How to get over keto flu fast
Keto Diet Secret

How to Get Over Keto Flu Fast

When you are on a ketogenic diet for the first time, you are most likely experiencing brain fog and sharp headache that came from nowhere.

These are called the Keto Flu; common symptoms most people experience when starting out keto. It typically kicks in within 24 to 48 hours from the time you stopped eating carbs. It can last for a week to a month for some people until you are keto-adopted.

Don’t panic! This is your body’s natural response to carb withdrawal, and it means your body began the process of detoxing.

Sometimes these uncomfortable symptoms make you manna quit keto.  But don’t worry, you can get through this with tips on how to get over keto flu fast and get the result you wanted!

What is Keto Flu?

The keto flu is the body’s natural reaction to sugar withdrawal. This might come to a shock to you, but sugar is highly addictive substance. That’s why your craving for sugar is maximized during Keto When the sugar intake is reduced.

Good New is that the keto flu is a sign of your body’s transition to using fat as the main fuel source rather than sugar. So think of it as the first step to your successful diet.

Trust me, I went through many ugly symptoms. It was painful and almost like having real flu. But now I think about it, it was temporary, and it was worth going through.

What Are the Symptoms of Keto Flu?

Eliminating the carb-rich food from your diet is a major event for your body and your body reacts to the change by giving you various nasty symptoms.

If your old diet contained a high volume of carbs, this transition is harder than those of you who were on a balanced diet.
Depending on how reliant you were on sugar and carbs, the withdrawal symptoms of keto flu can range from moderate to severe.

The following are common symptoms of keto flu:

  • Sugar cravings
  • Headaches
  • Lack of concentration
  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Stomach pain & Diarrhea
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Brain fog
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Muscle cramping and soreness

Not everyone gets all the symptoms. If you weren’t a heavy sugar lover, your symptoms might be limited to a few and light.

In my case, I started off with sugar cravings and keen headaches early on (about day 2). Then fatigue and lack of concentration kicked in about day 3. They lasted until I finally incorporated those tips to get over keto flue fast.

How to Get Over Keto Flu Fast?

I know the keto flu symptoms make you miserable. Not seeing the end of the tunnel also makes you wonder if it’s even worth it…..

The good news is there are remedies to ease symptoms. Instead of waiting for it to pass by, let’s try these tips and help your body to adopt ketosis faster.

1. Drink Plenty of Water

Drink water of optimal health

As your body is made up of over 80% water, staying hydrated is an essential part of optimal health even if you are not on a keto diet.

This 80% of water retention level declines when carbohydrates intake is reduced. This is because glycogen, a series of glucose molecules linked together, binds with water in your body. And because of a lack of glucose, the water doesn’t stay in your body. This is why you enjoy a quick drop in your weight when you first start a keto diet.

Drinking plenty of water will help alleviate symptoms such as muscle cramping and soreness, fatigue and headaches.
Try to drink at least 6 bottles of 12 fl oz water throughout the day. Sip instead of chugging water to maintain an electrolyte balance.

2. Replenish Your Electrolytes

Glycogen holds water just like a sponge. When glycogen is reduced on a keto, water retention goes down and so does electrolytes.

Deficiency in those electrolytes can cause the following keto flu symptoms:

  • Sodium – Dizziness, feeling weak
  • Potassium – Fatigue, sleeping issue, pulse rate up
  • Calcium – Cramp
  • Magnesium – Sleep problem, cramp

To replenish deficient electrolytes, don’t just buy electrolyte drinks from the stores because they most likely contain sugar.
Instead, add sea salt to your meal, or drink bone broth. Bone broth is a tasty way to supplement essential minerals and prevents from the keto flu symptoms.

My recommendation is Kettle & Fire. Hormone and antibiotic-free bone broth with no additives presrevatives helps you boost energy and get through a keto flu faster. As an added bonus, it is yummy!

Kettle & Fire Bone BrothKettle & Fire Bone Broth Review

3. Eat Healthy Fats

The keto diet protocol requires you to have 70% of your daily calories come from healthy fats. High fat consumption will keep feeling satisfied for a long time and reduces sugar cravings.

Make sure to chose “healthy fat” over harmful fat.

Healthy fat includes:

  • Grass-fed animals
  • Cheese, butter and cream
  • Peanut batter (Yay!)
  • Coconut oil, olive oil, and palm oil
  • Nuts seed, sesame seed
  • Avocado
  • Wild caught fish
  • Lard

Harmful fat includes:

  • Soy, canola, and corn oil (GMO)
  • Margarine
  • Restaurant fried food and food truck

If you need to snack, chose good fat such as macadamia nuts, pork rinds, pepperoni slice, or keto-friendly dark chocolate with over 80% cocoa content.

Sipping a tablespoon of MCT oil or taking MCT oil supplement will also help you suppress the hunger.

Olive oil is healthy fat

4. Maintain Your Carbs

This might sound contradicting to the core principle of ketogenic diet. But there are times you need to increase your carb intake to alleviate the keto flu pains.

This is the case when you are an active person and metabolic rate is high. Because your body will more likely use up a small amount of carbs you consume from low carb vegetables and the carb withdrawal symptom will be severe.

To manage keto flu symptoms, it’s okay to eat a little bit of higher-carb vegetables such as sweet potatoes, peas, and carrots. As long as you don’t go overboard, it won’t throw you out of ketosis.

On the other hand, if you are someone who was previously a heavy carb lover, it is better to start reducing carbohydrate intake slowly to prevent keto flu symptoms.

5. Don’t Exercise Strenuously

I know you are so ambitious to succeed in this diet but an excess work out can actually intensify keto flu symptoms.
Strenuous exercise can lead to dehydration, and while using glucose, you will experience carb withdrawal symptoms – keto flu.

Common symptoms are cramps and soreness in muscles, feeling weak, stomach pains.

To lessen the pain, at least during the first week or two, stick with low-intensity exercises like walking, jogging, and low intense cycling. I enjoy doing yoga on those days I have sighs of keto flu.

High-intensity activities to avoid are cross it, weightlifting, High-Intensity Interval Training), swimming and high-intensity sports such as tennis, rugby and soccer.

Keep in mind that your performance on those low-intensity activities may be not as good during the first few weeks on a keto. So take it easy and focus on get the the right nutrients for now and then slowly increase physical activities.

Light jogging helps get over keto flu

6. Improve Sleep Quality

If you are having a hard time falling asleep or waking up several times at the night on a keto, you are experiencing keto insomnia. Keto insomnia can lead to irritability, fatigue and brain fog and might affect your work performance.

Why do you get asleep problems from keto? This is because of how the sleep hormone, melatonin, is produced in your body.
Melatonin is converted from serotonin, a neurotransmitter that acts as a brain relaxer, when your body releases insulin. Because you are on a low carb diet, you body would not release sufficient insulin to promote melatonin conversion.

To improve sleep quality, try some of below tips:

  • Avoid stimulants like caffeine, cigarettes, alcohol, energy drinks later in the day.
  • Take a bath with lavender essential oil in your bathtub. It helps you relax and wind down.
  • Go to bed about the same time every day and don’t pull all-nighters.
  • Shut off lights and electronics when going to bed. Looking at your phone in bed will stimulate your brain.
  • Avoid oversleeping to set you sleep patterns and improve quality of sleep overtime.
  • Try sleep aid supplements like Melatonin and Glycin. Melatonin helps you fall asleep and Glycin promotes healthier and deeper sleep by calming down your brain.

get quality sleep to get over keto flu faster

Final Thoughts

Keto flu can make you miserable and want to quit the diet altogether. But keep in mind it is a transition period necessary to make you a “fat burning machine” and only temporary.

For me, it was worth it because not only I lost weight I couldn’t lose with a low-fat diet, but also did not crave for sweets which was a great feeling. I can now focus on other tasks because I’m no longer thinking about food all the time.

For the ultimate result, combine a keto diet with intermittent fasting! Read more about intermittent fasting.

While keto flu symptoms can be reduced using the above tips, if you are experiencing significantly severe symptoms such as prolonged diarrhea, high fever and vomiting, please contact your doctor to rule out other causes.

Related Posts:

Ketogenic Diet the Basics

Kettle & Fire Bone Broth Review

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  • Louis

    I’m a little overweight, and I just recently read about the ketogenic diet plan. I think I like the idea behind the keto diet because, I’m sure it would be effective. However, I was skeptical of trying it out because I do not how my body will react to no carbs. Most of my diet is made up of high carb contents, and I did not want to experience energy loss. 

    After reading your post, I would use a month to reduce my carb intake gradually, then I’ll start off my keto diet plan. I’ll be just fine going about it this way. Thanks for your tips, quite helpful

    • Stephanie Kern

      Hello, Louis.

      Thank you for visiting my website and leaving a comment. I think you are very smart to start slow. If your body can handle lower volume of carbs, you can always lower more and see how your body reacts. However, I recommend drinking bone broth to ensure your electrolytes levels are adequate. Wishing for a successful keto journey!  

  • Sammynathaniels

    Hello, I found this to be so informative and interesting. When I found out about the Keto Diet, I thought it was fun but as I learnt here, it isn’t. Sugar is very addictive and takes time and discipline to overcome consuming it.

    Keto Diet has so many good benefits so avoiding carbs altogether is really worth it. I’ll check out for this Keto Flu and apply these steps before consulting a doctor.


    • Stephanie Kern

      Hi, there! Thanks so much for reading my article and commenting. I’m glad you found it interesting! If you are considering starting a keto diet, I strongly recommend incorporating these tips from the beginning so that you can avoid unnecessary symptoms and enjoy the journey. Please let me know how you are doing once you start the keto.

  • Linus Udochukwu Marvellous

    Wow, I am so amazed. I watched my sister go through these symptoms but I never knew she was having keto flu. I actually tried to help by giving her pills that will help get rid of those symptoms but it was like we were making it worse. Now I know better how to fight it whenever it comes up again although she is better now. Thanks

    • Stephanie Kern

      Hi, Linus. Thanks for commenting on my post. I’m glad your sister was able to get through keto flu. I’m wondering what pills you gave her for the symptoms because I never heard of any mediations for those. Thanks for visiting!

  • Ayodeji

    This is a very important information especially for anybody who is about starting a keto. It’s very necessary to note these so it won’t be termed as a medical condition with unnecessary treatments. Good work putting this out, it shows not only you want others to have this treatment but to also be safe while at it with no regrets. Keep up the good works. 

    • Stephanie Kern

      Hello Aypdeji! Thanks for your comment. I really hope people who is considering a keto diet will read this article before jumping into it because the keto flu is not a joke. If you incorporate these tips, your journey will be so much more enjoyable.

  • Seyi

    As they say that health is wealth. I wanna commend you for this educative post. I would like to share my experience on how I gradually reduced my sugar intake. It was not a pleasant journey but I came out successful. I had to cut down on the sugary things I take, I used to be addicted to coke, I had to start taking my come by adding a full glass of water to it till the cravings for Coke died. We all gat to do all it takes to live healthy. Thanks for this health tips.

    • Stephanie Kern

      Good afternoon, Seyi. Thanks so much for reading my article and commenting! I’m glad you were able to reduce your sugar intake successfully. I was also addicted to diet coke AND sugary sweets! So it was a quite tough road but after all, all my patience and effort to cut back on sweets paid off. Now I don’t have much craving for sugar 🙂

  • Kehinde Segun

    Hi there

    I am glad to have stumbled to this healthy post. The truth is in as much our body needs sugar, an excess of sugar is really addictive. I have found myself in the position of not wanting to take low no sugar foods because of fear of diabetes. It was actually tough in the beginning. I actually cultivate the habit of drinking lots of water and some energy drinks too. I always pay attention to my sleeping routine. That was how I got away with the flu 

    • Stephanie Kern

      Hello, Kehinde! I’m glad to hear that you got over the keto flu! You were smart to drink lots of water and paid attention to sleep quality. Please spread the word that keto flu can be beaten if you incorporate those tricks. Thanks for commenting.

  • Tsquare

    This is an helpful tip for getting over keto flu fast. I know there is no other way to achieving this than to follow all the helpful info here. This piece will be helpful for my wife. I have to encourage her to take less of sugar even though I love taking sugary stuff myself. People that I know who have achieved great success at getting over this have always been very disciplined and have serious self denial. 

    Will keep checking this blog for further info about how to look healthy

    • Stephanie Kern

      Hello, Tsquare! Thanks for commenting on this article. Yes, almost everyone who starts a keto diet suffers from one or more keto flu symptoms. No exceptions unless you were already eating low carb as part of routine diet. Please tell your wife that It is in deed hard to cut back on sugar if you are a sugar lover but if you have a set goal to lose weight, believe in yourself and start slow. Wishing her a successful keto diet journey! Thanks again.

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