Aaah, the great equaliser; Carb/Keto Flu
Welcome to making the most exciting decision to “reclaim your health” and wellness.
Ha! What? Not quite.
Welcome to headaches, brain fog, cramps, nausea and general feelings of lethargicness; even worse than when you felt fat and bloated. So, what is this terrible feeling when trying to feed your body and soul with your new-found wisdom on the “not all fat is created equal” train?
Meet CARB FLU (or Keto Flu, probably called “keto” not to offend the carbs you’ve been scoffing down for ages), also referred to as CARB CRASH. This is the process of what happens when you stop eating carbohydrates and start fuelling your body with dietary fat instead.
After years of eating pretty much what you wanted and making work of gaining energy from sugar and carbohydrate foods, you go cold turkey and shut down the supply of sugar and carbs. For the first couple of days, your body relies on stored carbohydrates (glycogen) for energy but after 3-4 days, the storage is empty. You’re feeding your body dietary fats but your body isn’t familiar with what to do with it, so now it starts complaining. Or even crashing! Making this the “shut down period” where your insides “reset” to make work of utilising the reserve fats for functioning, and learning to work with the “good fats” you are putting into your system.
Now, every person’s body reacts differently to the “reset” and some of you might experience mild symptoms, however I never half-ass anything, not even keto flu.
There are tips and ways to mediate the symptoms, but let’s be honest, in order to feel better you will feel pretty crap for a bit. Take a look below at the illustration:
I’ve met Keto Flu before, as previously mentioned I’ve embarked on this journey before, and was to my opinion ready for it. Oh boy, it hit me with the vengeance of a long-lost, bitter, rival.
It took exactly 16 hours for the flu to take effect and packing every punch it was throwing at me:
- Unquenchable thirst;
- Unpleasant sweating (like a sinner in a church pew);
- Dry mouth (even after slinging back the water jugs);
- During the night I had some difficulty in sleeping (might have been a combination of the sweats and over-tiredness).
This was only day ONE! Not bad considering I went from a 90% carb diet to 5% carb diet overnight. Eek, I probably deserved to get my ass kicked by my pancreas and kidneys.
The following day I woke up with a stabbing headache (which would not have been any exceptional on any other bright summers’ morning, however this was a pain I was familiar with from previous Keto flu).
Yes, the second day I experienced:
- Stabbing headache;
- Brain fog;
- Difficulty in focussing my eyes;
- Bitter taste in mouth.
Remarkably, the headache subsided once I drank my coffee and ate something for breakfast. It turned into a dull pain and just stuck around for the rest of the day.
Now I am counting on the symptoms to subside and eventually I will wake up and jump out of bed with all the energy of an Olympic athlete. However, my timing was of such that I could feel my worst over the weekend and not have to deal with too many people.
Will keep you posted on the rest of the surprises as my “sugar burner” turns itself into a “fat burner”.