Whilst ketogenic diets have numerous health and weight loss benefits associated with them, like most extreme dietary and lifestyle changes, making the initial transition is not necessarily going to be smooth sailing. When you cut carbs out of your diet and enter ketosis, chances are you might feel pretty awful for the first few days.
You may have no energy, your might will hurt, you’ll probably crave carbs and sugar like they’re going out of fashion, and all you’ll want to do is sleep. These are all symptoms of something known, colloquially, as ‘keto flu’.
What is ‘Keto Flu’?
Keto flu occurs when people cut carbs from their diets and make the into ketosis, also known as becoming ‘keto-adapted’. Generally, keto flu lasts anything from 3 days, up to 7 days on average. As your body has been so used to getting its energy from carbs for so long, when you take them away you might experience a few mild side-effects. Some even consider keto flu as a form of withdrawal from an addiction!
The good news is that there are things you can do to beat keto flu in the early stages. We’ve already spoken about how to deal with keto flu here on the Ketoship blog, but here are a few home remedies you can try, if you’re serious about stopping the dreaded withdrawal in its tracks;
1) Bulletproof Coffee
When you’re new to keto, the thought of eating fat to lose weight will probably be quite bizarre and may be against your nature. Because of this, a lot of keto newbies are hesitant to eat too much fat early on, and they pay the price. But the bottom line is your body still requires energy, and without carbs you will have little ‘fuel’ until you enter ketosis.
This is why bulletproof coffee is such a great remedy for keto flu, because it floods your system with healthy, satiating and energy-boosting fats, including grass-fed butter and coconut oil. The caffeine also helps to give you that extra boost you might need in the early stages of the keto diet.
2) High-quality Protein Shakes
When you go on keto, you will be looking to move away from sweet and sugary foods, so don’t instantly turn to sugar-free sweet treats instead. These foods and drinks contain artificial sweeteners, which can potentially damage your health.
Instead, opt for a low-sugar protein shake to help kerb your cravings and keep you satiated. It’s better to stay away from sweet things altogether during keto-adaptation, as the sweet taste of ‘sugar-free’ treats may confuse your body and make it think you’re eating sugar, even though you aren’t. This will then increase sugar cravings and that is the last thing you want! Instead, use low sugar or even sugar-free protein shakes to make the transition, and keep hunger at bay.
3) Savory Fat Bombs
If you are eating enough healthy fats then you shouldn’t have a problem, but many people often make the mistake of simply trying to eliminate carbohydrates from their diets while on keto, without actually consuming enough calories. It is still important that you eat enough food to fuel your body, as that is what will help you feel better and enter ketosis more quickly.
In the early stages of the diet, a quick and easy way to top up on your calories is with ketogenic fat bombs. But since we’re avoiding sweet-tasting things (for now), you can try any of these keto fat bomb recipes, but without the sweeteners. It might not taste as palatable – but medicine doesn’t often taste great, does it? In the long run, you will thank yourself.
4) Naturally Flavored Water
There is absolutely no excuse for not drinking enough water when on keto, or any other diet for that matter, so make sure you are getting plenty of fresh water each day. Dehydration causes headaches and fatigue, and that is the last thing you want.
Add a large sprig of mint and a couple of slices of lemon to your water bottle, and be sure to sip it throughout the day. Also, to make sure you are getting enough electrolytes you can take mineral supplements, and add a sprinkling of salt to your water to ensure you’re getting enough sodium. This can help ward off the headaches and cramps that are sometimes associated with keto flu.
Have you tried any of these keto flu remedies? We’d love to know if they helped you with your symptoms, so tell us about it in the comments section below 🙂