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Keto Flu: What Is The Keto Flu And How To Avoid It

November 24, 2019

What is the keto flu and how to avoid it?
Learn the basic mechanisms so that you understand why it happens and you can
avoid it and comfortably transition into that healthy keto lifestyle so a lot of
people they get all excited about ketogenic lifestyle they want to lose
the weight they want to feel better they’ve heard so many stories and then
they jump head in and three to five days later they feel terrible and some of the
symptoms can be headaches fatigue nausea cravings dizziness brain fog muscle
cramps irritability the list is pretty much endless and a lot of these things
are often associated with a flu so that’s why they call it the keto flu but
of course it’s not a flu at all there is no infectious agent it’s just that
you’re feeling as if you had the flu so you’re not going to contaminate anybody
and there is no bug involved but what’s really going on why do you feel so bad
well there’s really two reasons it’s not rocket science it’s very very simple
first is that you are doing a change okay so for decades you have taught your
body how to get energy out of carbohydrates you’ve taught your body to
install a machinery that can use carbohydrates but it doesn’t know how to
use fat it knows how to convert carbohydrates into fat and put it on
your body but it doesn’t know how to use that fat so its main source of fuel is
carbohydrate and now you’re pulling the rug out from under your machinery
literally overnight and it only knows how to use a carbohydrate and you just
took it away so now your body has no source of energy and it’s scrambling and
it’s changing but it doesn’t really know where to get it
so you get hypoglycemia and you get all these
different things so realize that you built a machinery to do one thing and
now you have to build a machinery to do something else namely to learn how to
use fat again so all your cells are going to change the enzymes they’re
gonna have to up regulate production of enzymes and receptors and it doesn’t
happen overnight some people can do it in a week or two some people are gonna
be more like several weeks or maybe even months before they’re fully adapted
before they’ve established a machinery that can use fat instead of carbs so
that’s the first reason you’re feeling so terrible you just change so fast that
your body has no idea where to get the energy or you’re starving it in a sense
the second reason is fluids so carbohydrates are stored in the bone in
the form of glycogen and glycogen is sort of like a sponge that it holds on
to a lot of water so imagine that you have a bucket of saltwater and you dip
the sponge into it and then you take it out and you squeeze the sponge and all
the water runs out well when the water runs out it’s going to take the salt
with it and that’s what happens in the body as well so glycogen holds on to
water and then you burn up the glycogen because you’re not adding any more carbs
and then the water that the glycogen held on to is going to leave the body
that’s the first three to four pounds of weight loss that you experience within
the first couple of days it’s fluid loss and when you lose that fluid it takes
your minerals with it and these minerals are crucial for your brain for your
nervous system for your metabolism there you even need more minerals to handle
the transition from carbs to fat because your body goes through many changes so
you’re increasing the demand on the body but at the same time you’re
robbing it of minerals because it’s the change that it hasn’t it’s it’s too fast
to change anytime you change something your body is gonna have to adapt and if
it’s too fast it’s not gonna be able to cope you’re losing fluids and it has
minerals so it’s as simple as that so how do we get into a ketogenic lifestyle
without feeling terrible well here are the steps that you do first you increase
the water intake you increase salt and you increase minerals don’t be afraid of
salt make sure it’s a good salt not the sterilized industrial table salt but a
sea salt or a pink salt minerals come in vegetables
okay so salt table salt or rather pink salt has primarily sodium in it and
you’re also losing potassium and magnesium and calcium so you want to try
to get plenty of all of those and vegetables is the top source vegetables
have tons of potassium and magnesium then you want to increase your fat
because part of the reason is that maybe you’re not eating enough a lot of people
will start just cutting out the carbs but they’re not in the habit of eating
anything else so now they don’t know what to eat and they haven’t put enough
fat in to make up for the carbs that they’re taking out so now if you’re
trying to turn your body from burning to stop burning carbs and instead burn fat
but you’re not adding enough in the diet and your body hasn’t learned to use the
fat on your body now you’re low on both carbs and fats
you’re literally starving so therefore you want to make it gradual okay a lot
of people they’re so ready they so want to get into this and and we as humans
were impatient we want instant results we want to do it now and I would advise
to not do it all at once for all the reasons that we talked about
but when you do it gradual when you take some carbs out you want to put something
else in and there’s so many diets out there where people jump in and then they
get off the doesn’t matter what you call them and one that comes to mind is whole
xxx which it’s a great diet it teaches you how to eat Whole Foods but the very
idea of 30 days gives people the idea that you get on it and you get off it
and it’s such a sudden change that you feel terrible and you can’t wait to get
back to eating the way that you used to so gradual means two things first it
gives you the chance to change habits it gives you the chance to learn new foods
so you take something out that’s high in carbs and you put something else in
that’s low in carbs and higher in fat and as you change this may be a few
things per week you gradually transition into a lifestyle that you can maintain
and as you do it gradually and you teach yourself some new habits you also teach
your body some new habits you give it a chance to gradually go from using carbs
as the primary fuel to using fat as the primary fuel okay so there’s two things
it’s your cellular habits and it’s your own human personal habits so I think
that you should start cutting it back maybe – if I want to give you some
numbers this isn’t necessarily right for everybody but if you start cutting it
down to maybe 80 grams a day of net carbohydrates and then you go down
gradually from there maybe reduce it by 1015 grams a week and that way you can
gauge how you’re feeling if it’s too fast you can back off a little bit and
don’t be in a hurry you have the rest of your life to do this number four
exercise you want to be really careful with exercise but you do want to do
exercise so what my videos on aerobic versus an aerobics
and and videos on exercise that I’ve done so you understand these principles
but exercise is great because it reduces insulin resistance and when the body
needs more energy it tends to burn more fat and increase ketone production so
that’s a good thing what’s bad about it is if you do exercise too intense
because now when you’re short of fuel your body will start screaming for carbs
it will make cortisol it will raise your blood sugar and it will make you feel
really bad it’ll make you feel a lot worse than if you didn’t exercise but if
you do very gentle exercise like walking or yoga or stretching then the exercise
will actually help you instead so low intensity exercise to activate the body
but not so intense that you start producing lots of cortisol don’t count
calories because a lot of people they get into it they’re gung-ho they want to
make it happen right now I cut back the carbs oh yeah I can do this but again
they don’t put the fat in and they think oh well I can do this if I don’t eat so
much I can lose the weight even faster that’s not what this is about it’s about
finding a lifestyle you can do for the rest of your life take your time and
don’t count calories let your body find the balance so as you cut back the carbs
as your body learns to use fat instead you will stay full longer you won’t get
hungry you won’t need snacks between meals you can go eight hours between
meals but don’t push it let it happen let it just develop the way your body
wants it to and then you can get through all of these with no discomfort no
deprivation and no hunger so please share this video with everyone you care
about because we want to get this information out so more people can get
healthy please leave your comments and questions below let me know
you’ve experienced some Kido flu or what how your experience has been if you have
at any additional tips please feel free to share those as well and thanks for


  • Reply Dr. Sten Ekberg February 11, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    Learn more about Keto and Intermittent Fasting:

  • Reply Red Pilled Cuck February 11, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    I have gone in and out of ketosis for the past 15 years and have never had keto flu. To be honest, the worst feeling on keto is when you cheat and have a bolus of carbs, 5 minutes later your body starts to tingle and you get tired.

  • Reply Björn Chokokuka February 11, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    I had the Keto flu a couple times. But it only felt like I am getting a flu. But I am not getting the Keto flu anymore even if I cheat for example during holidays. That is pretty neat. ?

  • Reply vasuki February 11, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    no ketu flu here, just headaches

  • Reply I am what I am February 11, 2019 at 6:55 pm

    8 months on Keto. Cheated only 3 times. No big deal first 2 but got Keto flu 3rd time and I’m thankful because that flu programmed me to not crave sugar and grain anymore. That flu was bad and I don’t want to go through that again!

  • Reply Cemil Cırrık February 11, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    I didn't experience any of these cause I think burning sugar was already sucked anyway lol

  • Reply Theknowabout February 11, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    Hey Doc can you make a video on TMAO. Is it safe to eat moderate meat and eggs daily on keto.

  • Reply Dillons Woodworks February 11, 2019 at 9:16 pm

    I've been watching your videos as well as Dr Berg and have been eating into the ketogenic lifestyle for about 3 to 4 weeks now. I currently do 1 to 2 meals a day either 23:1 or 20:4 and have lost 20 pounds. I feel great and have more energy. Not hungry as frequent either. Its such a great feeling and thank you for the inspiration and information. See you on the next one Sten!

  • Reply Erik J February 11, 2019 at 10:50 pm

    Wondering 1 thing, can your keto's get too high when you go too fast and "starve" yourself? Had the keto flue, worked on my gut bacteria and already feel much better but keto in blood stays around the 6 – 7 mmol/L. Even 7.9 just an hour ago. I'm at 4 weeks now and it totaly sounds like me….. giving 500% because I believe I can pull it off.

  • Reply Jake Romero February 12, 2019 at 3:31 am

    Doc, awesome video. Thanks!

  • Reply Texas_Raised_ Texas _Made February 12, 2019 at 3:53 am

    Yup caught them headaches BAD doc?????

  • Reply Methuselah February 12, 2019 at 4:54 am

    Hey Doctor Ekberg , l know this is off topic but l want to ask about " is it fine to eat Green beans on Keto " .

  • Reply J J February 12, 2019 at 10:18 am

    I love your use of the white board with clear printing to explain your topics. Just like Dr. Berg's videos, it makes the presentation so much easier to understand. I got the Keto Flu the first couple weeks, but I jumped into the deep end of the pool for the first time and did a 3 day water fast to switch quickly. I felt horrible with every symptom and severe leg and foot cramping and headaches. At that time I knew nothing about replacing electrolytes. I repeated the fast a couple weeks later and did a 4 day water fast feeling less symptoms. Then I learned about electrolyte replacement. I use potassium chloride powder (NOW INC. makes a good one) pink sea salt, magnesium citrate or malate and occasional baking soda in filtered water with lemon juice and cayenne pepper powder. I also use sparkle water for the fizziness and change. The symptoms have completely disappeared. I'm currently on day 4 of a 5 day water fast with no hunger. I know I am now fully body fat adapted. When I do eat, I usually do 18 hours of fasting and 6 hours of eating every day with one or two decent size keto meals in that 6 hour window until I am satisfied. I use the cheap keto pee strips and it shows next to the darkest purple after a day and a half of fasting. I never bought an expensive keto blood meter because I know when I am burning fat with the pee strips and the fact I have energy and no cravings tells me that my cells likes my body fat as a meal. I believe I am only 5 pounds from my ideal body weight.

  • Reply Mitch February 13, 2019 at 5:20 pm

    Addiction is so brainwashing. We think we are hungry, when in fact insulin holds the Ghrelin hormone hostage, creating a vicious cycle that never ends until strong education is provided of these effects. Healthy fat is the ONLY antidote!!! Veggies and salad of course, but healthy fat unlocks the key to the solution!!! I tell people all the time to try this for just 2 days. We can change the world!!!

  • Reply Des February 14, 2019 at 1:32 am

    Dr. Ekberg, just found your channel. Great simple and factual information on Keto. I started keto on 9/1/18 and have lost 25 lbs. I am 72. Started losing my hair for about one month and have lost half of my hair and it’s still coming out in bunches daily. I feel terrific like never in my life and don’t want to stop keto for health and wellness benefits I have experienced. But I am about to flip out because of the hair loss. Any suggestions would be most appreciated. By the way my husband is Scandinavian, from Sarpsborg Norway. He will definitely want to watch.

  • Reply Mitch February 14, 2019 at 5:25 am

    Thank you so much Dr Ekberg for all you do! You really connect the dots so well in your presentations!! Must keep driving in the message of how powerful processed food is junk food and how significant it effects the body with insulin toxicity. Please keep that good work up and I think if you use that as the common denominator in all your videos, it will continue to be a game changer. Most of the world cannot relate to how in the world flour and processed foods are junk foods. Maybe do a video that is focused on the power of processed food? I heard that processed food disease be may renamed Diabetes type 3! Thoughts?

  • Reply Mette Harter February 16, 2019 at 6:26 pm

    I have been on the Keto diet for a while now, I haven’t lost a lot (need to) , but I feel a much better, new lifestyle, thanks to you Dr. Ekberg

  • Reply TheToberman1 February 27, 2019 at 11:10 am

    Symptoms sound a lot like Candida Yeast die-off. Which makes sense, since you stop their food source by carb reduction.

  • Reply rosedragon108 March 2, 2019 at 2:49 am

    I've noticed … seems like EVERY time my body shifts into ketosis [and keto stix at 4.0] I get a headache. AND… a couple grains of pink Himalyan salt on my tongue and a big glass of water ZAPS that headache immediately.

  • Reply m puri March 2, 2019 at 8:50 am

    Hi I have a long standing insulin resistance over 40 years and on metformin & insulin since long. Now I am 15 days on keto diet. I left my insulin & metformin. Through out I had a roller coaster feeling. Sometimes a night mare. But I struggled to push on. I had a week long severe muscle cramps which are now settled. But now the main problem is palpitations, a bit high BP and mainly mentation problems & imbalance & vertigo. It seems that I am at the tipping point.
    . Now:
    1. Should I continue?
    2. Should I add metformin or small doses of insulin? My blood sugar levels
    remain around 300 units through out.
    3. Any harm in continuing with metformin or insulin along with keto diet?
    I need urgent help and advice please

  • Reply Denis Sonsing March 8, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    I've been keto for 3 months and doing it for my fatty liver. Very strict to less than 25g net carb and IF 16/8. Glucose at 4.7mmol and ketone at 0.9mmol. I'm very active and got flu every time I finish my intense tennis 2h session. deep fatigue headache and even fever sometimes. I've tried some re-carbs with berries during my exercise or coffee/mct but it does not work. It's less bad when I play fasted. Any recommendations? Thanks

  • Reply ben tumblingh March 24, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    Doc, is it ok to use vitamins supplement to replenish my mineral lost?

  • Reply DIY Solar Homestead April 8, 2019 at 11:42 pm

    I eat lots of veggies but I don't drink much water.

  • Reply Maya Shah April 18, 2019 at 3:23 am

    Needed the laughter at 4:35–4:40 “anytime you change chomthing” not “something”..oh my nice chuckle needed after a long day..appreciate you doc! I’m sure I’m the only one that caught this haha..shows how attentively I listen to you huh????

  • Reply SARA AL April 18, 2019 at 7:56 am

    You are my dream

  • Reply Krishnan Narayanan June 6, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    Doctor, my wife is a Type 1 diabetes and have hypo thyroid. She started low carb foods (no cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli) from first April 2019 to till date. She drinks turmeric tea and fenugreek water and the resultant sprout is also used in food as raw. Her blood sugar level is down from 323 to 145 (Random). she is also doing exercise twice a day(combining your 3 Bird posture in to it). Her TSH have come down to 2.55 from 5.15. Thanks doctor for your tutorials. Can pancreas be made to produce insulin so that she can completely stop insulin injection? Her doctor have not reduce the dosage of insulin ( But he has reduced one tablet) and have not reduced the dosage of Thyroxin (used to take 75 gms a day). May she reduce without consulting him? THANKS FOR THE VIDEOS

  • Reply Acquarius Tours June 18, 2019 at 11:17 pm

    excellent video

  • Reply Adi September 23, 2019 at 1:44 pm

    Wow doc! Did i hear it right at 09:59☺
    Hello from Singapore!??
    I love your vids man??. So many are benefiting from it??. Awesome! Thank you so much!

  • Reply Ashish Arora September 24, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    Dr. Ekberg
    Is presence of ketones in blood stream harmful for kidneys. Although I'm a follower but keep getting cautioned by many to stop the same. I've been able to come out of insulin resistance and am not taking any medication now.
    Your video's have been life changing.

  • Reply venetiancat November 6, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    I went through it after doing my very first 24 hour fast last night, (worked to this gradually, been on low carb for 10 years with plenty of high quality mineral supplements, worked to keto/no carb over 10 days doing 2 meals 6/18 and increased healthy fat) went to 24-25 hours fast with very little hunger, went to weekly acupuncture, and broke the fast with your chocolate smoothie,(added MCT oil and cinnamon, couldn't find coconut cream) went to bed, and woke up at 4am with horrendous nausea and a massive coughing fit (I have emphysema) . Drank plain ginger tea, stopped the nausea right away, but couldn't sleep anymore. Been drinking San Pellegrino water, it has 10mg sodium in it. Feel really tired today.

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