There has been a recent uptick in interest in the ketogenic diet as a viable weight loss and wellness strategy. High fat content and moderate protein level are the staples of this diet. However, the diet has been associated with a number of unpleasant side effects.
To characterize the symptoms that many individuals experience when they begin a ketogenic diet, dieters developed the term “keto flu,” or “carb flu.”
On this page, you will learn when does keto flu hit, what it is, why it occurs, and how long it lasts.
What’s A Keto Flu?
A combination of symptoms known as the “keto flu” may be experienced by some people when they first begin the keto diet. These symptoms are caused by the body adapting to a new diet that restricts carbohydrates.
When you restrict your carbohydrate intake, your body is forced to switch to using ketones for energy instead of glucose and ketones are byproducts of a ketogenic diet that serve as your principal source of energy.
When glucose is in short supply, the body stores fat as a backup fuel source.
Ketosis is the metabolic state in which the body shifts its energy consumption from carbohydrate to fat. It can happen if you're fasting or starving yourself, for example.
An extremely low-carb diet can also get you into ketosis.
The ketogenic diet limits carbohydrate consumption to less than 50 grams per day, which may trigger withdrawal symptoms similar to those experienced with stopping a stimulant like coffee.
When Does The Keto Flu Hit?
The keto flu usually strikes within the first 24-48 hours of beginning a ketogenic diet, although it can strike at any time. When your body begins to break down glycogen for energy, the onset is determined.
Why Does The Keto Flu Hit?
A lot of water is produced and removed while your body burns through its carbohydrate reserves (glycogen). This is why most individuals lose a lot of weight in the first week on a ketogenic diet. The majority of it is made up of water.
In fact, two to four grams of water are released and removed for every gram of glycogen destroyed. This depletes your sodium levels and may have an influence on your potassium and magnesium levels. Keto flu is essentially a mix of dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Having said that, there is some carbohydrate impact.
Your body strives to acclimatize to not having enough energy during induction and transition. It has been running on carbs and isn't quite ready to switch to fat. The activation of genes that make the body more effective at utilizing fat as a fuel source is a part of the fat adaption process.
Until it happens, your body is attempting to run on two fuel sources. This is ineffective, and your body, particularly your brain, might feel cloudy and tired as a result.
Typical Keto Flu Symptoms
Switching to a very low-carb diet is a big change, and it may take some time for your body to adjust. For some people, this period of transition may be quite difficult. Symptoms of the keto flu may emerge within the first few days of cutting carbs and they vary in severity from person to person and can range from moderate to severe.
While some people may be able to switch to a ketogenic diet without adverse effects, others may have one or more of symptoms such as diarrhea, headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, constipation, stomach pain, irritability, muscle cramps, weakness, difficulty sleeping, sugar cravings, and poor concentration.
These signs and symptoms are common in people who have just begun a ketogenic diet, and they can be extremely distressing.
However, some people may suffer symptoms for a longer amount of time than the average one week. Even while some dieters may quit up owing to these unpleasant consequences, there are strategies to minimize them.
How To Overcome These Symptoms?
Some individuals suggest utilizing exogenous ketones to assist enhance ketone levels in the body until the liver becomes accustomed and produces enough ketones on its own. When the keto flu strikes, exogenous ketones may be able to provide some relief. They should be stopped after day 4 or so, after the body becomes used to them and your blood sugar has stabilized itself.
Staying hydrated, having enough salt in your diet, and taking electrolyte supplements to compensate for the loss of potassium and magnesium are the most important things you can do to prevent dehydration. If you're following a ketogenic diet, your kidneys will become more efficient and you'll need to consume more salt since more sodium gets flushed out.
How Long Can The Symptoms Last?
If you've been eating carbohydrates for a long time, your Keto flu may last a bit longer. Additionally, if you were previously on a “normal diet,” the switch to Keto may be more difficult.
Carbohydrates make up a large portion of the “average” diet. It's also important to get your macros right the first time around. As a result, many people who are new to Keto struggle with this step. Sweeteners, on the other hand, have the potential to be disruptive and to set off the symptoms of the keto flu.
Regardless of when does keto flu hits, and how long it lasts there are more than several ways you can make sure you either avoid them or get over them quickly and efficiently. The symptoms are unpleasant and may disrupt your day to day life so the best thing to do in this situation is to prevent the keto flu symptoms by speaking to a keto diet specialist and developing a diet plan that will work for you and your daily calorie needs. So feel free to send us a message to consult about the start of your journey into the keto world.
Share this post