance of electrolytes. Additionally, as carbohydrate stores inthe body begin to deplete and you switch from a high carb to a low carb lifestyleyour bodymay begin to feel different in other ways.

    Symptoms of Keto Flu

    As every body is unique, you may experience just one or two symptoms, or a combination ofseveral. You may even experience none! Keto flu symptoms may last for a few days, or for up totwo weeks.

    Common signs of keto flu may include:

    • Irritability
    • Brain fog
    • Increased cravings
    • Insomnia

    Find the Right Keto Flu Remedy for You

  • Adjust your exercise routine: Light movement may help muscle soreness and cramping, but dont overdo it! Rushing into a new, intense workout schedule shortly after overhauling your diet may exacerbate symptoms.
  • What Are The Symptoms Of The Keto Flu

    Carbs are quick energy, so without them you feel sluggish, but they’re also a good source of fiber, and missing out on that can lead to stomach issues. Other symptoms of the keto flu include brain fog, painful headaches, exhaustion or fatigue, mood swings, constipation, and nausea, says Kate Morton, an RD in Texas. The keto flu is basically your body reacting to a major diet change, so it may feel like everything is out of whack, similar to how you feel if you’ve ever dealt with the real flu. It might be harder to concentrate, or go about your everyday tasks like you’re used to.

    Experiencing the keto flu isn’t necessarily a sign the diet is working or will work, from a weight-loss standpoint, or that it isn’t or won’t. It’s really just your body reacting to a new eating style. That being said, Morton says that if you are experiencing the keto flu, that might be a sign that you should talk to your doctor and consider a more balanced eating style. “It is important to point out that the ketogenic diet was initially developed for children who have epilepsy. It was not necessarily designed for the average person, and we do not know the long-term effects of this diet on the body,” says Morton.

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    Three Things Often Characterize Keto Flu:

  • Carbohydrate withdrawal
  • Electrolyte loss and dehydration
  • Becoming fat-adapted
  • Lets take a look at these three stages in more detail. This will help you better understand what action to take to get over your case of keto flu.

    But as a rule of thumb, if you ever feel like keto flu is coming your way, eat more fat and see how you feel.

    What To Do For Keto Flu

    How to AVOID the Keto Flu (for People OVER 40)

    If you decide for whatever reason to change your diet and feel tired and a little off, do not become exasperated and lose hope. Here are a few tips:

    • There is no need to go online and buy any expensive supplements. Many websites are trying to make big bucks selling products to make you feel better without any data to back up those claims.
    • Despite its name, this is not like the flu. You will not develop a fever and the symptoms can hardly ever make you incapacitated. If you feel very ill, consider visiting your doctor, as something else may be happening.
    • Make sure you drink plenty of water. Some diets can make you dehydrated.
    • Eat more often and make sure you have plenty of colorful vegetables. Switching from a standard American diet, rich in simple carbs, trans fats, and saturated fat, is a big change in how your cells use energy. Food is not only calories and energy, it is communication to your cells.
    • Do not give up if you are committed to a plan. You may feel exhausted for a few days, but at the end of a week, your energy level will most likely return to normal and you may feel even better.
    • If everything else fails, consider easing into the new diet more slowly, instead of cold turkey.

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    How To Manage Keto Flu Symptoms

    1. Start slowly

    When making harsh diet changes, its always helpful to ease into it. The best approach would be to start with a typical low-carb diet and give your body time to adjust. Try that a week, and then you can go the full extent into the keto diet.

    2. Stay hydrated

    Hydration and loss of minerals is a huge factor of the keto flu. Make sure youre drinking lots of water. Staying hydrated helps with headaches and boosts your energy levels. One way to help yourself remember to drink water is to set a reminder on your phone, or always keep a full glass of water within reach. Most people dont know how much water to drink every day, but its easy to determine just take your current body weight and divide it by two. Thatll give you the minimum ounces of water to drink every day. If youre very active, make sure you drink a little extra on top of the minimum ounces you need.

    3. Take an electrolyte supplement

    Along with hydration, be sure to add plenty of electrolytes like salts, potassium and magnesium to your diet. Doing this can stop cramps and nausea. An extremely low carb keto diet means you end up cutting out some of the richest natural resources of electrolytes, such as starchy fruits and vegetables. Ensure that youre getting enough salt and electrolytes by drinking sports drinks or taking supplements.

    4. Consume more fat

    5. Get plenty of rest

    6. Try light exercise

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