The keto flu is a term used to describe a set of symptoms that some people experience when they first start the ketogenic diet. This low-carb, high-fat eating plan has gained popularity for its potential health benefits and weight loss effects. However, as your body adapts to this new way of eating, you might encounter some unpleasant side effects. Let’s dive into what the keto flu is, why it happens, and how to ease its symptoms.

What Is the Keto Flu?

The keto flu occurs when your body transitions from using carbohydrates as its primary energy source to burning ketones (byproducts of fat breakdown) for fuel. Normally, fat serves as a secondary energy source when glucose is scarce. However, in a ketogenic diet, carbs are drastically reduced to 20 to 50 grams per day, pushing your body into a state of ketosis1.

Symptoms of the Keto Flu

The symptoms of the keto flu can vary from person to person and may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Weakness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Dizziness
  • Brain fog
  • Stomach or intestinal pain
  • Muscle soreness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Food cravings

These symptoms typically emerge within the first few days of cutting back on carbs and can last from a few days to several weeks. While some lucky individuals transition to a ketogenic diet without any side effects, others find these symptoms distressing.

How to Get Rid of the Keto Flu

  1. Stay Hydrated: Proper hydration is crucial during ketosis.
  2. Get Enough Rest: Allow your body time to adapt.
  3. Monitor Electrolytes: Sodium, potassium, and magnesium levels are essential.
  4. Boost B Vitamins: Consider supplements or foods rich in B vitamins.
  5. Eat Enough Fat and Calories: Ensure you’re meeting your energy needs.
  6. Include Fiber: Low-carb doesn’t mean any fiber—add fiber-rich foods.
  7. Alkalizing Foods: Incorporate foods that help balance acidity.
  8. Avoid High MCT Foods: Some medium-chain triglycerides (like coconut oil) can cause cramps and diarrhea; opt for long-chain triglycerides (like olive oil) instead.

Remember, if you experience severe symptoms or prolonged discomfort, consult a healthcare professional

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