Do You Get Keto Flu Every Time You Start Keto
Hopefully, if youre starting a keto lifestyle, it will be for the long term. That being said, were all human and things happen, so people often ask me whether theyll experience keto flu again if they re-start after a period of not being in ketosis.
This varies from person to person. Some people become very efficiently fat adapted and dont get keto flu again if they cheat and then resume keto. This depends on your metabolic flexibility, as mentioned above.
Often times, people restarting keto may experience mild signs of keto flu, but they are not as severe as the first time. Or you might not experience them at all as your metabolic flexibility improves.
I highly recommend that you read my tips below for how to avoid keto flu altogether. Why go through it when you dont have to? You can avoid keto flu the first time and every time if you do have a slip-up.
Keto Flu: What To Expect With The Keto Diet
The keto flu is a group of flu-like symptoms that some people develop within a week of starting a ketogenic diet. The symptoms typically stop 57 days after starting, but can sometimes last up to a month. Drinking water, replacing electrolytes, avoiding high intensity exercise, and good sleep may help relieve symptoms.
How Long Does The Keto Flu Last
Symptoms of the keto flu generally begin within the first day or two of removing carbs. For an average person, the keto flu can last a week or less but in extreme cases the keto flu can last up to a month. However, depending on your genetics, you may never experience the keto flu. Some people are naturally metabolically flexible, meaning they can shift metabolic states easily without experiencing health symptoms.
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Keto Flu Remedy #3 Drink Lots Of Water
The final element to the issue of electrolyte loss is water and dehydration. How much you need to drink will be individual, so start consuming between 2 and 3 liters per day and see how you feel. When you first start eating low-carb, you will immediately notice that you feel very thirsty. Drinking plenty of water is one of the most important keto flu remedies and fortunately dehydration is easy to fix.
Dont Get Dehydrated
Lack of water leads to headaches and fatigue so is best avoided!
More Fat = Fewer Symptoms
Increasing salt and fluid intake usually resolves most of the keto flu side effects. However, if you continue feeling poorly after following those recommendations, try eating more fat.
Due to decades of misinformation about fat being unhealthy, fat phobia is common among people who are new to low-carb eating.13 But if you sharply cut back on carbs without upping your fat intake, your body will think it is starving. Youll feel tired, hungry and miserable.14
A well-balanced keto diet includes enough fat to ensure youre not hungry after a meal, can go for several hours without eating, and have ample energy.
Be sure to increase your intake of fat at the start of your keto journey until your body adapts to using fat and ketones for most of its energy needs. Once youre fat adapted, let your appetite guide you in cutting back on fat a bit and seeing how much you need to feel satisfied.
In short: When in doubt, add butter or other fat to your food. And check out our top 10 tips for boosting fat intake. You can also follow our keto recipes, which have enough fat in relation to carbs and protein.
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Make Sure You Are Eating Enough Fat
Transitioning to a very low-carb diet can cause you to crave foods that are restricted on the ketogenic diet, such as cookies, bread, pasta and bagels.
However, eating enough fat, the primary fuel source on the ketogenic diet, will help reduce cravings and keep you feeling satisfied.
In fact, research shows that low-carb diets help reduce cravings for sweets and high-carb foods .
Those having a difficult time adapting to the ketogenic diet may have to eliminate carbohydrates gradually, rather than all at once.
Slowly cutting back on carbs, while increasing fat and protein in your diet, may help make the transition smoother and decrease keto-flu symptoms.
You can combat the keto flu by staying hydrated, replacing electrolytes, getting plenty of sleep, avoiding strenuous activities, eating enough fat and cutting out carbs slowly over time.
People adapt to ketogenic diets differently. While some may experience weeks of keto-flu symptoms, others may adjust to the new diet with no adverse side effects.
The symptoms people experience are tied to how their bodies adjust to a new fuel source.
Usually, carbs provide the body with energy in the form of glucose.
When carbs are substantially reduced, the body burns ketones from fat instead of glucose.
Those who typically consume lots of carbs, especially refined carbs like pasta, sugary cereal and soda, may have a more difficult time when beginning the ketogenic diet.
For these individuals, symptoms may last several weeks.
An Important Note On Keto Flu
Always consult a medical professional before embarking on any dietary changes.
If you feel sick, always consult your doctor, whether you think its keto flu or not. Online is no substitute for professional medical advice.
As well consult your medical professional If you suffer from or have a family history of any illness or disease.
Dont let keto flu get to you, take measures to prevent it because once youre in ketosis the benefits, youll see are amazing.
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When To See A Doctor
Keto flu should be temporary and generally goes away within a week or two of beginning a keto diet. If your keto flu symptoms last longer than ten days, or if they are actively painful or debilitating, you may want to reach out to your physician.
Keto flu symptoms can be confused with more serious problems, such as stomach problems or nutritional deficits. Your physician can help determine if your symptoms are the result of something more serious or if you should consider adjusting your diet to include more carbs.
How To Overcome Keto Flu
The keto diet replaces one energy source with another, but as the body starts using ketones for energy instead of glucose, many dieters report flu-like symptoms. These effects are nothing to worry about and will pass as your body adjusts to the new diet, but theyre still not fun to experience. However, theres a lot you can do to feel better and overcome the keto flu!
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Know When To Quit And When To Keep Going
Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and as long as you are continually working to control your portions and make improvements each day, you will get there. You wont destroy your hard work with a few slip ups, cheat days, or missteps, just hang in there and keep at it.
Additionally, cutting carbs alone wont transform your health and going keto is only one approach to losing weight and improving your health. Ultimately the best diet for you is the one that makes you feel good from the inside out, with healthy foods you enjoy eating.
Make sticking to your keto meal plan even easier with macro perfect, ready-made keto meals shipped right to your door. Let us take care of all the planning, cooking, shipping, so you can focus on everything else – like getting results!
Carbohydrate Restriction Can Be Difficult
Carbohydrates are like your bodys version of your first love. They provide so much comfort, sweetness, and easy energy that we spend most of our time with them. It feels so right, it feels like true love, but it is mostly lust. The kind of lust that increases our risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. This is why breaking up with carbohydrates is a good idea for many people.
But just like with any breakup it is difficult at first. You crave them and yearn for them. It is so heart breaking not because you needed them, but because you are so used to living with them.
However, after a couple weeks to months, you begin to adapt to life without your first love.
With the help of your friends, protein and fat, you begin dating your new love interest: ketones. And suddenly, life is much better than before.
This is what is going on inside of your body when you restrict carbohydrates. Most of your cells prefer to burn sugar for fuel and are adapted to using the carbohydrates that you eat.
For your body to adapt to carbohydrate restriction, it must make many changes from the cellular level to the hormonal level. This process is synonymous with the adjustment period we go through after ending a relationship with someone we love very much. And just like with our first breakup, breaking up with carbohydrates can cause a laundry list of symptoms called the keto flu.
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Talk To Your Doctor About Supplementing With Sodium If Your Blood Pressure Is Normal
Because the production of ketones spurs the kidneys to remove sodium from your body more quickly, youll need to make sure youre getting enough sodium through your food while on keto. If you dont, your blood pressure may fall to dangerous levels, Dr. Phinney says. The pins and needles feeling and heavy limbs that Alley described may be due to a drop in blood pressure, which reduces blood flow to the limbs, he explains.
Phinney advises anyone trying the keto diet who doesnt have high blood pressure to talk to their doctor about adding more sodium to their diet. The amount will vary depending on your health needs. Just know that the American Heart Association recommends no more than 2.3 gram of salt daily for adults, including what is ingested in food, with an ideal limit of no more than 1.5 g.
Remedies And Treatments For Keto Flu
Keto flu remedies mostly focus on supporting your body during the transition into ketosis. Your body uses carbs to support a number of functions, including your electrolyte balance and hydration, so suddenly and drastically cutting carbs can cause discomfort. While your body transitions into ketosis, you can use these simple treatments to feel better.
Your body stores extra sugar in a molecule called glycogen. Glycogen is generally kept in your cells, along with a lot of water. When you go into ketosis, your body dumps the water that was stored with the glycogen, potentially leading to dehydration.
When you start a keto diet, make sure to drink lots of water to prevent this. If you were drinking many sugar-filled drinks before starting this diet, this is even more important, since you are cutting what may have been an important source of hydration.
Part of the purpose of the keto diet is to reduce the appetite and make it easier to consume fewer calories each day. However, when the decreased appetite of ketosis is combined with nausea from keto flu, it may be difficult to eat enough calories daily.
Make sure you are getting healthy fats in your diet and that youre eating enough calories daily. You may find that your energy levels increase and your nausea is reduced.
Consider a Slower Transition
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Your Definitive Guide To Conquering The Keto Flu
- The keto flu is your bodys natural response to carbohydrate restriction.
- Its symptoms include: brain fog, headache, chills, sore throat, digestive issues, dizziness, insomnia, irritability, and more.
- Symptoms typically last from a few days to two weeks, and up to a month at most.
- Metabolic flexibility, meaning your ability to adapt to different fuel sources , dictates the severity of symptoms.
- Keto flu remedies include: proper hydration bone broth electrolytes like potassium, magnesium, and sodium eating more good fat like MCTs rest and sleep mild exercise or meditation activated charcoal exogenous ketone supplements and in some cases, eating more carbs.
You started the keto diet and are just not feeling it. Instead of all those amazing ketogenic benefits youve heard about supreme fat burn, increased energy, keto clarity, and a vibrant sense of well-being you are irritable at the breakfast table, dizzy all day, and not sleeping at night. The culprit of this miserable feeling? Oh, right: the keto flu. Its a natural reaction your body undergoes as it switches from burning sugar to fat for energy. In order to get from here to there, your body needs to make a few modifications to the way it runs.
Read on to learn whats in store as you rev up your internal engine, keto-style.
View keto flu remedies
The Donts For When You Have The Keto Flu
Lets take a look at three key keto flu dont dos:
1. Dont Do High-Intensity Exercise
High-intensity exercise is much more stressful for a body that is restricting carbohydrates for the first time. .
Without adequate carbohydrates and ketones available to fuel this type of exercise, performance will suffer. The stress caused by high-intensity training will only augment the stress caused by carbohydrate restriction, increasing cortisol levels and making the keto flu worse.
Stick with low-intensity exercise like walking or cycling until the keto flu has passed, and you are feeling ready to increase your exercise intensity.
2. Dont Eat Too Much Protein
In response to protein digestion, insulin levels tend to rise. When insulin levels rise, it is more likely that sugar will be used as fuel instead of ketones.
The key to preventing this from happening is eating the Goldilocks amount of protein not too little, not too much. To figure out the perfect amount of protein for you, use our ketogenic calculator.
3. Dont Stress Over Things You Cant Control
Chronic emotional and psychological stress wreak havoc on your body. In response to stress, cortisol and reverse T3 levels increase, which makes the keto flu much worse.
This is why it is important to meditate daily and get enough sleep. Both of these strategies will improve cortisol levels and help you move through common life stressors with ease and grace.
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Mild Exercise And Meditation
Did you take note of the first word mild? The objective here is to decrease cortisol levels, so anything that eases stress will aid you in relieving keto flu. Yoga or strolls can work like magic. If the gentle activity isnt your thing, try meditation. Dont run for the gym unless you have fully overcome keto flu as it strenuous activity will only worsen the symptoms.
Can I Keep Taking Exogenous Ketones Even After The Keto Flu Is Gone
Taking exogenous ketones is something not related to the keto flu only. Yes, exogenous ketones help get rid of keto flu, but its not their one and only use. These supplements can be used for dozens of other benefits and if you are aiming for those benefits, you can continue taking exogenous ketones for as long as you like.
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Avoid Caffeine & Alcohol
Carbs come in all shapes and sizes, including booze! If you are having trouble with keto flu symptoms, its best to avoid alcohol and caffeine because they contain carbs. A couple of glasses of wine or a cup of coffee could undo hours of hard work, and shocking your body with carbs is the last thing you need when trying to adjust.
If you choose to drink, stick to clear liquids like water and club soda and try to take it easy on the alcohol. Its also a good idea to avoid energy drinks and sodas as they contain high amounts of sugar that could send your blood sugar levels soaring, then crashing, which can cause mood swings or fatigue, making keto flu symptoms worse!
How To Get Past Keto Flu
Using stored body fat for fuel is something your body will likely enjoy doing and will do well once it’s adapted to your new way of eating. But kicking the carbs can be tough, and while unpleasant, keto flu is generally considered a normal part of this transition.
Fortunately, it IS possible to mitigate the effects of keto flu and get over it more quickly. Follow these tips when you’re just starting out with the low-carb life:
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Putting It All Together Into A Keto Flu Remedy
You can relieve the symptoms of the keto flu by doing these six things:
- Drink more water
- Increase your intake of sodium, potassium, and magnesium
- Eat more fat
- Go for a walk every morning
- Meditate every day
- Make sleep a top priority
If you do these six things, then your keto flu symptoms will be reduced or completely relieved. That being said, it is possible to negate these positive effects and provoke the keto flu as well. Without addressing these factors, keto will be more difficult to adapt to than necessary.