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  • Please, I really need help.

    My story is a fairly long one but I'll try to be brief!..

    I've been going on and off of low carb for over a year. I do great in ketosis - cravings wise, I am/was a serious sugar addict. It's taken me this long to really realize I just can NOT have "reward" meals... ever, period.

    I need to lose 100 pounds. I am a 49 year old female.

    I love ketosis because I feel like I have the appetite of what I would think a "normal" person's is but after a while I always start to have what I THINK are electrolyte issues. I've blacked out twice (almost three times) and was Dx as having "vagal nerve fainting". Dr. said it could be low blood pressure or electrolyte issues or both.

    I am also really struggling because I also have zero energy and never seem to really get any. I have been VLC for weeks at a time (up to 10 weeks) and just never seem to get any energy.. I think I just can't get fat adapted. I always end up "carbing up" because I feel like a slug and the fainting issues honestly scare the cr*p out of me.

    Energy wise I am ok for day to day function but when I do anything that is very exerting, like working in my yard (I live in central FL) or taking a very long walk, or get overheated at all this is when the issues with fainting or graying out crop up. I try to use sea salt liberally (per Art and Science of Low Carb Living) and I add concentrace minerals to my water. I am constantly VERY thirsty. I never seem to get enough water. (I am not diabetic).

    I recently went more towards Primal to try to add a few "safe" carbs like berries, apples, half a sweet potato and full fat Fage.. to bring up my carbs a bit (maybe 80 carbs a day max) but it's such a fine line that If I have too much at all I start having cravings. (I've been doing this about 10 days).. last night I had horrid cravings and ended up binging on pecans.

    I've been at this for so long I am beyond frustrated. Can anyone offer any advice? I feel pretty lost and confused.

    TIA.

    Cary~



  • #2
    Sorry to hear about your troubles. Could you possibly need even more sodium? If you are only adding it to your meals, you might not be getting enough if you are VLC. Peter Attia posted a while back about what he ate while VLC (I think he is VLC, I'm just making the point that this post is several months old).

    What I actually eat The Eating Academy | Peter Attia, M.D. The Eating Academy | Peter Attia, M.D.

    In the table he lists boullion (2-4g) which would contribute a significant amount of sodium. Homemade bone broth with added salt would be a much better choice of course. But try adding a good bit of sodium and see if it helps.

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    • #3
      if something's not working for you, you can always change. why do you have to go keto?

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you for the reminder re: the boullion.. I recently bought a jar of boullion paste I had intended on using to make broth to have at night and totally forgot about it. I really LOVE that link and like what he says about the transition being a continuum.. Now I don't feel so bad about how round about my journey has been so far. His article also makes me think I do need more fat. I just am not sure (yet) the best way for me to add it.. maybe my old coconut oil bark.

        I appreciate you taking the time to help me!


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        • #5
          Hi Jakey,

          I just have a very hard time with cravings when not in ketosis. I've tried countless times to "just have a few good carbs" adding in fruit, sweet potato.. etc (not all in the same day) and not worry about ketosis but so far I've not found a way to do that successfully. I always end up with allot of hunger again. I am still very much a work in dietary progress!
          Last edited by DaisyHair; 02-28-2013, 12:22 PM.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by DaisyHair View Post
            I just have a very hard time with cravings when not in ketosis. I've tried countless times to "just have a few good carbs" adding in fruit, sweet potato.. etc (not all in the same day) and not worry about ketosis but so far I've not found a way to do that successfully. I always end up with allot of hunger again.
            I totally can relate. I have had the same issues with the slippery slope of carbs. If I have a couple of pieces of fruit, some safe starch I suddenly become non-low carb. Some would say this is because our bodies need the carbs and we will not function optimally without them.
            Unlike you, I always feel fabulous while VLC. Good energy, sleep well, good mood. It's is the cravings/missing carbs that kicks me off the wagon.
            I don't really have advice- everyone is so very different. But I do wish you luck!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by aimlow View Post
              I totally can relate. I have had the same issues with the slippery slope of carbs. If I have a couple of pieces of fruit, some safe starch I suddenly become non-low carb. Some would say this is because our bodies need the carbs and we will not function optimally without them.
              Unlike you, I always feel fabulous while VLC. Good energy, sleep well, good mood. It's is the cravings/missing carbs that kicks me off the wagon.
              I don't really have advice- everyone is so very different. But I do wish you luck!
              Thank you.
              I know I want and need to eat pretty low carb. I've found I can stay in ketosis at 40 carbs / day or under.
              I know I have insulin resistance because I was Dx with PCOS and also had a dark, velvety ring around my neck that Dr. said was a sign of insulin resistance called Acanthosis nigricans. It's totally gone.. so is the eczema on my legs.

              I know I'm on the right track. I suspect I just still don't get enough salt and need to add more fat.
              Right now I am in the nutrition forum reading about nutritional ketosis. I am torn between adding more fat or adding MUCH more veggie. (I crave raw veggies and I think it's because I stay dehydrated)..


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              • #8
                H Daisy. I don't have any answers, sorry. I'm in much the same boat - ketosis is the only thing that really works for me in terms of symptom control (IBS), weight loss and a normal appetite. But no matter what I try, I get mood crashes after a couple of weeks. I lose energy, spontaneity and a sense of joy. Any tiny bit of sweetness like berries, other fruit, starch - even beetroot, starts the cravings. Then it's all on, baby! I'm just coming off another period of diving face first into sugar, and I'm no closer to understanding what I should do next.

                I'll be following your thread and hoping someone will be able to offer something useful for you!!
                Started Feb 18 2011

                Tried basic primal and almost everything else in pursuit of IBS control, mood stability, and weight loss.

                Journalling here

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jac View Post
                  H Daisy. I don't have any answers, sorry. I'm in much the same boat - ketosis is the only thing that really works for me in terms of symptom control (IBS), weight loss and a normal appetite. But no matter what I try, I get mood crashes after a couple of weeks. I lose energy, spontaneity and a sense of joy. Any tiny bit of sweetness like berries, other fruit, starch - even beetroot, starts the cravings. Then it's all on, baby! I'm just coming off another period of diving face first into sugar, and I'm no closer to understanding what I should do next.

                  I'll be following your thread and hoping someone will be able to offer something useful for you!!
                  Ok so I suspect you and I are both dealing with carb addiction. I have been reading allot about addiction in general and the psychology of it, and find allot of similarities, especially the constantly "negotiating" away the "need" to have carbs. I know I have carb addiction. I deal with depression too.. and I think that's part of the carb withdrawl issues and one of the reason I originally came off low carb.. I have found that 5HTP really helps my depression.. it causes me nausea in the beginning but after a week that goes away and I can really tell a difference. It's strange but I swear even colors become brighter when I am taking the 5HTP.

                  I know exercise would really help too which is one of the reasons I keep trying to take good walks (and one of the reasons I chose this place to post re: fitness) and I have read that HIT really helps you become fat adapted quicker but right now I struggle finding the energy to walk 4 blocks.. much less jog. I know it will get easier. I am so glad I posted here. Thank you for your comments.


                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Magnesium Citrate or Glycinate can help with both carb cravings and the fainting/dizziness. Try 400-600 mg before bed.

                    Also, Get your D3 level tested & sun/supplement to a blood level of 50-60 ng/ml, which will help with your hormone balance and fat loss.
                    Last edited by Dragonfly; 02-28-2013, 01:26 PM.
                    Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
                    Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
                    Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DaisyHair View Post
                      Hi Jakey,

                      I just have a very hard time with cravings when not in ketosis. I've tried countless times to "just have a few good carbs" adding in fruit, sweet potato.. etc (not all in the same day) and not worry about ketosis but so far I've not found a way to do that successfully. I always end up with allot of hunger again. I am still very much a work in dietary progress!
                      DaisyHair- What is your ketogenic diet like? Can you give an example of what you eat?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by aimlow View Post
                        DaisyHair- What is your ketogenic diet like? Can you give an example of what you eat?
                        I've been pretty much "Atkins' Induction" style dieting for ketosis.
                        Eggs with butter and cheese and bacon or ham most mornings. I also like scrambled with leftover salmon and lots of cream cheese.

                        Sometimes I would make a huge batch of Zucchini hash browns with Italian sausage for breakfast on the weekends.
                        Occasionally a "minute muffin".

                        Recently in an attempt to add a few low GI carbs I switched to Fage with almonds and 1/2C berries for breakfast.

                        Lunch is usually leftover dinner. I've been making mostly lots of meat and green veg or salads at nights. I buy large roasts (pork and / or beef) and get 2-3 meals out of them. Usually with green beans, brussel sprouts or asparagus roasted in CO or veggie salad or sauteed onion, zuch, tomato and summer squash on the side.. once a week is Salmon or whole roasted chickens... I try to eat very clean and cook 95% of our meals.. occasionally we will get a chicken Caeser from one of the fast food places or go out for a steak and salad for dinner somewhere.
                        I keep Atkins bars and shakes in the house per DH's request and usually don't have a problem craving them because I have found I just have to not have one to begin with.. sweet taste can set me off sometimes.. just in general.

                        What about you?


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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dragonfly View Post
                          Magnesium Citrate or Glycinate can help with both carb cravings and the fainting/dizziness. Try 400-600 mg before bed.

                          Also, Get your D3 level tested & sun/supplement to a blood level of 50-60 ng/ml, which will help with your hormone balance and fat loss.
                          Hi!
                          Thanks for the info. I actually have Mag. citrate right now.. I've been very lax in taking it though. I'll get back to it.
                          I've never had my D3 checked but just assumed I needed it because I don't go out without sunscreen ever here in FL.. I take 5000 a day.. sub-lingual. I guess it would not hurt to get it checked though. What would I need to be doing if I needed more?

                          Checking out your Primal Coaching website...
                          Thank you.


                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DaisyHair View Post
                            Hi!
                            Thanks for the info. I actually have Mag. citrate right now.. I've been very lax in taking it though. I'll get back to it.
                            I've never had my D3 checked but just assumed I needed it because I don't go out without sunscreen ever here in FL.. I take 5000 a day.. sub-lingual. I guess it would not hurt to get it checked though. What would I need to be doing if I needed more?

                            Checking out your Primal Coaching website...
                            Thank you.
                            Everyone is different, but the general guideline for maintenance is 1000 IUs per 25 lbs of body weight from all sources. I am 130 lbs and take a bit more to keep my asthma at bay. 6,000 IUs (8,000 in winter.)
                            Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
                            Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
                            Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article

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                            • #15
                              We are all different metabolically; that should not be a surprise since we are all different in lots of ways. Some of us lose weight and feel great on 100g of carb, others on 20.

                              The weakness you feel I think is more likely electrolytes than fat or carbs. I salt the heck out of all my meals and that helps. I also take magnesium every day. It's worth remembering that magnesium and calcium may compete with each other for absorption so do one at a time.

                              Don't overdo the protein. Somewhere around 100 gm/day is enough! More than that just gets turned into glucose and can stoke the cravings. Our bodies cannot store protein.

                              We've all been socialized into thinking fat is bad but if you eat very low carb, moderate protein, then you have to have fat to get the balance of your calories. There are no other options. There is no such thing as a low carb low fat diet that works. Fortunately there really isn't any evidence that a high fat diet hurts you at all if you're low on carbohydrates.

                              If you're trying to cut carbs and cut calories and cut fat and are hungry all the time, eventually you'll run out of willpower. The true low carbers will tell you to eat enough to not be hungry, watching the carbs and the protein and making up the difference with fat. The new Atkins book says to AVOID being hungry.

                              Also remember that it takes at least 2-3 weeks to fat adapt so be patient. I have the same issues with eating something "forbidden" and sliding down the slippery slope. Some of us just don't do well with the breaks. Makes me think about alcoholics--they just can't do one drink, and some of us can't do one heavy carb meal either.

                              Something that helps me a lot is to focus on the positives rather than the "I can't have's" When people tell me they could never give up bread, I usually say something like, "Yep, it's a real burden to have real bacon and eggs whipped with cream for breakfast, a huge salad with meat and olive oil for lunch, and stir fried steak with vegetables for dinner. My life is just so hard." I also focus on my new grandsons, who I want to see grow up.

                              Remember that the Inuit eskimos lived for millenia on nothing but fatty meat and were healthy until given Western diet. Same with the Masai who ate meat, some dairy, and drank blood (no doubt for the sodium.)

                              You can live for years on 20 gm of carbs.

                              Some resources I've found helpful:
                              The New Atkins for a New You. Written by head of Duke University Metabolic Clinic.
                              The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living by Phinney and Volek
                              Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes
                              10/2/12: 169 lbs, 37"waist
                              Now: low 150's, 33" waist
                              Blog: http://paleopathologist.com/

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