WHAT IS KETO FLU?
Do not think Ketosis flu as fever or like having a cold.
It is a name given to a set of symptoms which people generally feel when they start a ketogenic diet for the first time.
I am sure you have heard about the term ketosis. When you are pushing your body to enter ketosis then you may catch up with some side effects called ‘keto flu’.
Till now your body was converting carbs into energy and suddenly you are saying to convert fat for the energy. So keto flu is a natural reaction which comes along.
WHAT CAUSES KETO FLU?
The main causes of ketosis flu are:
Withdrawal from Carbs
You are putting your body in a shock when you are forcing it to stay away from carbs and sugar withdrawal.
Till now your body was habituated and dependant on these kinda foods preferences.
Carbs are sweet comfort foods which are hard to leave. But it gifts us diabetics, heart disease as well as obesity. So it is better that we choose to tell our body to start living without it.
Once the carbs are eliminated then the fats are converted into energy for our daily works.
This readjustment of our body takes from a few weeks to even months and has considerable side effects what is known as ‘keto flu’.
Adjusting to fat intakes
All of a sudden a great amount of fats are given, and the body is said to break down the fatty acids into ketones which in turn will be used as fuel.
The body needs time to get fat adapted ‘keto adapted’ for which sometimes we have headaches and fatigue.
New to Keto Adaption
We have fat converting enzymes which drastically increases when keto-adapted.
Once you are keto-adapted means now your body is easily converting fatty acids into ketones.
Now the body is building up more enzymes to convert more fat easily and this new adaptation sometimes leads to keto flu.
Not enough Electrolytes
Electrolytes control all the major functions of our body. From controlling ph level, muscle contractions and others.
An electrolyte deficiency causes nausea and fatigue.
What happens in a keto diet is that the fat in the cells are replaced by water and hence we need much much more water than we were taking earlier to avoid any dehydration.
While in a keto diet people may also become deficient in potassium, magnesium and other vital nutrients. So take supplements to replenish it or have the foods which are high in such minerals.
KETO FLU SYMPTOMS
The common symptoms of ketosis flu are:
- Sugar cravings
- Difficulty in falling asleep
- Irritability of mind
- A cough
Do not worry about the symptoms it will last only for a few days to weeks.
HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?
It seriously varies from person to person.
I personally never had any such strong side effects except the sweet cravings and a bit of dizziness.
For me, it lasted for 2 weeks or so.
People have also reported that they had such feelings till 2-3 months. I guess probably it is because they always had a very high carb diet. And the body was having a tough time to get fat adapted.
It is not even necessary that every person going for a keto diet will get keto flu.
HOW TO AVOID KETO FLU?
Keto electrolytes: Get more electrolytes
Replenish your electrolytes as often as you can.
Potassium, magnesium, sodium and other important nutrients. Take additional supplements if required.
Have electoral water more as it will serve the purpose of having more water as well as it will replenish the electrolytes.
Get more fats
Your body needs energy. And it is not getting any from sugar or carbs. So have healthy fats to provide energy for the body.
Coconut oil, butter, olive oil, ghee will help you to enter into ketosis.
Add more salt to the diet
You tend to lose more water while on a low carb diet. Even the insulin level goes down and hence you cannot retain the desired sodium level.
To maintain the required sodium level, put a lil’ bit more salt in your food.
Don’t worry, your body will not get bloated. Imagine the amount of sodium our fries and burgers used to contain. So definitely we are going to consume lesser than that.
Drink enough water
have water, lemon flavored water, berry flavored water or anything. Just have water the entire day. The fat in the cells are going to get replaces by the water. so imagine the amount you need to put in. Have 2-3 liters of water every day.
One of the best ways to try and curb the symptoms of the keto flu is to replenish your electrolytes.
Nausea and fatigue are caused by dehydration. So be hydrated.
Slow and steady wins the Race
A ketogenic diet recommends 30 grams of carbs a day.
So initially it is like you are not having anything at all. Super dizziness.
Do not rush into it. Go slow. GIVE YOURSELF TIME.
Cut your carb intake by 10-15 grams a day. And keep on adding more fat to your diet daily. Let the body know you are changing something.
I got this from Ruled.me.
I liked it the way it scheduled for cutting the carbs over the weeks.