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How will I feel w/o carbs?

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  • How will I feel w/o carbs?

    I am planning to cut down carbs to under 30g/day. Above this, I don't seem to loose, and have little self control. I am very "all or nothing".

    So, how should I expect to feel the next few days? I'm hoping to prepare myself, so I don't talk myself out of eating this way if I start to feel not so good.

    Any advice, words of encouragement, info are much appreciated!

  • #2
    Depends on how much you eat now. If that's a massive change, you'll probably feel pretty awful. If it isn't, you won't be too bad.


    • #3
      I mostly just felt foggy for awhile... hard to concentrate. The other thing I dealt with is leg cramps. I would suggest taking magnesium, using sea salt, and drinking plenty of water.


      • #4
        When you first cut carbs, you might feel sleepy, you may get a headache, and even a little sick. This is the time when you'll also crave sugary or starchy foods the most. You'll be most likely to talk yourself out of it. This can be expected to last for a few days or a week. They call it "carb flu" and it SUCKS. Some folks report it being worse or lasting longer, depending on how damaged your metabolism is. I had a carb flu for about 4 days once, but when I more recently had to go off Paleo and start it up again I had no carb flu at all.

        After the carb flu is over, your body starts getting used to burning fat for energy and you'll start feeling more like yourself again. It WILL get better.

        I actually prefer staying in "Ketosis" (fat burning) mode because it reduces my migraines and gives me much greater mental clarity and focus. I noticed it also makes me a little more assertive and 'edgy', personality-wise, maybe because carbs, for some people, have a "tranquilizing" effect similar to heroin. I'm more likely to get things done and not take shit from people when I'm not on a blood sugar "roller coaster".

        Some doctors actually recommend low-carb "ketogenic" diets for their patients. Low-carb diets can be very healthy. The brains and endocrine systems of many people tend to function much better while on low-carb diets, especially those suffering from conditions like diabetes or epilepsy. Anyone can benefit by eating plenty of protein and healthy fats, but not going over 50g carbs/day - and be sure that those 50g come from healthy, whole, natural foods such as non-starchy vegetables (like broccoli) and low-sugar fruits (like blueberries).


        • #5
          Just to speak for the other side,you don't necessarily need to drastically cut carbs like that unless they cause you health problems.Honestly,chances are if you go from a lot of carbs to almost none then you're probably gonna feel like garbage for a while,it happened to me and I just increased the amount of carbs I was getting from healthy sources and immediately felt better.I honestly think it's more important to cut out things like grains,processed sugar,and trans-fat then it is to just paint all carbs as bad and try to keep them to a minimum.Basically what I'm saying is that if you feel like crap then have a potato or a little fruit,which may slow weight loss down a bit but will make it a much smoother,if somewhat longer journey.
          Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who has said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own experience.

          In the mind of the beginner, there are many possibilities; in the mind of the expert, there are few.

          I've shaken hands with a raccoon and lived to tell the tale

          SW: 220- 225 pounds at the beginning of January
          CW: 180 pounds

          Goals for 2012: Lose a bit more fat and start a serious muscle and strength routine


          • #6
            I'm with spubba - I feel better staying around 50g of carbs a day at most. I've had carb flu a couple of times when I've fallen off the wagon & gone back to very low carb again. For me it kicked in on day 3/4 and literally felt like a flu for a couple of days. But good advice is found in the new Atkins book - most carb-flu is due to lack of minerals. Google the advice on drinking bouillon/broth & I bet you'll handle it better than me. A caveat obviously is the more carbs that are currently in your diet the bigger the change will be. I can swing happily between 20 and 50 or 60 a day with no ill effects.


            • #7
              For me, I cut out flour/grains entirely and all sugar except my coffee and whatever is in dark chocolate. I just felt better immediately. I'm generally around 80 carbs a day. On days when I drop below 50, I often wake up the next morning really craving something cold and fresh. I find I feel better between 50-80 and it doesn't set off sugar binges. I find grains and alcohol trigger more cravings that fruit or just plain sugar for me. If I get a sugar craving, a piece of very fatty food like a raw cheese will stop the craving immediately.

              Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!


              • #8
                If you plan on doing any type of strength training, that low amount of carbs will affect performance after awhile.
                "The problem with quoting someone on the Internet is, you never know if it's legit" - Abraham Lincoln


                • #9
                  If going low carb is new for you, you might feel a little weak doing things like going up stairs. You might feel a little dizzy standing up fast. You might feel mentally slow. Make some bone broth to have on hand and take potassium and magnesium supplements and put lots of salt in your food. Once you get through it, you will feel like a completely different animal. Strong, mentally sharp, even-keeled. It's a great feeling.
                  Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


                  • #10
                    If you have not been so low carb before, how do you know this is your set point for weight loss? Focus on a high protien breakfast and no snacking between meals. Move slowly often and reduce your stress. I felt great when I cut out grains and other high carb foods because they were causing insulin to spike and then my sugar would crash and I would have to eat again - even if just 1/2 hr after a meal. Focus on the quality of your food and avoid fake sweeteners and other crap additives. Reducing your carbs slowly will allow your body time to adjust and you may just find your body changing without extreme measures.


                    • #11
                      Okay, am I the only weirdo here who felt better when I cut my carbs down to 30/day? More energy, sharper, wittier, better looking? Well, actually not the better looking part...

                      My wife has promised to divorce me if I ever go back to eating carbs!
                      Started 9/15/11 at 323 pounds
                      2/16/13 at 241 pounds
                      Goal is 223 pounds or less


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Go Tribe View Post
                        Okay, am I the only weirdo here who felt better when I cut my carbs down to 30/day? More energy, sharper, wittier, better looking? Well, actually not the better looking part...

                        My wife has promised to divorce me if I ever go back to eating carbs!
                        I'm with you. I felt all those things including better looking, although I didn't actually look better. Yet. I'm getting there and people are starting to notice.
                        Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


                        • #13
                          If they are from veggies.. why cut to 30 and below??

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                          What am I doing? Depends on the day.


                          • #14
                            I guess I just favor dark leafy green veggies and mushrooms over stuff like broccoli most of the time. So I'll go days and days of just meat/eggs/liver and dark greens with mushrooms, then have a few days with tubers or rice. So there are days when the carb count is just really really low. Today so far at 3pm my carb count is nearly zero. I feel good on days like this, but I feel good on the higher starch days too. It's a different good on days like this. I feel primitive.
                            Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.