The keto or low carb diet is considered to be one of the most effective ways to lose weight. On a low-carb diet, the body goes through ketosis which means that instead of carbohydrates your body will be using fat as fuel.
When you consume less than 50 grams of carbs in a day, the body breaks down fats and protein for energy which results in fast weight loss.
But in order to get our body into the states of ketosis, we have to go through something the “keto flu”
What is Keto Flu?
Yep, the keto flu is exactly as it sounds like “the flu“. The moment you start the keto or low carb diet, you may start to experience some flu-like symptoms. This occurs 2 to 5 days after you start the diet.
Also known as keto induction, the body enters the ketosis state. Keto flu may last for a few days or even weeks.
What Causes Keto Flu?
The body’s energy is derived from your intake of carbohydrates. They are considered to be the main source of energy.
For some, as long as you have a healthy level of carbs, it is a good thing. But once you opt for a diet such as a keto or low carb then you are reducing your carb intake to be at 50 grams a day instead of the daily recommended 200 to 300 grams of carbs per day.
Since you are not eating that many carbs for energy the body is forced to use its own fat. Meaning that the liver produces glucose for energy which will not be able to keep up with the demands.
Eventually, the body will rely on fats, breaking down fatty acids through ketogenesis.
Fewer carbs are available in the body which will then decrease insulin level accompanied by an increase in sodium and potassium level causing dehydration.
For the most part, the process of ketosis is totally normal and to be expected during the keto diet. This is one of the main reasons people can’t do keto. The symptoms are too much for them
Symptoms Of Keto Flu
The symptoms of keto flu may vary from one to another and may last for a few days or even longer. They are mild symptoms that you might experience once you start on your keto diet.
The symptoms of the keto diet include the following:
- Other symptoms include muscle cramps, diarrhea, rashes, and bad breath.
You may also experience certain symptoms where you feel dehydrated and experience hypoglycemia or low blood sugar level as well as low energy.
How Do You Deal With The Keto Flu?
Dealing with keto flu is not that difficult especially if the symptoms are mild. There are actually several ways for you to manage and deal with keto flu.
Here are some essential tips to keep in mind:
1. Keto diet is completely different from what your body is used to, especially if you consume too many carbs. Take it easy and do it slowly. Give time for your body to adjust.
2. Always stay hydrated. Dehydration is one of the most common symptoms as the body experiences an increase in sodium and potassium level.
Since there is a loss of minerals, it is crucial that you are well-hydrated. Drink lots of water as this can also help you boost your energy.
3. Consume fewer carbs but consume more fats. When you are on a keto diet, the body relies on fats for energy. There are a lot of foods that are rich in healthy fats that you can include your diet like avocado, fish, nuts, etc.
4. Have plenty of rest. One of the symptoms of keto flu is that you may find yourself having a hard time to fall asleep but there are remedies like the use of lavender oil or Epsom salt bath to make you feel relaxed.
How Long Does The Keto Flu Last?
Going through the keto flu is definitely no joke. These symptoms will surely cause discomfort and will make you want to quit.
Luckily, there are cases where keto flu will only last about a week. For people who are having a hard time adapting to this kind of diet, the symptoms may last for weeks.
But the good news is that these symptoms will eventually decrease as the body becomes a fat burning machine.
How To Avoid The Keto Flu?
Every person will experience the keto flu differently.
Is it possible to avoid keto flu? Yes, but you will still experience temporary and short term symptoms which are normal. It all just depends on what you constantly do to avoid having to experience more of these symptoms.
How To Get Out of The keto flu?
To get out of keto flu fast, you have to keep in mind as to what changes take place in the body and what you have to do to address that.
- Drink enough water as dehydration is one symptom that you may experience. A keto diet increases the risk of dehydration. When you are hydrated, you can help ease other symptoms like muscle cramps and fatigue.
- Take the time to exercise but do not do any strenuous activity. You will have cramps, fatigue, and your body will feel weak the moment you start with the keto diet. Just do light exercise and avoid intense activities like weight lifting, running, and biking which can worsen your symptoms.
- Have enough sleep. If you like drinking coffee, reduce your intake of caffeine. Start a much earlier morning routine so you can have normal sleeping patterns.
Treatments And Home Remedies
There are several home remedies that you can use to treat the symptoms which include:
* Eat dietary fats. Try out plenty of foods that are rich in healthy fats.
* Water. Drink more water.
* Eat foods that are rich in fiber like berries, carrots, melon, nuts, and seeds to name a few.
* Take supplements.
* You can also take medications if you feel like you cannot handle the symptoms. If you are unsure, it is better to consult a doctor.