Keto Flu: What It Is and How to Beat It the Healthy Way

So you’re starting a keto diet. You have a lot to look forward to. A lot of fat loss is in your near future, however, there is something else that might come along with this diet. That something else is the keto flu.

The keto flu is something that you may experience in the first stages of your keto diet. Your body will be going through a lot of changes and it’s going to need some time to adjust.

Be prepared for your body to breakdown a little before it’s able to start feeling strong.

Keto Flu: What Is It and How to Beat It

When you start the ketogenic diet, your body is going to go through a lot changes.

Depending on what your diet was before you started, this might be a complete shock to your system and with that shock comes some after effects.

keto flu and how to beat it


There are some symptoms that are almost sure signs of the keto flu once you start the diet.

They are:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Cough
  • Irritability
  • Nausea

If all of these symptoms look like regular flu symptoms, that’s because they are.

Try not to be alarmed when you start getting these symptoms after beginning the diet. Your body just needs to adjust to what you’re starting to put it through.

I can tell you from personal experience that having these symptoms is no fun at all. It sucks. It makes you wonder if starting this diet is even worth it.

These feelings and symptoms will eventually go away once your body starts to enter ketosis.

Getting these symptoms shows how dependent your body is on carbs. You’ll soon come to realize that when you start having very few carbs, these symptoms will on longer exist.

Why You Will Get Keto Flu

If for some reason you haven’t been paying attention, a keto diet significantly limits your carbs.

I’m going to assume that you’ve been eating a significant amount of carbs up to this point in your life. Your body is used to having an excess amount of carbs on a near daily basis. Starting a keto diet will force your body to go almost cold turkey on carbs.

This diet will also force you to significantly cut back on the sugars you are consuming as well.

Cutting out these types of foods might be a bit of a shock to your body, but it will start to put it on the right path to a much healthier you.

Your body is more than likely dependent on the carbs you choose to eat on a daily basis. Because of this, your body will start to experience the symptoms of the flu.

You may start to think that you need the carbs for the symptoms to go away. Don’t give in to this temptation. Do not listen to this thought. I repeat…DO NOT LISTEN TO THIS THOUGHT!

Stick it out for a couple days and you’ll start to experience a little more normalcy.

Avoiding the Flu

One of the best ways to try and curb the symptoms of the keto flu is to replenish your electrolytes.

The electrolytes that you’re losing are magnesium, potassium, and sodium.

Electrolytes are important because they affect the amount of water in your body and how your muscles function.

Carbs usually help your body hold water, so you aren’t losing out on many electrolytes.

When you start on a ketogenic diet, you are going to start losing a lot more fluids. Electrolytes can be found in these fluids, so you are naturally going to lose a lot more of them.

Since you will be losing a lot of fat, the cells in your body will start replacing that fat with water, which is why drinking a lot of water is extremely important.

For some people, water retention can be a major problem with a keto diet. The cells that start replacing the fat with water hold that water in the rare case of dehydration. If you’re able to always stay hydrated, your body will recognize that it doesn’t need that extra water in your cells, so that will be let go.

The more water you drink, the more electrolytes you’ll be losing just because your bladder can only hold so much, but if you don’t drink enough water you lose your electrolytes and become dehydrated. It’s an endless battle with your body that you have to constantly keep winning.

So how do you make sure you keep enough electrolytes in your system?

You can supplement your water with a water enhancer like Mio Electrolytes Berry Blast.

You can also eat more foods that contain sodium or if you’re a fan of hot sauce drown your food in it. Don’t hesitate to add salt to your meals as well.

Some people like to drink a cup of chicken broth daily. Just make sure you find zero carb chicken broth and add some salt to it.

If you can keep up your electrolyte intake then you’ll be fine.

Adjustment Period

You are essentially turning your body from a sugar burner into a fat burner.

This is going to seem like a drastic change for your body, but you just need to give it time to adjust. Your body is changing the way you burn the resources you consume so that you’ll be able to shred fat off your body at a much faster rate.

Everyone is going to have a different adjustment period, however, it should take you no more than a week to fully get into ketosis. For some, this is going to happen faster. It all depends on how your body reacts to the strict change in your diet. This is when your body will start to melt fat off your body.

One of the changes that almost everybody experience is fatigue. The issue here isn’t a loss of electrolytes but not getting enough fats as your body adjusts. One of the best things you can do to combat this is taking a tablespoon of MCT Oil or mixing it into meals.

While this won’t immediately fix the fatigue issue, it will help to send signals to your body that fat is now the primary energy source.

Be aware, just because you enter ketosis, doesn’t mean that your body will stay in it if you choose to add more carbs to your diet. Some people can get away with eating more carbs than others and still stay in ketosis, but in the end, your safest bet is to limit your carbs as much as possible.

Don’t Slow Down

A lot of you are probably going to experience the symptoms and get the keto flu. This is normal, but it’s important that you don’t let this slow you down.

The flu only happens at the beginning stages of this new journey you are putting your body through.

The couple days of allowing your body to change are worth it when you finally get into ketosis. If you aren’t sure you’re in ketosis, here are 7 signs you’re in ketosis.

Once the ketosis begins, the fat loss doesn’t end.

Beating Keto Flu

If you want to beat keto flu you simply have to be prepared.

If you’re planning your meals just make sure that you are including the right amounts of sodium, potassium, and magnesium into your daily routine.

If you can’t get those from foods then look into buying supplements that can help to keep you on track.