When beginning the keto diet, it is likely that you have heard about the keto flu. Yes, the keto flu is a real thing but do not panic! Here are 10 keto flu symptoms and how to avoid them!
You do not need to panic!
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If you haven’t yet started the keto diet, you can find out some of our best times here:
Or, you may have already started moving into the keto diet, and now experiencing some flu like symptoms that you want to suss out if it is the keto flu or just the regular flu or stress.
It is likely to be the keto flu.
So what are the symptoms of the keto flu?
Everybody will have a different experience when it comes to the keto flu.
Some may have all these symptoms plus more (oh dear!), some may have one or two symptoms. And some (the lucky ones) will not have any symptoms!
- Sore head
- Upset tummy
- Brain fog
- No motivation
- Dizziness or lack of balance
- Sugar cravings
- Muscle Cramp
You may be thinking, hold on this is just the regular flu! Well, yes that is also true.
The difference being, that the cause of these symptoms is due to your body changing its fuel systems. Rather than ‘catching a bug‘.
Ouch My Head: Headaches
The main cause of headaches in this case is lack of water. When you start moving into the keto diet, your need for water increases significantly.
If you are experiencing extreme thirst, it is a good idea to increase your electrolytes.
Headaches are basically the way that your brain is communicating with you that something is not quite right. In this case its not that you are doing something wrong, so feeding the brain a lot of water is the best way to rid this symptom.
Energy Suckers: Fatigue, No motivation, Brain Fog, Dizziness, irritability
Yup, that’s right! The first week of starting keto can be heavy on your body!
You may experience one, a couple, or all of these energy reactions to the keto flu. This is very hard to move through, however not impossible!
You need to keep your mind in a positive place and think positive thoughts (more than this will be over soon!).
Think about the benefits, what you will achieve on the other side of this flu, the way your life can play out.
Think about why you wanted to start this journey in the first place, what is your dream result? These things will help you push through this energy lull.
The light at the end of this tunnel, is that the energy lull will not last long, then you will wake up one day and have an abundance of energy.
Keep aiming for this day.
The energy suckers is good to know about particularly if you are working or a stay at home mom. Through these next few days, allow yourself down time throughout your day to allow yourself to catch your breath.
If you are too busy and cannot add breaks to your day, at least be kind to yourself and tell yourself that it is okay if you are feeling lousy.
Tell yourself that this is just all part of the keto game, and the outcome is so worth it.
It might be wise to not make any huge life changing plans during this time. Buy yourself some time until you can think with clarity once more.
Am I Just Sick?: Cough, Nausea, Muscle Cramps
Well, you may be ‘just sick’ but it is much more likely to be your body adjusting to its change in fuel.
Like everything, there needs to be an adjustment period.
A cough is frustrating – especially if you do not want to take sugary cough drops to solve it! There are some very natural ways such as warm herbal teas or bone broth is fantastic.
Nausea is the worst!! There is nothing worse than having to have numerous trips to the bathroom especially if you’re not at home.
Perhaps you may like to start the keto diet late in the week so it is more likely that these symptoms occur in the weekend so you are at home rather than out and about.
I had nausea pretty bad my last round of starting keto, and it was horrible. One huge thing that helped me was bone broth. You can grab some amazing stuff here, or learn to make your own.
I was super cynical around bone broth and its ‘healing powers’ but honestly, I’m totally a believer now!
My cause of nausea was a lack of water. I was drinking a LOT of water, but it wasn’t impacting positively at all. That’s when I realized that I didn’t have enough electrolytes.
I think this is why the bone broth worked so well.
Muscle cramps are very painful, and if you can avoid them you should!! They are most likely to occur at night as you are lying in bed. A great solution is to ensure you are well hydrated before heading to bed.
Oh dear, your body has gone into shock as you have cut off all sugar supply!!
Up to the point of starting the keto diet, your body has likely relied on sugars for fuel. It gains these sugars predominantly from carbohydrates and sugars that you eat.
Now that you have started the keto diet, this fuel source is heavily reduced.
Your body now needs to adjust to using fats.
The body is a highly, highly intelligent being and it knows that to survive it needs to have accessible fuel. It has been programmed to gain fuel from sugar because of its quick conversion to fuel.
However, your body is more than able to use fat as fuel, you just need to train it. If you have ever trained a puppy, you will know that training takes more than one day!
So, do NOT give into your sugar cravings.
Every time you give in and eat sugar or carbohydrates it is like hitting reset on your training. The body receives sugar from you, and expects more.
Push through this and your body will become fat reliant.
This is the most difficult stage of the keto diet. Especially those of us who are highly addicted to sugar and carbohydrates.
Related Topic: How I quit sugar for good!
Avoiding the Keto Flu
In some cases, avoiding the keto flu altogether is possible. This is hugely dependent on your own body and your eating habits prior to beginning the keto diet.
Here are our 5 best tips to avoid the keto flu altogether!
Please be kind to yourself, love your body, and know that your body will adjust if you push through.