A significant number of people follow a low-carb diet with a goal to lose weight, or to maintain a more ideal weight. Although time and again, low-carb diets have proven effective when it comes to weight loss and maintenance.
In addition to the benefits associated with a low carb diet, there are some adjustments and side effects that a person must make. This particularly is the case at the start off a low carb diet regiment. One side effect of a low carb diet is what commonly is referred to as keto flu, or low-carb flu.
There are some strategies that can be utilized to lessen the symptoms associated with keto flu. These strategies are tried and tested.
Understanding Keto Flu Basics
Keto flu is the moniker attached to the way some people feel upon starting a low-carb diet. The condition nabs the flu reference because the symptoms are quite similar to those associated with influenza.
Keto flu erupts because a person’s body is used to relying on carbohydrates as an energy source. With the commencement of a low-carb diet, this energy source is eliminated to a significant degree. An individual’s body cannot rely on carbs as a primary energy source when this occurs. Some people equate keto flu to be somewhat like a withdrawal from drugs. As an aside, there is evidence that sugars, including carbohydrates, can be addictive for some people.
The mechanics of a low-carb diet is to transition a person from relying on carbs to burn other fats for energy. The transition period before energy alternatives are being more efficiently utilized is when keto flu occurs. Not everyone embarking on a low-carb diet experiences keto flu. In most cases, keto flu is not particularly long-lasting. Generally, keto flu lasts for several days to a couple of weeks at the outside parameter.
Many people experience multiple symptoms when it comes to keto flu, much like happens in the case of influenza. On the other hand, some people experience only one symptom associated with keto flu. The timing of the onset of keto flu also varies from one person to the next. Some people begin experiencing the symptoms of keto flu a short time after a carb reduction. Other individuals, do not experience this until after at least some time passes before the onset of keto flu symptoms.
Before a person embarks on a low-carb diet, he or she is wise to consult with his or her primary care physician. Although keto flu is challenging and unpleasant, a person interested in a low-carb diet needs to make sure that he or she will not face some other type of issue by altering his or her dietary plan in a dramatic manner.
Symptoms of Keto Flu
As mentioned a moment ago, the symptoms of keto flu mimic those of influenza, at least to some degree. Like the “real flu,” a symptom of keto flu is nausea. Nausea associated with keto flu can be fairly persistent. Over-the-counter medications can be helpful when it comes to addressing nausea associated with keto flu. Of course, the real objective is to find a way in which to eliminate this symptom all together, and such strategies will be discussed momentarily.
-An accompanying upset stomach:
Another symptom of keto flu is an accompanying upset stomach. As is the case with nausea, an upset stomach tends to be fairly persistent during the time period a person suffers from keto flu. As is the case with nausea, over-the-counter products can be useful when it comes to addressing an upset stomach associated with keto flu.
Many individuals experiences headaches with keto flu. A headache associated with keto flu can be relatively severe. An individual headache can last for a more extended period of time. Many people experience sharp headaches when afflicted with keto flu. Although some over-the-counter medications do help, some people do report that these products are not completely helpful in combating headaches associated with keto flu.
-Fatigue and sleepiness:
Two other symptoms of keto flu for some individuals are fatigue and sleepiness. These symptoms arise from the fact that when a person embarks on a low-carb diet, his or her primary energy source is sharply reduced. In addition, some people find it difficult to maintain a solid night’s sleep when first starting a low-carb diet. Other individuals find it challenging to go to sleep when suffering from keto flu.
Dizziness is another symptom afflicting some individuals that experience keto flu. More often than not, dizziness occurs when a person stands or sits. With that noted, s smaller number of individuals experience dizziness more often, including when walking.
Many people find themselves quite irritable when suffering from keto flu at the start of a low-carb diet regimen. The irritability oftentimes is quite noticeable to those around an individual battling keto flu. A person with keto fly may complain of having little patience.
A final symptom commonly associated with keto flu is what many individuals describe asfeeling foggy or experiencing a brain fog. A person experiencing keto flu may find it difficult to focus on a task at hand or to concentrate.
A person typically experiences multiple symptoms simultaneously when afflicted with keto flu. The symptoms associated with keto flu tend to be something of an all or nothing proposition for most individuals who experience this condition when starting a low-carb diet.
Combating the Underlying Symptoms of Keto Flu
A person need not suffer in silence when it comes to the symptoms of keto flu. There are some remedies and strategies that a person can employ to combat the most significant symptoms of keto flu.
Eat More Fats
A person embarking on a low-carb diet to lose weight may find this first strategy counterintuitive. A person starts a low-carb diet to weight less. One way to reduce the symptoms of keto flu is to eat more fats. When a low-carb diet commences, a person loses his or her primary energy source on a temporary basis. A person is no longer drawing energy from carbs.
With the start of a low-carb diet, a person needs to draw energy from fats. An individual can enhance this energy source by consuming more healthy fats. This includes coconut and olive oils.
Yes, fats contain calories. But, the boost in eating fats does not have to last indefinitely and can reduce downward to a more appropriate level once the symptoms of keto flu pass and a person’s new diet regimen has stabilized.
Some experts who have dealt with low-carb diets and keto flu issues have gone so far as to recommend people being quite liberal when it comes to eating fat. This includes fatty meats during the initial transition to a low-carb diet.
Eat More Calories
On a somewhat related note, a person can combat the symptoms of keto flu by taking in more calories. Many people embarking on a low-carb diet eliminate carbs but fail to replace necessary calories from another source. This reduction in calories, without an associated replacement elsewhere, contributes to the symptoms of keto flu.
A person dealing with keto flu symptoms will take in more calories by upping fat intake, as mentioned a moment ago. These two strategies can be coordinated and to go hand-in-hand when it comes to addressing the symptoms of keto flu.
Up Salt Intake
When a person embarks on a low-carb diet, he or she usually develops at least a slight sodium deficiency. A sodium deficiency is another of the factors that contribute to the symptoms associated with keto flu. From a physiological standpoint, a decrees in carbs in a person’s system causes more sodium to be flushed from the system. This results in a sodium deficiency, at least to some degree.
A person need not boost sodium intake a significant amount to make up for a deficiency. Moreover, because of the elimination of carbs, an individual usually has removed junk food from his or her diet. Junk food tends to be sodium rich. Therefore, a person typically does not need to worry about taking in too much sodium in battling a likely deficiency.
Keep in mind that a more significant sodium deficiency can result in serious medical problems. If a person does boost sodium intake, but experiences no relief, medical attention needs to be sought. A person may be in need for a more significant sodium infusion that can be provided through medical intervention.
Drink More Water
Dehydration tends to be a fairly common problem associated with the commencement of a low-carb diet. In addition, many people simply are not appropriately hydrated in the first place.
Dehydration contributes to the symptoms associated the keto flu, particularly nausea, fatigue, and headaches. Upping water intake at the same time carbs are reduced can be effective in many instances at staving off some of the symptoms associated with keto flu.
The amount of water to intake as part of combating keto flu is somewhat governed by weight and overall physical activity. The base line for an average person is about eight 8-ounce glasses of water in a 24-hour period. As an aside, upping water intake oftentimes also helps with the weight loss process overall. Proper hydration results in a person not retaining water, which also does add to his or her overall weight.
Another key tactic that people utilize as a means of combating keto flu is exercise. This can be easier said that done when a person is suffering through keto flu. The nausea associated with the condition can be significant and actually does make exercise challenging for some people. Nonetheless, exercise can be a wise source to take when dealing with keto flu.
If a person is able to get up and moving, however, the benefits are real. The process of exercising as a person commences a low-carb diet provides him or her with what physiologists call metabolic flexibility. The process of exercising assists in the processes of transitioning a person from using carbs as a primary energy source to using ketones. Exercise is thought to speed up this process, limiting the period of keto flu.
When electing to exercise to combat keto flu, a person should start slowly and easily. A perfect starting point is walking as much as possible. This can be done by incorporating walking more directly into a person’s everyday life.
If a person becomes more nauseous or dizzy, he or she needs to stop exercising immediately. A person needs to take care to avoid fainting or becoming injured when exercising to limit the symptoms of keto flu.
Eat a Small Amount of Clean Carbs
Not all carbs are created equally. Launching a low-carb diet can be jarring to a person’s system. Hence, the reason so many people face a battle with keto flu. Keto flu symptoms can be avoided by adding, or keeping, a small amount of clean carbs in his or her diet. Examples of clean carbs include sweet potatoes, legumes, and bran.
Another tactic to avoid, or lessen, the symptoms of keto flu is to slow down the reduction of carb elimination in a person’s diet. Slowing the pace of carb reduction does slow the pace of the benefits associated with a low-carb diet, like weight loss. However, it also keeps a person from feeling ill because of keto flu.
Time and again, people abandon a low-carb diet because of the unpleasantness of keto flu. By slowing the carb reduction process, a person lessens the impact of keto flu, and is more likely to stay on a low-carb diet.
An ideal course to lessen the symptoms of keto flu is to utilize multiple strategies presented here. Indeed, in some cases, keto flu can be avoided all together when a person begins implementing some of these strategies in advance of starting a low-catb diet.
If a person begins to experience more severe symptoms associated with keto flu, he or she should promptly seek medical attention. An appointment should be scheduled with his or her primary care physician.