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Keto flu is a real thing, and you can feel it coming on as soon as your fat-burning ketosis adaptation starts to weaken. Here’s how to overcome the symptoms before they get worse!
The “Keto Flu” can last for 3-4 days and can be challenging to overcome. You should also know that other keto diet side effects include: constipation, low energy, bad breath, nausea, sleepiness, and headaches.
You’ve heard about the advantages: weight reduction, hunger suppression, increased energy, and mental clarity. However, now that you’ve begun the ketogenic diet (often known as “keto”), you’re feeling much worse than before. What’s going on?
This is a relatively regular occurrence. Unfortunately, these severe keto diet side effects, sometimes known as “keto flu,” might deter many individuals (and who will then ever reap those genuine benefits).
The good news is that you won’t be uncomfortable for the rest of your life if you stick to the ketogenic diet. In addition, most people’s ketosis adverse effects subside after a few weeks, mainly if they take specific measures like avoiding dehydration and eating the proper meals.
What Is the Keto-Flu?
Some use the phrase “keto flu” to characterize typical ketogenic diet adverse effects. What causes the keto flu? Because although the ketogenic diet is safe and healthy in many respects, it does push your body to undergo some significant changes. One of them is complete abstinence from sweets and carbs. Keto changes your metabolism, making you a “fat burner” rather than a “sugar burner.”
As your body adjusts to utilizing fat instead of glucose for fuel, transitioning into the metabolic state of ketosis, in which you make ketone bodies responsible for many of the health advantages of the ketogenic diet, might cause specific adverse effects. Because you’ll likely spend some time in an “in-between phase,” in which you’re not entirely using glucose or ketone bodies for energy, you may feel tired.
Consider this: This is most likely the first time you’ve ever drastically restricted your body’s glucose supply. As a result, it’s not uncommon that you’ll have some side effects. During ketosis, the bacteria in your microbiome will undergo various changes, which may impact digestion momentarily.
Is it possible to prevent the keto flu? Both yes and no. Not everyone will have the keto flu; it all relies on your general health before starting the diet, the sorts of foods you consume while starting the diet, and other variables such as vitamin deficits, gender, age, activity level, sleep, stress, and heredity.
If you ate a high-carb, high-sugar diet before beginning keto, you’d probably have more keto flu symptoms. However, by following the keto diet properly and consuming good sources of fats (i.e., unprocessed and whole foods) and other nutrients — notably B vitamins and electrolytes — you can reduce your risk of experiencing keto side effects.
If someone is otherwise healthy before beginning the keto diet, they should swiftly recover and notice improvements. However, someone who already has a significant metabolic disease, such as diabetes or renal insufficiency, should be closely examined by a doctor and watch for warning signals of a negative ketosis response (such as severe symptoms that persist longer than a week).
Symptoms & Side Effects
Keto flu symptoms might occur when you shift into ketosis quickly after beginning the ketogenic diet.
- Low energy/exhaustion
- Carbohydrate and sugar cravings
- Appetite loss.
- Breath problems
- Heartburn or other indigestion symptoms
- Low desire to exercise and poor post-workout recovery
- libido is a term used to describe a person’s sexual desire
- Aches and pains in the muscles, as well as weakness
- Fog in the head
- Sleeping problems
- Irritability or moodiness
- Vomiting, elevated cholesterol, kidney stones, growth slowing, and severe gastrointestinal discomfort may occur in a tiny proportion of persons (even children on the keto diet).
When do the adverse effects of the keto diet/keto flu generally appear? Usually a few days after commencing the ketogenic diet. If you don’t consume any more carbs, your body will burn up stored glucose within a few days, at which time it will look for another fuel source.
If you’re fasting or consuming a high enough amount of fat, this is when ketosis kicks in and ketone bodies start to form. You shouldn’t have to deal with keto side effects after you’ve been “keto acclimated.” You’ll be able to more easily move into and out of the diet without feeling like a mess.
How to Get Rid of the Keto-Flu
When it comes to the keto flu, how long does it take to recover? Side effects of the keto diet typically subside in 1–3 weeks, while some individuals may have symptoms for up to six weeks (particularly if they aren’t following the diet appropriately).
Here are some suggestions for reducing keto flu symptoms (also known as side effects of the ketogenic diet):
1. Make an effort to eat alkaline foods
The ultimate objective of the keto diet should be to improve one’s health and well-being. To do this, you must follow alkaline diet principles, which assist in decreasing inflammation, replenishing nutrient storage, and maintaining a healthy pH level in your body. So, what are some alkalizing foods?
- Vegetables in season (especially those that are green). Leafy greens, avocados, mushrooms, radish, artichokes, alfalfa, barley, cucumber, kale, jicama, wheatgrass, broccoli, oregano, garlic, ginger, green beans, endive, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, and celery are all excellent options.
- To increase your enzyme consumption, consider some raw foods in your diet. Vegetable juicing or softly boiling veggies is an excellent method to achieve this.
- Vinegar made from apple cider.
- Water with a pH of 9 to 11 is alkaline. Add some lemon or lime to your water to make it more interesting.
- Drinks that are green in color. Alkaline-forming foods and chlorophyll are abundant in drinks prepared from powdered green vegetables and grasses.
- Caffeine should be used in moderation or not at all. Avoid sugary drinks and limit your alcohol use (such as having one glass of low-sugar wine per day or less).
- Consume inflammatory, processed meals that are high in chemicals and synthetic components as little as possible. Limit “low-carb” meals, which are nevertheless harmful and challenging to digest. Processed meats such as cold cuts (particularly pig), hot dogs, cured meats, bacon, processed cheeses, refined vegetable oils, processed nut butter, and most bottled salad dressings fall into this category.
2. Check whether you’re getting enough fat and calories in your diet
To stay in ketosis, you must consume roughly 80% of your daily calories from fat sources. Coconut oil, true olive oil, MCT oil, grass-fed butter, ghee, and fattier meat are excellent sources of healthy keto-friendly fats. In addition, protein should account for roughly 15% of your daily calories, while carbs should account for 5–10%.
If you go too far from these parameters, you’re unlikely ever to achieve or maintain ketosis. And it’s during this time that you’re most likely to encounter symptoms like fatigue and mental fog. But, again, that’s because you won’t be making ketone bodies, which provide energy to the brain and body.
What is the solution? Make sure you get enough fat in your diet, but not too much protein or carbohydrates. You may need to maintain a meal log for a few days to figure out your macronutrient ratio and make necessary modifications. Remember that you’ll probably need to consume a lot more fat than you’re accustomed to and that if you don’t eat enough, your body won’t get enough fuel. For the first week or two of the diet, you may wish to take an exogenous ketone supplement to assist elevate ketone levels in your blood and give you more energy.
If you’re hungry and tired, you should eat even more fat. However, if you consume too much protein, some of the amino acids may be turned into glucose, which is why the ketogenic diet, unlike many other low-carb diets, is not a high-protein diet.
Finally, verify sure you’re not in a calorie deficit because you’re consuming too few calories in general. Cravings, moodiness, weariness, poor focus, and other adverse effects may result from this.
3. Maintain hydration
Every symptom of the keto flu will be exacerbated by dehydration. So it’s particularly crucial to drink enough water if you’re experiencing keto flu symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea, which lead you to lose fluids.
Drink a glass of water every 1–2 hours in addition to consuming hydrating meals (such as vegetables, bone broth smoothies, or green juices). If your pee is dark yellow, you should increase your water intake!
4. Eat Enough Salt to Avoid Electrolyte Imbalance
Due to the kidneys flushing out salt and increased urine, electrolytes such as magnesium, potassium, and sodium may be lost faster during ketosis, which is one reason why most individuals lose a lot of “water weight” rapidly on the ketogenic diet. If you don’t replace your electrolytes, you may have symptoms such as weakness, cramps, headaches, and constipation.
What is the best way to get electrolytes? Consider taking a magnesium supplement before night to avoid muscular pains and other adverse effects of the keto flu. You’ll also get the benefits of daily bone broth, which is high in electrolytes and trace minerals.
Many individuals find that increasing their salt intake helps alleviate keto flu symptoms (this is why some add bouillon cubes to the water to make a quick broth). I advocate putting genuine sea salt on eggs and vegetables, as well as drinking 1–2 cups of bone broth.
5. Consume an adequate amount of fiber
Include some high-fiber keto-friendly items in your diet, particularly vegetables, to help reduce symptoms like constipation and diarrhea. Even though fats will make up most of your calorie intake, veggies should be included in almost every meal while on the keto diet.
Vegetables are necessary because they increase the volume of your meals, supply critical vitamins and minerals, and are high in antioxidants and fiber. Keto-friendly meals with a lot of fiber include:
- Leafy greens, peppers, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower, mushrooms, asparagus, zucchini, artichokes, and other non-starchy vegetables
- Avocado is a healthy fat, potassium, and fiber source.
- Another high-fat source of fiber is coconut flakes/coconut flour.
- Nuts and seeds What nuts are allowed on a keto diet? Almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, and brazil nuts are all excellent sources of fiber and trace minerals in small to moderate quantities (I don’t advocate peanut/peanut butter since it tends to contain mold). Almond meal/almond flour may also be substituted for ordinary flour. In addition, sesame, sunflower, chia, flax, and pumpkin seeds are all excellent sources of nutrition.
6. Consume B-Vitamin-Rich Foods
B vitamins (vitamin B12, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin, for example) are necessary for energy generation, cognitive functioning, and various metabolic activities.
Taking 1–2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast every day is an easy method to acquire additional B vitamins. In addition, organ meats like liver, grass-fed beef, salmon, pastured eggs, pastured chicken, and vegetables are also vital in B vitamins.
7. Take time to rest, relax, and recover
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you first lack energy, lack the enthusiasm to exercise, or cannot perform throughout your exercises. You’ll most likely need to lessen your workout load at first until you feel better. Also, make sure you get enough sleep every night (7–9 hours is recommended) and take pauses during the day to unwind.
Stick to gentler types of activity, such as strolling outside, yoga, or light cycling, throughout the early stages of the keto diet if it makes you feel better. These can also help you cope with stress and get through this difficult time.
You may put off high-intensity activity until you are no longer tired, weak, or dizzy. However, some individuals find that exercising helps them feel better when suffering from the keto flu because it improves their mood, aids sleep, and burns off some of the circulating ketones.
- Some use the phrase “keto flu” to characterize typical ketogenic diet adverse effects. Weakness, exhaustion, moodiness, cravings, mental fog, and digestive difficulties are possible Keto flu symptoms.
- The keto diet’s side effects usually last a few weeks, although they may occasionally last a month or more.
- Eating alkalizing meals, getting enough fat and calories, getting enough fiber, being hydrated, and concentrating on getting enough rest, electrolytes, and B vitamins will all help you overcome keto flu symptoms.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I overcome keto side effects?
A: It is recommended that you give yourself a break from keto and return to eating regular food for a few days at the beginning of your low-carb diet. After this period has passed, start back on another day with a cautious introduction to carbs again.
What is the fastest way to get rid of keto flu?
A: The best cure for keto flu is eating slowly and drinking plenty of fluids. Ketogenic diets are very strenuous, so it’s normal to experience symptoms like fatigue or brain fog when you first start one. If your symptoms persist, though, speak with your doctor about whether they might be due to a different cause than the diet change itself.
How long does ketosis side effects last?
A: That isn’t easy to answer because the length of time it takes for someone to come out of ketosis will vary from person to person. Some people may have an easy time coming out in a matter of days, while some may take weeks or even months.
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