A new study has found that the ‘keto flu,’ the series of symptoms people say they experience in the early stages of the diet, is real. The research, which was recently published in Frontiers, focused on the high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet and its potential impact on everything from energy levels to heart rate, dizziness, nausea, and more.
The keto diet is an eating protocol that is considerably different than the typical western diet. Rather than consuming large amounts of carbohydrates, the keto diet involves getting the majority of your daily calories from fat and most of the rest from protein. This forces the body into a fat-burning state, a process that many find uncomfortable.
For decades, low-carb dieters have reported experiencing what has come to be known as the ‘keto flu.’ These symptoms can vary between people, but often include things like headache, low energy, dizziness, heart palpitations, feeling as if you’re going to faint, and general fatigue.
The new study analyzed a few dozen forums for reports from keto dieters and found that most people can experience these symptoms in the first few weeks. The symptoms are at their worst during the first week, then slowly decrease in severity over the next couple of weeks, at least based on reports from dieters.
Most dieters experience more than one symptom when starting the keto diet, but they may not all suffer to the same degree. Most symptoms were found to take only around two weeks to disappear. Some dieters report that drinking enough water and keeping up one’s electrolyte levels helps ease the ‘flu’ many experience in the first week.