Keto diet is a new and safe diet in town which everyone gushes about. You tried it in hopes of a slim figure but in just a few weeks, you get dizzy spells and headaches all throughout the day. You think it’s flu but really, it’s just a Keto flu.
Before you panic, understand that this kind of diet is new to our body and it might take a while before our body adapts to it. There are ways and means though to be on top of the unpleasantness the Keto Flu offers.
What is a Keto Flu?
Keto Flu is not flu but it characterizes one. Though temporary and just usually lasts for about 3-5 days, the symptoms can be unpleasant when left untreated. The Keto Flu withdrawal-like symptoms are our body’s response to the unique production of energy the Keto diet triggers.
Normally, our body produces energy by burning glucose; a kind of sugar that can be found in carbohydrate-rich food. Keto diet is normally rich in fat, low in carbohydrates or carbs and medium in protein. With carbohydrate in its all-time low level, the body resorts to the secondary form of producing energy which(100) is the burning of the fat. With the Keto diet, it burns fat instead of carbohydrates to produce energy. The constant immersion in this diet trains your body to burn fat first which ideally leads to a slim figure. This unique occurrence to our body is adapted, thus the appearance of Keto Flu in the first few days.
But how do you know you have a Keto Flu?
Keto Flu Symptoms
The low-carb diet is not what our body is used to, so you have to give it a time to adapt and recenter it(200) to its usual rhythm. Some people may experience some of the following symptoms in varying intensity while others are in luck and might not have any reactions at all.
These symptoms usually appear within the first few days of constant immersion in the Keto diet but is temporary and usually lasts.
- Headache: This is one of the most common symptoms of a Keto diet which is usually associated by lack of focus or brain fog. The continuous pain in the head is a reminder that our brain is in shock of not receiving its usual intake of glucose-derived energy. The occurrence is erratic all throughout the day and usually goes away eventually.
- Nausea: Nausea is another tell-tale sign of your brain adjusting to the new level of energy intake your body is producing.
- Vomiting: This will most likely not happen except in extreme cases.
- Diarrhea: The sudden change (300) of diet to high-carb may upset the bowel movement and may cause some distress signal like diarrhea.
- Weakness: Your body is used to your usual intake of carbohydrates and has since adapted its own system of producing energy. The Keto diet might probably upset this balance and drop an unusual level of energy. Fortunately, our body is an evolving living organism that is always on the look-out to adopt a new pace and system.
- Muscle Cramps: The mineral imbalance in the Keto diet triggers cramps or you are simply just sitting on your leg for too long.
- Irritability: Your body has been used to carbohydrate-induced food (pasta marina, baked potatoes, chocolate cakes and so on and so forth). Letting go of this will make you want your usual intake full-bodied delicious meals. This can either be physiological or simple stress; whatever it (400) is, this will usually pass.
Sugar Cravings: This is usually typical for a low-carb diet plan. Sweets are basically synonymous to carbohydrate. When you lower the carbohydrate-used-to body, it will definitely crave for sugar. Keto diet does not entirely deprive your body though of carbohydrates. You can consume up to 50 grams of carbs a day as recommended by the healthy eating online article.
- Insomnia: This is most likely caused by beyond the normal high quantity production of energy of our body. This usually ebbs in weeks though.
- Lack of Focus (Brain Fog): The brain needs carbs to supply energy for brain power and productivity. Low-carb diet maybe usually the culprit for lack of brain power for focus in its early adjustment period for some. Though this may affect the brain temporarily, the shifting to the low-carb diet might prove to be good for the brain in the long run. Keto diet is notorious for keeping diabetes at bay which is good for your body and brain. Diabetes may have a link to Alzheimer’s as mentioned by the Livestrong website.
Pushing Through the Keto Flu
Keto Flu is inevitable and may be a difficult adjustment period for your body. Fortunately, there are ways and means that gives you the power to keep it under your control. Here are some tips and tricks to push through it.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep, in general, is our body’s best friend. Getting enough sleep allows faster healing, lowers cortisol level and keeps stress at bay.
The increase in cortisol level during the first phase of the ketogenic diet makes our bodily transition difficult. It is important to be well-rested to keep it lowered and avoid your keto flu from getting worse. Stress is another culprit of why the first few days of this low-carb diet seems unpleasant.
Aside from ruining your hormone levels, it also worsens your headaches and may propel insomnia.
Make it a point to get 7-9 hours of sleep per day with occasional naps in the middle of the day. Train your body into transitioning to sleep mode by dimming your light. It also helps to mute your phone or just simply keep it away from your arms reach.
The Keto diet curbs your body’s water reservoir and is mostly the reason why you get Keto flu. The dehydration your body experiences with Keto should be replenished with twice the hydration you need in a normal day.
3.7 liters of water per day is the recommended quantity of water intake. You can always go beyond the recommended quantity until you feel hydrated. A tip to know if you are dehydrated is usually when your urine is bleak yellow color. A pale yellow colored urine may be a sign that you are well hydrated.
Avoid Strenuous Exercises
An alternative to exercise is a slow-paced exercise like walking. Keep in mind that your body is new to this form of producing energy. Walking triggers the keto diet to kickstart in a careful way, without shocking the body.
The walking exercise any day is fine but doing it in the morning is better. Make sure that you do not get out of breath while walking. Bring a bottle of water with you for hydration.
Enough Mineral Intake
As you undergo ketosis, your insulin level decreases and so is potassium and sodium level. The loss of these two minerals causes your body to experience flu-like symptoms. To augment that, include green leafy vegetables and fruits to your diet. Sprinkle a pinch of salt to your water bottle too everytime you want to hydrate.
Keep Your Stress at Bay
Stress and irritability will hound you on your first few weeks of the keto diet. This due to the increase in your cortisol level.
The likes of meditation and yoga can be an alternative to reduce stress. To meditate, be in your most comfortable position be it sitting or laying on your back position. for 15 to 18 minutes, think nothing but your breathing. Take a deep breath for 3 seconds before exhaling then repeat.
When will this last?
Most people will usually experience Keto flu for about a week. With the above-mentioned tips and tricks, you may find comfort when these flu-like symptoms are triggered.
For some, the transition to the low-carb diet might be difficult and will cease for a few weeks. It is best to consult a doctor if the flu-like symptoms are unbearable that it induces vomiting, severe headaches for days, fever, and prolonged diarrhea.