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Why does carb flu suck so bad?

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  • Why does carb flu suck so bad?

    So I'm at exactly the week and a half point of eating primal and I feel awful. I feel so low - I don't want to work out or do chores. I have zero energy. I don't want to do anything but curl up in bed and sleep!

    When I first started I felt pretty good. I'm hoping this is the worst it's going to get and it's only going to get better.

    I worked late today and when I got home I ate dinner and proceeded to binge on hazelnut butter. I know that's bad but at this point I just don't care. To top it all off, I'm developing a monster cold sore on my lip. My body is not happy with me.

    Can someone just put me in a coma and wake me up when it's over? Anybody feel this bad and make a complete 180 at week 3? I feel like there's no end in sight...

  • #2
    Are you eating enough calories? I have read that salt and potassium are important right now.

    Honestly I felt great from day one.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by stephenmarklay View Post
      Are you eating enough calories? I have read that salt and potassium are important right now.

      Honestly I felt great from day one.
      I eat plenty of calories. I'm actually eating the same amount of calories and sometimes more than I was pre-PB. Anywhere between 1600-2300 a day. For example, here's what I ate today:

      Breakfast: 1 omelet muffin
      Lunch: Lobster bisque & huge seared ahi tuna salad
      Dinner: Brisket in tomato sauce
      Dessert: Crapload of hazelnut butter & a small gala apple

      I'm jealous of the people that always felt great.

      Forgive my ignorance - but if potassium is so important, should I just be eating a banana everyday?
      Last edited by Camille; 03-15-2011, 07:47 PM.

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      • #4
        It depends a lot on what your diet was previous to going primal. Think of it as your body detoxing. If you were a regular eater of candy and fast food, your body has a lot of chemicals it has to get rid of. I know how you feel, I went through it a little bit too. The only advice I can give is to have patience. Just like any other time you get sick, you feel like it won't ever be thee same, and you just want to die. Make sure you keep eating and push through, you won't regret it.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Max[imilian] View Post
          It depends a lot on what your diet was previous to going primal. Think of it as your body detoxing. If you were a regular eater of candy and fast food, your body has a lot of chemicals it has to get rid of. I know how you feel, I went through it a little bit too. The only advice I can give is to have patience. Just like any other time you get sick, you feel like it won't ever be thee same, and you just want to die. Make sure you keep eating and push through, you won't regret it.
          Thanks. I understand the detox thing, but I was a pretty healthy eater pre-PB. I'm not tempted to ruin it all and go back to eating grains and stuff just to feel better, because I know now it's so bad for me. Stress and daylight savings time are adding insult to injury here. I guess I just need to sleep a bunch and suck it up until I feel awesome (I hope).

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          • #6
            I'm so glad someone else threw this out there!
            Question: how loooong does it take to overcome carb-flu? I never realized there was such a thing until reading more on this site, but it totally fits how I've felt! And here I've been thinking that the "all day energy" from this primal-thing just wasn't possible. Little did I know I was being hit with carb-flu! I was so miserable and lethargic that I always ended up turning to carbs again. Needless to say, not sticking to a true primal diet has had me feeling defeated. I have a 2 yr old, very active, son. I couldn't stand feeling so lethargic and taking care of him! I'm sick of carbs. Any advice on dealign with them cold-turkey? Transitioning always leads me back to binging.

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            • #7
              Eat more fat. When your body has a tantrum, take a giant spoonful of coconut oil, and tell it to shove it. From the menu you provided, it looked like a LOT of lean goodness. Where is the chubby?
              --Trish (Bork)
              TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
              http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
              FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

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              • #8
                Im just starting my second week, like you I ate reasonably clean (brown rice, brown pasta etc).
                The first week was a nightmare...brain function all to sh1t, couldnt string a sentence etc. Crashing every few hours....and workouts...well lets not go their.

                This week is much better, energy levels are coming up, head is still fuzzy and light....still no cravings but I feel like i'm moving forward.

                Just to prove the point last night for I ended up with a V quick dinner.....two Burgers and roast veg.......now the burgers were quality but not 100% beef.....I spent all evening with a grumbling belly, burping and farting...feeling generaly uneasy.

                The point is that my body is changing the way it deals with the fuel I stick in my gob.....and because I'm running on good stuff, and cleaning up at the same time.....if i eat crap (aka good carbs) then I feel like crap.

                Stick with it, Im going to.

                John.

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                • #9
                  Hang in there.... You HAVE to stick it out to rid yourself of all the crap you had going on in your system. Your body is figuring out how to make the transition from carb fuel to fat fuel, and it's really tough at first. I had carb flu for about 3 weeks BAD. slept all the time, had to stop working out. Now I lift 3 days a week, and get plenty of cardio in (easy runs, walking). You will LOVE how you feel when the fog lifts. It DOES get better. Promise.

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                  • #10
                    As everyone else has said....stick it out. Carb Flu does suck, bad. And it is also variable between people as you might have gathered from the posts. Some dont get it at all and others feel like they have been hit over the head with a 2x4 or have contracted th Ebola virus! It truly depends on your bodies level of "addicted-ness" to carbohydrates and your personal genetics.

                    But the one thing you should NOT do IS EAT MORE CARBOHYDRATES! Eating more carbs will just make the symptoms continue indefinitely. The detox analogy is absolutely 100% correct. Your body is getting rid of toxins (i.e. gluten and others). But it is also converting to using fat as your energy source. And if you are lucky and doing it right....it will mostly be using your body fat stores for this energy. So, you will be losing fat. And your body is converting to running on ketones as your primary energy source for metabolism and other activities.

                    Let me tell you a little about what is in store for you if you make it through Carb Flu....
                    If you can just get your....mind together....then come on across to me.....
                    James Marshall (Jimi)Hendrix

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                    • #11
                      Once your body fully converts over to ketosis....(i.e. using the breaking down of fats into ketones to supply the body's primary energy needs)...you will have MORE energy than you have ever felt in your life! Carb flu symptoms vary per person in their severity but one thing that I have gleaned from all of us that have survived the carb flu is that we feel better than we have felt in a LONG time. You have more energy for your daily activities and if you are a fitness enthusiast like me (I lift serious weights 3X per week), your workouts will be like nothing you have felt before! Strength is up, recovery time is shorter and intensity of the workout is phenomenal. The only area that may potentially suffer from living on a ketogenic/low carb diet is physical endurance. But this is for people who do A LOT of aerobic activity like running, swimming or cycling. This is because aerobic activity uses your glycogen stores for quick access energy and glycogen (i.e. glycogen is the form of stored glucose that glucose is converted to in your liver. Glucose is the molecule that carbs are broken down into inside your body) is in short supply when you are eating a ketogenic diet. Anyway, biochemistry aside, since the primary goal of ketogenic metabolism is to avoid using insulin to make glucose into glycogen and then to store it as fat when the glycogen stores are full...your glycogen stores are limited with a ketogenic diet. So, physical endurance activities may suffer at first until your body fully converts over to using body fat for energy.

                      So, the burning question Im certain you want to know is......how long? How long does it take to fully convert to a ketogenic metabolism? And again it varies...but for me I think it took about a full month. I had carb flu real bad for about 3-4 days. I was foggy, had a headache all day every day, malaise/no energy and horrible cravings for carbs. After about 1 week my energy started to drastically improve (I think it was my body was finally using body fat as my energy source instead of glucose from my diet) but I still had cravings and head aches. Weeks 2-4 my headaches started to subside and the entire time my energy level was increasing! By about 1 month in the headaches disappeared, as did any hunger pains, and so did my cravings. Well, my cravings sort of switched to GOOD PB FOOD! Meats, eggs, bacon and veggies etc. No longer would I drool over some gluten filled piece of garbage that was horrible for my body. And the best thing about this is it gets better as time goes by. If you slip up and eat sugar and or/ gluten...(i.e. like having a cookie or something)...my body does not enjoy it anymore! Its almost like it recognizes it as a toxin (which is what gluten is).Awesome!

                      So, long story short, hang in there. Carb Flu does suck. But it is SOOOOOOOOOOoooooo worth getting through to the "other" side. You will feel better than you have ever felt in your life. That is no lie....
                      If you can just get your....mind together....then come on across to me.....
                      James Marshall (Jimi)Hendrix

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        wow good reply nachobrawler
                        Hey why not visit my blog at http://www.weightlossdonkey.com

                        'Read How I Lost 14 Pounds In 14 Days!'

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by nachobrawler View Post
                          Once your body fully converts over to ketosis....(i.e. using the breaking down of fats into ketones to supply the body's primary energy needs)...you will have MORE energy than you have ever felt in your life! Carb flu symptoms vary per person in their severity but one thing that I have gleaned from all of us that have survived the carb flu is that we feel better than we have felt in a LONG time. You have more energy for your daily activities and if you are a fitness enthusiast like me (I lift serious weights 3X per week), your workouts will be like nothing you have felt before! Strength is up, recovery time is shorter and intensity of the workout is phenomenal. The only area that may potentially suffer from living on a ketogenic/low carb diet is physical endurance. But this is for people who do A LOT of aerobic activity like running, swimming or cycling. This is because aerobic activity uses your glycogen stores for quick access energy and glycogen (i.e. glycogen is the form of stored glucose that glucose is converted to in your liver. Glucose is the molecule that carbs are broken down into inside your body) is in short supply when you are eating a ketogenic diet. Anyway, biochemistry aside, since the primary goal of ketogenic metabolism is to avoid using insulin to make glucose into glycogen and then to store it as fat when the glycogen stores are full...your glycogen stores are limited with a ketogenic diet. So, physical endurance activities may suffer at first until your body fully converts over to using body fat for energy.

                          So, the burning question Im certain you want to know is......how long? How long does it take to fully convert to a ketogenic metabolism? And again it varies...but for me I think it took about a full month. I had carb flu real bad for about 3-4 days. I was foggy, had a headache all day every day, malaise/no energy and horrible cravings for carbs. After about 1 week my energy started to drastically improve (I think it was my body was finally using body fat as my energy source instead of glucose from my diet) but I still had cravings and head aches. Weeks 2-4 my headaches started to subside and the entire time my energy level was increasing! By about 1 month in the headaches disappeared, as did any hunger pains, and so did my cravings. Well, my cravings sort of switched to GOOD PB FOOD! Meats, eggs, bacon and veggies etc. No longer would I drool over some gluten filled piece of garbage that was horrible for my body. And the best thing about this is it gets better as time goes by. If you slip up and eat sugar and or/ gluten...(i.e. like having a cookie or something)...my body does not enjoy it anymore! Its almost like it recognizes it as a toxin (which is what gluten is).Awesome!

                          So, long story short, hang in there. Carb Flu does suck. But it is SOOOOOOOOOOoooooo worth getting through to the "other" side. You will feel better than you have ever felt in your life. That is no lie....
                          Thanks all of you for the great support and information! I already feel a bit better! I actually am not craving bad carbs at all, so I've got that covered. Still tired as all get out... maybe feel a little less like giving up on life.

                          Can't wait to feel like a million bucks. C'mon, body, speed it up!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            From personal experience, some symptoms of carb flu are the result of an electrolyte imbalance.
                            Try taking Potassium supplements 90mg 2x/day and drinking 1-2 cups of bouillon. It can't hurt, and it just might help.
                            Primal since 9/24/2010
                            "Our greatest foes, and whom we must chiefly combat, are within." Miguel de Cervantes

                            Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Weight Loss Tools
                            MFP username: MDAPebbles67

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                            • #15
                              Read up on Potassium supplementing before doing it. It can cause problems with your heart if you do too much.

                              WHFoods: potassium

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