Most of the people that are giving up carbs and start a ketogenic diet or low carb diet are experiencing some not very pleasant symptoms like:
- headaches (most common)
- cramps (upset stomach)
- lack of mental clarity (mental fog)
- low energy levels
At this level, a lot of people quit. I know the feeling, I’ve been there. It’s called “ keto-flu” or the “induction-flu”. You feel really sick, you have no energy and no desire to do anything. It’s because your body is adapting to live on a few carbs and burn fat as the main source of energy (ketosis).
But for how long does “keto-flu” last?
It took me one week for those symptoms to completely disappear. But depending on the person, it may take up to 2 weeks until all those bad symptoms are replaced with higher levels of energy and all the benefits that keto diet brings.
If you are experiencing one or more of the symptoms above please follow my advice. DON’T GIVE UP!!. Believe me, you can live without all that processed junk, sugar and carbs. You might think that giving up snacking on carbs, all day long is impossible, but once you are in ketosis and keto-adapted you will never feel hungry again. Eating fats and protein as the main source of macronutrients keeps you full for longer and your brain won’t need any carbs. As you already know sugar is addictive, you eat sugar you crave sugar.
What should you do to feel better?
The solution is SALT!
Well, what? Yes, salt. I know that most of the nutrition experts say that you have to reduce the salt intake to lose weight. But they also recommend eating almost 300g (healthy) carbs per day. The fact is that once you reduce the carb intake, your kidneys switch from retaining salt to rapidly excreting it along with a large amount of water. As you are not eating carbs, the blood sugar doesn’t spike up every time you eat. So, your body doesn’t need to elevate your insulin levels to keep your blood sugar at normal standards. That’s why you get that lightheadedness when you stand up quickly. That means you have low blood sugar pressure.
The Best rule is to eat 1 teaspoon of salt if you are getting dizzy on a low-carb intake.
Doctor Stephen Phinney, recommends in his book to include 1 or 2 cups of bouillon or broth (bone) in your daily schedule.
DRINK LOTS OF WATER and when you think you’ve had enough drink some more. I’m not kidding. In keto-adaptation, you eliminate a lot more water than usual. So, yes those pounds you’re losing in the first days are mostly water weight.
Watch your Electrolytes
- 5000 mg of sodium (salt) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_chloride)
- 1000 mg of potassium, in the form of potassium chloride or potassium sulfate
- 300 mg of magnesium
Eat foods that are high in Electrolytes like:
- Calcium: Canned fish with bones, cheddar cheese, broccoli, sour cream;
- Potassium: artichoke, brussels sprouts, spinach, avocado, dark leafy greens,full-fat yogurt, salmon, mushrooms, pistachios, chicken breast;
- Phosphorus: seeds, cheese, fish (salmon), nuts(brazil), meats(pork);
- Magnesium: Dark chocolate (at least 85% cocoa powder), dairy, avocados, fish (tuna, Merkel).
- Sodium: bone broth, pickles (I really recommend eating them), salt;
You can make an electrolyte drink at home, that you can drink every day. The Recipe is here.
Increase your fat intake and reduce protein intake.
You will force your body to adapt faster. Eat real butter and maturated cheese. And bacon, yes put bacon everywhere. And some more butter. Saturated fat is good for you and you will lose weight even if you don’t believe it. Inches leaving your body and you feel full, that a beautiful weight loss real story.
Remember: Replace lost electrolytes by eating pickles, bone broth, more fat, less protein, dark leafy greens.
And take a sugar-free multivitamin every day!
It’s going to be better! I promise! Just think about waking up having plenty of energy and you won’t even think about giving up!!
Hope you will feel better following this advice. Do have any secret weapons against keto-flu? Don’t forget to share them with us and help more people!