The dreaded keto flu is nothing to panic about. While uncomfortable and mildly annoying, this is a natural reaction by the body when you suddenly minimize your intake of carbs drastically.
The majority of people are used to a diet that’s mostly comprised of carbs followed by smaller portions of protein and an even smaller percentage of fat. However, when you get on a ketogenic diet, you’ll be turning the tables on your diet and doing the total opposite.
80 to 90 percent of your daily calories will come from fat, and the remaining 10 percent will be from protein with a minuscule portion of carbs, if any. This is something that will come as a shock to most people. The body is just not used to the diet.
Here are some of the keto flu symptoms you may experience while trying to make the change:
- Body aches
- Difficulty concentrating/focusing
- Stomach issues
- Sugar cravings
Millions of people are addicted to sugar and carbs. So, weaning yourself off these foods is akin to quitting an addiction and going cold turkey. It’s inevitable to face some discomfort. The good news is that the keto flu is only temporary.
Within a week or two, your body will adapt and be able to function as normal with the higher fat intake and carb restriction. It’s imperative that you stay the course and not throw in the towel because of the keto flu symptoms.
Quitting will mean that your weight loss will take longer and will be more difficult. So, endure the symptoms till your body adapts.
How to avoid keto flu
One of the best ways to adopt the keto diet will be to ease into it instead of making the switch overnight. You can start off with a low carb diet and give your body time to adjust.
Gradually, lower your carb intake and increase your fat intake till you’re on a keto diet. This will give your body time to adapt and you can escape the keto flu symptoms. Inch by inch, life’s a cinch. Yard by yard, life is hard. Go slow.
It’s also essential that you stay hydrated. Drink sufficient water throughout the day and watch your caloric intake. You should be at a daily caloric deficit of about 500 calories. You do not want to go too low.
Don’t cut both your carbs and fats. That’s a recipe for a weight loss plateau. Instead, eat more healthy fats so that you’re meeting your calorie needs for the day.
Coping with the keto flu
Should you get the symptoms mentioned above, there are a few ways you can alleviate the discomfort. Engage in exercise daily. This will improve your mood and get your blood pumping. Keep the exercise relaxed and gentle, like a brisk walk or a leisurely swim. Drink some bone broth or mix some Himalayan salt in water and drink. The loss of sodium and electrolytes in your body could be causing some of the problems. You may also wish to consume a magnesium supplement and eat foods that are rich in potassium (avocados, spinach, mushrooms, salmon, nuts).
If you follow the pointers above, you’ll be able to avoid keto flu or at the very least, you’ll be able to mitigate the symptoms. Stick to the plan and give your body time to adapt. Once you’ve found your footing with the keto diet, you’ll become a fat burning machine, and that’s when the fun starts.