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. In the past, your body was a glucose burner and used sugar and carbs for fuel. Now your 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.

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 Salmon. 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.

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12 thoughts on “What is a Keto Flu and How Long Does It Last?”

  1. Hi Wendy!
    Great post about body adapting to change of diet style.
    We Indian are rice eaters and actually, I wanted to change from rice to other food. When I do not take rice a day I feel the feelings you mentioned in your post. Mainly I feel week, like stomach going weak and so on. Now through your post, I understand it is is a sort of keto flu. Therefore, I understand that by tolerating the keto flu for few days by taking sufficient salt, lemon, and water our body will be adapting the change of foodstyle.
    Thanks for your sweet post!

  2. Great post, really informative for my situation. You definitely clarified a few things for me as to why this sort of flu was hitting me and why I was feeling so uuugh. I definitely felt sicky from the change in my diet so I’m glad I know this is a common side effect now. Thanks 🙂

  3. Thanks fоr once аgаіn gіvіng us рrасtісаl аdvісе/еxреrіеnсе that is ѕсіеntіfісаllу sound! I lеаrn ѕо muсh frоm уоur articles and read аlmоѕt еvеrу one thоrоughlу. I hаvе friends wіth ԛuіtе ѕеvеrе fructose malabsorption, аnd fоllоw a lоt оf health/digestive аdvісе blogs, ѕо thаt ѕауѕ a lоt! Blеѕѕіngѕ tо you, sweet frіеnd!! Thаnkѕ for ѕhаrіng thіѕ with us!

  4. My body might have gone through this at a point without me knowing because I am not constant on what I take. I decide today that I want carbs at least to fill me up and some other times when I feel heavy I feel I want to diet.thanks for the article, I think for now I know what to do with my body .

  5. Hi Wendy, interesting article you have here. I have heard of Keto Flu but it’s true like what you said – not everyone has them. I have similar symptoms lately, but I am not on a keto diet – so that makes me wonder too. But I am cutting sugar out of my diet – so perhaps that’s the cause? Thanks for this!

    1. They say that sugar is more addictive than cocaine. So I t would only make sense that going off of it would cause some sort of reaction.

  6. Hi Wendy Thanks for this info on keto flu. You’ve provided good detailed information to people going through feeling awful when trying to move into the ketogenic lifestyle.
    The tips on increasing salt and electrolytes are pretty important for a lot of people when transitioning from a carb rich diet to keto.
    I think many people would give up after a few days of feeling horrible if they don’t understand what is going on with their body.

    1. You are right, Ann when you say most people would quit when they start feeling sick while starting out with a keto lifestyle. A strong desire to become healthy helps keep most people motivated. The good news is that for most people the switch from burning glucose to burning ketones only takes a little while. Once your body gets used to the change it becomes very easy to follow a low carb lifestyle.

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