Keto Flu 101

 

What is Keto Flu?

Typically, our body will always run on sugar as a priority fuel source if given a chance. Once the sugar reserve is emptied up, then your body then can switch over to burning fat for fuel. It’s our body’s way to protect us from starvation of sugar. 

Keto-adaptation is the process where you’re switching the fuel source to more fat burning.

It is important to understand that keto-adaptation takes some time.  

As much as we all want fast results, the metabolic adaptation is complex and robust. 

It’s hard to put an exact number on it, how many days it takes, from weeks to months so for your cells to change their metabolic machinery to burn ketones and fatty acids for fuel fully.  But during that time the brain still has an adequate supply of glucose from the endogenous stores and glucose formation from non-carbohydrate substances like lactate, amino acids, and glycerol. 

There are some common symptoms associated with the early phase of a Ketogenic diet:

  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Muscle twitching
  • Heart palpitations
  • Muscular weakness
  • Keto Breath
  • Constipation
  • Intense Thirst
  • Nausea
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Insatiable Hunger
  • Carbohydrate Cravings
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Nighttime Urination
  • Severe Headaches
  • General Achiness

People have tried a variety of different therapeutic measures to reduce or eliminate these unpleasant symptoms. However, 99% of the time they will resolve without any alterations, additions, or interventions to the diet.

Keto Flu is real, but it can be effectively solved. Here are some tips:

1. EAT MORE FAT!

I know it sounds crazy. But it often does the trick as your body is provided with more fat fuel to prompt the production of fat-burning enzymes and hence speed up the keto-adaptation process. 

2. ELECTROLYTES 

There is an ‘art’ to electrolyte and mineral management that is key to avoiding side effects and ensuring success.

So make sure you have enough potassium, magnesium and sodium. Watch for your calcium level if you experience any muscle cramps and aches. 

Some people find drinking more salt water just does the trick. I enjoy recharging on coconut water. 

 

Beware of Keto limbo!

Under all circumstances, do not increase carb intake as it merely prolongs the process and only makes it harder for your body.

The most common mistake people make is the so-called Keto limo. So if you’re consuming 150 grams of carbs per day, that’s enough to prevent nutritional ketosis.  But, it may not be sufficient to fuel the body with glucose, particularly the brain.  So this is a grey area, where you’re not optimising fat metabolism because you have enough carbs to prevent fat breakdown and oxidation and you’re not optimising glucose metabolism because you’re restricting carbs.  So, you may inadvertently end up in a bad place. 

Get yourself a Ketone metre so that you can keep track of your ketone level precisely. 

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