Everything you need to know about keto flu

-Apr 12, Hannah Hargrave, Health -

everything you need to know about keto flu
You’re tired, dizzy and all you can think about is gorging on carbs and sugar – sounds like you’ve got a case of keto flu! We take a look at what this actually means and how to recover swiftly. 


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.


What is keto flu?


Also known as carb flu, keto flu is the result of your body’s withdrawal from carbohydrates. 


What’s happening to your body?


When your body switches from burning glucose (from carbs) to burning fat it goes through changes, which aren’t all together pleasant.


What are the symptoms of keto flu?


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.


How long will keto flu last?


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. 


How to cure keto flu?


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.


How can I avoid getting keto flu?


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.


If you enjoyed this article you might like to read an expert’s guide to the ultimate healthy breakfast. And these quick and easy tips for nutritious home cooked meals for busy women are fantastic.

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