How To Avoid Keto Flu: 6 Ways To Curb The Negative Symptoms & Side Effects Of Keto Dieting

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When starting the keto diet, it's best to learn how to avoid keto flu so you can reap all the benefits of the diet while skipping the unfavorable side effects.

Keto flu typically starts within the first couple of days without carbs and tends to last for a week at most.

While there aren't any full-proof ways to prevent keto flu, there are some home remedies and certain tricks that can make the process a bit more bearable in avoiding the negative symptoms of the keto flu.

How To Avoid Keto Flu

RELATED: 5 Keto Tips To Help You Make The Ketogenic Diet A Part Of Your Lifestyle

1. Drink more water.

One of the side effects of a keto diet is dehydration from the rapid shedding of water stores.

Making sure you drink enough water can help guarantee that you won’t experience any of the horrible effects of dehydration, like headaches, lightheadedness, and sometimes brain fog. 

By making sure to stay hydrated from drinking water and decaffeinated herbal teas, you can drastically reduce the risks of keto flu.

Making sure to replace liquids is also a good way to help you feel more full, which can leave you feeling less hungry and satiated.

2. Get enough sleep.

Being fatigued or irritable is another symptom of keto flu. Prioritizing sleep and making sure that you are getting enough hours in the night can be a great way to reduce the symptoms and risk.

Sleeping longer and making sure you’re getting good rest can help combat low energy levels as well.

This means removing all distractions before sleeping, including phone use or TV watching. It’s important to emphasize both the quality and quantity of rest that you are receiving.

3. Avoid strenuous exercise. 

Fatigue, muscle cramps, and stomach discomfort are common in the first week of following a ketogenic diet, so it’s better to give your body rest.

Activities like weight-lifting, bike riding, and running can drastically deplete your energy and make you feel extremely lethargic.

Instead, try lighter activities like yoga, meditation, or taking a walk, which can drastically improve the negative symptoms of keto flu.

RELATED: What Is The Keto Diet? 20 Best Keto Cookbooks & Recipes For A Low-Carb, Fat-Burning Lifestyle

4. Replace electrolytes.

When doing a keto diet, the levels of insulin, an important hormone that helps the body absorb glucose from the bloodstream, usually decrease. 

The keto diet also restricts many foods that are high in potassium, including fruits, beans, and starchy vegetables.

It’s important that you are replacing the vital nutrients that you may not be intaking regularly. 

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Sugar-free sports drinks are credited for improving keto flu symptoms as they are an easy way to rehydrate and replenish lost electrolytes without any added carbs or calories, as is bone broth.

5. Eat more fat.

When you cut carbs completely out of your diet, you need to ensure you're replacing those calories as extreme hunger can mimic the symptoms of keto flu.

It’s important to supply your body with plenty of healthy fats by adding more oil to your meals or increasing your intake of naturally fat-rich foods that can support your transition into the keto diet.

6. Know when to quit.

The keto diet isn’t for everyone, and that is okay. If you are experiencing the side effects of keto flu and they are simply unbearable, it’s okay to stop altogether.

It’s okay to have cheat days or missteps. It doesn’t mean that you are a failure or that you’re not trying.

The best diet is to make sure that you are happy and healthy, not restricting yourself, or subjecting yourself to horrible symptoms.

RELATED: Should I Be On The Keto Diet? Here's What You Should Know Before You Try It

Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Follow her on Instagram.