Please tell me I’m not dying


Hello. I’ve been on keto many times in the past. This time I wanted to do it right and healthy. No cheating. It’s been 1.5 years since the last time and in recent months I have full out binged on carbs. With that said, keto flu this time around has been horrible. Please tell me it will get better? I am using electrolytes and it’s not helping. I am eating way over 1500 calories (5’5” 170lbs) which I knew is okay to start out with. It’s making me feel tied to the kitchen because no matter how much fatty food I eat, it’s not enough and I hate cooking and cooking and eating and eating. Not to mention, it’s hard for me to eat a large serving, the food feels too heavy. It’s only day 2 and I’m so shakey and weak. I know it’s low blood pressure because this happened to me the last times I did keto. I have low blood pressure to begin with so keto makes it plummet when I’m hungry. I also have kidney stones and gall stones. I always feel the shift in my kidneys when I start keto. Is this normal? I just don’t feel well at all and I’m scared of any more days of this. Any advice is appreciated. Sorry for the run on sentences, I’m just too weak to correct it all.


So eat more carbs, different people work different, different people’s diuretic effect from keto is also very different, you clearly get it strong, and you know for fact you have a low BP anyways, carbs help you hold onto your electrolytes. Up them a little, the 20g “rule” isn’t real, it’s just the go-to that works for most people, don’t play with dropping BP when you already have an issue there.

I’d personally eat like 50-100g of carbs, that most likely won’t fully reload a depleted liver, and if that makes you feel better, that’s your answer. From that point you’ll need to play with it, most people will deplete liver glycogen in 1-2days, so it’ll drop again quick, at any rate that’s not enough to fully reload the liver and muscles, so you’re not going to spill over and start storing fat, the scale will see it, but that doesn’t matter, it’s not fat. I’d go to at LEAST 50g daily for a while and see how you feel, when you can maintain feeling OK, if you want to drop it, do it then and give it a few days. That’s still very much low carb, and you’d still spend plenty of time in Ketosis in most instances.


I can’t help with the kidney and BP problems - or the keto flu, I never had it and I know it’s electrolyte problems but you wrote you supplement… Though maybe not enough? Some people need a lot!

But it’s very easy to make even 10000 kcal food with a few minutes of work (I could do that with my mini oven :D), what do you eat…?
But eating and eating is annoying, I hate when it happens. Food choices help me immensely. No way 500-600g fatty pork with several eggs could leave me hungry, ever :smiley: Maybe I can’t eat it due to boredom but I have so many ready to eat food, no cooking is needed there. Just to finish the meal, I still need some proper cooked food as my base.

it’s hard for me to eat a large serving, the food feels too heavy.

It’s fine to eat smaller meals but maybe yours are too small and maybe you have what I have: a small meal just makes me hungry very soon… That’s inconvenient. If it feels too heavy, maybe you need to eat something that feels different? There are many good keto options for a meal and not all is suited for everyone, of course. You don’t even need to eat very fatty if your energy need isn’t huge. Fat doesn’t satiate me well but protein does. It’s actually very common, you don’t get enough protein, you may just eat and eat and eat, even twice of your energy need in some cases or more and you still may feel starving. How much protein do you eat? Have you tried more? I figured out I can’t get satiated below 130g protein a day under normal circumstances. Fat is needed, sure but after a point it does little to my satiation. But even protein sources aren’t the same. Red meat usually does the trick, it’s somewhat individual though.

Maybe you need a more gradual approach this time?
I needed my low-carb years before successfully going keto the first time and while I can switch easily now, I never ever left keto for long since. But you did and your recent past was very carby so it’s quite possible and understandable your body has difficulties now. So while I can’t possibly know what is best for your body, a low-carb approach with more carbs may be that, for a while. Or ever, some people needs more carbs. Some people even need high-carb, apparently, there are worse and better ways to eat high-carb… If you went from some worse high-carb to stricter keto, that’s a big jump. I needed 3 smaller but still big jumps and many years to go keto and I never will go below 20g carbs for weeks, probably. As I don’t need and don’t prefer it.

(Edith) #4

I agree with @lfod14. Electrolytes has always been an issue with me on keto. Keeping my carbs around 30-50 grams a day makes a big difference for me.

Also, make sure you are not overdoing the water intake. Drink when thirsty. Don’t feel you need to drink to some large requirement. Too much water will flush out your electrolytes.

You might want to try upping your protein intake a bit. Protein is very satiating.

Finally, look into oxalates and oxalate dumping. Cutting out carbs, especially vegetables and some fruits can put you into oxalate dumping. That usually starts around week two of removing oxalate containing foods from your diet. The fact that you have kidney stones means that could be an issue for you. I don’t have time to provide a ton in info, but there has been a fair bit of talk about oxalates on the forum. You can find them using the search function. You can also look up Sally Norton on the web. She specializes in health problems related to oxalates.


Thanks everyone. After writing the original post, I ate a ribeye and felt better almost immediately. I think perhaps I wasn’t getting enough protein in my smaller meals. Today is day 3 and I feel a lot better.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #6

Some people need comparatively more protein and less fat, while others need the reverse. So a bit of tinkering to see what works best for oneself is always in order.

(E P) #7

@CloverQueen Nothing useful to offer since I’m no expert, just commiseration since I’ve had shaky weak low blood pressure keto episodes too. It is scary alright. Glad you felt better after the ribeye! Did you salt it? Maybe that helped the electrolytes?

(Marianne) #8

I remember saying that when I started, but then I discovered that I didn’t have to make keto “recipes.” I only cook a piece of meat each for my husband and myself (grill or cast iron skillet), and supplement that with sometimes brussels sprouts with butter, maybe a bit of cream cheese, maybe a small salad (only because I love it with blue cheese dressing), etc. I don’t “cook,” but our meals are delicious. You don’t have to cook on this. Just combine various things together to make a meal that is tasty and satisfying to you. Eggs are a great choice. Soup is a good choice (just throw stuff together), cheese sauce is delicious on meat or vegetables, etc. It really works well for those of us who don’t want to fuss. Never ate better.

(John Bradshaw) #9

@CloverQueen Dr Chaffee says smaller meals more often (eat until you feel like the meat does not taste good) can help you get to the right amount. Keto and especially carnivore often undereat.

(KM) #11

This is so true. I have found keto is much less cooking than a SAD diet. At first I made a lot of keto recipes as I tried to imitate the old foods. It was a lot of work, and the food was annoyingly not all that great. At some point I finally realized that Hubs prefers commercially prepared food anyway, and my healthy diet can be as simple as putting a rib eye in a pan for 10 minutes (or if I’m super lazy, taking a hunk of cheese and a knife into the living room and carving bits off it til I’m full). It’s not always that bare bones, but when I’m not in the mood to cook, keto is almost as easy as eating packaged snack food for dinner!

(Edith) #12

Carnivore didn’t work for me, but the lesson I learned about making meals sure did! I loved only cooking meat for dinner. So, even though I stopped carnivore, I still eat a meat heavy diet and then add A side dish, such as salad greens, fruit, or some other plant that takes almost no time to prepare and cook. My life is soooooo much easier cooking and eating that way.

(Marianne) #13

Exactly. I can make a meal out of anything and be happy with it.


I cook much on every diet but closer to carnivore, the easier my own food gets, I mean, I can usually choose if I want to cook more complicated things. Not only most carni food is simple but the special, somewhat more complicated ones aren’t what I normally suddenly desire when I keep away from plants :wink: The most complicated I must cook very often is sponge cake buns (good for multiple roles). That’s egg whipping and I need to clean multiple items… Still not a huge deal but I try not to do it very often.
But if I roast 3kg meat, that lasts for almost a week with some other, similarly easy items.

Keto (mine was meatless. I overate protein without that, thank you) was way more complicated as I needed much sweets and lots of baking (and I was less experienced too, didn’t have all the simple recipes I have now, wanted to experiment more)… Meat makes cooking so much easier. Even my SO accepts it most of the time. Of course he needs 1-2 side dishes and a dessert too, possibly a soup as well. My soups and desserts tend to be easier than his and I actually can live for a whole day without desserts while he can’t. But I always was good at eating things all alone (I just had many courses per meal so it wasn’t simple. I only can eat much of one thing if that is some nice fattier meat).

I am sure all diet can be done in various ways regarding simplicity but as one eats more plants, it probably gets more time consuming even when we don’t want to complicate things. Even simple veggie dishes easily take 1-2 hours. In some cases… In extreme ones, even 3. When one peels(?) green peas for an hour… And use open fire outside as we often do… I need time to cut up meat too but at least I can get satiated with the result (and there are leftovers) while my SO may spend 2 hours on making cabbage soup. For 5 days but still, it’s not a hearty food…
Of course, sometimes it can’t be helped. I loved soups so on vegetarian keto I cooked veggie soups. Considering vegs are too carby for keto in my case, they barely had vegs so it was quick… Still, it’s easier to put meaty bone, salt and water into a pot, add heat and leave it for an hour… :smiley:
(But veggie/meat dishes from my SO’s Mom tastes even better. I don’t have much experience with using vegs and meat at the same time, I went from vegetarian keto to carnivore-ish as my default woe. But it is a good combo. Not like meat, egg and dairy wouldn’t make great combos but it’s not for everyone.)

I must say it’s a huge relief on multiple levels that I don’t cook vegs anymore (except split peas as that is a few minutes work for the base of 4-5 lunches for my SO. super cheap too and probably the most nutritious thing I know per cost and good at satiation even for me unlike almost all plants. sure, we need other things but that is true for everything except meat). I need the freezer and fridge space for carni items and I don’t have the will to cook them. So I don’t cook vegs but my SO can in the weekend and he eats raw vegs every day, all is well.