Does the keto flu exist?

“The keto flu” is a term used to describe the unpleasant few days that some people go through when they first eliminate carbohydrates from their diet.

I made this video about two weeks ago, after a bout with the real flu, not the keto flu, which caused me to reflect upon whether the keto flu exists at all, or if its just the result of improper dieting.

NOTE — The keto flu doesn’t cause actual flu-like symptoms, like sneezing, fever, chills, etc.  If you experience those symptoms, you have a legitimate sickness, like I recently had, and not the keto flu.

I personally have never had the keto flu and these are some of the reasons why I think that I have been able to avoid any bad experiences with ketogenic dieting:


Drink at least one gallon of water every day

If you look at the symptoms that many people attribute to the keto flu, most of them are just the result of dehydration.  Not only do most people not drink enough water as it is, but, as I’ll explain later, the risk of dehydration is even greater when low-carb dieting, so the need to drink sufficient water is also greater.


Keep your fats and calories high

One of the most common problems that I see with people’s diets is that they don’t eat enough, which results in cravings, tiredness, moodiness and poor workouts.  This in turn results in missing workouts and cheating on your diet or giving it up entirely.

If you don’t get enough calories AND you’re going low-carb, these negative side effects will be even more extreme.

I’ll go more in-depth into exact macronutrient calculations in a future article, but here are a few simple tips:

A keto diet should be about 60% of calories from fat and 40% from protein
As a rule of thumb, if I lack energy, I increase my total calories, usually by increasing my fat intake
If I don’t lack energy, but I’m hungry or feel like my muscles aren’t recovering from my workouts, I increase my protein intake


Don’t hesitate to add salt

Everyone will tell you that “salt is bad for you”.

Don’t buy into the hype!

People interested in general health will tell you that salt will kill you and should be avoided entirely.  Well, it is true that TOO MUCH salt is unhealthy, but insufficient sodium intake is unhealthy, too.

The reason why most people don’t have the problem of insufficient sodium intake is that they don’t generally exert themselves.  If you train hard, sweat a lot and drink a lot of water to replace the water you lose through sweating, you may eventually flush all of the electrolytes out of your body and the first electrolyte to go out of balance is usually sodium.

Bodybuilders and physique athletes will tell you that you should decrease your sodium intake because it will cause you to retain water and ruin your muscle definition, but having enough sodium in your body to retain a little water will keep you from dehydrating!

So, don’t overdo it, but make sure that you get enough salt to maintain healthy sodium levels in your body.

The way I do it is simple, If I start craving salt or feeling dehydrated, even though I’m drinking enough water, I add some salt to my diet.

I don’t have any special structure or calculation for this, I just eat some bacon, drink some bouillon or add table salt or a crushed bouillon cube to my chopped beef for seasoning.

That’s it for today, until next time, go out there and be awesome!


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