So, you have enthusiastically started the keto diet and are impatient to see its results. But a few days after you start the diet, you feel a decrease in strength. You are tired, have headaches, easily irritated and have difficulty focusing. Congratulations, you have keto flu. Do not worry, such flu is not contagious and not dangerous. However, it can be very unpleasant.
Most people experience one or more symptoms of keto flu during the first week of the diet, especially on day 3-5. Fortunately, this condition is temporary, and you will recover and probably even become more energetic than before the start of your diet. Especially for you, we have gathered the most effective ways to relieve the symptoms of keto flu and effectively deal with them in the shortest time possible !
Symptoms and signs of keto – flu :
- General weakness
- Problems with concentration, confusion of consciousness
- Lack of motivation
- Sugar craving
- Muscle cramps
The CAUSE :
Keto flu occurs as a result of the fact that our body begins to use fat rather than sugar as a source of energy.
Switching from a high-carbohydrate lifestyle to a diet with extremely low carbohydrate content leads to reduced insulin levels. Reduced insulin levels improve health and is the main objective of a ketogenic diet.
With low insulin levels, the liver starts to convert fats into ketones, which most cells can successfully use instead of glucose. When the body begins to actively produce energy from ketones and fats, a state of ketosis occurs.
However, the brain and other organs take some time to get used to the new kind of “fuel”. In response to the “fall” in insulin levels, your body begins to lose more salt and fluids in the urine, so that in the first weeks of the keto diet, going to the toilet can become much more frequent. Therefore, in most cases, in the early stages of the keto-diet there is a very rapid weight loss. However, the loss of large amounts of salt and water also leads to a number of unpleasant symptoms of keto flu.
Each individual reacts to keto diet in its own way. Some are feelings perfectly well, or feel only a slight weakness. Others face the whole range of side effects and for a few days “fall out” of normal life.
However, if all appropriate measures are taken, everyone can successfully tolerate keto flu, regardless of the severity of symptoms.
How to treat keto-flu ?
Symptoms of keto flu usually pass on their own within a few days after your body’s adaptation to a new diet. But why do you need senseless suffering when you can cope with the problem right here and now? The first stage is the most important. In many cases, one stage is enough.
1. Main secret : Consume more salt and water
Because most of the symptoms of keto flu are caused by the loss of salt and water, by increasing their consumption, you can significantly alleviate or get rid of all the unpleasant side effects.
During the first few weeks of the keto diet, every time you start to feel headache, weakness, nausea, dizziness and other symptoms, drink a glass of water and half a teaspoon of salt. Such a drink can ease the symptoms of keto flu after 15-30 minutes. Drink it twice a day or more often as needed.
Water can be replaced with bone, chicken or beef broth, and salt with salty butter.
Try to drink a lot of water. The larger your body, the more water it may lose in the first stages of the keto diet and, therefore, the more water it will need to restore a healthy balance. In the first week of the keto diet, try to drink at least 3 liters of water.
It is not necessary to force yourself to drink 3 liters of water in addition to other drinks like not sweet tea or coffee.
Consuming enough water and salt also helps to cope with another problem that often arises in the initial stages of keto diets – constipation.
2. More fat = less symptoms
Increased salt and water consumption usually helps to cope with most of the side effects of keto flu. However, if even then you continue to feel sick, try eating more fat.
Decades of misconceptions about the harm of fats have led to “fatophobia”. This fear often becomes a problem for those who are just beginning their acquaintance with a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet. The fact is that if you have significantly reduced your carbohydrate consumption while not eating more fats, your body starts to think that it is starving. As a result, you feel intense hunger, tiredness and even despair.
With a well-balanced keto diet, you should consume enough fat so that you don’t feel hungry right after eating, and you have enough energy for many hours. In a beginning, be sure to eat more fats. Then, when your body adapts and starts to use fats and ketones as energy sources, reduce your fat consumption to a level where you can easily maintain a balance between a sense of hunger and a sense of satiety.
3. Increase the amount of carbohydrates
You drink a lot of salt water, consume increased amounts of fats, but do not feel better? Do you still have headaches and fatigue? We advise you to wait a couple more days until the symptoms go away. The symptoms of keto flu are temporary and will pass when the body starts to actively use fats.
If such a condition is unbearable for you, start with a lighter version of the diet, requiring the consumption of 20 to 50 grams carbohydrates per day.
Consuming more carbohydrates will eliminate the symptoms of keto flu, but is likely to slow down the weight loss process. However, even such a meal will be of great benefit to you if you give up sugar and semi-finished products as much as possible. Once you get used to a low carbohydrate diet, you can try the strict keto diet again and consume less than 20 grams of carbohydrate a day.
4. Don’t push it
Many keto-diet followers note increased energy and endurance. However, excessive physical activity in the early stages may increase the symptoms of keto flu. A well-known specialist in In his ketogenesis study, Dr. Steve Finney found that the first week of a ketogenic diet reduced physical performance in both overweight and tough athletes. At week 4 on keto nutrition, physical performance has restored in both groups of people.
Jogging and light yoga. In the first weeks of the keto diet your body is under stress, so the additional workouts in the form of heavy training are contraindicated.
5. Do not limit yourself
In the first week of keto diet some people notice a decreased appetite due to disturbing nausea and headache. Others, on the contrary, feel a terrible hunger, which makes them afraid to eat too many calories and protein, which may prevent weight loss.
When switching to a ketogenic diet, you should not focus on calories and nutrients. By restricting yourself in food and excessively straining yourself by thinking about its quantity, you will increase the symptoms of keto flu. Do not worry. When you reach a ketosis state, your appetite will decrease, and you will naturally eat less than before.