What is a Keto Flu and How Long Does It Last?

If you have been researching a Low Carb, High Fat diet also known as a Ketogenic diet, you have probably heard about the Keto Flu. But what is a Keto Flu and how long does it actually last?

The Keto Flu are flu-like symptoms that people often get when they switch over from a highly processed diet to a low carb diet that includes lots of fats. A Keto Flu is the feeling of being sick. Everyone is a bit different. for me, I had a huge headache and I felt weak and irritable. I was very grouchy for several days. My boyfriend, Brian, on the other hand, didn’t have any symptoms at all.

 

Here are some symptoms of the Keto Flu:

  • feeling tired
  • feeling sick to your stomach
  • feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • cravings for sweets or carbs
  • leg cramps
  • nausea
  • Nausea
  • irritability

You see, when someone who has been eating a diet full of carbs, sugar, and other processed foods and they suddenly start eating healthy their body doesn’t quite know what to you. It sort of goes into shock. Keep in mind, you are totally changing the way your body processes food. Before your body was a glucose burner and used sugar and carbs for fuel. Now body will become a fat burner and will use ketones for energy. And so your body reacts by going through a sort of withdrawal. It is a normal reaction to the change in the way you are eating.

You see sugar is very addictive, just like alcohol or other drugs. So it only makes sense that the withdrawal would be very similar to what alcoholics go through when they quit alcohol. I was a big-time sugar addict and when I went off the carbs, I literally was sick for 2 weeks. I felt awful for about 3 days. The other days I just felt a little off and sluggish. So in short, the keto flu can last anywhere from 4 to 14 days. I think it really depends on how quickly your switch over your diet.

It is very important to make sure you are drinking a lot of water and you are getting enough electrolytes as your body will lose these since your body will be producing less insulin. So it is important to use more salt. You can add it to your food or drinks. Drinking bone broth is another effective way to increase electrolytes.


I also suggest trying some hot lemon water as a way to help you drink more water. Hot fresh lemon water helps to cleans your system and it really good for your skin.

It is also important to make sure you are getting some extra Magnesium, Calcium, and Potassium. You can do this simply by eating plenty of leafy green veggies, nuts, avocado or Salman. Or you can add a green powder like Keto Perfect Greens.

The good news is once you are in ketosis you will begin to feel amazing.  Most people can tell when they are in ketosis because they feel amazing. Cravings are gone and you have incredible energy. However, if you are not sure, you can always use Keto Test Strips to test your urine and see if you are in ketosis. All you do is pee on the strip and it will let you know if you are in ketosis or not. I used these a lot in the beginning. Now I can pretty much tell by how I feel.

I hope this answers all of the questions out there about the keto flu. The most important thing to know is that the Keto flu doesn’t last very long and it is worth it knowing you are turning your body into a fat burning machine and you are going to be much healthier.

Bad Breath And A Low Carb Diet

Being on a Low Carb, High Fat diet has many health benefits and is very effective when it comes to losing weight. And when you limit your intake of carbs you can put your body into what is called nutritional ketosis. This is a good thing as it means your body is in a fat burning mode. By staying in ketosis you will see the pounds begin to drop and you will lose weight.

Read more about nutritional ketosis here.

However when your body is in ketosis, it can cause severe halitosis in some people. The reason is when you are in ketosis the ketones show up in your urine which is why many people who are trying to get into ketosis use urine strips to see if they reached it.

But ketones also show up in your saliva which gives the breath a very bad odor. Yuck!

I notice it in myself and my boyfriend. It is a sort of sulfur like smell. And it really makes me feel self-conscious. I worry that I am offending people when I am having a conversation with them.

The good news is that there are a few things you can do to help deal with halitosis caused from a low carb diet.

  • Slightly raise your carb intake so you are still in ketosis but not so much that it is noticed in your breath. I up my carbs by adding a few berries to my diet. It is just enough carbs where I am in ketosis, yet my breath isn’t as bad.
  • Drinking a lot of water can help as well as it will help to dilute the ketones and make your breath smell fresher. Try drinking water with lemon or lime.
  • I find that chewing sugar-free gum like trident seems to help. I prefer cinnamon or original.
  • A strong mouthwash may help as well.

I want to note here that keto breath has nothing to do with how you care for your teeth or dental hygiene. It is about the odor caused by the ketones in your body.

Where you one of the unlucky ones who experienced bad breath while going through ketosis? How did you deal with it?

Low Carb Diet Side Effects

ID-100398483There are a few low carb diet side effects, but the biggest one is you will lose fat. And that is an awesome side effect!

But really there are a few low carb diet side effects, especially in the beginning. Some people experience more or different issues because we are all different. Some folks are lucky enough to not have any side effects.

Headache:  I had two side effects from eating low carb. The first few days I had a headache along with a sort of fogginess. I found it a bit difficult to focus on things. But this only lasted a few days.

Leg Cramps: Also I had a problem with being working in the early morning with leg cramps. I still get them once in a while. But I find it happens when I don’t drink enough water. So I make a conscious effort to drink more water throughout the day.

I also found that adding a magnesium supplement along with my daily multi-vitamin helps. Or sometimes I simply add a bit of epson salts to my bath water.

And because most high-fat foods contain less salt, I added extra salt in my diet. I even add a bit of salt to my ice water. I find the extra salt in my diet helps to reduce the cramps. If I want something salty I will often grab a dill pickle and it seems to give me some extra sodium.

Some other side effects are:

Induction Flu: Many people also feel flu-like symptoms in the first couple of days. Some people feel weak and have no energy. Others have a headache like I did. Something that can help is to make sure you are getting enough salt in your diet. Some ways of adding more salt are to drink water with a bit of salt in it or you can just have a cup of chicken or beef bouillon or bone broth.

Heart Palpitations: Some people notice heart palpitations in the beginning as well. Usually increasing your salt intake will help reduce heart palpitation.

Bad Breath: This is something that will pass the longer you are on the diet. Simply use a sugar-free breath spray. I found that drinking lots of water with lemon helped to keep my mouth fresh.

Constipation: Some people have a problem with constipation especially in the beginning. The easy solution is to drink lots of water and make sure you are eating enough green vegetables which include lots of fiber.

Also adding psyllium seed husks in the form of capsules to your diet. I take 4 tablets every day and it keeps me regular. But if you are not comfortable taking tablets, you may want to try Smooth Move tea. It is an organic herbal tea that is very effective with constipation.

These side effects should go away after a few days. The most important thing is to make sure you are eating fat. By eating fat you will not be hungry and your body will be satisfied.

And since many of the foods you eat on a high-fat diet are low in salt, it is important to make sure you are getting enough salt.

Are you eating high fat? If so, I would really love it if you could share any of your side-effects or results with other readers in the comments below. You may be helping someone.

I hope you found these Low Carb Diet Side Effects helpful. 🙂