How to overcome the keto flu: Tips and Tricks

12th June 2023

Have you heard about the ketogenic diet? It involves consuming high-fat, low-carb foods to encourage your body to burn fat for energy instead of carbs. As you start this diet, you may experience a set of symptoms commonly referred to as the "keto flu".Initial difficulties in adhering to the diet can be attributed to these symptoms. This diet has the potential to minimize the symptoms and offer a number of benefits. So, read to learn more!

Defining keto flu:

When you first start the ketogenic diet, you might experience what’s commonly known as the “keto flu”. It’s a set of symptoms that some people may go through like feeling tired, getting headaches, feeling nauseous, dizzy, irritable, and having brain fog. Basically, it occurs within the first few days of a week of starting the diet and can last up to a couple of weeks.

Due to the drastic change in your diet, the body is adjusting to this change. There is a significant decrease in carbohydrate intake as well as a significant increase in fat intake. During this adaptation period, your body might have a temporary imbalance in electrolytes and fluid levels. Which can cause these symptoms. In spite of this, it should be noted that not everyone will experience keto flu when beginning a ketogenic diet


Here’s a breakdown of each symptom of keto flu:

It's important to remember that not everyone will experience all of these symptoms, and some people may not experience any at all. The keto flu is usually temporary and can be managed with proper hydration, electrolyte intake, and rest.

Fatigue and weakness: This is a common symptom because your body is starting to adapt to the lack of carbohydrates and is transitioning to using fat for energy instead. You may feel more tired as your body becomes accustomed to this new fuel source. 

Headache: There is a possibility that headaches might occur due to a deficiency of electrolytes such as sodium, magnesium, and potassium. These electrolytes help regulate fluid balance in the body and can be lost when you first start the ketogenic diet.

Nausea and vomiting: Some people may experience these symptoms due to changes in their gut microbiome, or because the increase in fat intake can cause indigestion and stomach upset. 

Dizziness and lightheadedness: This can be caused by electrolyte imbalances or a drop in blood sugar levels. This can happen if you're not getting enough salt or water, or if you're not eating enough calories.

Irritability and mood swings: These can be caused due to changes in hormone levels or a lack of carbohydrates, which can affect your mood.

Muscle cramps and soreness: This happen due to electrolyte imbalances, dehydration, or the lack of glycogen in the muscles. Your muscles may take some time to adapt to the new fuel source as your body adapts to the ketogenic diet.


Here are some tips for overcoming the keto flu: 

First and foremost, stay hydrated! Drinking plenty of water can help prevent dehydration, which can exacerbate the symptoms of the keto flu. Aim for at least 8 glasses of water per day. 

You can also increase your electrolyte intake to combat the electrolyte imbalance, you can increase your intake of sodium, potassium, and magnesium.  by adding more salt to your food or consuming electrolyte drinks, or taking supplements. This will help regulate fluid balance in the body and prevent any imbalances.

If you're finding it difficult to adjust to the high-fat nature of the ketogenic diet, try gradually increasing your fat intake over a period of a few days or weeks. You may find that your body adjusts more easily if you do this. Increasing your protein intake can help ease muscle soreness and prevent muscle loss.

Make sure you're getting enough sleep too, as adequate rest is essential for overall health and can help your body adapt to the new diet.

Take it easy on yourself and don't push too hard during the first few days of the ketogenic diet. Allow yourself time to adjust and rest if you're feeling tired or weak 

Remember, the keto flu is usually temporary and should go away within a week or a couple of two. But If your symptoms persist or worsen, it's important to speak with your healthcare provider.


Keto flu diet-what to eat:

Despite the fact that no single food is capable of curing the keto flu, there are a number of foods that can help alleviate its symptoms. Here are some foods to include in your diet when experiencing the keto flu:

Electrolyte-rich foods: Foods that are high in sodium, potassium, and magnesium can help replenish the electrolytes that are lost during the ketogenic diet. Like leafy green vegetables, avocados, nuts, and seeds.

Healthy fats: Since the ketogenic diet is high in fat, it's important to choose healthy sources of fat. Like fatty fish like salmon, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and coconut oil.

Protein-rich foods: Consuming adequate protein is important for preventing muscle loss and can also help alleviate muscle soreness. meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and tofu are some of the good sources of protein.

Low-carb vegetables: Non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, and kale are low in carbohydrates and can help provide important nutrients while keeping carb intake low.

Remember to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, and if you're finding it difficult to eat enough food during the keto flu, consider incorporating some easy-to-digest snacks like bone broth, boiled eggs, or nut butter. 

In conclusion, it was a challenging part of the diet, but you can adjust to the diet more easily and overcome the symptoms of the keto flu. Remember to listen to your body, be patient, and seek medical advice if your symptoms persist or worsen. You can successfully navigate the keto flu and enjoy the many benefits of a ketogenic lifestyle.

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