You started the keto diet and are just not feeling it. The culprit of this miserable feeling? Oh, right: the keto flu. In order to get from here to there, your body needs to make a few modifications to the way it runs. The metabolic state of ketosis is a fancy word for burning fat rather than carbs, and it is the secret weight-loss weapon to the keto diet. The keto flu, aka carb withdrawal, generally kicks in at the to hour mark. Symptoms typically last from a few days to two weeks, and up to a month at most. Whether you experience its symptoms — and to what extent — depends upon your metabolic flexibility, meaning your ability to adapt to different fuel sources sans uncomfortable symptoms. Metabolic flexibility is influenced by genetics as well as lifestyle habits.
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Several studies, like this one, have reported side effects ranging from minor irritations to pretty severe problems. This study is probably one of the most detailed papers on side effects in adults eating keto for weight loss. The researchers compared a keto diet to a low-fat diet and discussed the differences in side effects. Here are the side effects that were more common on keto than the low-fat diet in other words, side effects that are specific to keto, not just dieting in general. This is caused by a by a particular ketone, acetone which is also a key ingredient in nail polish remover, hence the comparison. Ketogenic diets or fasting cause greater production of acetone, which then gets excreted through the breath, causing the smell. Gum and breath mints will temporarily mask the problem but not actually fix the underlying issue.