The Keto Flu & You: Symptoms and Getting Rid of Them

So you’ve started the 25 Day Keto Challenge and you’re concerned about that dreaded keto-flu, you want to know how you can avoid it… right?

Fine, let’s talk about it.

What is the keto flu?

Think of it as a bunch of different symptoms all coming together to make your life miserable for about a week or two. Okay that’s a big over the top, most people don’t actually experience it too harshly, but at any rate you experience the keto flu just keep in mind that it’s TEMPORARY!

As your body adapts to burning fat for fuel it’s going through changes and sometimes various symptoms are a result of this. When you put yourself into a state of ketosis your body is forced to burn ketones for energy instead of cabs, this is a result of fat breaking down in the body to become energy for you to burn.

Basically your body isn’t used to this and goes into a gentle state of “what the heck is going on!” and throws all these flu like symptoms at you until it fully adapts, but once it does things get so much better very quickly.

Keto Flu Symptoms

This is a simple to understand list of most possible symptoms you can expect to experience. Now, most people only get a few and sometimes switch off between some then will experience others as the previous symptoms fade away until finally all keto flu symptoms go away altogether:

  • Sugar Cravings
  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • Muscle Soreness / Cramping
  • Stomach Pains
  • Brain Fog
  • Slight Dizzy Spells (kind of rare)
  • Weakness
  • Irritability (pretty common)
  • Headaches (pretty common)
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting (kind of rare)
  • Nausea

This list of symptoms does seem pretty close to what you might expect when experiencing a flue which is why the term “keto flu” was coined to describe it. Keep in mind that you’ll probably never experience most of these. Most people typically seem to experience headaches, brain fog and irritability along with some mild weakness in the muscles for a while but everybody is different so this list is here just so you can know what to possibly expect.

How to Reduce Keto Flu Effects

Though it may not be possible in all cases to completely rid yourself of all symptoms, you may still be able to dramatically lower the effects they have on you. Here are some super helpful hints to get you started with that:

  • Keep yourself hydrated every single day- Always drink enough water. You will most likely find that you’re going to take more frequent trips to the restroom to urinate as your body begins to lose tons of water weight in the first few weeks on the keto diet. This means you’re going to want to stay hydrated as a lack of water in the body can often times lead to increased headaches.
  • Avoid heavy lifting & strenuous activity- Yes, this means that if you’re going to hit the gym while your body is adapting to ketosis then you’re going to want to take it very easy for a while. It’s going to be important to listen to what your body is telling you because overexerting yourself during this adaptation phase of the 25 Day keto challenge can lead to dizzy spells and potential fainting which can be dangerous around gym equipment. So don’t push yourself, your body is going to be shedding plenty of weight without working out anyway.
  • Get your electrolytes in- They help, a lot! As insulin levels decrease in the body your kidneys release excess sodium which goes alongside other natural hormones lowering in the body as you reach ketosis. This is a natural thing but it can cause your body to lack in electrolytes for a while during the adaptation phase of the diet. You’re going to want to consume adequate amounts of potassium, salt and magnesium. There are supplements out there to help with this or you can just consume more foods heavier in these things.
  • Sleep as much as possible- This is probably one of the best tips to help you get past the initial keto adaptation phase of the 25 Day keto challenge. Your body goes into a sort of repair mode when you’re in REM sleep, this will help you to adjust more rapidly during those valuable sleeping hours.

Be Sure to Eat Enough FAT!

Your body is transitioning from burning carbs to burning fat so it stands to say that you need to put enough fat into your body in order to give it what it needs. If you happen to be overweight at the time of this keto challenge then you may be just fine and can let your body do it’s thing but you might still experience effects like headaches and irritability until the keto flu stage has fully run its course. Just keep in mind that this keto flu thing is not going to last, you only need to let it run its course and get past it.