How to Fight Keto Flu

How to Fight Keto Flu

So you’ve heard about all the great benefits of the Keto diet and have seen others experience miracles, and you’re excited to jump in!  You’ve done your Keto homework and restricted your carb intake and you’re totally confident you’re on the right track. But after a few days, you suddenly start feeling terrible (tired, grumpy, achy) and your body wants to quit.  The Keto diet seemed so promising, but then why do you feel so terrible?  Please DON’T give up, this is completely normal and all just signs that you have the Keto Flu!

Keto Flu is the term given to the symptoms some people experience when they first start the keto diet.  It occurs when you first enter ketosis but your body isn’t yet fat-adapted (refer to my separate post on becoming fat-adapted here ). Your body is still adjusting to the lower carb intake, and your metabolism is shifting towards burning fat for fuel but isn’t quite doing it efficiently yet!  Think of this phase like your body going through Carb withdrawal.

So what does Keto Flu feel like? Common keto flu symptoms experienced by Keto dieters include:

  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog/confusion
  • Headaches
  • Indigestion / upset stomach
  • Nausea
  • Body aches
  • Muscle cramps
  • Irritability

There are others who achieve ketosis and never experience any keto flu symptoms at all!

As terrible as keto flu is, fortunately it’s short-lived and also a sign you’re on the right track so don’t lose hope!  You just need to make a few minor adjustments to your Keto diet, which I’ll walk you through below. 

How to Remedy Keto Flu?

The following three steps will have you recovering from Keto Flu in no time: 

1. Stay hydrated. Ensure you’re drinking 8 glasses of water a day.  The ketogenic diet has a diuretic effect on your body initially which means you’ll need to ensure you rehydrate your body. Not sure if you’re drinking enough?  Tracking your water intake through a mobile app like CarbManager may help. Once you start tracking, you may realize you’re not drinking nearly as much water as you think you are.

2.  Supplement with Electrolytes – Your body excretes a large amount of electrolytes as your metabolism changes from burning carbs to burning fats.  Supplementing electrolytes is therefore key to minimize the side effects of keto and to enable your body to perform the necessary functions.  The key electrolytes are:  Sodium, Magnesium, and Potassium – which are best to supplement through food sources wherever possible.   

Refer to my Supplementing Electrolytes on Keto post for more info.

3. Eat more Fat – Many new keto dieters are successful at drastically cutting down on their carbs, but fail to properly ramp up their diet with enough fat.  Fat is your body’s new fuel source on Keto.  As your body adapts to not having any carbs to burn, ensuring fat is readily available will help your body transition quicker to this new energy source.


Expect the Keto flu symptoms to last anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks, but following the steps above will expedite your recovery.  That’s everything you need to know about Fighting the Keto Flu! But before you go, don’t forget to check out my Recipes page for some easy & delicious Keto meals.


Or return to my Keto Beginner’s Guide here.


Having trouble remembering all these Keto rules?  Get your Keto ‘Cheat Sheet’  now at KetoHealing’s Etsy Shop.  

Keto Diet Quick Reference     Keto Diet Quick Reference- Fridge Size

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