Feeling tired on the ketogenic diet? Good…this article will give you the keto flu cure for your exhaustion and lethargy.
KETO FLU – Am I Dying?
Alright, you started the ketogenic diet because everyone said it’s amazing – you burn a ton of fat, you have a ton of energy and you get a ton of health benefits. However, after a few, days you feel like crap – fatigue, brain fog, and weakness.
Congratulations, you caught the KETO FLU. Don’t worry, it can be easily fixed and you’ll soon reach the promised land, which is Ketosis. This video will tell you how to avoid the keto flu and what to do to prevent it from happening again.
What Is the Keto Flu
Keto FLU is basically your body’s response to eliminating carbohydrates from your diet.
If you’re eating a regular diet that doesn’t restrict foods, then your metabolism is running on glucose. This prevents your body from using its own fat for fuel. Once you stop eating carbs, you’ll hit an energy crisis – because the the brain and muscles aren’t used to burning fat and ketones.
Symptoms of Keto Flu include
- Low energy
- Sugar cravings
- Brain fog
- Mood swings
- Difficulties sleeping
- Upset stomach
„Wow – I’m not gonna try the keto diet…“
Now, not everyone gets the keto flu and everyone has different symptoms. Usually, it lasts for a week but for some people, it may take even up to a month. When I first wanted to become keto-adapted, I had a few negative side-effects like poorer performance while working out, but my mind was constantly fresh and I was satiated all the time.
Carb withdrawal has a physical basis, but a lot of it is also mental – you think you need carbs when you really don’t.
So, use these tactics and tips to cure yourself from keto flu.
#1 Consume More Electrolytes
THE BIGGEST reason for keto flu is inadequate electrolyte consumption.
When you stop eating carbohydrates, your insulin levels will drop, which means you’ll hold onto less sodium as well. This will make your body hold onto less water but it may also flush out a lot of the electrolytes.
Sodium is an essential mineral and not getting enough will cause muscle cramping, headaches and exhaustion.
The RDA for sodium is 1500-2300 mg/day, which is one teaspoon or 6 grams of salt. Don’t go over 3000 mg/day.
- You should definitely add more salt to your foods when on the ketogenic diet
- Drinking bone broth is another amazing way for getting in some sodium with a ton of other minerals, such as magnesium, calcium and potassium
- Cooking drinks with bouillon cubes works as well
- Pickle juice with vinegar is also great because it has a ton of salt and can fix constipation
Magnesium and potassium deficiencies are common so you want to maximize the micronutrient component of your diet and eat a lot of spinach, avocados, pumpkin seeds, chard, and vegetables.
#2 Drink More Water
Because of the same reason, you should also drink more water. Dehydration causes headaches, nausea, constipation and fatigue.
You should consume at least 8 cups of water a day, but on keto you can even go up to 10. But don’t start gulping down liquids cup after cup because you’ll urinate it all out and still become dehydrated. Instead, add a pinch of salt to your water which will make your body actually absorb the water.
#3 Eat More Fat
Another reason why you get the flu is that you don’t eat enough fat.
Once you ditch the carbs, your body and brain won’t know what to do with ketones yet. You’ll burn some fat but not to its maximum capacity. This will keep you in a state of continuous exhaustion.
To avoid that, eat more healthy fats but you can also consume MCTs. MCTs can be used directly for fuel by the brain and you’ll gain more energy faster.
Exogenous ketones can also be used when you’re coming off a high carb diet and want to get into ketosis as fast as possible, but after you’ve become keto-adapted they get less effective.
#4 Do the Right Exercise
Before you can start producing ketone bodies, you need to empty your liver glycogen stores first.
There are 100-150 grams of glycogen in the liver and you can deplete them within the first 24 hours already.
- You don’t really need to empty your muscle glycogen stores because they’re only used during high intensity exercise where you’re burning glucose for fuel.
- At lower intensities, when you’re staying in the aerobic heart rate zone, you’re already burning primarily fat and ketones for fuel.
So, to increase the uptake of ketone bodies and improve your body’s ability to burn fat for fuel, you want to be doing low intensity aerobic exercise that doesn’t tap into your muscle glycogen stores.
Of course, you should still do resistance training and High intensity interval training, but not as much when you’re first adapting to keto. If you’re not replenishing your muscle glycogen after working out, then you may experience muscle loss and you’ll feel more tired.
#5 Take Some Supplements
We already talked about the importance of getting enough electrolytes and minerals.
Because you can only a very little amount of carbs to get into ketosis, you may still develop some deficiencies even when consuming a ton of nutrient dense foods.
To fix that, you can supplement the most common problems
- Potassium – Estimated daily minimum for potassium is 2000 mg/day and the RDA is 4700 mg/day. You shouldn’t worry about eating too much potassium, unless you’re taking supplements.
- avocados (~ 1,000 mg per average piece)
- nuts ( ~ 100-300 mg per 30g / 1 oz serving)
- dark leafy greens (~ 160 mg per cup of raw)
- salmon (~ 800 mg per average filet)
- mushrooms (~ 100-200 mg per cup)
- Magnesium – RDA is 400 mg/day. If you’re physically active, then pay especially close attention to this because you may get muscle cramps and other problems.
- nuts (~ 75 mg per 1 oz of almonds)
- cacao powder and dark chocolate (~ 80 mg per 1 tbsp cacao powder)
- artichokes (~ 75 mg per average piece)
- fish (~ 60 mg per average fillet of salmon)
- spinach, cooked (~ 75 mg per 1 cup)
- blackstrap molasses (~ 50 mg per 1 tbsp)
- Vitamin D – it’s a fat soluble micronutrient and a hormone that gets produced by the body when you get exposed to the sun. It helps the body absorb minerals such as magnesium and calcium, which is why you want to make sure you get sure enough. Because vitamin D deficiencies are very popular, you should supplement about 4000 IU/day. Some foods, like fatty fish, dairy and mushrooms are also rich in vitamin D. And of course, get enough sunshine and rainbows.
If you want to know what other supplements I take, then you can check out my Amazon Influencer’s Shop page where I’ve listed out some safe products.
#6 Avoid Inflammation
Going on a ketogenic diet doesn’t mean you can’t diabetes or become obese. It’s not about just calories in and calories out.
You have to also consume the right types of foods to reduce inflammation and keep your gut healthy.
- You want to eat as many vegetables, salads and greens as you can.
- Include some fermented foods and sauerkraut for gut health.
- Add spices, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon for their powerful antioxidants and medicinal benefits.
- Don’t eat rancid or oxidized fats.
- Avoid vegetable oils and trans fats
- Don’t use a lot of heat to cook your fats. The best fat for cooking are ghee, coconut oil and avocado oil because they have the highest smoking point. The worst fat is olive oil with a very low smoking point. You should use olive oil only as cold dressing.
- Don’t eat moldy or roasted nuts
- Don’t deep fry your foods and don’t roast your meat until they get very dark
#7 Reduce Stress
In addition to that, you would also want to reduce your overall stress levels. Cortisol elevates blood sugar and insulin, which will keep you out of ketosis.
TOO MUCH STRESS is the biggest reason why people fail on the ketogenic diet. It keeps you from establishing ketosis and eating a low carb sustainably.
Don’t scream at others, don’t get anxious, don’t workout until you pass out, and try to relax more. Read this blog post about how stress affects ketosis.
Keto Flu Cure – The Easy Way
Other than that, it’s quite simple – eat the right foods and stay consistent. Soon you’ll reach the promised land of ketosis.