The Keto Flu :: What Is It + How To Cure It. Signs and symptoms of the keto flu timeline, when it starts, how long the keto flu lasts and some remedies to help you feel better.
Thanks to eating clean keto, I lost 50 pounds in 6 months! It has changed my life, and helped me to become the healthiest and happiest version of myself.
One of the top questions I get asked is if I had the keto flu, when I got it, how long the keto flu lasted, and how to cure the keto flu. Here is my experience with the keto flu.
What Is The Keto Flu?
After you first start your keto diet, you may experience the keto flu. The keto flu is a collection of symptoms that are a sign that your body is entering into ketosis. Normally, your body uses carbs as fuel for energy. But after starting the keto diet, you restrict the amount of carbs you’re eating. Your body adjusts to using fat as fuel for energy.
During this transition, it is possible you will have the keto flu. It doesn’t happen to everybody, and the severity varies a lot too. I just want you to be aware of it, because while it doesn’t feel great, it’s actually a good sign! It’s your body going in to ketosis! Think of it as your body detoxing from sugar, carbs and artificial ingredients.
Many people give up once they experience the keto flu. BUT DON’T! It doesn’t last forever, and as soon as it passes and your body is adjusted to fat fueled you’ll feel better than you’ve ever felt. I promise.
Keto Flu Symptoms
I personally experienced the following symptoms:
- muscle aches
Other symptoms other followers of mine have experienced and reported to me:
- brain fog
- major sugar and junk food cravings
For me, it felt really similar to a hangover. Which in a way, it sort of is. A hangover from carbs and sugar.
When Does The Keto Flu Start?
For me, I got the keto flu around day 7. But it varies a lot when you get it. Usually somewhere during the first 10 days.
It can be jarring, because when you first start eating keto you’re so excited about your new healthy regime, and actually feel pretty great the first few days. But after your body has burned through the last of it’s carb and sugar energy sources, the keto flu can hit.
Remember, don’t let this cause you to quit!
How Long Does The Keto Flu Last?
My keto flu symptoms lasted for about 5ish days. Again, how long it lasts and the severity varies a lot from person to person. It felt like a lot of the 2nd week of first starting keto I felt pretty crummy.
The good news is, IT GOES AWAY! By the 3rd week, I’ve never felt better! I had tons of energy! I was sleeping better than I’ve ever slept! I had almost no junk food cravings. And I was super chipper and happy again. If you’ve ever been pregnant, it felt similar to as soon as your 2nd trimester hits and all of a sudden you feel great again!
Luckily, the keto flu lasts no where near as long as that 1st trimester nausea. If your keto flu is lasting longer than 2 weeks, I would say that’s not normal. Might be a good idea to check with your doctor at that point.
Keto Flu Relief + Remedies
Sadly, there is no quick fix for the keto flu. Just like there is no quick fix for the regular flu or a hangover. It’s just one of those things you have to get through.
There are some steps you can take to find keto flu relief:
- Stay Hydrated: What helped me the most was drinking tons of water, and staying really hydrated. This also helps me a ton when I have the regular flu or a hangover. Water helps to cure all!
- Take It Easy: If you can, rest more. I didn’t push myself to do any strenuous exercise or activities while I was feeling the effects of the keto flu. When my kids napped, I would lay down too. Just allow my body the ability to heal itself and get adjusted to being fat fueled.
- Get Extra Sleep: Your body does the most of its healing while you are sleeping, since it doesn’t have to divert any additional energy. Get as much sleep as you can. Go to bed early. This will fast track your body into switching over to fat fueled, and hopefully shave a few days off of the duration of your keto flu.
- Eat Lots of Vegetables: I want to feed my body really good nutrition while it is adjusting to the keto diet. I would try and get in as many vegetables as I could, especially dark leafy greens like spinach and kale. Use them to sauté with your eggs at breakfast, or eat them raw in a salad. Nutritious food is natures best medicine.
Make Sure You’re Eating Enough Fat: If you’re feeling any nausea, dizziness or major food cravings, make sure your body is getting enough fat. Not only will the fat fill you up more, but it also satiates you for way longer than carbs. Some of my favorite quick fat sources:
- sliced avocado drizzled with olive oil and salt
- spoonful of my favorite mixed nut butter
- using a big helping of olive oil or ghee when cooking my vegetables
- add some ghee, grass fed butter or coconut oil to your coffee or tea
- adding on delicious and fat rich sauces like my pesto, chimichurri, mayonnaise, hollandaise sauce, lemon garlic aioli, guacamole, pesto aioli, etc onto my meats and proteins
You Can Do Hard Things!
More than anything, I want to encourage you that if you do experience the keto flu it’s totally normal and will not last forever. Don’t get discouraged or off track!
I know it’s hard to stay motivated when you’re not feeling great. But stick it out! The best things are worth fighting for, and there is nothing better than being in good health.
It helped me a lot to shift my thinking, and rather than focusing on how crummy I felt I chose to focus on how excited I was that my body was healing and detoxing itself.
Once you’re on the other side, you’re going to feel better than ever!