During the initial few days or weeks of starting Ketogenic diet, many dieters claim to witness flu-like symptoms including:
- Brain Fog
- In several extreme cases, Hypertension and Arrhythmia
This “flu-like condition” is often termed as Keto Flu and is considered a withdrawal symptom of the body towards the lack of carbohydrate intake in diet. The changes in hormonal mechanisms and electrolyte imbalances induced due to the introduction of Keto diet can sometimes be uncomfortable for the body as it accustoms itself to the new diet. Note that the Keto Flu is not specific to Ketogenic diet but has been observed in other low-carb diets as well.
How Long Does Keto Flu Last?
Since, no two human bodies are alike, the Keto Flu impacts each individual differently and also take different interval to heal. While, some might notice only slight symptoms for a couple of days, a few observe symptoms for more than a week. However, in due time the body adjusts to the new diet and returns to normal. And, when the body does return to normal, dieters report a considerable surge in energy levels. Once, the body adjusts to the low sugar habit, people feel better than ever.
If you are experiencing Keto Flu symptoms, remaining patient is the best thing to do as it is a good sign that your body is getting used to Ketosis. Know that the body will eventually return to normal naturally and the symptoms will stop.
Myths about Keto Flu
Due to lack of knowledge and the sudden change, many people often misconstrue Keto Flu symptoms as harmful and rush back to carbs. This behavior only depicts the body’s strong affinity towards sugar and carbs.
This strong affinity has been developed through years of consuming processed foods, sugar, sugary foods, and drinks to the point that diabetes and blood sugar related diseases are at epidemic levels across the world.
Please know that if you have decided to take the Keto diet, it is a brave decision and will require a little patience from you to obtain the sensational benefits of Ketogenic diet.
Ways to Mitigate Keto Flu Effects
Although, Keto flu can be extremely discomforting, it is a necessary evil because it proves that the body is accepting the new metabolism mechanism. To ensure that you get through the flu in minimum discomfort try the following remedies
1. Replenish your electrolytes:
The primary cause of Keto flu is the lack of electrolytes or minerals found in the body. These electrolytes are important to maintain the body’s water content, acidity of the blood and functionality of the muscles.
Additionally, since Keto reduces insulin levels kidneys may be triggered to discard excess water and along with it essential minerals such as sodium, potassium and magnesium. So, it is must that you replenish on these minerals as supplements in your food.
Add in some salt:
Typically, an average diet is overloaded with salt from processed and refined foods but since Keto diet restricts any such consumption and only focuses on whole real foods, the body’s natural salt intake might drop. Since a low carb diet is naturally diuretic, there is no need to worry about water retention.
Generally, 5 grams of salt daily is ideal for Keto flu and to replenish electrolytes, you can also get it from drinking 2 cups of broth or adding soy sauce and other sauces that have potassium to your meals.
Bone broth works well, and only requires the simmering of chicken, beef, lamb or any meat bones in water for about a day, or even canned broth or stocks from the store works well too, just make sure to read the labels for added ingredients or preservatives that you do not need. Drippings from cooked meat have a high concentration of potassium, so use them to make sauces.
300 mg of magnesium can be taken in supplement form.
Keto flu is a process that most dieters undergo while starting their weight loss or weight gain journey. While it cannot be avoided for some, you can reduce symptoms while your body adapts.
Please contact a doctor if the symptoms become too severe to handle alone.