We know embarking on a new diet doesn’t always make you feel instantly good, but it can be very worrying when it makes you feel downright terrible.
If you recently cut out carbohydrates for a ketogenic (paleo or other low carb eating plan) and you’re exhausted, dizzy and nauseous you may be suffering from keto flu.
Also known as carb flu, keto flu is the result of your body’s withdrawal from carbohydrates.
When your body switches from burning glucose (from carbs) to burning fat it goes through changes, which aren’t all together pleasant.
If you’re body is used to receiving carbs from the food you eat and then it suddenly isn’t getting them it begins to go into withdrawal.
This means symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, sugar and carb cravings, nausea, difficulty concentrating, sleep issues and irritability.
Most people find the symptoms are worst in the first week of their diet. By week 2 the majority of low-carb dieters are coming out the other side, but symptoms can linger for up to 5 weeks.
1. Add some clean carbs – wholegrains, fruits and vegetables – back into your diet. You can slowly reduce them again when you feel better.
2. Hydrate – dehydration can also cause headaches and fatigue so make sure you drink plenty of water.
3. Exercise – you might not be feeling the treadmill when you’re dizzy, tired and sick but gentle exercise can help you become metabolically flexible. This means you can switch between using carbs and ketones for energy more easily.
4. Drink bone broth – this is the cure lots of people swear by. Brew up a broth in a slow cooker or saucepan to add nutrition, fat, calories, salt and water to your diet. If you don’t feel like you can face making it yourself shop-bought chicken broth can help cure you of keto flu too.
Ease yourself into your diet to avoid keto flu. Start with a low-carb diet rather than ditching carbohydrates completely. Also don’t reduce your calorie intake too much, if you’re going low-carb don’t go low-fat too. Healthy fats such as salmon and avocado are great options to keep in your diet.
Lastly, if you’re feeling unwell, always consult your doctor. We personally feel here at Lumity that the best diet of all is everything in moderation. Scientists say that the ultimate for longevity is the Mediterranean diet.
That means lots of fresh vegetables, olive oil, some fruit and a splash of red wine and dark chocolate when you fancy it.
And, lots of quality time with loved ones, long walks in the fresh air and laughter. Sounds good to us.