You’ve decided to start a ketogenic diet, everything is going fine, you’ve got through the first few days then all of a sudden you start getting tired, dizzy, lethargic and feel like crap. You may be experiencing what’s known as called keto flu.
Carb withdrawal Symptoms
Carbohydrates are like drugs when you take them away your body attacks you back, so for the first few weeks during the keto-adaptation phase you’re basically checking yourself into rehab. When you’re in rehab, you get withdrawal symptoms, now this is not the actual flu, and it will go away. It could last anywhere up to a week and varies from person to person; you just have to stay strong. If you get keto flu, you’ll be questioning yourself thinking you’re crazy for starting this diet. Try to think positive and keep believing your body will adapt; these symptoms will go away, most importantly just stay psychologically strong.
How to avoid Keto Flu
The most important thing to consider when it comes to preventing and alleviating symptoms of keto flu is your electrolytes intake. One of the top mistakes people make is not getting enough electrolytes there are three important electrolytes sodium, magnesium, and potassium.
Sodium is critical when you are on a ketogenic diet as you are suppressing insulin as now that allows you to burn fat. Insulin is also the hormone that tells your kidneys to store sodium, so when you’re working out, your body is flushing all the sodium out. Your kidneys are just releasing all that sodium so you must replace it by eating salty foods and snacks. Remember do not be afraid of salt and salt your food more than if you were on a standard high carb diet. Drinking a cup of bone broth is the absolute best. Simply save all your chicken or beef bones, cover with water in a crockpot and simmer for at least 12 hours. You can store the broth in the freezer as ice cubes and warm some up daily when needing a sodium fix. Your Keto diet plan should also include plenty of green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds to make sure you’re getting enough minerals in your diet.
Macro Counting on a Keto Diet
Making sure that you’re hitting your macros correctly is important. At least 70% percent of your calories need to come from fat sources. 5% percent need to come from carbs and the rest from protein. Remember this is a low carb high-fat diet (LCHF) and your body is running on fats. You need to make sure you get as close to your macros as possible this is required for your energy.
After following the ketogenic diet for a while, you will soon get used to finding different ways to add fat, using new meals and recipes and eventually you’ll get the hang of it.
So around 20% percent of your calories need to come from protein, if you get too much protein, your body is going to start converting the excess into glucose just as it does with carbs this will keep you out of ketosis. It will also send mixed signals to your body as it doesn’t know what it’s doing, is it supposed to be burning fat or is it still running on glucose.
Protein Intake on Keto
Make sure you don’t go over your protein requirements. It’s best to avoid lean cuts of meat and fish, while these are excellent protein sources they are not going to help whatsoever for hitting your high fat macros for the day. Fatty cuts of meat and fish will be best when keto-adapting.
If you’re going to be consuming protein shakes, then make sure you add some fats to your shakes, such as coconut oil or MCT oil. Reduce the amount of protein powder also as protein intake is easily overdone on a keto diet.
You already know your not consuming any carbs on the ketogenic diet. So green leafy vegetables are the absolute best sources for any carbohydrates. You’re also tracking your net carbs so at the end of the day if you’re tracking your macros don’t forget to subtract fiber from your total number of carbs for the day.
Strength Training and Ketosis
If you are weight training in the gym, make sure you’re allowing yourself enough time to rest if you’re working out. When weight training on a ketogenic diet it will help your body to burn glycogen and switch over into ketosis much easier. But if you start experiencing keto flu you will want to refrain from going to the gym. Your body will be going many physical and metabolic changes and if your training in the gym you may not be allowing yourself enough time to rest. Let your muscles fully heal and recover to reduce any stress when adapting to a ketogenic diet.
If you get keto flu, then it’s recommended to take rest days and focus purely on your nutrition. The dreaded keto flu is just one very short fight that you’re going to overcome. Once you’re out of the keto flu you’re going to feel great, your energy will be elevated as your body makes the switch, and you’ll be triumphal that you stayed strong. If you’re unlucky enough to get keto flu when trying a ketogenic diet just stay confident and keep moving forward.