The ketogenic diet is one of the healthiest and most effective way to lose weight. It involves a low carb, high fat, and moderate protein type of diet.
In order to achieve the keto diet results successfully, your sugar intake and consumption of starchy foods must be strictly limited. You should also stay away from processed foods, trans fats, and unsaturated fats.
Once your body enters ketosis, you’ll gradually see results in terms of metabolism and weight changes. However, you might also experience keto flu.
The Keto Flu
Keto flu are signs and symptoms that your body goes through during the beginning phase of ketosis. They are very uncomfortable at first, but will eventually go away once your body reaches and adapts to the ‘full ketosis’ phase.
The keto flu feels quite similar to the usual flu. This happens because your body is slowly transitioning to a new diet (low-carb eating), and a change in eating habits (becoming more strict with what you eat & drink).
Decreasing your carb intake, usually reducing around 50 grams per day, will force your body to utilize and burn fats as the primary source of energy, thus resulting in ketone production.
This ‘burning fat for energy’ process is called ketosis. Consistent reduction to carbs, followed by high fat and moderate protein consumption, can come as a shock to the body, triggering the keto flu.
Keto Flu Symptoms
While some people enter ketosis with very minimal side effects, others may experience one or more of these following keto flu symptoms:
- The keto breath (often the smell of fruity-acidic due to the elevated levels of ketones)
- Appetite suppression (as a result of major adjustments to hunger hormones, leading to decreased appetite)
- Muscle cramps or soreness (because your body is producing less insulin due to carb reduction, your kidneys may throw away some of the essential electrolytes, causing temporary muscle cramps or soreness)
- Weight loss
- Difficulty sleeping (because of muscle cramps, digestive issues, and other related symptoms)
- Increased sugar cravings
- Change in focus and energy (brain fog, short-term fatigue, tiredness, or decreased performance)
- Mood swings
- Frequent urination (since your body eliminates some of the stored glycogen in your body, resulting in a major release of water out of your muscles)
- Digestive issues (like stomach pain, constipation or diarrhea)
These symptoms may last for a week or so, depending on your weight, age, and metabolism. If the keto flu symptoms are driving you crazy, there are natural and effective ways to reduce them.
How to Ease Keto Flu?
- Always stay hydrated. You can drink beverages that contain electrolytes, or try infused water together with your favorite fruits or veggies. Anything that will keep you more hydrated is fine. Just stay away from soda and beverages that have artificial sweetener & too much sugar.
- Although exercise is important while you’re on a ketogenic diet, avoid strenuous workout programs if you’re experiencing keto flu symptoms.
- Get adequate sleep and rest if you feel the need to. Listen to your body if it demands more rest and sleep because depriving yourself of these two can worsen the keto symptoms.
- Avoid too much caffeine and stress. Because both of these can affect your quality of sleep and appetite.
- Make sure you’re getting eating enough fat (and carbs) as the primary fuel source when following the ketogenic diet.
- Take a relaxing bath. You can use Epsom salt or essential bath oils for a more calming and relaxing sensation.
- Get a massage. If you’re having muscle cramps or soreness, you can opt for a mild massage to relax your muscles.
Switching to a ketogenic diet is a major change and your body may need more time to adapt to this new lifestyle and way of eating.
For some people, going through different phases of ketosis can be difficult, especially when keto flu symptoms arises.
Switching to a ketogenic diet is a major change, and your body may need more time to adapt to this new lifestyle and way of eating.
For some people, going through different phases of ketosis can be difficult, especially when keto flu symptoms arise.
Symptoms can range from mild, average, or severe, and will vary from one person to another. Although there are plenty of natural ways to ease keto flu symptoms, you can always talk to a doctor if you feel very uncomfortable, if you’re having pain, or if your day-to-day activities are badly affected.
Don’t worry, the keto flu symptoms generally happen in the first phase of ketosis, and will soon go away after this transition period.