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What is the Keto Flu?

Hey guys,
So you’ve heard me go on and on about Keto and how it’s been a life (and game) changer for Jarrod and I since last January. None of that is exaggerated. It’s been one of the best things I could have done. I’ve lost weight and I feel great…

If you’re thinking of trying it, there’s a little something you should know about “keto flu.”

Right away some questions probably pop up, right? Like what is that? Will I get it? Is it catchy?

All good questions. I’ll address them (and some others) one by one.

The first thing I will tell you is that like everything, the keto diet affects everyone differently. This is another reason why I always include a disclaimer on my health/wellness related posts.The keto flu is not the regular flu. You will not end up with a fever but you may develop other “symptoms” like these:

Here are some symptoms to be aware of:

• Nausea • Vomiting • Constipation • Diarrhea • Headache • Irritability • Weakness • Muscle cramps • Dizziness • Poor concentration • Stomach pain • Muscle soreness • Difficulty sleeping • Sugar cravings

sleepy koala
Feeling sluggish?

Why does this happen? Even the best minds at Harvard aren’t quite sure, but I will throw out some possibilities. First and foremost, your body is going through major adjustments as you “go keto.” Especially if you’re someone who has consumed a ton of carbs your entire life, it’s going to feel strange to drastically reduce your carb intake. Just because you may be a little uncomfortable (I was too at first), doesn’t mean this won’t be a good diet for you. Also, keep in mind that this “flu” should only last a few days. If at any point you suspect something else is going on, please call your doctor and get checked out. If it is the keto flu, you can also go about making your changes more gradually and allow your body more time to adjust. It doesn’t make you weak if you need to do that. Everyone has to do what’s right for them. It’s not “one size fits all.” What in life ever is?

Is there something you can do to prevent the keto flu?
Maybe. This will probably sound crazy, but keep in mind that keto is a low carb, high fat and protein diet. So it isn’t the first thing you’d normally think of probably, but make sure you’re getting enough good healthy fat in your diet.

What fats are good and healthy?

Fatty fish- like salmon, unprocessed cheese, olives, coconuts, nuts and nut butter, hemp hearts and chia seeds, flax seeds, to name a few.

What do you do if you get or already have the “nasties?”

One thing I did was (wait for it), I took a swig of pickle juice! Why pickle juice? You need to make sure you’re getting enough electrolytes and pickle juice is one way to do that. I also took some Himalayan pink salt and put it on my tongue. HPS is also a great way to get minerals and is one of the purest salts you can consume. Unlike regular table salt or even sea salt, HPS has medicinal properties! (That’s a whole other blog post for another time!)

So, if you end up feeling some keto flu symptoms, here are a few other things to keep in mind:

Make sure you’re getting plenty of rest.

Chill out with the high intensity workouts for a while.
(Your body is getting a “workout” by adjusting to your new diet style!) You can exercise by gently walking or some other low impact activity and I would recommend that you do. Just don’t be joining CrossFit for the moment – or doing any other intense workouts.

leafy greens
Get your greens!

Stay hydrated!
Water and nutrients are essential any day, but when you’re dieting they are especially important.
As I mentioned – keep up with your electrolytes. Obviously you don’t want to rip open a bag of salty potato chips when you’re trying to wean yourself off carbs. An alternative would be avocados (a great way to get your magnesium which will prevent muscle cramping) and of course, leafy green veggies are a good source of all of the above.

So if you’ve decided to try the keto diet, you now know that this is something to watch out for, you have some simple tools to get through it and the discomfort will not last. If this is something you are committed to and your physician agrees that it is a good move for you, stick with it. Tough out the temporary yuck and hopefully you will see the results in your weight and health that you want to! I’m glad I did!

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