Keto Flu Warning
How the Keto Flu Gets a Foothold
The keto flu develops when the body is under extreme stress. I liken it to when the Titanic spotted that iceburg, and make a valiant attempt to avoid it by turning this massive ship abruptly.
This is what some people do when they start the keto diet – they stop all carbs, get rid of the Coca-Cola and Sprite, take the sugar out of their coffee, rid themselves of cookies and brownies and eats nothing but steak and then gets sick as a dog. They call it the keto flu, and it is nasty.
So, what's the secret to avoiding the keto flu? Easing into it!
Simply, don't go cold turkey on everything, and specifically don't go to an “all steak 24×7” approach like that young woman in the link above. First of all, you will get sick as a dog and not enjoy it. Besides that, going all-in on keto will also give you keto diarrhea, which is more fun than the keto flu, but generally not fun overall (no one loves thinking they are going to fart, but you end up ruining a pair of pants!). It is seriously a pain in the ass!
Tips If You Have The Keto Flu
Likely, it is no fun to start an exciting new path in life and get knocked off your feet right at the start.
Symptoms of the Keto Flu
Think you have the keto flu? You'll know if you have this combination of symptoms:
- Feeling Tired
Recovering From The Keto Flu
If you find yourself with the flu after starting the keto diet, here are some tips to get you back on your feet:
First, check your electrolyte levels – the sodium, potassium and magnesium levels before you started the diet, and where you are at now.
Typically, there is a big drop in sodium when you drop the fries and salad dressing and other prepared foods, and that throws the other electrolytes out of whack. Simply adding some salt and lemon juice to your drinking water might be all you need to recover quickly.
There are “complete” electrolyte drops you can buy and add to your water, and you might want to pick one of those up at a store near you.
Another tip that is always good for the flu is chicken soup.
The broth in chicken soup is filled with electrolytes and for reasons unknown, chicken soup is always tasty when you have the keto flu.
How to Avoid The Keto Flu
The best way to avoid the keto flu is to avoid too rapid a change in your diet. Going from processed meals and desserts to an all-meat diet will cause the flora in your belly to rebel, and that's a good way to get the keto flu. So take it easy when getting into ketosis – be sure to adjust over a number of days and monitor your diarrhea and other changes in your bowel movements.
In short, eat healthy, exercise, get some sunlight (or take vitamin D supplements in appropriate dosage) and get the proper amount of sleep. If you have a stressful job, you might want to introduce some meditation or other mindfulness activity to lower the cortisol levels. Stress, when coupled with extreme change in diet, will surely lead to the keto flu, so take it easy and be persistent in your progress.
Tips To Avoid The Keto Flu
Here's a good overview of the ketosis process, how it develops in the body, what its benefits are, and what other effects you will experience:
Starting The Keto Diet Without The Keto Flu
What are some good tips to starting a keto diet and avoiding the keto flu?
- Baseline your carbs, fat and protein intake, roughly how much of each?
- Reduce your carbs by 20% every 3 days, so by 15 days you are at keto levels.
- Increase your protein/fat intake by 20% calories every 3 days, roughly. (Just adding an extra chicken or steak to one meal each day might just do it).
- Keep your electrolytes in balance by adding a pinch of salt to your drinking water (and drink water on this diet).
- Generally, success in keto comes when you get serious about the little things…the sugar in your coffee, the non-keto dessert at the end of each meal, that glass of wine with your dinner (you get the idea). Keto is a serious protocol and to win and get the results you see you will need to be vigilant about cutting out the carbs.