What Is Keto Flu and How to Avoid It

If you feel tired, lightheaded, or dizzy, you have the keto flu. Read this article to find all about it
If you feel tired, lightheaded, or dizzy, you have the keto flu. Read this article to find all about it

If you’ve been following your keto meal plan for about a week now, you’ve probably noticed some changes, not all of which are pleasant. In this article, we’ll talk about why you get the keto flu, the main symptoms, and what you can do to avoid it.

Reasons for the Keto Flu

Despite the name, keto flu is not the actual flu. Instead, it occurs when your body switches from burning sugar to burning fat for most of its energy needs. Here are a few reasons why you may experience the keto flu.

Water depletion and electrolyte loss

Mineral imbalance is one of the causes of keto flu. The keto diet causes increased water excretion, which leads to dehydration and an imbalance of electrolytes. That’s why it’s crucial to stay hydrated at the beginning of the keto diet – and afterward.

Adapting to the new lifestyle

When switching to a low-carb diet, you may have eliminated some processed foods from your diet. This change encourages your body to go through a detoxification process that releases all the unhealthy toxins from your system. Also, remember that on the keto diet, your body burns fat instead of glucose – it didn’t do that before. So the change may be an initial shock to your body. The adjustment process leads to flu-like symptoms – we’ll talk about that next.


Not everyone experiences the same symptoms. While some people can switch to a ketogenic diet without side effects, others may experience one or more of the following symptoms. Fortunately, the keto flu only lasts about a week for most people. After that, symptoms gradually decrease as your body gets used to converting ketones into energy. But not everyone has to experience them if the proper steps are taken.

How to Prevent the Keto Flu

The key to preventing the keto flu is to help your body transition to burning fat by taking care of your vitamin and mineral needs.

Here’s what you can do:
1. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water
2. Increase your electrolyte intake through food and supplements
3. Increase your sodium intake by adding Himalayan salts to your meals, drinking beverages high in sodium, such as bone broth
4. Eat food rich in potassium, such as spinach, avocado, salmon, and mushrooms
5. Try foods rich in magnesium, such as dark chocolate, almonds, and pumpkin seeds.
6. Avoid heavy exercises when working out on keto, such as intense cycling, running, or weight lifting

How to Prepare Before Starting the Keto Diet

At the beginning of the journey, many people experience an increase in their appetite and have the feeling they are always hungry on keto. This happens for the same reason that keto flu does – your body is running empty on glucose and starts gradually adjusting to the new metabolic state. One of the most effective ways to avoid the keto flu is to slowly transition to the keto diet by gradually cutting out carbs from your diet.

Here’s how you can do it:
1. Skip processed carbs (like sugar and refined grains) for the first week
2. Stop eating all grains the second week
3. Cut out starchy vegetables and fruits in the third week or before making the complete switch to keto

Wrapping up

The keto flu is nothing to worry about. Not everyone experiences the symptoms, and those who do can follow the tips in this article to feel much better in just a few days. After all, the symptoms just mean that your body is still adjusting to your new eating habits, and they will go away once keto becomes your new habit.

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Category: Keto 101