The keto flu can be unpleasant enough for most people to give up on a keto diet within the first few days. Most people don’t want to experience withdrawal like symptoms when trying to lose a few pounds.
While it only lasts about a week, there are some ways to speed up the recovery process and get rid of the keto flu faster.
What Is The Keto Flu?
The keto flu is often associated with withdrawal like symptoms experienced in the early stages of the ketogenic diet. Extreme carb restriction will result in your body breaking down body fat into keytones to use for energy (ketosis).
The transition to using ketones for energy, due to a lack of glucose, can be a system shock for many resulting in a flu like illness.
It’s a very normal, and common, reaction to a dramatic drop in carbohydrate consumption and only lasts a week for most people.
Keto flu symptoms
5 Ways To Cure The Keto Flu
1) Drink More Water
One of the primary reasons people experience flu like symptoms is due to dehydration. Your body utilizes carbohydrates to bind and store water. When you reduce carbs to near zero, this also influences your ability to store water.
If you’re experiencing fatigue, cramping or weakness, increasing the amount of water you drink daily could be all that’s needed.
2) Increase Sodium
When you change dietary variables, it often creates a chain of reactions you may not realize. The keto diet will reduce insulin levels (which is good), but a reduction in insulin will cause excess sodium to be released from the body.
Why does that matter, right? Sodium is an electrolyte that influences how your body functions. An extreme disruption in electrolyte balance results in…
Flu like symptoms.
You can increase salt on your food, or mix a half teaspoon of salt with a glass of water to help reduce keto flu symptoms.
3) Eat More Fat
If you’ve never tried the keto diet, you’re likely a little timid when it comes to eating massive amounts of calories from fat. The reason you’re on a diet is to lose fat, so being concerned is understandable.
But it’s necessary. It’s not optional, or simply recommended. If you aren’t eating at least 70% of your calories from fat, you’re not on the keto diet. You’re doing something else.
If you aren’t eating enough fat, and you aren’t eating carbs you’re eliminating all major energy sources from food. You may experience headaches and dizziness, as your body tries to influence how much you’re eating.
Eating more fat rich foods, will help reduce hunger cravings and subsequent “hunger headaches”.
4) Get More Sleep
One of the more common experiences with the keto flu, is trouble falling asleep. This can have a greater influence on your body than just the bags under your eyes.
Your sleep cycle plays a primary role in regulating hormone balance, including cortisol which is the stress hormone. A lack of sleep will increase cortisol levels making you more irritable and moody.
During the first week of the ketogenic diet you may need to take extra precaution to ensure you’re getting the sleep your body needs.
Here’s what you can do:
- Reduce caffeine during the day (check your supplements)
- Limit cell phone and television use before bed
- Use sleep aides (chamomile tea, Diphenhydramine)
- Avoid exercising late in the day
5) Reduce Strenuous Exercise
If you’re an overachiever, and like to chase your goals 100 mph, this can be a tough one. But it’s better to ease into your exercise schedule as your body adapts to a change in how it gets its energy.
It’s very normal to experience muscle cramps, fatigue, and excessive soreness in the initial stages of the ketogenic diet.
For the first 5-7 days try to limit your exercise options to something like walking, yoga, or bike riding.
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