What is the Keto Flu?

bacon wrapped chicken

When you drastically and suddenly remove carbs from your diet you might experience Keto Flu. (Another name for it is Carb flu)

Are you starting to feel dizzy, tired, headache, diarrhea, irritable, crave sugary foods and are nauseous? Don’t worry you just might have a dose of the Keto flu. These signs and symptoms are your body’s reaction to limiting carbs in your diet. In a short time all these symptoms will pass and you will be on the path to weight loss as your body become used to burning ketones instead of sugars.

Why do We get the Keto flu?

Our body’s first choice of energy is to burn carbs, but if we limit our carb intake our bodies must now adapt and start burning fat for energy.  When the body starts burning fat as its primary energy source, you are in what we call Ketosis.

So if you are like me and millions of other people around the world who for the last 15 to 70 years have been on the high carb way of living, switching over to low carb will have some effects on the body. Here are some of the signs and symptoms and the ways to limit the effects.

What are the symptoms of Keto Flu?

The most common symptoms of low carb flu might be

  • Headache
  • Brain Fog
  • Sudden cravings for carbs
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping

How Long Can Keto Flu last?

As everyone is different it is impossible to say exactly how long the Keto Flu will last. But most people get it in the first week or 2 of Ketosis, and it will last about 2 days. Some people can have the symptoms for up to a week or more, but that is quite rare.  If you are one of the lucky ones and don’t get it then give yourselves a big High Five!  But for the rest of us here are a few ways to limit its effect on our bodies for the few days of the Keto flu.

Keto food vegetables

Tips to manage Keto Flu.

  1. Add more salt to your diet

    As we enter into ketosis our bodies will not retain the amount of salt we normally are used to retaining because our insulin levels have gone down. Simple way to increase your salt intake is to drink a cup of hot bouillon when you start to feel the signs of the keto flu starting to come on.

  2. Drink more Water

    Drink at least a gallon of water to keep yourself hydrated during this time. Here is a handy calculator to see how much water you should consume in a day.

  3. Exercise more

    This might be the last thing you want to do right now, but if you get up and take a walk around the block it will start to loosen up those achy and tight muscles. And the fresh air will do wonders to that brain fog.

  4. Eat more Fat

    Up your fat intake during this time might help with some of the side effects of keto flu. If your cravings for that puff pastry and that yummys carb loaded jelly doughnut are getting intense. Do the opposite, add some extra coconut oil in your coffee or fry up some bacon. Once you see the effects of being in ketosis it will become alot easier.

  5. Add some extra carbs

    Maybe if all else fails you need to add in some healthy carbs. Try eating a banana some other piece of fruit to help you over the hump.


Keto food vegetables

While the symptoms of the Keto flu might be painful or a little bit uncomfortable. The results will be life transforming if you can just make it through the next few days. But if it become unbearable, try adding some extra fruits and vegetables to your diet til you can get it under control.

Once you get use to being in Ketosis you will feel energized and those pounds will fall off effortlessly!