Okay, so you’ve started your journey on the Low Carb High Fat (lchf) way of eating; now what? Well, one of the first things that most people will experience is the Keto flu. I say most people because there are some lucky few, like one of my daughters, that won’t experience it. For the most part we all go through it but don’t worry I’ll explain why and what to do to help you through this.
When I first heard of the Keto flu I thought tons of sneezing and fevers would be involved. It’s not. Basically, it is your body detoxing itself from all the bad carbs and sugars you have eaten in the past. It is the period of adjustment you are going through from changing fuels. Remember you are going from getting fuel from glucose to now being fueled by ketones. Check out my prior article for more information on this.
First thing I want you to know is that it won’t last forever. It usually lasts 3-5 days and in some rare cases it will take a week to two weeks. After that I promise, you will feel great. So, take solace in that my friend 🙂
5 Symptoms of Keto Flu
Keto flu symptoms are different for everyone; they range from:
3. Mental fatigue
4. Physical fatigue
5. Bad breath
The only thing I experienced was the mental and physical fatigue and it lasted about three days. When I say fatigue, I mean it too. I felt as if I couldn’t do anything, I just wanted to sleep. One of my daughters experienced the fatigue, nausea and headaches and it lasted about the same length as mine. As I stated earlier, my other daughter had no keto flu what so ever; lucky her.
At this point, as you are going through the keto flu you might think about going back to your old eating habits. Please don’t. Once your body goes through the detox stage you will immediately feel great. I remember the first thing I noticed was the increase in energy. It was so strange, one day all I wanted to do was sleep and then, boom I wanted to run a marathon. Trust me, you will hardly remember the keto flu and you will see that for all the benefits it is worth going through that.
What To Do?
Okay so the number one thing to remember is that water is your best friend. Most people are dehydrated anyway plus drinking plenty of water helps flush out the bad stuff from your body as you are detoxing. Also watch your electrolytes because of all the water you are drinking along with the glucose being washed out the electrolytes go too. Try drinking some chicken/beef broth and eat foods rich in minerals such as green leafy vegetables and fish such as salmon.
Another thing you might want to try is taking a mineral supplement. I will be doing a blog specifically about that and will let you know which supplements I take as well. Stay tuned for that 😉
Another VERY important thing to do while going through the keto flu is to load up on your fat intake. The reason for this is to help speed up the adjusting period of your body and because hello fat makes food taste better anyway :p Cook your eggs and really just about everything in butter, put heavy whipping cream in your coffee instead of milk and eat lots and lots of bacon.
On the first couple of weeks of Keto try not to eat too much protein, you want your body to adjust to the fat and sometimes the body can use the excess of protein turning it into glucose which is the opposite of what you want. If you’re going to eat chicken make sure you fry it or smoother it with cheese first. The reason for this is to get your fat in, this will help a lot. Try eating fatty meats and go easy on the full protein at first anyway.
On a side note and this is for females, I would recommend starting this way of eating towards the end of your menstrual cycle. The reason for this is because while we’re on our periods many of us retain water and seriously you don’t want to be going through the keto flu and having cramps at the same time. Also try not to weight yourselves during your period because your weight will fluctuate during this time as well. Don’t worry it won’t last 🙂
I hope this will help you as you go through the keto flu. Don’t give up, it might be your first instinct to do just that and you might start wondering if eating all that fat will actually help you lose weight, but it will. Eating low carb high fat makes sense, our ancestors ate this way for thousands of years and they weren’t morbidly obese. Anyway, let me know if you’ve gone through the keto flu and if you have any other tips to help ease the transition.
Stay strong and remember FAT is your friend!
Read my previous post for more information on the Keto Diet.