“The Carb Flu” or the Keto Flu is a term we use to describe the symptoms most people have when they first start on a low carb diet. Most of these symptoms are related to a lack of sodium and can easily be solved by making sure you get enough salt. In this video I discuss some of the symptoms and ways to make the transition to Keto smoother.
Today, I wanted to talk about some of the side effects of going low carb. When you go low carb or on a ketogenic diet, you can have some side effects in that first week. Your body is switching from being a sugar burner (using sugar and refined carbs as its primary source of fuel) to being a fat burner. That can take some time for your cells to figure out how to do that – how to switch over the kind of fuel that they’re using. You need to decide if you’re going to go low carb (50 grams of carbs or less in a day) or keto (25g carbs or less per day), it just depends on what you figure out works for you, but you can have some side effects.
Some of the side effects could be a headache. A lot of people get headache, nausea, not many people get nausea. Tired is a big one. You get extra tired. You can get extra grumpy, and you can get extra hungry, right, because your cells are like, we’re not getting the fuel we need, and so, you can get extra hungry. That only lasts a few days, okay?
Day three is usually the worst because your body has depleted some of the glycogen stores that it has, but you can definitely, if you know what’s going on, you just say, all right, my body is doing exactly what is needs to be doing, and we’re going to move through this. I’ve got to stick with it and keep going. Don’t think that the diet’s not working for you or the lifestyle change isn’t working for you. Make sure that you just know what’s happening in your body and that you push through it. Those side effects will go away with time. By the second week, usually, they should be gone away. You start to not feel hungry that second week because your body is starting to use some of the fuel that it has on it – fat.
This process can be called the keto flu or the carb flu. When you bring down those insulin levels, your body is going to flush out some of your electrolytes, so you want and try to replace those electrolytes. You can make a drink that has eight ounces of water, two tablespoons of lemon juice, a quarter teaspoon of salt, add a couple of drops of Stevia, and mix it up. Drink that a couple of times a day in that first week, so that you’re replacing all the electrolytes. Make sure that you’re taking potassium also (check with your doctor if you’re taking any prescription meds this could interfere with). Make sure that you’re eating enough vegetables to get the potassium from your diet.
When you go on a low carb or a ketogenic diet, your body is going to be flushing out some of your electrolytes. You want to make sure that you’re replacing those, salting your vegetables, make sure that you’re replacing all of those electrolytes, so that you don’t have those headaches, don’t have that extra tired, and extra hungry. It will probably still happen. I know that tired is the one that gets me. I can’t even lift my arms up by 6 p.m., so tired, but I know it’s just one, a couple of days, and I’ll move through it. I need to replace my electrolytes, okay? Don’t forget, side effects will go away, just part of it. Replace your electrolytes. You can also drink some Powerade Zero daily to help replace those lost electrolytes.