If you are getting started with keto, there is a good chance you will experience what is commonly referred to as “keto flu.” This can feel like the actual flu – with symptoms such as a headache, nausea, body aches, and fatigue. This is totally normal – but here are some suggestions for how to lessen the severity of keto flu.
What Is Keto Flu
First, it is important to understand what Keto Flu is and why it happens. The keto flu is basically the side effects of your body switching from glucose-burning to fat-burning and the “withdrawals” that come with that transition.
The process is different for everyone – and the severity of the symptoms varies as well. Keto Flu Symptoms can include dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, headache, fatigue, irritability and more. As awful as that sounds, it is actually a very good thing – it means your body is getting into ketosis!
When Does Keto Flu Start?
The exact timing of keto flu is different for everyone, so do not fret if it takes some time before you start feeling lousy. For some, withdrawals can begin in the first few days, especially if you are used to a high amount of carbs and sugar in your normal diet. For others, it can take a few weeks before ketosis truly begins.
Keto Flu Remedies
While not really “remedies” here are some tips for lessening the severity of your symptoms to help you push through and get to feeling great!
- Drink lots of water. This is always important, but especially when you are feeling the effects of the keto flu. Water will help push the toxins out of your system while revving up your metabolism.
- Up your electrolytes. Sodium, potassium, and magnesium are important nutrients that your body needs for optimum function. Making sure you have enough of these vital electrolytes will help to alleviate your symptoms.
- Up the fat. Since keto flu is your body transitioning into fat burning mode you want to make sure you are getting enough fat in your diet to give your body plenty to burn. Once you are in ketosis your body will burn your “plate fat” (the fat you eat) as well as your body fat. Especially in the beginning make sure you give your body plenty of good healthy fats to help ease this transition into ketosis.
- Move your body. Exercise will help release endorphins and help push through your symptoms faster. While you may not feel up to a rigorous workout, even going for a nice walk will help.
- Rest. Rest is an important part of the transition into ketosis. If you are used to a lot of carbs and sugar in your diet, this can be quite a transition. Be gentle with yourself and understand this is a process and you WILL feel better on the other side of it.
The keto flu can be a difficult – but necessary – part of getting started with the ketogenic lifestyle. While it generally only lasts a few days, those days can be pretty miserable. Hang in there and use these tips to push through. I promise you will feel better than you ever thought possible once you get to the other side!