Beginning the keto diet inevitably puts your body through radical changes. Depending on what your diet used to be like and how your body adapts to drastic alterations, many people undergo the feared "keto flu." Having this flu is no fun by any means and some people have even reported it lasting for weeks at a time. But, there are ways to beat it and symptoms to look out for. So once you familiarize yourself with it, you can have an easier time nipping the keto flu in the bud.

a girl holding her stomach in pain

What Is The Keto Flu?

When you put your body through something as drastic as the keto diet, it needs time to adjust. The keto flu stems from your body having to burn fatty acids for fuel. The body will naturally burn carbohydrates for fuel, but when you switch to a low-carb diet you're encouraging your body to burn fatty acids instead. The keto flu is merely your body's response to the changes its undergoing.

Common Symptoms

Try not to panic if you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms because they're quite similar to the common cold. You'll need to treat the keto flu with different remedies, but chances are that you're not going to experience anything you haven't felt at least once before.

Here are some telltale signs of the keto flu:

  • Sugar cravings
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach pains
  • Nausea
  • Irritability
  • Muscle soreness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Insomnia

The symptoms will usually start to affect people within a day or two of removing carbohydrates from their diet.

How Long Does The Keto Flu Last?

For the average person, the keto flu lasts about five to seven days. However, there have been reported cases of people battling it for the better part of a month. Normally, you wouldn't have to worry about this as you'll more than likely fall into the week-long category. That being said, it's important to be prepared because you never know how long you'll be dealing with it and everyone is different.

woman holding her head in pain

Keto Flu Remedies

There are a few ways that you can soothe the symptoms of the keto flu and here are some of the best remedies out there.

Refuel On Electrolytes

An electrolyte deficiency has been known to cause a slew of health problems including systemic interruptions and fever. Starchy fruits and vegetables are some of the best foods that deliver natural electrolytes into the body. On a keto diet, you're cutting out a good majority of those foods and your body needs to adapt. When you're on a keto diet your options to replenish electrolytes are a bit limited, but you can increase your salt intake, have keto-friendly foods that are high in potassium, or up your magnesium intake.

Get Some Rest

This is true of any common illness really. If you find yourself dealing with the aforementioned symptoms then you should try to get at least seven hours of solid sleep to help your body adjust and heal. Getting a good night's sleep also reduces stress, which is something you'll desperately need when battling flu of any kind. Before settling in for the night, try to find the best sleeping position for your body to ensure maximum levels of comfort without exacerbating any muscle soreness that accompanies the keto flu.

Have Some Bone Broth

This is one of the top remedies suggested for people suffering from the keto flu. As we just mentioned, potassium, sodium, and magnesium are the top ways to boost your electrolytes on a keto diet. Bone broth is a dish that packs a good amount of all three, so ingesting some of this is bound to help you ease some of the symptoms.

a woman sleeping in bed

Ingest Healthy Fats

The fat that you're looking for on a keto diet is typically found in eggs, coconut oil, butter, red meat, and cream. When you're battling the keto flu, you need to keep your energy levels higher than that of the average hibernating bear, and these healthy, keto-friendly fats help you do that. Scoop a spoonful of coconut oil into your coffee or tea in the morning or consider investing in eggs as a midday snack.

The type of fat often ingested during the keto flu is medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) and you can find them in various foods or in supplement form. MCTs are a kind of healthy fat and have several health benefits, which is why people turn to them in times like these. Studies have shown that MCTs can also safely be used as part of a weight loss regimen but in moderation.

Keep Yourself Hydrated

As with traditional illnesses, you want to keep yourself properly hydrated. One of the best ways to do this on a keto diet is to increase your water intake. A popular equation for those looking to get more water on a keto diet is to take your current body weight and divide it by two. The sum you get equals the ounces of water you need.

Perform Light Exercises

Working out when we're feeling under the weather sounds like a definite no-go, but performing something easy-going like yoga or going for a quick walk around a block or two is what most people lean towards. As your body adjusts to the new regiment, you'll need to take care of it by exercising more, even when you're not feeling well. Light exercises will help you keep your stress levels low as well.

Take Exogenous Ketones

If you're new to the diet, "exogenous ketones" might look like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo, but it's really just a supplement that you can take to increase your ketones. Ketones are important when you're on a keto diet because they help you break down fats and turn them into energy when your carb intake is low. This supplement is crucial at a time like this because it helps restore your energy levels and fight off symptoms of the flu entirely.

a person laying in bed next to their eyeglasses

Now that you're a little more familiar with what the keto diet and how to combat it, you can pass on the message to anyone in your life who may be considering a keto diet. You can always reap the benefits yourself and better protect yourself from the infamous keto flu.

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