Keto Flu or Nutritional ketosis flu carries the symptoms of getting headaches, feeling of lethargy, a runny tummy and insatiable appetite and thirst. 

It’s not like viral influenza, these are rather flu-like symptoms. These are actually withdrawal symptoms from carbs. As your body goes through the change to ketosis, you may experience these symptoms. 

What are the symptoms of keto flu?

what is keto flu
  • Brain fog
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Sore throat
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Muscle soreness
  • Nausea
  • Poor focus
  • Stomach pains
  • Sugar cravings

The process involves your kidneys (the body’s filtration system) switching from retaining sodium (salt) to rapidly excreting it, along with excess water in the body.

 During this process of clearing the extra sodium and water from the body, many people experience rapid weight loss. While it may be exciting to see the scale move in a downward direction, know that this is not true weight loss from fat, but instead water loss or water weight.

what is keto flu

Therefore, it is important that you replace some of the sodium and water that you are excreting because if these are not replaced, it is likely that you will experience symptoms of keto flu.

These don’t last forever, and your body will eventually adjust. Yet the Keto flu can be totally avoided. 

How to Avoid Keto Flu

  1. Start slowly.  Don’t jump straight into the diet. Start slowly.  For the first couple of days, start with a typical low-carb diet.  Get your body used to lower carbs before you restrict them to the extent that you do during the keto diet. Follow our 30-day pre-plan to avoid keto flu.
  2. Drink lots of water. The most common reason that you develop keto flu is due to dehydration and loss of minerals. 
  3. Don’t forget to add salt to your meals. If you eat a good combination of meat, dairy and vegetables you’ll get the minerals you need.  Potassium: Eat fish, meat, leafy greens, winter squash or supplement with 1,000-3,500 mg per day. If you are battling cramps, constipation, or muscle weakness, go for potassium.
  4. Magnesium: Eat spinach, chicken, beef, fish or supplement with 300-500 mg per day. Magnesium helps with keto flu symptoms like muscle cramps, dizziness, and fatigue.
  5. Sodium: Particularly important if you are exercising or live in a hot climate, supplement with 5,000-7,000 mg per day. Cramping is alleviated with proper sodium intake
  6.  Don’t be extreme. You will lose weight on Keto, so don’t restrict yourself drastically when you start out. Our 30-day pre-plan to avoid keto flu tells you that this is a slow yet profitable process. Don’t rush it.
  7. Veg & Berries. Make sure that you get a good amount of non-starchy vegetables and at least twice per week that you add in some low-sugar berries. 
  8. Get Some light to mild Exercise. There is evidence to show that exercising improves your body’s ability to change between fuel sources. Take a 15-minute walk or short run every day. This will help you get back into ketosis, but hey, it’s also good for you. 
what is keto flu

Try stay in Ketosis. You might find yourself cheating out of the process. If you do, (no judgement here! This is a long term goal) You’ll likely get the keto flu.  If you do, follow each of the above steps. It’ll take about 3 – 4 days to get back into it. 

The main thing here is not to give up. This is a long term plan. So if you fall out of ketosis, its not the end of the world. Get back into ketosis using the 6 steps above. The metabolic state of ketosis is a fancy word for burning fat rather than carbs, and it is something you can back into.