A Bump In Cortisol The Stress Hormone
The T3 hormonal change is linked to another shift in hormonesspecifically, your cortisol levels will start to rise.
Youll know when this happens because youll notice your friends and coworkers wont want to be around you. Just kidding. But you might feel more irritable and have trouble sleeping. Youll balance out as your body adjusts to using ketones as a new fuel source.
How To Overcome Keto Flu
The keto diet replaces one energy source with another, but as the body starts using ketones for energy instead of glucose, many dieters report flu-like symptoms. These effects are nothing to worry about and will pass as your body adjusts to the new diet, but theyre still not fun to experience. However, theres a lot you can do to feel better and overcome the keto flu!
How Long Does It Last
Keto flu symptoms may resolve themselves in a matter of days, but they can also persist for several weeks. In most people, symptoms typically get better in 10 days however, if headaches, fatigue, cramps or irritability last longer than that length of time, its a good idea to see your doctor, says Dr. Hennis. Electrolyte imbalances can cause a lot of severe symptoms, but they can also be evaluated through doctor-recommended blood tests and managed accordingly, she adds.
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How A Keto Diet Works
On a keto diet you dramatically reduce the number of carbohydrates that you eat.
Thats not simply intended to cut out the calories associated with bread, pasta, cake and soda. In fact, most of those calories are replaced by eating a lot more fat than you would on a normal diet.
Theres a scientific reason to follow a low-carb diet: it forces the body into the metabolic state known as ketosis.
The body needs energy to function, of course, and it normally gets that energy by burning the carbohydrates we eat. That produces the sugar called glucose, and the body uses glucose as its everyday fuel.
When following an ultra-low-carbohydrate diet like keto, though, the body is basically starved of the carbohydrates it needs and it has to find a different fuel source in order to survive.
What it does is burn stored fat and convert it into molecules called ketone bodies, or ketones for short. The body is able to function just fine using ketones instead of glucose as fuel, so it continues to burn stored fat unless more carbs are added back into the diet.
The metabolic state in which the body runs on ketones is known as ketosis, and achieving ketosis is the goal of ketogenic eating.
Incorporate Potassium And Magnesium Into Your Diet
The bad news is that bananas arent keto. The good news is that bananas arent the only food in the world that have a lot of potassium. Green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale have a decent amount of potassium, and avocados contain a decent amount of potassium as well. You must have potassium in your diet. Your blood needs potassium, and your muscles need potassium! But, if you cant have spinach and avocados every night for dinner, you may need to consider taking a potassium supplement. You definitely cant skip out on the potassium!
Magnesium is another important mineral that your body absolutely needs! Magnesium is important for muscle function, the immune system, and the heart, just to name a few. Spinach is full of magnesium, as well as potassium! But again, if you cant eat spinach with every meal, you may need to consider taking a magnesium supplement.
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Stay Calm And Dont Push It
Weve already mentioned the effects of cortisol, the stress hormone that can make you feel out of sorts while youre trying to get into ketosis. Staying calm, getting plenty of rest, and skipping strenuous exercise until youve made it through the keto flu will prevent the release of extra cortisol, making the symptoms easier to take.
Meditation and low-intensity exercise , on the other hand, can help you deal with the keto flu and start the fat-burning process. If a slow, enjoyable walk still tires you out, youre probably dehydrated or low on electrolytes.
Increase Your Fat Intake
When you cut out carbs, you are going to need to make sure you are still getting adequate calories from fats. This will ensure your body has what it needs to continue making energy.
You can also try adding in MCT oil to your daily intake to help provide your body with an easy to convert source of ketones. While turning more complex fats into energy can take some adaptation rom the body, MCT oil is more easily converted into ketones. You can learn all about the benefits of MCT oil in this article.
Adding supplemental MCT oil can be a life saver during the initial phases of a ketogenic diet. Start with a Tablespoon in your morning shake or drizzled over your breakfast and progress to using it in more of your meals after about a week to allow your body to acclimate to this concentrated oil.
Additionally, you want to build your meals around healthy fat sources such as avocados, olives or olive oil, coconut oil or coconut milk and grass-fed butter. Here is a list of great fats to use in addition to MCT oil.
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More Fat = Fewer Symptoms
Increasing salt and fluid intake usually resolves most of the keto flu side effects. However, if you continue feeling poorly after following those recommendations, try eating more fat.
Due to decades of misinformation about fat being unhealthy, fat phobia is common among people who are new to low-carb eating.13 But if you sharply cut back on carbs without upping your fat intake, your body will think it is starving. Youll feel tired, hungry and miserable.14
A well-balanced keto diet includes enough fat to ensure youre not hungry after a meal, can go for several hours without eating, and have ample energy.
Be sure to increase your intake of fat at the start of your keto journey until your body adapts to using fat and ketones for most of its energy needs. Once youre fat adapted, let your appetite guide you in cutting back on fat a bit and seeing how much you need to feel satisfied.
In short: When in doubt, add butter or other fat to your food. And check out our top 10 tips for boosting fat intake. You can also follow our keto recipes, which have enough fat in relation to carbs and protein.
What Are The Symptoms Of Keto Flu
Typical symptoms may include fatigue, mental confusion, nausea, dizziness, headaches, lightheadedness, and mild irritability.
The leading cause is carbohydrate withdrawal, as the body adapts to fat as its primary fuel source.
Keto flu symptoms are caused by the body going into what is known as ketosis, as it burns stored fats rather than carbohydrates from food.
Carbohydrates are often the bodys primary energy source, but the body learns to burn fat on a ketogenic diet.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent this from happening, so read below for tips and tricks on how to avoid feeling bad.
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Do You Get Keto Flu Every Time You Start Keto
Hopefully, if youre starting a keto lifestyle, it will be for the long term. That being said, were all human and things happen, so people often ask me whether theyll experience keto flu again if they re-start after a period of not being in ketosis.
This varies from person to person. Some keto dieters become very efficiently fat adapted and dont get keto flu again if they cheat and then resume keto. This depends on your metabolic flexibility, as mentioned above.
Often times, people restarting keto may experience mild signs of keto flu, but they are not as severe as the first time. Or you might not experience them at all as your metabolic flexibility improves.
I highly recommend that you read my tips below for how to avoid keto flu altogether. Why go through it when you dont have to? You can avoid keto flu the first time and every time if you do have a slip-up.
How To Prevent & Remedy Keto Flu
Of course, when it comes to anything let alone Keto Flu, prevention is better than the cure.
You dont want to be looking for a remedy to Keto Flu if you could have prevented it in the first place.
The following tips apply to both prevention and Keto Flu remedies.
Plan and beginning implementing these methods as soon as you start your Keto Diet and you should be in tip-top shape.
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Okay But What If I Already Started The Keto Diet And Feel Terrible Is There Anything I Can Do To Ease Keto Flu Symptoms
If you dove head-first into keto and are now feeling…ugh, there are some things you can do to lessen the symptoms if you’re willing to be flexible.
- Eat some carbs. Letting yourself have a few more carbs than a typical keto diet would allow or cutting back on eating all the fats right away might lessen the severity of your keto flu symptoms, so that you aren’t feeling so meh. Sure, it might make your keto journey slower, but it’ll make you feel a lot better, and make the diet more sustainable overall.
- Make sure you’re consuming electrolytes. “The keto diet puts you at an increased risk for dehydration, so if you do decide to go keto, adequate hydration is essential for the support of your overall body, especially your kidneys,” says Morton. Because keto forces you to cut out certain foods, you might be cutting certain minerals like magnesium and sodium, too. But being vigilant with your hydration and electrolyte intake might help you prevent symptoms of the keto flu. Try some electrolyte drink mixes that you can combine with water to make sure you’re getting the minerals you need.
What Is The Keto Flu & How To Remedy It
The keto flu is not caused by a virus that only infects ketogenic dieters. It is the bodys response to severe carbohydrate restriction.
The most common keto flu symptoms are sugar cravings, dizziness, irritability, poor focus and concentration, stomach pains, nausea, cramping, confusion, muscle soreness, and difficulty falling asleep.
The severity of the keto flu and its symptoms, however, depends on how metabolically flexible you are. As an example, the most metabolically flexible people may not experience keto flu symptoms at all, while the least metabolically flexible people may struggle to get out of bed.
Whether you are metabolically flexible or not, it is important to drink more water, consume plenty of sodium, potassium, and magnesium, eat more fat , do low-intensity exercise in the morning, meditate every day, and sleep well. Doing these six things can relieve the keto flu completely. Another very simple way to remedy the keto flu is by taking an electrolyte supplement with your water daily.
Some things that could be getting in your way while keto adapting are stress, high-intensity exercise, and eating too much protein. This is why it is also important to eat the right amount of protein, do low-intensity exercise, sleep well, and meditate to help remedy the keto flu.
If you are ready to get started on your keto journey and crush the keto flu, check out our Comprehensive Beginners Guide to the Ketogenic Diet.
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How To Avoid The Keto
There are some tips you can follow to avoid or lessen the symptoms of keto flu:
Keto flu is a side effect of the transition process that some people experience when switching to the keto diet.
It is important to understand what causes these unpleasant reactions to take steps to avoid them.
It can last between 3 and 5 days, but it is not something you should worry too much about if you follow these tips.
Take care of yourself during this time because later you will enjoy feeling better!
Go Back For Seconds And Thirds
and maybe even fourths and fifths. Even though you probably wont feel like eating much of anything, your body is making a huge transition from burning glucose to burning fat, and it needs all the extra energy it can get. Of course, make sure that you are still eating according to a ketogenic diet and within your macros. If youre looking for easy keto recipes, weve got you covered.
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What We Can Learn From Keto Flu
So, yes. The keto flu is a real thing. And, if you find yourself dealing with it, you can expect to experience these symptoms only for a few days, or up to a week.
But what can we learn from it?
If giving up carbs is tough, just imagine what a stronghold carbs are having on your body and this carb withdrawal may be a necessary evil to go through to serve as a reminder to never go back to your old ways of eating.
Its yet another reason to stop eating and drinking the addictive junk carbs and sugar.
So, now you know what is it and how to avoid it, do you feel more prepared to deal with it?
The Keto Flu: Symptoms And How To Get Rid Of It
The ketogenic diet has gained popularity as a natural way to lose weight and improve health.
The diet is very low in carbohydrates, high in fat and moderate in protein.
While the diet is considered safe for most people, its associated with some unpleasant side effects.
The keto flu, also called the carb flu, is a term coined by followers to describe the symptoms they experience when beginning the diet.
This article investigates what the keto flu is, why it happens and how to ease its symptoms.
The keto flu is a collection of symptoms experienced by some people when they first start the keto diet.
These symptoms, which can feel similar to the flu, are caused by the body adapting to a new diet consisting of very little carbohydrates.
Reducing your carb intake forces your body to burn ketones for energy instead of glucose.
Ketones are byproducts of fat breakdown and become the main fuel source when following a ketogenic diet.
Normally, fat is reserved as a secondary fuel source to use when glucose is not available.
This switch to burning fat for energy is called ketosis. It occurs during specific circumstances, including starvation and fasting (
However, ketosis can also be reached by adopting a very low-carb diet.
In a ketogenic diet, carbohydrates are typically reduced to under 50 grams per day .
This drastic reduction can come as a shock to the body and may cause withdrawal-like symptoms, similar to those experienced when weaning off an addictive substance like caffeine .
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Doctors Reveal Tips To Help Avoid The Keto Flu
Most everyone has heard about the ketogenic diet movement sweeping the nation. In an era where over 30 million Americans are overweight or obese, struggling with chronic pain and disease, we are becoming more and more desperate to reclaim our health and our waistlines by eating clean.
Why Does Keto Flu Happen
Modern medicine doesnt really provide any solid answers as to why some people feel so terrible with keto flu while making the switch to a ketogenic diet, while others may have mild or no symptoms.
But like a juice cleanse, some symptoms of the keto flu are probably related to general detox and making a dramatic dietary change.
This can shock the gut a little bit, but shouldnt be anything the body cannot adapt to relatively quickly, in a matter of days to be more specific.
Followers of the keto diet maintain that after your body has shifted to burn ketones instead of sugar, the keto flu will no longer be an issue.
Once they get to the other side of the keto flu, most people report feeling better than ever. Like any good detox, you can deal with keto flu symptoms with a little strategy and easy natural remedies.
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Eat More Fat & Calories
If you are not eating enough, this can cause some symptoms similar to keto flu. Be sure to eat enough that you arent hungry. Remember, the primary fuel source on a keto diet is fat, so you need to add enough to keep you satisfied and to help you adapt to burning fat for fuel.
Resist the urge to make your diet both low carb and low-fat, which will just put your body into starvation mode. Youll be hungry, miserable, and are bound to run into the telltale signs of keto flu.
As you increase fat, watch the type of fat. You may need to watch your medium chain triglycerides , such as coconut oil:
- If you have abdominal pain, you may need to ease into MCTs slowly to avoid stomach issues. Balance them out with long chain triglycerides, such as olive oil or avocado oil.
- If you can handle MCTs without a problem, try increasing them because they will get you into ketosis faster.