Did you know that the ketogenic diet that not only encourages weight loss, but can help to reduce your chances of developing cancer, has been used as a treatment for Alzheimer’s, and can improve your heart health?
Recently surging in popularity, the ketogenic diet is a diet that consists of consuming a small number of carbohydrates, a moderate amount of protein, with the majority of your daily caloric intake coming from fat.
While the ketogenic diet offers followers dozens of health-boosting benefits, one of the most common negative side effects that the keto diet causes is the keto flu.
The keto flu, often also referred to as the carb flu, occurs when someone first starts following the ketogenic diet.
Today, we’re going to delve into talking about what exactly the keto flu is, common symptoms you may experience, and how you can go about alleviating keto flu symptoms!
What is Keto Flu?
Just like the flu that you normally experience during flu season, the keto flu is a set of different symptoms that most people experience when they’re first starting the keto diet.
The keto flu is caused when you drastically reduce your consumption of carbohydrates, which forces your body to start producing (and burning) ketones as it’s new energy source!
Carbohydrates are an easy source of fuel for your body to burn, but when you eliminate carbs from your diet, your body begins to start producing ketones. Ketones are produced when your body starts to burn fat for its energy, which is your body’s metabolic process called ketosis.
What are the Symptoms of the Keto Flu?
If you’ve never followed a low-carb diet and are starting to follow the keto diet, your body is going to need time to adapt to your new lifestyle. The keto flu can be difficult for some people to experience, as the symptoms of the keto flu are very similar to the withdrawal symptoms that you experience when you stop drinking caffeine.
You may experience symptoms of the keto flu just a few days into cutting back on your carbohydrate intake. However, the severity of the symptoms of keto flu varies by personal experience.
Some of the most common keto flu symptoms are:
- Mood swings
- Trouble sleeping or staying asleep
- Strong cravings for sugar
- Muscle stiffness or soreness
- Muscle cramping
- Problems concentrating
While experiencing these symptoms may be troublesome, they should only last for a week. But, you don’t have to suffer through the keto flu! Thankfully, there are several ways that you can work on reducing the severity of your keto flu symptoms.
How Do You Get Rid of the Keto Flu?
The keto flu is one of the biggest drawbacks of the keto diet, especially if you aren’t prepared for it. Thankfully, there are several ways that you can go about reducing the severity of the symptoms that you’re experiencing!
Hydration is Key
When you’re following the ketogenic diet, making sure that you’re staying hydrated is one the key points to success! The ketogenic diet can cause your body to deplete of its water stores (water weight), which can drastically increase your chances of dehydration.
Making sure that you’re staying hydrated can help to alleviate muscle cramping, fatigue, and any headaches that you’re likely to experience.
The ketogenic diet discourages followers from avoiding foods that are high in potassium and magnesium, which are essential nutrients that are commonly found in vegetables, beans, and fruits. Making sure that you’re feeding your body adequate amounts of essential nutrients will help to decrease the severity of keto flu symptoms!
Avocados, green leafy vegetables, and Himalayan sea salt are foods that are rich in potassium and magnesium. Adding these to your diet is a great way to ensure that you’re maintaining proper electrolyte levels in your body.
Making sure that your body has a healthy level of electrolytes will reduce your chances of having muscle cramps or spasms, headaches, and will increase the quality of your sleep!
Skip Over Intense Exercises
Exercising is a vital part of keeping your body healthy and your weight under control, but when you’re first starting the keto diet and are experiencing keto flu symptoms, you should avoid any strenuous exercises.
Allowing your body to rest while you’re adapting to this drastic change in metabolic process will help to give your body the chance to focus it’s energy sources. Avoid running, weight lifting, or any strenuous exercise.
However, light walking, yoga, and light exercises are encouraged!
Eat Enough Fat
While your body starts to change metabolic processes, you may experience cravings for food that are higher in carbs (and are off-limits on the keto diet).
Making sure that you’re eating enough fat to keep yourself satiated will not only help to reduce your cravings but will also help to ensure that you’re feeding your body enough of its primary source of energy.
However, you’re struggling to get through the keto flu, try slowly cutting back on your carb intake while also increasing the amount of fat and protein that you’re eating to help make the transition easier on your body!
Welcome to Your New Way of Life
The ketogenic diet can be challenging to follow while you’re experiencing the keto flu, but it’s incredibly rewarding once your body has adapted to burning fat for energy.
Make sure that you stay hydrated, get plenty of rest, avoid intense exercises, and eating enough fat will help to reduce (and sometimes eliminate) the keto flu symptoms you’re experiencing.
Ready to learn more about how the ketogenic diet can change your life? Check out our ECO-friendly keto meals!