You are looking into starting the Keto diet and making a great life change. Whether it’s for losing weight or just generally getting healthier, you’ve made the first step into a new lifestyle. Congratulations!
You’re smart and not jumping into a new diet plan without doing your research first. It’s pretty well-known that you’ll be cutting out carbs, cooking at home, and staying away from alcohol, but you might be a bit shocked to hear that you may start feeling sick after starting the diet.
You’ve come across mention of the Keto flu and you’re a bit worried about it. You’re right to be looking into it and trying to learn as much as you can in order to remedy the symptoms, which can be, as the name implies, as rough as the flu itself. In this article, we’ll cover what the Keto flu is, what causes it, and how it can be cured.
What is the Keto Flu?
With most new diets or lifestyle changes, your body needs time to adjust to the new food or lack of easy forms of energy, like simple carbs. In the case of the Keto diet, people get flu-like symptoms that oftentimes occur in the first few days of starting. Basically, your body ends up going through carb withdrawal which can leave you feeling quite drained.
These symptoms include:
- Sugar Cravings
- Lack of Focus
- Stomach Pain
- Muscle Soreness
- Muscle Cramps
- Loss of Strength
Of course, symptoms vary from person to person. Any combination of the above with different levels of severity can occur. You might even be among the lucky few who have a really easy time adjusting and barely feel anything at all!
What causes it?
The Keto diet is pretty strict. We wouldn’t be getting the results we do with the diet otherwise. You’re cutting out almost all carbs and switching to a diet high in fat and protein. No pain, no gain, after all.
When you suddenly deprive your body of carbs—carbs that your body is used to using for quick and easy energy—then your body uses glycogen, the stored form of carbs, for energy. Since it binds to water, your kidneys start flushing out more water. This water also includes many of your much-needed electrolytes. As a result, you become dehydrated and depleted of these essential minerals like sodium, potassium, and magnesium.
How can the Keto flu be cured?
Since dehydration is ultimately the cause, the solution is hydration. Sure, regular water is great (all the time really, not just on the Keto diet), but you need to make up for those lost electrolytes too. Since you’re on the Keto diet, your standard sports drinks won’t be an option. Your best bet is to go with supplements that are Keto-friendly to help replace the lost minerals.
Electrolytes can also be found in many foods that are allowed on the Keto diet. Think leafy greens, avocados, or beans.
Since many of the symptoms of Keto flu are tiredness and muscle cramping, it might be best to avoid very strenuous exercise for the first couple of days. This way you don’t risk making your symptoms worse while your body adjusts to your new regimen.
Lastly, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Fatigue and irritability are common when starting out on the Keto diet, so resting up if a sure way to minimize these symptoms.
The transition to the Keto diet sometimes isn’t easy. This can especially be true for people who generally eat a lot of carbs before starting the diet. This sudden change can be a bit of a shock to your system. However, with proper planning and care, these symptoms can be minimized.