The Healthy Way to Kick the Keto Flu

The Healthy Way to Kick the Keto Flu

There are loads of benefits to following a ketogenic diet. After getting keto-adapted -- acclimating the body to use fat as fuel for energy -- you may experience weight loss, improved thinking and cognition, more energy, and even better moods, thanks to fewer spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels.

But “getting keto-adapted” is the key. Keto adaptation might take days, weeks or even months. In the meantime, you may experience a few less-than-pleasant side effects, like bad breath and the keto flu.

There is no known reason for the keto flu, although it is probable that sugar withdrawal, metabolic issues, toxins being released or the process of fat adaptation itself can be to blame.

What are the Symptoms of Keto Flu?

The most common symptoms of the keto flu include headaches, fatigue, brain fog, agitated sleep, moodiness and lethargy. Other symptoms can include:

●  Body aches
●  Chills
●  Constipation
●  Cravings for carbs and sugar
●  Dehydration
●  Diarrhea
●  Dizziness
●  Fever
●  Heartburn or indigestion
●  Loss of appetite
●  Low motivation to exercise
●  Nausea
●  Poor recovery from workouts
●  Trouble sleeping

●  Weakness




Although symptoms of keto flu are unpleasant to deal with, they are only temporary. Symptoms will go away over time, as your body shifts from being a carb burner to being a fat burner.

Sometimes, symptoms subside in a few days, other times longer. Regardless, they can make the first few days of a ketogenic diet miserable.

If a ketogenic diet sounds like something you’d like to try, there are some steps you can take to minimize the impact of the keto flu.

Start Slowly

To make the adaptation process easier, it may be a good idea to gradually increase your fat intake. Your digestive enzymes need ample time to mobilize and handle the higher fat content in your digestive tract. This may minimize or eliminate adverse reactions, like stomach cramping and other gastrointestinal issues.


As your body transitions to a fat-burning state, called ketosis, electrolyte imbalances may give rise to keto flu symptoms. Therefore, it’s important that you replenish sodium and other minerals that your body is losing. These tips can help:

-  Drink lots of water.
-  Consider trying an electrolyte beverage or supplement during the first few days of a ketogenic diet.
-  Take a high-quality multi vitamin.
-  Since the ketogenic diet is mainly composed of unprocessed whole foods, you may need to add a little mineral-rich salt, like Himalayan sea salt, to your meals. A mineral-rich supplement containing ​BHB salt​ may also help.
-  Eat foods that are rich in the nutrients you lose such as magnesium and potassium. Avocado, spinach, seeds and almonds ​can help replenish those nutrient levels.
-  Take Epsom salt baths to replenish your body’s magnesium supply.

-  Sip mineral-rich bone broth.

Go Easy on Yourself
If you have a daily workout habit that includes high-intensity activity, it’s a good idea to take it easy until your flu-like symptoms subside. ​Get adequate sleep and let your body focus on adapting to its new fuel source.


Check In

Some period of adjustment is normal. But if your symptoms don’t improve after a week has gone by, consult your primary care doctor.

Be Flexible

No diet should make you feel miserable. Listen to your body and make changes accordingly. For example, if you’re following these tips and keto flu still takes hold, slightly increase your carbohydrate intake. There’s no such thing as a “one keto diet fits all” plan, so it’s perfectly fine to let your body ease into ketosis more slowly. Doing so may make the transition process smoother, while reducing any flu-like reactions.

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