The ketogenic diet is known as a natural way to lose weight and improve the health of individuals. The diet is relatively low in carbohydrates, high in fat and it is moderate in protein.
Although the diet is said to be safe for most people, it has some unpleasant side effects.
One of the side effects is keto flu, which is also known as the carb flu, is a term often used to describe the symptoms they suffer when beginning the diet.
This article covers what the keto flu is, the reasons it happens, and how to ease its symptoms.
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What is the keto flu?
The keto flu is a series of symptoms that occur to most people when they first begin the keto diet.
These symptoms, which feel very similar to the flu, are mostly caused by the body adapting to a new diet consisting of relatively little carbohydrates.
The keto flu is a collection of symptoms and series of discomfort experienced by some people when they begin the keto diet. These symptoms, which share similar features to the flu, occur when the body starts adapting to a new diet consisting of relatively little carbohydrates.
Reducing your carbohydrate intake forces your body to make use of ketones for energy instead of glucose.
Ketones are the end products of fat breakdown and become the main source of energy when following a ketogenic diet.
Normally, fat is reserved as a secondary source of energy to use when glucose is not available.
The process of burning fat for energy is called ketosis. It occurs during specific circumstances, most especially starvation and fasting.
However, ketosis can also be reached by adopting a very low carbohydrate diet.
This drastic reduction mostly comes as a shock to the body and is most likely to cause some withdrawal-like symptoms, similar to those experienced when resisting an addictive substance like caffeine.
5 signs you are undergoing ketosis:
1. Frequent urination:
You will find yourself urinating more often as you begin a keto diet. This occurs because your body uses up all its glycogen which is the storage form of carbohydrates in the body. Glycogen then holds the water in your body, which is why you release water by urinating. Frequent urination can be a major problem because it mostly leads to dehydration.
Keto flu is also known to cause nausea in its early stages as the body is still getting used to the different new systems of food being digested by it. A good way to get rid of this symptom is to increase the number of electrolytes taken into the body, the most common source is table salt, so you are advised to increase your salt intake.
3. Excessive sweating:
Another symptom of the keto flu includes sweating. Sweating is a rather normal phenomenon. It’s is the natural way a body cools itself. When an individual is on a super low carbohydrate, high-fat keto diet, sweating can be a little intense, especially at night or when out and about doing simple exercises.
It is nothing unusual in the early stages of the diet. Starting on a keto diet will make you sweat a lot. You see, carbohydrates normally allow the body to absorb and store water at a fairly high rate. This means for every gram of carbohydrates you take, the body also stores around 4g of water.
So when getting into a low-carbohydrate, high fat keto diet, and the body will get into a state of ketosis which also means it drains stored fluids faster than a bullet train, in the form of sweat as well as urine.
4. Weight loss:
Ketogenic diets and normal low-carbohydrate diet are known to be frequently responsible for weight loss, you will experience weight loss from as early as the first week after adopting a ketogenic diet.
5. Loss of appetite:
A lot of people report decreased hunger when following a ketogenic diet. The reasons why this happens are still being investigated. However, it’s been suggested that this hunger reduction may be caused by an increased protein and vegetable intake, along with alterations to your body’s hormones.
The ketones themselves may also affect your brain to reduce appetite
You will likely experience both short- and long-term weight loss when switching to a ketogenic diet
Always keep in mind that sweating and frequent urination occurs in the early stages of ketosis. When the body adapts to the series of changes in the diet, these symptoms normally go away on their own.
How soon does keto flu start?
The time keto flu starts varies with every individual, but most people report that mild symptoms of the keto flu often occur within 24-48 hours of following a strict keto diet. This window can vary for some, however, it is highly unlikely to take more than seven days of strict adherence to the diet to start feeling keto flu-like symptoms.
You can also check the number of ketones in your system by using the keto strip which makes use of your urine or your blood sample to test for the number of ketones in your system.
- Keto electrolytes: Individuals following a ketogenic diet should be very focused on increasing their consumption of electrolytic substances example: sodium, calcium, potassium, and magnesium to avoid unpleasant symptoms like headaches, muscle cramps, and fatigue.
- Magnesium plays a very important role in more than 300 enzymatic systems within your body. They include Nerve function, production of energy, protein synthesis, regulation of blood pressure, and blood sugar control.
- Calcium is known as the most abundant mineral in your body, and it is very vital for the success of the keto diet
- Sodium plays a very important role within the body, influencing fluid levels, blood pressure, and muscle contractions.
- Lastly, you may know potassium best by its presence in food sources like bananas.it is highly recommended for hypertensive patients. Potassium also helps prevent or lessen the severity and duration of muscle cramps.
How to get rid of the keto flu naturally
1. While the general idea is to allow the body to adapt to the sudden dietary changes, keto specialists often suggest that sweating on the keto diet can be managed so you won’t feel drenched while asleep or when doing mild exercise or regular daily activities.
It is important to know that when sweating a lot, it is very important to protect the body from dehydration.
The usual 8 glasses of fresh water are sufficient enough, but you can try to increase the intake by 2 extra glasses if you may. You can also Water infused with herbs or lemon, it offers great results to the skin.
2. Getting lots of sleep: individuals taking the ketogenic diet are expected to get a very healthy amount of sleep, in order to ensure that they have maximum energy and are able to go about their daily activities.
3. Avoidance of strenuous exercise: They are also implored to avoid any strenuous and extra physical exercise in order to save the maximum amount of strength possible and get effective body rest.
4. Eating sufficient fat: individuals partaking in a ketogenic diet are also implored to eat sufficient fat in order to make up for the low carbohydrate intake and generate other forms of energy in the body.
5. Always check your urine regularly: check the colour of your urine regularly, a clear or pale colour means you are properly hydrated. Dark urine means you have to take more water as your water intake is running low.
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