Ketosis Symptoms & Low Carb Flu Explained


What does Ketosis mean exactly, and what are Ketosis symptoms? There are a lot of questions about the Low Carb Flu, also known as “Induction Flu” (based on the Atkins Induction Phase).

If you’ve just started eating low carb and you feel miserable, you’re experiencing the low carb flu.

Ketosis symptoms include:

Headaches, bad breath or a metallic taste in your mouth, irritability (like PMS on steroids! lol), leg cramps, insomnia, nausea, etc.

It basically feels like you’ve been hit with a nasty flu. Symptoms vary from person to person.

The good news is, it means you’re doing it right! The even better news is… it only lasts a few days. πŸ˜‰

What Is Ketosis?

It is a state in which your body burns fat for energy instead of carbs/sugar. A keto state means you are fueling your body on healthy fats instead of carbohydrates. So that saying that “You need carbs for energy!” is untrue. But you DO need either carbohydrates OR healthy fats for energy, which is why you can’t (or shouldn’t) eat “low carb, low fat”. See Low Carb, High Fat Diet Explained

Your body and your brain actually operate much better on healthy fats. A ketogenic diet is known to reduce seizures, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, control diabetes and chronic pain issues (fibromyalgia, arthritis, etc) and remedy many other common health issues.

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is particularly important in fuelling brain function. However, if there is very little carbohydrate in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pass into the brain and replace glucose as an energy source. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood, a state known as ketosis… –source

The science of Food Combining is an amazing thing!

Unlike a low calorie or low fat diet, there is a science behind how the Low Carb Diet works. By eating 20 net carbs a day max, your body changes from using carbs for energy to using fat for energy. Doing this puts your body in a state of ketosis, which is a huge chemical change – and is what causes you to experience the “low carb flu” for a few days while it is in the process of making this change.

The low carb flu only lasts a few days, and once it passes you’ll feel amazing! In addition to the symptoms I already mentioned, you’ll find you pee a lot more than normal as well, given this is a diuretic diet. You’ll shed unnecessary water weight in the process, and most people experience several pounds in weight loss as well.

How To Get Into Ketosis

Simply eat very low carb (20 net carbs per day or less) and high fat.

Ideally you’ll eat at least 70% of your daily calories in healthy fats.

I use MyFitnessPal with the Keto Hack to keep track of what I’m eating, and to make sure I am getting a healthy ratio of carbs / fat / protein. It’s easy to set up if you use the step-by-step instructions at that link. I shoot for 75% Fat, 20% Protein and 5% carbs from my total daily calories. I don’t actually count calories – just carbs and ratios. You can see example meals and how the ratios worked out in this LCHF 2-Day Food Journal as an example.

How Long Does It Take To Get Into Ketosis?

It seems to vary from person to person, but for me it usually “strikes” on about Day 3 of eating low carb. The relentless headache sets in, I have insomnia or restless sleep, pee incessantly, and get extremely cranky. Fun. πŸ˜€

Low Carb FluThis is also when I notice the scales starting to move. Most people lose anywhere from 2-10 pounds during the first week of going low carb, or more specifically with a ketogenic low carb diet.

The scales to the right are mine (and so are the feet, lol). It’s the EatSmart Digital Scale which is Rated #1 on Amazon and available for Amazon Prime and free shipping. I love this scale!!

When I first started a low carb diet, I lost 8 pounds in the first 10 days. That’s typical for someone who starts eating low carb for the first time. If you “yo-yo” too much, your body will “wait to see how serious you are” (yes, that’s my scientific explanation, lol) and it takes longer and longer each time you “start over” to see substantial weight loss.

Anyway, If you eat more than 20 net carbs a day, or eat a lot of processed food (like bars and shakes) instead of “real food” – or if you eat too lean (ie low fat) – you may find it harder to get into ketosis, or that it takes longer.

How To Stay In Ketosis

Simply continue eating very low carb, very high fat and stick to “real food” and “healthy fats”. This will keep your body in a state of ketosis, burning fat for fuel, which is ideal for optimal health and also for weight loss.

This is not a “quick trick weight loss program”. It’s a way of eating to get healthy, stay healthy, and fuel your brain / heart / body in the best way possible. If you use a ketogenic diet to lose weight fast, it will likely work. But going back to a high carbohydrate diet (and processed foods) will put the weight back on just as fast.

It IS important to note though, that you can gain weight eating LCHF (high fat) if you have “cheats”. There’s a science to the way the low carb or Atkins diet works, as I explained above. Carbs and Fat are NOT a good combination. Every time you choose to “indulge” in higher amounts of carbs/starches (more than 20 net/day) you take yourself out of keto state (assuming you got there before that) and have to go through the low carb flu all over again. NOT ideal. Plus yo-yo’ing like that will usually make it take longer and longer for you to achieve results every time you “restart”.

This is not like a low fat or low calorie diet where you can eat a brownie tonight and just got it off tomorrow and be right back on track. It IS a commitment, but it’s one your body will LOVE you for!

Not to mention you’ll be smokin’ hot, lightning fast, and super healthy. πŸ˜€

Once you survive the Low Carb Flu that is, lol – and you will! I promise. πŸ˜‰

Questions about Ketosis symptoms or the Low Carb Flu? Leave a comment below!

About Lynn Terry

I love making the low carb diet EASY for people with a busy lifestyle (like me!) with my KISS / Keep It Simple method. :) About Lynn Terry: Host of the Low Carb Challenge
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145 Responses to Ketosis Symptoms & Low Carb Flu Explained

  1. Pingback: FUN App To Track Carbs On A Chart (MyFitnessPal Hack) | Low Carb Diet Tips for Busy People

  2. Shirley Terwilliger says:

    I am having a really hard time getting into Ketosis, I have a killer headache, poor sleep, some loose stools and crabby, but still not testing that I am in Ketosis’s , very flustrated.

    • Alecia says:

      I’ve found that sometimes I don’t get into ketosis when I think I should because there is too much protein in my diet. I learned that protein gets used as a carb when you eat too much of it (not sure of the scientific language for it). Also, my stick doesn’t turn when I have been drinking a lot of fluid. I think your urine can be to diluted to test well. When I’m more dehydrated or haven’t eaten much, it shows up right away. Good luck!

    • Lynn Terry says:


      The sticks/strips aren’t reliable. It sounds like you have all the symptoms of keto flu! Those symptoms should only last a few days as long as you stay at or under 20 net carbs a day. πŸ˜‰

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  5. violet houser says:

    where can I get the ketosis test strips at?

  6. jeanette sweetser says:

    I have been on atkins for m3m weeks now but have not been in ketosis. I have lost 8 lbs and at a stand still. help!

  7. Christine Deferrari says:

    hi, I think I have the low carb flu. Last night I felt aches and chills.. I know it’s not the regular flu. I also had pains in my stomach, I made the cauliflower pot salad and spinach soufflΓ© . Also had the coconut oil for the first time! I woke up still feeling a little achey and I feel like I have to move my Bowles but nothing.. Thanx in advance for some feedback. BTW THIS IS MY 5th day! I did lose 5 lbs already.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Christine! Congrats on losing 5 pounds in 5 days – that’s awesome. πŸ˜€ It may be the food combinations that are giving you stomach pains. Try eating super simple for the next few days – no more than 3 foods / 3 ingredients per plate. That should help.

      Also, coconut oil affects everyone differently. I only use it to make fudge, and eat that in extreme moderation. It’s not necessary, by the way – just a great healthy superfood to add in moderation. πŸ˜‰

  8. Jess says:

    I think i have the low carb flu aswell. I started my low carb diet on Monday, the next day i got an awful headache. On Wednesday i started feeling stomachache and found it difficult to stay sleep. Today is now Thursday and i have diarrhea. I read a few comments and im the only one to have diarrhea… Im concerned.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      No Jess – you’re not alone with that symptom. πŸ™‚ Fortunately, it will pass pretty quick. Drink some chicken broth. I drink it hot out of a mug like coffee. It replaces the sodium & electrolytes – and makes you feel TONS better. πŸ™‚

  9. Amy says:

    Are fevers a symptom of the keto flu? I’ve googled extensively and found nothing. I have all the other symptoms, as well. On the upside, I’ve lost 11 pounds in 2 weeks.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hmm Amy – I’ve never experienced a fever with the keto flu.

      Anyone else??

    • Joy says:

      I have fever, chills, weakness, and extreme fatigue. These symptoms show up when my ketone test strip reads 8.0 or greater. I end up trying to boost electrolytes, which is hard to find as a low carb source. Anyone have a better solution?

      • Lynn Terry says:

        That sounds really odd, Joy…

        Are you drinking too much water maybe?? Try chicken broth – make it strong, add a tbsp of butter to make it even richer, and drink it hot out of a mug.

        Chicken broth replaces sodium & electrolytes lost in the diuretic process of ketosis. Make sure you get plenty of salt (don’t eat low sodium!) and make sure you aren’t drinking too much water. Your urine should be pale yellow (not clear).

        How are you tracking? Are you eating at least 70% fat? I’m not a doctor btw… but happy to help you tweak things to feel better!

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  13. Janet says:

    Hi. I cringe to think of leg cramps since I get them now without low carb eating. Does the chicken broth help curb this nasty condition?

    • Lynn Terry says:

      That symptom only lasts a day or two with me, Janet. It’s because it’s a diuretic diet. The best thing to do is not drink too *much* water, and drink or sip on chicken broth – as it replaces lost electrolytes & sodium. Which is what causes the leg cramps and headaches. Fortunately it passes quickly. πŸ™‚

      • Brenda Atwell says:

        Lynn Terry, I have a question. How much is to much water cause I never heard of that. Which it is hard for me to drink a lot of water, unless I use Crystal Light.

        • Lisa says:

          Lynn, I have tried keto previously and felt great until the 7th day. I was using a supplement system and they told me to drink half my weight in ounces if water. I wss drinking 100oz. I got So dehydrated, ended up in ER for electrolyte replacement. What is your recommendation for calculating water per day.

          • Lynn Terry says:

            Oh wow, Lisa πŸ™ You don’t need any supplements, and you certainly don’t need to be drinking that much water!

            It sounds like you had water intoxication – scary that “they” (?) told you to do that to yourself! :-/

            My recommendation is simple: drink when you’re thirsty. If your urine is clear, drink less, if your urine is dark yellow drink more water. Your goal is pale yellow urine. That’s it!

            All you have to do is 20 net carbs max, 70% fat minimum, eat when you’re hungry, drink when you’re thirsty, don’t when you’re not – and keep it that simple.

  14. Alejandra says:

    Hi!! I’m just beginning this is my second day or firts one lol ( i began yesterday at night jaja) and i guess I already have the symptoms of the keto flu, I’m not sure but i have headaches and something weird happens in my stomach jaja. I have a little o bit of nusea and burps ( i don’t know if the burps are norlma jajaja). I feel my stomach full, but i didn’t eat that much today.. well i hope these stop in the next few days!!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Alejandra,

      The first few days are the hardest. Hopefully those issues will pan out in quick time for you. By the end of the first week, you should be feeling GREAT! πŸ™‚

      • Alejandra says:

        I’m feeling much better, i still have headache but my stomach feels much better now. πŸ™‚ the good thing about this is I’m learning a lot because 2 years ago I started to do this diet but then I moved to another country and the new style of life of eating healthy was kinda difficult to maintain and every time I was beginning the diet the symptoms appears and i used to think because maybe the food i was eating make me feel sick but now i understand that is because of the keto flu !!!!

      • Lynn Terry says:

        It really does help to know the science behind how Low Carb works, and what’s REALLY going on in your body. πŸ™‚ Chicken Broth really helps with the symptoms during week one (or anytime you find yourself going back through “Induction Flu”) as it replaces the electrolytes & sodium lost during this process.

  15. angela says:

    can you go into ketosis even if your on phase 2. i feel cold a lot of times. sneezing a lot runny nose no appetite but i am making sure i drink plenty of water ? when i do eat i eat a good breakfast before my workout other wise i have no appetite for the rest of the day πŸ™

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Angela,

      The Induction Flu wouldn’t cause sneezing or runny nose – that sounds like allergies or a cold. A suppressed appetite is normal for a low carb diet. But lack of appetite could also be a sign you have a cold, especially if you’re not eating super low carb (enough to have the lack of appetite associated with a lower carb ketogenic diet). If you continue to feel bad, or it gets worse, definitely see a doctor.

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  18. Amy G says:

    have been lowering carbs last two month, think im ready to jump to completely low carb diet. gonna start tomorrow. have been keeping carbs under 90 for last month but have adjusted my MFP account so hopefully that helps.

  19. Paul says:

    Hi Lynn, I’m on day 3 of the keto diet & these headaches are awful. I’m taking tylenol, because I can’t sleep at night & during the day, the haedaches are a pain. I’m committed to make this a lifestyle change, so I’m all in…headaches and all lol. I’m keeping my meals simple (eggs, chicken with skin, avocado, and real coconut milk (not the carton crap, the canned ine with all the fat) for my plain black coffee). How am I doing? Do I need to change anything?

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Paul,

      Day three is always when it hits me too. I get insomnia and relentless headaches, as well as leg cramps. The best solution is to drink (or sip on) chicken broth – as it replaces electrolytes and sodium lost in the process of going into ketosis.

      Fortunately all of those symptoms will pass in a day or two and then you’ll feel fabulous. πŸ™‚ Until then: chicken broth!

  20. Kristin says:

    I started with a weight loss clinic and I was told to try to stick with 1200 calories per day…aim for 30g of protein per meal and no more than 15tsp of sugar per day. Meaning low carb obviously. I have been doing this consistently for almost a week now. The first couple of days I felt great but as the week has gone on I get off and on again headaches, feel a little nauseous at times and get chills seems to be later at night? I have been getting about 10tsp of sugar per day so maybe I’m not getting enough?? Also have a little trouble with constipation…drinking lots of water though. I do feel a difference in my clothes and know there is loss but haven’t weighed in yet.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Kristen,

      15 tsp of sugar a day? I eat sugar free. πŸ™‚ My advice is to make sure you are getting plenty of healthy fats in your diet. I prefer “real food” sources like pecans, walnuts and avocado. Real butter and Duke’s mayo are good sources too.

      You can’t (and shouldn’t) eat low carb AND low fat. That will leave you with ZERO energy. See: πŸ™‚

  21. RhondaD says:

    I’m on day 11 and thought I was dying last night. My head felt weird like dizzy my arms and legs felt like they weigh 100 pounds each and I could not sleep as I felt sick from the dizzy. I hope this doesn’t last much longer!!!!

  22. Amber D. says:

    Hi! I’ve been in the Induction Phase for a little over two weeks. I don’t have a lot of weight to lose (I lost over 80 pounds a few years ago and have mostly kept it off), and I consider myself to have good muscle tone, but the scale was going up again and I am a total carb junkie!! :O I needed a change. One week in, my husband and I did two days of intense, rugged hiking. A week later, my muscles in my legs are still incredibly sore and week! I am strictly following the 20 carbs or under, and I drink loads of water! Anyone else experience this kind of lingering muscle fatigue? Also, I’m still experiencing some nausea?

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Amber,

      When you say “I drink loads of water” – that makes me think the muscle fatigue and nausea may be related to that. See: It may just be that you’re flushing out your sodium and electrolytes. The quick fix: Drink chicken broth. Even if it’s from keto flu (or induction flu), chicken broth will do the trick. πŸ™‚

      • Amber D. says:

        I actually found that article last night after I had posted my question and thought that might be me! Thank you for your quick response! I will cut back on the water and see if that helps. I tend to be an excessive drinker (coffee, water, diet pop), and I would guess that I typically drink around 100 to 120 ounces of water, not including the other things I drink!

        • Lynn Terry says:

          Try that and see if it helps. πŸ™‚ Drink chicken broth anytime you feel “icky” for a quick fix too until your body pans out. I use the canned Campbell’s broth like you would cook with – just heat as directed and sip hot out of a mug. *cheers*

  23. angii says:

    I vomited so bad the first day I gave up…but I’m ready to start over.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Angii,

      Vomiting is not a normal occurrence, especially on your first day eating low carb. It’s just real food (meat & greens) – nothing that should make you sick at all. I would have to guess that by sheer coincidence something else caused that…

      • me says:

        I also vomited badly on the second day. definitely NOT a stomach issue, because I know what that feels like. and this felt like a bad hangover not a bug. plus I found tons of posts on people who vomited during their keto flu.

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  26. Tee says:

    It’s day 10 an i have rashes from my arm to leg. Is it normal pls?

    • Lynn Terry says:

      I’ve never heard of that, Tee. I would take benedryl and see your doctor. It sounds like an allergic reaction to something. Do you have any known food allergies?

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  28. Lorena Nava says:

    Hi I have been in low carb since 11/17/2016 I’m down 36 lbs. can’t go down what can I do? I need help

  29. denise says:

    Not sure why I am “barely” in ketosis, but anyway, here is the question – does the higher the ketosis level equate to faster fat burning? In other words, if I am in trace ketotis am I burning fat more slowly than at a higher level of ketosis? I hope that make sense.

  30. Donna Wonnacott says:

    How many gram of carb is one carb

  31. Megan says:

    Ugh. I’m in keto flu now. Day 3 of my low carb diet and I’ve lost 4 pounds. I just feel iky.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      It doesn’t last long, Megan – just a day or two. πŸ™‚ That means you’re doing everything right, so that’s a great thing!!

      • Megan says:

        Yep! It only lasted 24 hours. Yay!! I’m still so so tired. I slept 10 hours last night and still don’t want to get out of bed. But I’m loosing this weight

        • Lynn Terry says:

          You’ll feel GREAT from here forward – high energy and losing weight and such. πŸ™‚ Just remember that feeling… if you ever feel tempted to eat off plan – know you will have to go through keto flu ALL over again. πŸ˜› haha it’s a good deterrent!

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  33. Shelly says:

    I am just restarting this… I am a diabetic and am curious as to how safe it is to go through ketosis. Before my blood sugar wasn’t as well controlled when I’d diet like this. Now I wear a pump and it is so well controlled I hardly evere have to put in carbs or blood sugars as I am no longer eating carbs and bs are below 120. I still am getting a small amount and sometimes my bs will drop low. With out having to go through the big long ins and outs of insulin production or lack of and how ketones can build in a diabetics body and cause problems what will I do once I start the keto flu process? If any of this makes sense…..

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Shelly,

      That’s way out of my scope of knowledge unfortunately. I know we have a lot of diabetics in the low carb challenge group if you want to join us there and ask your question:

      Have you talked to your doctor about it? From what I understand, a healthy ketogenic diet is great for diabetics – but most doctors seem to want you to eat higher carb and lower fat for some crazy reason. I’d definitely do some research on that and talk to others with your specific type & meds!

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  36. Val says:

    Morning. I’m doing the low-carb diet since last Sunday. By Wednesday I got the flu symptoms for 3 days. Then they went away for two days but came back now for three. I have severe nausea but I cannot throw up, and lasts a good two minutes each time & it’s bad!! When will this end or is this something to worry about. I’ve done the chicken broth but effects don’t last long. Lost 7 lbs in 10 days so far….as I’m writing this I’m getting an attack right now….. Okay I’m back. What happens with taking normal meds? Any help is mucho appreciated. Thx

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Val,

      What do you mean by normal meds? For what?

      Did you eat off plan, or eat higher carb somewhere in between to force keto flu again? How are you tracking?? I would love to know your usual fat/protein ratios.

      Maybe something you’re eating is not agreeing with you? I’ve never been nauseous like that… except when I was pregnant. πŸ˜› No fun!

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  38. Jane says:

    I haven’t had carbs in 2 years and I decided to have a slice of pizza.I became extremely ill.I had a high fever and was sweating profusely.My stomach hurts alot aswell.Was that carb flu?

  39. kowens says:

    Hi glad to hear that headaches are normal with low-carbs. I am in the third day of it. My husband is ready to carry me to emergency-room. I have just kind of gone cold-turkey with the carbs, and eating things that I know have zero or very low carbs. What about boiled peanuts, they are a starch and high in carbs, right?

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Drink chicken broth. πŸ™‚ I like Campbell’s canned condensed broth like you cook with – and I mix 3/4 can water with 1 can. It replaces the sodium and electrolytes lost during the diuretic process of going into ketosis – and helps with those symptoms!

      It should be going away anytime now though. It only lasts 2 days for me, but it’s different for everyone.

      If your boiled peanuts don’t have a label, just Google it. I’m not sure on those, but I do know peanuts are one of the higher carb nuts. Pecans are the lowest carb / highest fat nut on the list.

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  41. mikki says:

    I have tried low carbs/atkins a number of times & never reached ketosis nor lost not one pound ! as written in dr atkins book I’m almost convinced that I suffer from candida albican ! what are your thoughts on this subject ? thanx mikki

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  46. Brenna says:

    Hi guys!
    I’m currently on the atkins diet, just started Tuesday. I believe the phase is called induction? Anyways , does anyone have a hard time getting over all the oil from meats and butter? I’ve honestly always been someone that eats a lot of poultry so adding a lot of meats is a little hard. I had some steak and eggs this morning and I couldn’t get over the oil taste. Does this pass?

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Brenna,

      The first week you might feel a little nauseous but that’s as much from Induction Flu as anything. You don’t have to eat a lot of meat & eggs or oil and better. There are plenty of healthy fats that won’t taste oily like that. πŸ™‚ I like pecans and walnuts, very high fat. Avocado is great too – very high fat. Also egg salad, deviled eggs, tuna salad, grilled salmon – all great choices!

      • Brenna says:

        Thank you I appreciate all of that info! I thought we could not have nuts during induction?

        • Lynn Terry says:

          Hi Brenna! I don’t do Atkins or programs/phases, I simply eat 20 net carbs max and 70% fat minimum. If you are doing the Atkins program, just go by that and wait on the pecans & walnuts. Those are the lowest carb / highest fat nuts on the list, by the way.

          • Brenna says:

            First off: Lynn – Great site, and TONS of helpful information! Thank you for all your hard work!

            One thing I wanted to clear up for Brenna is the nuts question: Actually, according to Dr. Atkins himself, Macadamia nuts are the lowest carb/highest fat nuts (which is why he recommended them for the “Fat Fast” – for helping extremely metabolically resistant people enter ketosis) and are definitely encouraged during the Induction phase, especially for dealing with cravings* (page 279 of the book referenced below). One ounce of macadamia nuts have 3g of carb and a 90% fat content**. Ten halves of pecans have 4g of carbs, and are 87% fat.

            For anyone else interested, other low carb nuts Dr. Atkins recommends in his book are: walnuts (1oz) 4g, Brazil nuts (4 nuts) 2g, Almonds (12-15 nuts) 4g, Pignolias (1oz) 3g, Pumpkin Seeds (1oz) 4g.

            * – Page 279, Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution. 1992 Edition.
            ** – Page 235 of the same book as above.

  47. Luke says:

    I’m only on day two and I’m already feeling flu like symptoms, is it an actual flu or an i duction flu?

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Luke! It usually hits me on day 3, and the symptoms vary. It’s not an actual flu (head cold) so if you have head cold/flu symptoms you may have a bug. This feels more like you got hit by a truck. Although some people only experience a funny taste in their mouth.

  48. Andrea says:

    Hi, it’s my third day on the diet! I have the regular symptoms everyone else is having! Mine aren’t too bad! However I’m experiencing indigestion… Something I almost never have. Is that a symptom of the keto flu too? No one else says they are having indigestion so I’m just curious!

  49. Prathna says:

    I started Atkins induction 6 days ago and over the past 2-3 days I’ve been having bad headaches, so irritated, feel almost nauseous, waking up in the middle of the night, dizzy when I stand up, and PMS type stomach pain with occasional diarrhea. Also I’m vegan…is that why my symptoms are so bad? I’ve normally heard of people having a few of these symptoms not ALL together in this combination!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Prathna, Welcome πŸ™‚

      I get screaming headaches and leg cramps myself, and *extreme* irritability. But as long as I stay on plan it only lasts maybe 2 full days at most for me. So just know it WILL pass.

      It’s hard to say how much of that is keto flu symptoms, and whether there may be another culprit. Maybe something new you introduced into your diet over the last week that is upsetting your stomach?

      • Terri says:

        Lynn, how often do you drink the chicken broth? I’ve been on Keto for going on 3 days and have had a headache that won’t quit. Will the broth help?

        • Lynn Terry says:

          Yes – the broth helps because the process of going into ketosis is a natural diuretic, so the broth will replace electrolytes & sodium lost in that process – quickly. πŸ˜‰ The headache is a good sign you’re on the right track!

  50. Marisa Montgomery says:

    I have been in induction for 11 months now and have lost 45 lbs. I’m still eating 15-25 carbs. a day in vegt. only. I’m still losing (mostly inches) but it has slowed down. I am not that active so I’ve not increased my carbs. How long can I stay on the induction phase? Can I go another year on induction?

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Marisa,

      Yes, you can eat a healthy ketogenic diet for life actually. I do. πŸ™‚ I keep it really simple: 20 net carbs max, 70% fat minimum. How are you tracking? I’m happy to help see if there’s something you can tweak to start losing weight again.

  51. Pingback: 2017 Low Carb Challenge Details | Low Carb Diet Tips for Busy People

  52. Zaza says:

    Hi Lynn I am on day3 I’ve got cramps the whole body and my throat feels like something is stuck on it, is this normal

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Zaza,

      How are you tracking, and how much water are you drinking? If you’re drinking water, make sure you don’t drink too much. There are some bad myths out there that will make you sick (like drink half your body weight in ounces, wrong). Make sure your urine is pale yellow. Any darker and you should drink more water. Any lighter or clear – and you should drink less.

      Also, don’t eat low sodium. That’s not healthy on a LCHF diet, as it’s a natural diuretic diet – and you’ll end up with muscle cramps and headaches.

      The keto flu is different for everyone, but assuming that’s what it is it always passes for me within 24-48 hours. Drink chicken broth – it will replace the sodium & electrolytes lost during the diuretic process of your body going into ketosis. That will be the quickest thing to help you feel better.

  53. Chickitee says:

    I’m on my second day of induction and I’m having throbbing mid back pain. Should I be worried?

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Chickitee,

      That’s something I would see your doctor about if you feel it’s a concern. Two days in you shouldn’t be experiencing any “symptoms” so I doubt it’s your diet causing that. But as a precaution – how are you tracking? And are you keeping protein at 25% of your total calories or less? You do want to be cautious about eating “high protein”…

  54. Lavender says:

    I found this article while trying to find out why I’m waking up feeling like garbage. Weak, sweaty, and like clogged in my arms. It goes away with water and movement, and I usually feel better after eating breakfast, but that movement is difficult because I feel so weak. Does this sound like the ketosis flu?

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Lavender,

      How long have you been eating low carb? And how are you tracking? Also: how much water are you drinking per day? I ask because it could be any number of things. Not enough healthy fats, too much water, may be keto flu if you’re in the first week or so…

      • Lavender says:

        I am on day 4 and tracking via the LifeSum app. I drink about 10 8oz glasses of water a day.

        • Lynn Terry says:

          Keto Flu usually hits me around day 4 too, so that’s probably it. It passes quickly if you stick it out. Just make sure you’re getting at least 70% of your calories in healthy fats.

          Drink chicken broth too. Not the low sodium kind. Hot out of a mug is really nice to sip on – you can add butter to make it even richer. I like the Campbells condensed broth like you cook with, mixed a little strong (instead of 1:1 water).

          The chicken broth replaces electrolytes and sodium lost in the diuretic process of your body getting into a state of ketosis.

  55. Jodi Nylin says:

    Just finishing up week two of 20carbs or less. First week lost 7.2lbs. This last week…1/2lb. Is this normal?? I feel I’m doing all that I should be and going to the gym (spinning, swimming, core/weight training). Feeling frustrated…On a positive note though…my arthritis pain in my knees has almost completely vanished…almost…is that normal??
    Morning…2.5 eggs/2 strip of bacon.
    28 almonds for a snack
    Tuna Wrap for lunch with mayo/spinach and a low carb wheat tortilla
    Chicken or some other meat for dinner with some veggies or a salad..(all low carb)
    Sugar free jello for dessert….

    This is pretty typical but does vary…
    What should I being doing different..if anything??
    I do snack on bacon and cheese sticks during the day

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Jodi πŸ™‚

      Congrats on your great weight loss so far, and kudos for taking control of your health!! Yes, it’s totally normal. It’s a diuretic process, getting into ketosis, so you drop water weight immediately.

      It’s common to experience a brief “hold” or even slight fluctuations on the scale during week 2 and/or 3. That’s just your body adjusting to so much weight loss so fast. The key is to keep doing what’s obviously working – don’t change a thing! πŸ˜‰

      How are you tracking? Are you tracking your macros to make sure you get at least 70% of your calories in fats? That’s important both for energy & weight loss, given the science behind the way this works…

  56. Dianne says:

    Ok….this is day 7 and just got off the phone because I have a nurse calling back. Like 4 days ago, I had sweats, shortness of breath and indigestion. I do have heart issues but I hope to get in today to just be checked on the safe side of this. I was really scared, especially with the shortness of breath. I had sweats for 4 days. Today…hmm a small headache and chicken broth will be bought today. This just goes to show all of us what These carbs have done to us. This sounds like coming off of drugs…which….I think carbs are a drug for many of us.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Dianne,

      What did the nurse or doctor say? I would be curious to know how you’re tracking, what your usual macros are, and how much water you are drinking. You do want to be cautious with the water, not to over-drink, as there are a lot of myths floating around out there that cause early signs of water intoxication – such as “drinking half your body weight in ounces” as one example.

      Anyway, I hope you’re doing well. I’m anxious to hear what they said! πŸ˜‰

  57. Griffith says:

    Hi Lynn,

    This is the 3rd day of my keto, and my body is resisting to take fat (eggs, cottage cheese, coconut oil, ghee) i feel like vomiting and not to have food at all and crave for carbs like sugar & rice. Is this is KETO flu? im kinda feel like bloated and gained weight. Kindly help

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Griffith,

      Keto Flu hits me on Day 3 every time. The symptoms are different for everyone. Are you doing 20 net carbs max, 70% fat minimum – and how are you tracking your macros? What about weight loss so far, anything?

      • Griffith says:

        No Lynn, im not tracking my macros, but ill make sure that i’m eating less carb or maintain within 15-20. but im not eating enough fat as i feel like puking, and most of times i doesn’t feel hungry, hence im thinking to do keto with IF. Shall i go ahead? should i exercise in keto? and sorry for my english. Thanks Lynn:-)

  58. Kaye says:

    I was on a sugar buster for 9 days. I have developed flu lol symptoms that are not described here. I have uncontrollable shaking followed by sweating. Are these known symptom?

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Kaye,

      I am not familiar with “sugar buster” but that does sound like detox symptoms, similar to when you quit other types of drugs. I’m also not a doctor, of course. πŸ™‚ Did you see your doctor about this by any chance?

      Were you also eating low carb / high fat, or just zero sugar – or what exactly?

  59. Gail Harris says:

    I have just completed two weeks of lchf which I started after following diet doctor. I am on the same percentages as yourself and I continually monitor macros on My fitness pal which I have subscribed to for a number years and is a fabulous aid. I eat pretty much the same food throughout the day as you although we don’t have some of the brands of food mixes here in New Zealand.
    I put on extra kilos this year by eating all the wrong foods so I need to loose about 10 kilos. I don’t get obsessed about weighing myself but I know I am progressing as I follow lchf without cheating. But I don’t feel I’ve had the ‘flu’ like yourself and others.
    The only difference I have noticed is shortness of breath and less energy when doing long walks but haven’t had headaches or cramps etc. As you said everyone is different but was wondering does this all sound okay?
    By the way I eat salmon fairly regularly which I cook myself. Its pretty popular and readily available here in NZ – we cook it on the outside barbeque, yum.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Gail πŸ™‚ You said you know you are progressing – meaning, you have lost weight in the last 2 weeks? And you are doing at least 70% fat, yes?

      I would see if that passes in a day or so. If not, definitely bring it up with your doctor. Everyone has different symptoms with keto flu, some don’t have any symptoms at all. But I can’t really say for sure if that is related. Are your walks longer than usual – meaning you did the same walks in the same amount of time before with no problem?

  60. Mandy says:

    I am definitely experiencing the bad, stale breath. The good news is that I’m in ketosis. How do I help my breath improve? Thanks!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Mandy,

      I’ve never had that symptom so I’m not sure. You can use sugar free gum or mints of course. I assume you are tracking – and just to be sure: your protein is not going over 25% of your total daily calories, right? I’ve always been curious if that’s the culprit on that…

  61. Rhonda says:

    I have been through the flu part, new symptom for two days now, excessive itching, is this part of it??

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Rhonda,

      Do you have a rash? I would google: keto rash (if so) or keto itching – and see. I have never had that symptom, but it seems I recall hearing about it from others in the past…

  62. Amanda says:

    Hi Lynn, so I just started day 1 of keto diet . I wanted to make sure I’m doing this right . So I know you said to focus on high fat low carb and low protein . So how much pieces of chicken should I be eating a day so I don’t over do it on protein ? Also what should I be focusing on for the fat ? Also am I allowed to eat low carb tortilla wrap during the first two weeks or should I wait ?

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Amanda πŸ™‚

      Just keep it really simple to start: do 20 net carbs a day max, and 70% fat minimum. If you track as you go in MyFitnessPal, you can adjust as the day goes if you need to.

      I ate low carb wraps, sugar free chocolate, diet coke even when I first started – as long as it’s around 20 net carbs a day and at least 70% fat, it’s fine. You will figure things out as you go!

      Some proteins are also fats – like eggs, which are about half protein, half fat. The Atkins20 or Phase One is a keto diet. I don’t do phases or programs, but this food list is VERY helpful for getting started:

      How are things going so far?? πŸ™‚

  63. Laurenne says:

    Hi there – I started eating a low carb diet 5 days ago – I have Lupus and was reading that a low carb diet helps with inflammation and can suppress flares. The problem that I’m dealing with is that I’m vegan with the exception of farm fresh eggs, so it’s incredibly difficult to eat a healthy diet and stay under 20g carbs – I’ve been staying under 50g carbs, medium protein, and lots of fat. Today I started experiencing chills, fatigue, and muscle pain – I’m wondering if it’s possible to get into Ketosis with 50g carbs/day? And does anyone have any suggestions for a vegan Keto diet? (I also can’t eat peanuts, pecans, cashews, or almonds – so nuts and nut butter are not really an option, and I don’t eat processed sugars)

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Larenne πŸ™‚

      There are lots of great food options still that are low carb! This pescatarian meal for example: you would just use olive oil instead of butter (assuming you don’t eat that) and skip the shrimp – or top it with roasted avocado instead. πŸ˜‰

      You can also eat berries – blueberries, raspberries, strawberries are staples for me, in moderation of course.

      I’m honestly not sure if you’re in ketosis or not. The only way to know is to test.

      Two questions: Are you drinking too MUCH water (ie, your urine is clear) and/or are you eating low sodium? Some of those symptoms sound like you might need to increase your sodium & electrolytes. I would do that with chicken broth, I’m not sure what the vegan alternative is?

      My advice: Check this food list: and just pick the foods off that list that you DO like. That’s where I started, and I found it incredibly helpful.

  64. Josiah says:

    I started no carbs almost a week ago and have been plagued by different symptoms almost as soon as I started: unstoppable runny nose, eyes watering, hacking up mucous at night, weakness and achiness of muscle, and have to urinate often (but not really any more than before the diet). I have no problem sleeping (except for getting up to use the restroom, and cleaning the snot off my face). My food is what is available: eggs, cheese, chicken, mustard, mayo, a little beef sandwich meat, and a little bacon. I wonder if my body is reacting to artificial sweeteners, which I’ve never really used until this week. (they are pretty nasty tasting, btw)

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Josiah,

      Yeah, that sounds more like a food allergy. Are you allergic to eggs or dairy by any chance? I would cut out the artificial sweeteners first, you’ll have to eliminate one thing at a time to see what the culprit is.

      I’m not sure what you’re eating that has artificial sweeteners, or which sweeteners they are, but there are some good options. Try cutting those first though.

      Have you lost any weight since you started? I’m curious if you’re in ketosis and/or if you experienced keto flu AND a food allergy, or what’s going on exactly…

  65. Josiah D Hill says:

    Thank you for your comments.

    I’ve never had any issues with allergies to dairy or eggs. They’ve been a normal part of my diet for years. The main artificial sweetner is the store-brand Splenda, and that for my coffee, but i don’t even use that most of the day because i’m at work.

    I don’t want to leave the impression that it’s all bad, though. I do feel mental energy and a kind of excitement, and the stiffness around my back and joints had decreased a lot. And, in the middle of the day things become pretty normal, but when the sun goes down the eyes, nose, and sinuses start flooding.

    I weighed about three days in, but haven’t weighed again yet.

    Thank you

    • Lynn Terry says:

      That really does sound like an allergy of some kind, if not a food allergy than something else in your environment or even seasonal. Usually with a food allergy those symptoms appear within minutes of eating the food that causes it, from what I’ve heard anyway. I know Kyndra Holley of has been through quite a bit of that.

      Wishing you all the best!! I look forward to hearing more from you, and hearing how things are going. πŸ™‚

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