The ketogenic diet is becoming one of the most followed diets and is yielding quite promising results. It focuses mainly on the intake of healthy fats while decreasing the intake of carbs and moderating the amount of protein. However, the basic form of energy in our body is carbohydrates and the shift from carb to fats may show some effects.
Keto flu is characterized by a combination of symptoms that surface when an individual starts a keto diet. The flu occurs in the first few starting days of the diet plan. Luckily, these unpleasant signs are short lived but can exhaust a person while they stay.
Common symptoms of a keto diet
The main reason behind the keto flu is the shift of energy and the process of body adapting to the changes.
Few of the prominent symptoms include:
- Brain Fog
- Muscle Cramps
- Sugar Cravings
These can vary from a person to person, and the severity can also range from mild to extreme. Many keto followers may come under the impression that the diet isn’t working for them. However, that may not be the case.
As mentioned above, your body is just taking some time to adapt to the changes. Eventually within a week individuals can feel the difference and these symptoms may abate.
Reason behind Keto Flu
This switch of energy source from carbohydrates to fats i.e. the process of ketosis culminates in a few changes in the body that serve as the reasons behind the keto flu.
The main reason behind the keto flu is the drop in the level of insulin in the body. Insulin is responsible for carrying carbohydrates to cell for the formation of energy but that’s not it. Insulin also impacts the functioning of kidneys.
Drop in the insulin level is a desirable sign for ketosis, however, your body will take time to adjust to this change. The changes can result in an intense emission of sodium and water from the body. This results into dehydration, weakness, or fatigue.
Secondly, comes the giving up of the carbs as the reason behind the keto flu. Carbohydrates are found in sugar and everything that is sweet. This means that you need to give up on all the foods that typically satisfy your sweet tooth.
Essentially, sugar act as mood lifter so when one had to quit on sugars, chocolate, cake and all that they crave the body starts protesting. This protest shows in the form of short-lived symptoms of the keto flu.
Giving up carbs is the main reason behind irritability or unexplained mood swings. It can also result in sudden sugar cravings. It is also important to note that these carbs are the fastest form of energy for the body. Hence, while giving it up, your body takes time to become accustomed.
Lastly, as discussed above, your body will take its time to get used to of the sudden change in your diet. It may start showing the promised loss in weight. At the same time, however, your body is adjusting to its new life.
As the two ways our body form energy is carbohydrate or fats, and mostly we are used to of carbs so the sudden change in plan affects the metabolism to a significant extent. This explains the nausea or vomiting.
These are few of the understandable reasoning to all that you feel as you follow a keto diet. You don’t have to worry about how to get over these short comings as you can take some careful steps that can help you against the keto flu.
Surviving the keto flu
Now that it’s clear what the flu is and what is the reason behind it, so be happy there is nothing to worry about, and you can successfully follow the diet. However, you still need to know some tricks and ideas to cope with the flu and say good bye to all the tiring symptoms.
Some of the best ways to deal with symptoms of the keto flu are:
- Stay Hydrated
First and foremost, make sure that your body has the amount of water that it desires. Your body will be giving out excess water and sodium, which will only cause the electrolyte imbalance in the body and you need to cover it up.
Drink a glass of water regularly and make sure you take the recommended 8 glasses of water. Add half or 1/3 teaspoon of salt in the water now and then to make up for the extra water that your body is giving up. Don’t add sugar as that is strictly not allowed.
You will find that this will make your condition better, it will cure dizziness, fatigue and tiredness. You will feel a lot better when your body is hydrated.
- Eat fats
If you aren’t feeling better already then you need to make sure that you are consuming the right amount of fat. As you lower the amount carbohydrate, your body needs good amount of energy for functioning, which is the reason you need to add more fat to your diet.
The keto diet promotes the intake of balanced fat in a healthy way so be it butter or cream cheese don’t shy away. Your body will properly use the fat from these sources to make up for the energy that you have been lacking. Hence, regulate the amount of electrolytes and fats in your body.
- Take one step ahead each day
A sudden change of plan is never a good idea, as it takes time for the body to adjust with the new changes. In this regard, it is best that you don’t start the keto diet abruptly, Gradually, observe the ketogenic diet and slowly give up on the carbs so as to save the body from shock.
Get to know the amount of carbohydrate that your body was previously consuming and then start reducing it each day. This makes your body used to of the slight changes. Therefore, give up on carbs each day instead of leaving all food sources of carbs at once. And when your body gets used to of low carb then restrict it to less than 20 gm.
- Work it out in the right way
Next on the list is to work it. You may feel that you are all ready to powerfully hit the gym. In reality, however, you need to take slow steps in this field too. If you have just joined the gym, then slowly follow all the steps. Instead of overexerting yourself, be careful of the exercises that you do.
The change in your body will make it hard for you to do extra and you might feel doubtful but there is nothing to worry because when your body will get accustomed to this new lifestyle soon. As time passes, you will do way better than your previous self. Again, just take everything at a slow pace instead of rushing it up
Take home message
Keto flu has different effects on everyone. If anyone you know started with you and is doing better, just know that their body’s mechanism is different from yours. There are various factors that play the part along with genetics and metabolic flexibility. Thus, your body acts accordingly. Just be patient as it’s the key to the good results.