A lot of people are starting to switch over to the keto diet. This diet restricts carbohydrates and focuses on foods high in fat, like meat and cheese, and can help with weight loss and diabetes control. The ketogenic (keto) diet can also reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease and improve depression, ADHD, and autism. However, there is one downside, it often leads to what is known as “keto flu,” which is an unpleasant side effect where you feel tired or nauseous because your body isn’t getting enough carbs from food or drink. So if you are making the switch to this diet, here are some tips on surviving the keto flu!
Ease Into It
This is your body’s way of telling you that it isn’t used to running on fat. You need to ease into it and transition slowly, as with any diet. Your body needs time to adapt and learn how to use the new energy source you are feeding it, so don’t be too hard on yourself. If possible, start by cutting out carbs from one meal a day for a few days before making the switch. Doing so will make the adjustment easier on your body and allow you more time to find keto-friendly substitutes or replacements for things like bread and pasta! This allows your body enough time to get ready for such a dramatic change in fuel type.
Drink Lots Of Water
By switching your body over to burning fat for fuel, you remove the carbs that this process needs. This could potentially leave you feeling dehydrated and tired because of withdrawal symptoms. As your body starts to switch over, it will need more fluids than usual so drink plenty of water throughout the day. Dehydration can cause symptoms similar to keto flu symptoms like headache, lethargy, and confusion, so staying hydrated is critical!
Get Needed Exercise
Exercise is a great way to help your body adjust to the keto diet. Not only does it provide the physical activity you need, but it also gives your brain and body a break from all of the new changes.
A moderate amount of exercise will help to ease flu-like symptoms and make the transition smoother. Just be sure to listen to your body and not overdo it! If you feel exhausted, give yourself a break and return to your workout routine later.
Eat Enough Fatty Foods
For your body to start burning fat for fuel, you need to eat enough fatty foods. This can be anything from olive oil to avocado, meat, cheese, or nuts. As mentioned before, this is the main fuel source for your body; it’s what gives you energy and keeps your brain working.
Skipping these foods means that while your body might be running on fat, it isn’t getting enough to give you the kickstart it needs to operate. So make sure that you increase your intake of healthy fats, or else quitting carbs may not be worth it!
Avoid Caffeine & Alcohol
Carbs come in all shapes and sizes, including booze! If you are having trouble with keto flu symptoms, it’s best to avoid alcohol and caffeine because they contain carbs. A couple of glasses of wine or a cup of coffee could undo hours of hard work, and shocking your body with carbs is the last thing you need when trying to adjust.
If you choose to drink, stick to clear liquids like water and club soda and try to take it easy on the alcohol. It’s also a good idea to avoid energy drinks and sodas as they contain high amounts of sugar that could send your blood sugar levels soaring, then crashing, which can cause mood swings or fatigue, making keto flu symptoms worse!
Electrolytes play a big role in helping your muscles contract and relax so that you have optimum levels of energy for exercising, going about daily activities, or just feeling good! Symptoms of a lack of electrolytes include dizziness, fatigue, and nausea, which can increase feelings of keto flu symptoms.
Luckily there are many ways to easily replace electrolytes, such as using supplements like magnesium supplement pills or adding things like celery, blackcurrants, and nuts into your daily diet. They contain high amounts of potassium which is an electrolyte that the body needs to function properly!
Cut Back On Salt
Carbs also come in the form of salt. If you transition over to keto, you should cut back on how much salt you add in cooking and when eating out at restaurants. Your taste buds will soon adjust and start craving lower amounts, but it would be wise to cut down for now.
Sodium plays a big part in fluid retention, meaning that too much can lead to water weight gain (and, therefore, extra bloat). Besides cutting back on the amount you use, make sure that whatever you add is sea salt or Himalayan pink rock salt because they contain higher concentrations of minerals than regular table salt.
Following these tips should help to make your keto flu experience more tolerable and maybe even a little less extreme! Remember that every person is different, and you might have to experiment with a few of these to see what works best for you. Stay strong; the end goal is worth it!