All through our lives, we learned that sugar was the principal source for our bodies to get energy was from sugar. However, as science and medicine dug more in-depth, they found that a more effective source that the body utilizes is-ketones.
When our body metabolizes fat, it then produces ketones which aid in our cells powering up to perform their normal functions. When you have a level of 0.5mmol/L that is when you are in the metabolic state of ketosis.
The purpose of the keto diet is for you to eat a diet of high fat, mediocre protein, and very low carbs. By following this protocol, it puts your body into Ketosis. The scientific community continues to monitor the results while discovering many other medical issues showing improvements through the diet.
- The Keto Diet: What it all means? – Part 1
- Why Is Everyone Talking About Keto Diet Foods? – Part 2
- How to Know You Are in Ketosis and What You May Been Doing Wrong – Part 4
Even though potential applications are discovered now through science, many people are turning to ketosis to enhance their exercise, mood, body composition, mental performance, therapeutic benefits, and disease prevention.
- 1 What is Ketosis
- 2 How Ketosis Works
- 3 Weight Loss Benefits of Ketosis
- 4 Mental Focus Benefits of Ketosis
- 5 Man, I feel like I Have the Flu
- 6 Carbohydrate Restriction Can Be Difficult
- 7 The Symptoms of The Keto Flu
- 8 Why does the Keto Flu Affect Each of Us So Differently?
- 9 What Should You Do With All of this Information?
- 10 Why Do We Get Keto Flu and Its Symptoms?
- 11 Sodium and Water Flushed Out of The Body
- 12 How To Remedy The Keto Flu
- 13 How useful was this post?
What is Ketosis
As I’ve talked about in the first two article, Ketosis is the metabolic process of your body using fat as its primary source of energy rather than carbs. That means your body is breaking down fat stores directly instead of converting muscles cells and fat into glucose for energy.
You will enter ketosis when your body does not have enough carbohydrates (glucose) available. The principal purpose of the keto diet is to put your body in ketosis. (Where it eats and lives off the fat in your body-hence weight loss.
Ketones are the byproducts of your body breaking down the fat for energy that occurs when you maintain a low carbohydrate intake. 
How Ketosis Works
The first step is to cut out carbohydrates. Your body will begin looking for other means of fuel, (which in this case is fats) when there are not sufficient levels of glucose available. The glycogen levels get depleted, and the insulin levels and blood sugars decrease.
The second step is breaking the fats down. Our body breaks fats down for energy. That process is called “beta-oxidation.” What this means is there is an increase in acetyl-CoA, that turns to acetoacetate. That then changes to beta-hydroxybutyrate, which is the ketone presence that floats all around in your blood to provide the brain and body energy. 
Moreover, the last step is ketosis. People make use of their ketotic state for benefits such as:
- Increased physical performance: Ketosis utilizes oxygen more efficiently and avoids those middle of the day crashes of low blood sugar.
- Disease Prevention and Longevity:Ketosis has shown proof of decreasing Alzheimer’s, inflammation, and benefit diabetics and cancer patients.
- Improved energy levels: without having surges of glucose, the body has more consistent energy levels because you use your own body fat now for energy. By doing so, there are no food coma’s or sugar crashes).
- Weight loss:This step is my favorite part. When the body starts using fat as a source of energy, you begin to lose weight faster due to your body tapping into your fat deposits for energy instead of the sugar you consume.
Weight Loss Benefits of Ketosis
Ketosis is a powerhouse approach to weight loss for these reasons.
- Hormone Regulation: By regulating hormones that affect your body weight, ketosis can assist with supporting weight loss. What that means is that the keto diet will aid in avoiding cravings for food that is unhealthy which reduces the opportunity for putting weight back on.
- Increased Fat Oxidation:In ketosis, your body burns dietary fat and your own body fat as its primary source of fuel.
- Suppressed Appetite: When you feel full pay attention to those feelings. Even while on a weight loss regime you will know the signs of being full so that you can listen to your body better. Pay attention to hunger signs and eat only when you are hungry.
- Blood Sugar Regulation: Weight loss plans include high carbs create blood sugar spikes that make you feel hungry so soon after eating and often unfocused and tired.
Now that I have been on the Keto diet for three weeks, I can attest to some of this. I feel more energetic (other than being sick at the moment. More on that to come), I have lost weight, I have not had any blood sugar issues as well. Moreover, I do not get as hungry as when I am not doing keto. 
Mental Focus Benefits of Ketosis
One other area I have found that is better is my mental clarity. When you are on an unbalanced diet, it leads to lack of mental clarity, which shows up as brain fog. That happens to me when I am trying to remember something important, but I struggle to stay focused on my task.
Ketones improve energy levels and the efficiency of the mitochondria, that produce energy for cells of the brain and body. Eating healthy fats is vital to mental focus. Every cell in your body needs fat in order to function. Especially your brain cells.
Eating fats that are healthy are vital to your mind and body. Especially your brain cells. Did you know that your brain is the fattiest organ of your body? It is comprised of over 60 percent fat and its preferred choice for fuel in fat.
Man, I feel like I Have the Flu
Moreover, guess what? You just may have the flu-the Keto flu. Let me tell you from experiencing it first-hand. Adapting to the keto diet can literally feel like a good case of the flu. For the past three days, I have felt horrible-flu like horrible.
When you are adapting to the keto diet, it can feel like the flu. You will feel fatigue, tiredness, dizziness, and stomach pains are unfortunately symptoms that a beginner on a diet can experience. However, you don’t get these symptoms from eating a tainted piece of fat or a virus; you get it from your body.
In fact, symptoms of the keto flu are not due to the flu, ketosis, ketogenesis, or the flu at all. The keto flu comes from your body’s response to restricting carbohydrates.
Carbohydrate Restriction Can Be Difficult
Carb is your much like your body’s first love. They offer so much sweetness, comfort, and effortless energy that we choose to spend most of our time only with them. It feels so good and so right that it feels just like true love, but it narrows down to mainly lust.
That is the kind of lust that increases obesity, heart disease, and your risk of diabetes. That is why when you break up with carbs is a good thing for many people. Just like any broken romance, it is difficult in the beginning.
You yearn for them; you crave them. It is a pretty sad scene, to be honest, kinda heart-breaking. Not because you need them but because you are so used to having them and living with them in your life. However, after a couple of weeks or maybe even a month has come and gone you start feeling better. You may also find it is not so hard after all adapting without your first love as you once thought you had to have every day.
So, thanks to your best friends, fat, and protein, you begin dating a new love interest. That is the new guy in town that has the everyone buzzing with talk: Ketones. Suddenly, life looks much better than it did before.
That is what is happening to the inside of your body since you have begun to restrict carbs. Most of the cells in your body prefer to burn sugar for fuel and are accustomed to making use of the carbs that you eat.
For our body to adapt to these carb restrictions, it must go through many changes from the cellular level to the hormone level. That process is synonymous with the period of adjustment we go through once we end a relationship with someone we love so very much.
Moreover, just like with our first breakup, going our separate ways with carb can cause a long list of symptoms called the keto flu.
The Symptoms of The Keto Flu
On average, the keto flu lasts around one week for the average person with symptoms generally beginning within the first couple of days of the restriction of carbs. These are cases where the keto flu symptoms last for up to a month. However, those cases are not as common.
Symptoms of the keto flu are:
- Sugar cravings
- Stomach Pains
- Poor focus and concentration
- Stomach pains
- Brain Fog
- Muscle soreness
However, do not worry, you more than likely will not feel all of these at the same time. Right now mine is restlessness, brain fog, stomach pains, sugar crazing hit last night but only because I saw that we still have one package of cooking I thought were gone.
The stomach pains, restlessness, and poor focus and concentration has been by far my worse. I am better today but not fully recovered but the break-up of my relationship with Carbs. The symptoms and their severity, as well as the length of how long they last as part of the keto flu, will differ depending on the person.
For one of my friends as an example, my friend and me, restricting carbs for only 20 hours cause keto flu-like symptoms, and it stays with her for weeks. However, my other friend can go from eating a high carb diet straight to fasting from all food for days, and he always feels fantastic.
Then there is me. Today is my fourth day of feeling perhaps one grade above death. I will not lie and say that I am not craving some really good..R.E.A.L.L.Y. good like Mexican food, and a big old pizza. Instead, I am eating pork skins. 
Why does the Keto Flu Affect Each of Us So Differently?
Metabolic flexibility — That is the capacity for adapting fuel oxidation to the availability of fuel. Now for a language, most of us can understand. Metabolic flexibility means how well you can adjust to your body using different fuel sources such as ketones, protein, fats, and carbs.
I am not obviously metabolically flexible while my friend seems to be a rocket. So what is the difference between us? Genetics, DNA, Bad Luck, just what is it? Well, several factors determine metabolic flexibility. However, let’s talk about the two elephants in the room: Lifestyle and Genetics
Certain people are less metabolically flexible due to their genetic variations (insufficient enzymes), and that makes it more complicated for their body to adapt to the ketogenic diet. However, fast keto adapters may be lucky with having genes that offer fuel sources more efficiently.
Lifestyle is a huge factor. If you are accustomed to eating a diet high in processed foods and refined sugars, you are more than likely going to experience severe keto flu symptoms like I am right now. However, if our diet is basically low in starches and sugars, you may only experience mild keto flu symptoms or maybe not any at all. If you are someone who adds exercise a part of your life, you will be more flexible metabolically than those that sedentary.
What Should You Do With All of this Information?
Eat healthier, exercise more, the sooner, the better. Other than that, there is nothing you can do. The majority of the factors that influence metabolically flexibility are so far past our comprehension that it is difficult to predict how a person will respond to the keto diet.
There is really no way to tell how you or anyone else will handle restricting carbs until they actually do limiting carbs. However, what we know for certain is the primary biological reasons for the keto flu symptoms.
Why Do We Get Keto Flu and Its Symptoms?
Know we can gain a bit of an understanding of “why” behind the ketosis flu, maybe we can get some insight into how to reduce or if we are lucky, eliminate the negative symptoms. Whether you are or you’re not metabolically flexible, three changes will take place when we restrict carbs.
Sodium and Water Flushed Out of The Body
When we restrict carbs, you remove from your diet the one macronutrient that is a trigger for the most insulin release. As you know, insulin aid with shuttling sugar to the cells for fuel, but, you may or may not understand the effect insulin has on the kidneys.
While insulin lets the cells know there is excess energy, it also will trigger the kidneys for them to hold onto water and sodium. (I really did not know this part) When the insulin level drops, sodium it then released from the body, while taking lots of water with it.
That along can cause up to ten pounds of water weight to be long gone in the initial five days of the keto diet. Glycogen which is the body’s storing form of sugar and the two fluid levels are keenly connected as well. Each gram of glycogen storage is with around three grams of water.
During those first few days of the keto diet, your primary fuel source becomes stored glycogen in your muscle and liver. That causes a pound or even 1 ½ pound water loss. As a team, low insulin levels and glycogen loss cause enough sodium and water to make a person to be dizzy, have headaches, gastro issues, and cramping, These are the most common keto flu symptoms.
The good part is you can avoid these by drinking plenty of water each day and supplementing with minerals that you are depleting from your body. Keep in mind that even if you replenish your minerals and fluids, you may still feel a little brain fog and fatigue due to the hormonal change.
How To Remedy The Keto Flu
So now we know why I have been sick the past few days, let’s see what I can do to remedy this yucky feeling. The following is how to reduce the symptoms of the ketogenetic flu and become keto-adapted faster or both.
Drink More Water With an added Pinch of Unrefined Salt
Hydration is vital, especially if you are doing the keto diet. If you do not drink enough water while on the keto diet, you will become dehydrated and then you will begin having adverse effects. It only takes a 2 percent water loss of your body weight to impair your physical performance.
Moreover, the loss of water of 2.8 percent of your body weight and you will impair cognitive function. Been there and done that too and trust me, you will be very ill. That amount of water can be lost easily in the first five days of the keto diet, which will cause most of the flu symptoms.
The better way to remedy keto flu is to drink more water than generally with unrefined salt. However, how much water should drink?
Here are some suggestions:
Daily Water Intake Suggestions For Females:
- Four- eight years old: drink 1.7 liters of water per day
- Nine- 13 years old: drink 2.1 liters of water per day
- 14-18 years old: drink 2.3 liters of water per day
- 19+: drink 2.7 liters of water per day
Daily Water Intake Suggestions For Males:
- 4-8 years old: drink 1.7 liters of water per day
- 9-13 years old: drink 2.4 liters of water per day
- 14-18 years old: drink 3.3 liters of water per day
- 19+: drink 3.7 liters of water per day
Supplement Your Diet With Magnesium, Sodium, and Potassium
Potassium and sodium will leave your body at a rapid rate thanks to the decrease in insulin on the keto diet. That will cause lightheadedness, constipation, cramping, and fatigue. To be sure you are getting the potassium you need, including leafy greens such as spinach to your diet along with avocados while adapting to the diet.
You can sprinkle unrefined salt to every meal as well as in your water to replenish your sodium levels as well. Magnesium will be another vital mineral that you can use to transition easier. Although there is no loss of magnesium while restricting carbs, It will help prevent and treat cramps, improve your sleep and increase insulin levels.
Eat More Fat
To help your body become adapted to keto give it more fat! Fat provides the liver with cells acetyl-CoA that they use to make ketones. The easiest way to get more fat in is with fat bombs. You will learn about those later.
However, there is one caution with consuming more fat. Most fats need more for fuel. That is especially throughout the first days of restricting carbs.
Well, there is part three to a four-part series that I will pick up here and write more about “fat bombs.” I hope you learned as much as I did writing this part of the series. I can appreciate that much of it is confusing but, once you read part four, it will all come together.
Thank you for taking the time to read my work. Kindly share in on your way and if you would leave me a comment to let me know your thoughts. Have you encountered the Keto flu? Let me hear your thoughts.
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