8 Ways To Blast Through Low-carb Flu And Dive Into Ketosis
Have you just started a low-carb diet? Do you find yourself feeling exhausted and overcome by tiredness? Perhaps you are thinking that going low-carb wasn’t a good idea after all… You might already know that these symptoms are not uncommon, especially if you are doing low-carb for the first time. Also known as “low carb flu” or “Atkins flu”, this phase is completely normal – although by no means pleasant. This condition occurs when you cut your carb intake sharply, to about 20-30g a day, in order to induce ketosis. What is low-carb flu? Your body is used to running on carbs. It’s been operating this way for decades. Cutting carbs in favour of fat is a huge change for your metabolism. Your body needs some time to adjust to this change. This period of adjustment can sometimes cause flu-like symptoms. Fatigue is the most common one, but you could also get muscle cramps, headaches, dizziness and mental fog. Some of these symptoms are markers of sugar withdrawal. Sugar addiction is real and common, so trying to break away can be difficult. Low-carb flu is not actual flu Please note that “low carb flu” does not include fever or respiratory cold-like symptoms such as coughing or sneezing. If you are experiencing any of these, it means that you might have actually caught an infection! So it would be a good idea to postpone starting your diet until you are all clear. How can you fight tiredness and other symptoms of low-carb flu? First of all, remember that it won’t last forever. Low-carb flu usually lasts around 3-5 days (although could be 1-2 weeks for some unlucky people with high metabolic resistance). Here are some simple tips on making this transition easier. 1) Eat more fat Fat is the key to this whole issue. You must eat lots of it – a lot more th Continue reading >>
Keto Flu 101: Everything You Need To Know
In Keto Flu 101 my goal is to answer the questions I get asked on a daily basis about the Keto Flu. Many people who are interested in going into ketosis are afraid that they will get the keto flu and are looking for ways to avoid getting it all together. While every person’s experience is different, knowledge is power, so prepare to arm yourself with as much information about the keto flu as possible before you start the diet, so you know what to expect. ~ This post contains affiliate links to help you find the products we use. Already started Keto? Don’t worry; this post will still give you the tools you need to prepare yourself as well. Look, this is the rest of your life we are talking about. As my favorite author, C.S. Lewis said “Hardship often prepares an ordinary person for an extraordinary destiny.” and that is true even in the case of the keto flu! Keto Flu 101: Everything You Need To Know The “keto flu” is what we commonly call carbohydrate withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms usually occur in people who start a low carb diet that alters their hormones and causes and electrolyte imbalances. Don’t let this alarm you; this is a GREAT thing. In other words, it describes a cycle in the body adapting to a newly started low carb diet. Think about the keyword here, which is withdrawal. The same way an addict withdrawal from any drug. Your body is so used to living off of carbs that both your body and your mind think you need these to survive. On most diets you’ve tried in the past, your mind was probably much harder to fight than your body. Maybe you’ve never been on a diet that caused you to go through any form of withdrawal, and that’s where you’ll find the greatest source of power when it comes to Keto! With Keto, once your body goes through w Continue reading >>
What Is Keto Flu & How To Help!
Symptoms of Keto Flu: Keto flu is the name given to a set of symptoms some people experience when first starting keto. It’s not actually a flu and definitely not contagious, but it can become quite tiring. Keto flu symptoms are very similar to that of your regular flu and can last anywhere from a day to a few weeks! You may experience fatigue headaches cough sniffles irritability nausea Many people who experience these symptoms in the beginning of their ketogenic diet will believe the diet is to blame and carbs are good after all. Ironically, seeing these symptoms is a sign that you were very dependent on carbohydrates! Your body is going through withdrawal from sugar and carby foods. Subscribe for a FREE copy of our 14-Day Keto Meal Plan Withdrawal from Carbs There are studies that have shown sugar has the same effect on our bodies and brains as cocaine and heroine!1 The same areas of the brain are activated when one eats sugar as when one ingests cocaine. In addition, when we eat sugar, our brain sends messages for the release of dopamine, the “feel good” hormone. After some time, the release of dopamine is more or less regulated and less is sent out each time we eat sugar. The absence of large amounts of dopamine triggers our need to want more sugar, to get that same “feel good” feeling back. Coincidentally, drug addiction is exactly that. The brain remembers what made it feel good, even if you don’t- cravings aren’t random. When we stop eating sugar (or carbs altogether) our bodies can go through withdrawal. Many people report irritability and mood swings from the hormone surges, or lack thereof. Our bodies are recalibrating themselves without the influence of heavy factors such as carbs. Readjusting to Fat Headaches and fatigue can come from the sudde Continue reading >>
What Is The Keto Flu & How To Remedy It?
Adapting to the ketogenic diet can feel like the flu. Tiredness, fatigue, stomach pains, and dizziness are common symptoms that the ketogenic diet beginner can experience, but these symptoms don’t come from a ketogenic virus or an infected mosketo (like “mosquito” — sorry, I couldn’t resist). In fact, the symptoms for keto flu are not even caused by ketosis, ketogenesis, or the flu at all. The keto flu is caused by the body’s response to carbohydrate restriction. Carbohydrate Restriction Can Be Difficult Carbohydrates are like your body’s version of your first love. They provide so much comfort, sweetness, and easy energy that we spend most of our time with them. It feels so right, it feels like true love, but it is mostly lust. The kind of lust that increases our risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. This is why breaking up with carbohydrates is a good idea for many people. But — just like with any breakup — it is difficult at first. You crave them and yearn for them. It is so heart breaking — not because you needed them, but because you are so used to living with them. However, after a couple weeks to months, you begin to adapt to life without your first love. With the help of your friends, protein and fat, you begin dating your new love interest: ketones. And suddenly, life is much better than before. This is what is going on inside of your body when you restrict carbohydrates. Most of your cells prefer to burn sugar for fuel and are adapted to using the carbohydrates that you eat. For your body to adapt to carbohydrate restriction, it must make many changes from the cellular level to the hormonal level. This process is synonymous with the adjustment period we go through after ending a relationship with someone we love very much. And just Continue reading >>
The Dreaded Keto Flu
For all the excellent benefits of the ketogenic lifestyle, getting there can be a physically rough road. The primary reason for this is what is known as the “keto flu”. Almost everyone who has changed their life to the healthy ketogenic lifestyle has had to deal with the keto flu, and some have had a worse deal than others. Background The keto flu is the common name for the induction phase of ketogenesis. That means it’s the period of time when your body is getting used to the changes you have made to what you eat. When you change what you eat, you change everything about how your body operates and functions. Inside your gut (where close to 70% of your immune system lives) are billions of bacteria, and they are all battling for dominance. If your diet consists of highly refined carbs, the types of bacteria that thrive in your gut (e. coli, h. pylori, candida a, etc.) will be inflammatory and detrimental to your immune system. By changing your diet to be high in fat, those same bacteria die off rapidly, because they don’t have their preferred energy source. This massive bacteria death has consequences. These consequences are typically: Diarrhea Headaches Nausea Lack of mental focus and clarity Fatigue In short: You feel like you have the flu. That’s because, in a way, you do. Your immune system is taking a beating when you make the change, because it has grown accustomed to the way things have been. But once you get through the induction phase, and you start to feel better, your immune system will be several times stronger and more efficient. That’s one of the reason that Ketovangelists don’t get sick (and when they do, it’s not nearly as bad as it could have been). Changing Fuel Sources The best way to think about what you’re doing to your body is to i Continue reading >>
What Is The Keto Flu Or Low Carb Flu And What To Do About It?
Keto flu symptoms, mitigation and getting over excess carbohydrates Any major dietary or lifestyle change has the potential to cause discomfort or lets face it, even mess you up for a bit. This is sometimes referred to as a ‘flu’. It’s the most common time during which people will quit their dietary or lifestyle shift as many simply feel they are unable to function without significant carbohydrates and snacking throughout day. Here we’ll discuss the major downside to starting a ketogenic diet or a low carb one, and how to minimize the discomfort often accompanying this adaptation period. Like most people you’ve probably spent 20 – 60 years feeding your body a significant amount of carbohydrates and much of them from poorly chosen overly processed sources. Your cells, organs, central nervous system and brain have all adapted to it through hormonal and metabolic responses normally running in the background. Switching fuel sources, like eating less carbs and more fat, is likely to throw your body and brain for a loop. To be clear, the “keto flu” label is a bit of a misnomer. It’s more akin to carbohydrate withdrawal symptoms resulting from a shifting hormonal states and imbalanced electrolyte adjustments that are along for the ride. Regardless, this buzz term is in the general consciousness now so we might as well keep using it for now. Before diving into the details, keep in mind that the following four books should teach you nearly everything you need to know about low carb and ketogenic diets, including how to handle the keto flu. The rest of the relevant science is dispersed amongst hundreds if not thousands of papers only a search away on PubMed. If you want to ask questions about it or be part of our community please visit Ask BreakNutrition. Sympto Continue reading >>
Low-carb Side Effects & How To Cure Them
Are you struggling while starting out on a low-carb or keto diet? Do you get headaches, leg cramps, constipation or any of the other more common side effects? Use the information on this page to avoid them – and feel great while losing weight. The main solution to most common problems when starting low carb is to increase the intake of water and salt. It’s even better to do it preventatively during the first week. If you do, you’ll most likely not experience any of these problems, or they’ll only be minor. Use one of the shortcuts below for specific problems – or just continue reading for all of them. Top 6 common problems when starting Less common issues on low carb Low-carb myths Leg cramps Leg cramps are not uncommon when starting a strict low-carb diet. It’s usually a minor issue if it occurs, but it can sometimes be painful. It’s a side effect of the loss of minerals, specifically magnesium, due to increased urination. Here’s how to avoid it: Drink plenty of fluid and get enough salt. This may reduce loss of magnesium and help prevent leg cramps. If needed, supplement with magnesium. Here’s a suggested dosage from the book The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living by Drs. Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney: Take 3 slow-release magnesium tablets like Slow-Mag or Mag 64 a day for 20 days, then continue taking 1 tablet a day afterwards. If the steps above are not enough and the problem is bothersome, consider increasing your carb intake somewhat. This should eliminate the problem. The more carbs you eat though, the weaker the impact of the low-carb diet. Bad breath On a strict low-carb diet some people experience a characteristic smell from their breath, a fruity smell that often remind people of nail polish remover. The smell is from acetone, a ket Continue reading >>
How Long Does A Keto Flu Last?
The ketogenic diet comes with the caveat of experiencing the keto flu. The keto flu can stop you from getting into ketosis quickly as it may place a psychological barrier in from of you preventing you from continuing with the diet. Here’s a basic outline on why keto flu occurs and the simple and effective steps you can take to minimise the negative effects. The keto flu is generally a sign that the ketogenic diet is working. There are some measures you can take to firstly, speed up how quickly you get into ketosis and secondly reduce the symptoms of the keto flu. Ketosis (using fat for energy) occurs when your diet is comprised of high fat and low carb. Generally, this entails consuming 5% carbohydrates (or 50g per day). The keto flu describes the symptoms (flu-like) which come when people transition from using glucose as their primary source of fuel to ketones as their primary source of fuel. The body may fail to quickly enough as it struggles to use the dramatic change in macronutrient ratios effectively. Flu symptoms may include: Fatigue Craving for sugary foods Nausea Headaches Brain fog Problems sleeping Irritability The keto-flu duration and severity is different for everyone and this is going to depend on a few key factors. The first reason is based on how drastic the reduction of carbs are. You will enter the state of ketosis much quicker this way, but the downside of this is that the symptoms of the keto flu are likely going to be more pronounced. Symptoms are dependent on the drastic of the cut of carbohydrates but also your age, gender, exercise frequency. The flu will generally last about a week. This may last upwards of several for some individuals, or as little as a few days if you are lucky or take more extreme measures such as incorporating a prolonged Continue reading >>
Keto Flu: Symptoms And Relief
Many people (not everyone!) who start a low carb diet experience what’s called the “keto flu” or the “induction flu” in the first few days while the body is adapting to burning ketones instead of glucose. What is keto flu? The basic symptoms are: headaches nausea upset stomach Lack of mental clarity (brain fog) sleepiness fatigue It’s called the “keto flu” for a reason: you feel sick. I’ve gone through it, and it wasn’t a pleasant experience. Fortunately, it only lasted four days (2 of them were pretty bad) but then suddenly I woke up feeling much better, less hungry and my energy level was high and consistent throughout the day! While at one point (or three or four) I thought to myself: “what the serious F am I doing? I’m going to die!” but I plowed through it, and when it was over I didn’t regret a thing because what I gained mentally and physically was 100% worth it. Keto and autoimmune disorders I have an autoimmune disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis, and Fibromyalgia to top it off. So, I’m no stranger to brain fog and fatigue, but the fatigue and brain fog that comes with keto flu is a little different, and feel much more like having the regular flu. How long will the keto flu last? It depends. Some people don’t experience any symptoms at all, but some suffer anywhere from a day to a week. In rare cases up to 15 days. Everybody’s bodies are different, and some people handle switching over better than others. You might consider starting keto on the weekend or sometime when you’re able to get good rest deal with the symptoms. For those of you that are going through the keto flu, don’t give up! I know you feel like it’s never going to get better but stick with it and you´ll be so happy you did! I’m telling you, waking up r Continue reading >>
First Week: Top 3 Keto Conundrums
The low carb lifestyle is known to sculpt some serious fat off your body. Many followers of the keto diet experience rapid weight loss, low hunger levels, and good energy levels. Since you cut out most of the high sugar foods, controlling your calories becomes a breeze. Sounds like an easy plan to success, right? Those who joined the ketogenic army can attest that the early weight loss comes with a toll. The first week of low carb living can be daunting, both mentally and physically. As your brain and body are adapting to a life without glucose, you may become outright miserable. Don’t go shoving cake down your neck just yet – the misery passes. To have an idea what you’ll go through, check out these common side effects that most go through when switching to a keto diet. Usually they only last for the first few days to a week, but preparing yourself for what might come will always help. Mental and Physical Fogginess The first major sign – coming 2 or 3 days into your ketogenic transition – will be the fogginess. You’re brain likes to take it easy and it if had a choice, would run on only glucose. As your body is switching from glucose to ketones as its main source of energy, your body will continue to burn the last stores of glycogen. This results in a foggy haze that might make it hard to concentrate. You might find yourself staring into space or feeling lethargic, but have no fear – it will pass. Headaches might pound at your door, nausea can pit in your stomach, muscle cramps can ruin your day and irritability can spark arguments, but knowing this can help you plan. Switch your diet in the middle of the week, so you will have the weekend to fully rest and recover from your transition. What we suggest is to go super low carb for the first week, which mea Continue reading >>
Keto Flu: An In-depth Guide To Beating It
When starting a ketogenic diet, some people experience initial side effects from carbohydrate restriction known as ‘keto flu.’ These symptoms can have some mild and potentially severe effects on the body. While the condition is popularly known as keto flu, people also commonly refer to it as induction flu, low carb flu, and Atkins flu. This article will explain what it is, why it happens, and the best strategies for avoiding or beating it. What is the Keto Flu? Firstly, it is not the real flu. It just shares the name because it has several of the same symptoms. Coming from a high carbohydrate diet, the body is well-adapted to using glucose for fuel. However, when restricting carbohydrate, the supply of glucose falls before the body has adapted to burning fat for fuel. In other words, your body is in ketosis but not fully keto-adapted. If you are curious about this, you can find out your level of ketosis by using ketone strips. The liver and gall-bladder need time to upregulate the number of fat-burning enzymes to burn larger amounts of fat efficiently. Severely restricting carbohydrate is a massive change to the way the body works and your body needs time to adjust to the metabolic changes. When Does it Start? There is no exact timeframe, but symptoms may appear as quickly as 10-12 hours after starting to restrict carbohydrate. For some people, it might be slightly earlier or later. Of course, there are also people who won’t experience the dreaded keto flu at all. How Long Does it Last? Based on anecdotes, this induction flu lasts somewhere between two days and about two weeks. The worst symptoms appear in the first few days and then taper off. Regarding the intensity of the symptoms, this likely depends on the previous diet, hormonal state, and prior carbohydrate Continue reading >>
What Is Keto Flu? (plus 6 Ways To Cure It)
You’re tired and dizzy, you crave sugar, bread, pasta, and your mind wanders like crazy. You just started a ketogenic diet (or a Paleo or other low carb diet) and you’re suspicious if your new diet is making you feeling this crappy. Removing carbohydrates from your diet all of a sudden may well be the reason why you’re barely able to concentrate on this sentence! This can happen even on a Paleo diet if you remove too many carbs from your diet. And all this feeling of crappiness is due to something people call Keto Flu (or Carb Flu). Read on to find out what is keto flu, how long keto flu lasts, and of course, how to cure keto flu. (CARB FLU = KETO FLU) KETO FLU INFOGRAPHIC – please pin! Please feel free to pin and share this infographic about the keto flu. WHAT IS KETO FLU? Keto flu describes the flu-like symptoms that people starting a low-carb diet often experience. These symptoms are caused by your body being too used to receiving carbohydrates from the food you eat and not being able to change your body’s energy source when you stop eating carbs. (If you’re interested in the science, then this article provides a very detailed explanation of why keto flu happens.) Some people explain keto flu as symptoms resulting from withdrawal from carbohydrates (think drug addiction here). And indeed, there are studies showing that sugars (which are a form of carbohydrates) can cause drug-like additions. But don’t panic if you think you have keto flu. I’ve listed several ways to shorten that period of feeling crappy below. WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF KETO FLU? If you just started a low carb or ketogenic diet, then you might experience keto flu symptoms like: Fatigue Sugar cravings Dizziness Difficulty focusing (or Brain Fog) Nausea Difficulty Getting To Sleep Irritab Continue reading >>