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Can 'carb flu' return when going _lower_ carb?

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  • Can 'carb flu' return when going _lower_ carb?

    Hi All,

    I started paleo/primal in June of 2010 -- results so far are promising. At that time I lowered carb intake to between 100-150g daily and (with a few cheat days here and there) have stuck to that level. I lost about 17lbs fairly quickly. Weight loss isn't a real concern (I'm a small guy, resonably lean to begin with - currently weight 147lbs, around 12% BF).

    When I first started I had read about the 'carb flu', and expected it -- I had what I suspect was a mild case - felt a little under the weather for a few days, however it cleared up quickly and I was rewarded with the quick weight loss and higher energy levels (surprisingly, my run/race times got better too - I did not expect that).

    Having stuck to the regime for 6+ months I decided I would like to see if I could reduce the BF% a bit further (those photos of Mark are prompting me to work a bit harder - he's not /that/ much older than me :-) And so I reduced carb levels to <=50g/daily 4 days ago.

    The (unexpected this time) 'carb flu' symptoms arrived yesterday, and are worse this time around. Achy muscles, a slight cough, low energy level, difficulty focusing on work. All around ugh.

    I going to wait this out - my current goal is a cheat-free February, with every day <= 50g carbs -- however I'm wondering if this is a common result of (further) lowering carb consumption, and I should have expected a few bad days?

    Thanks very much for any/all insight - cheers,


  • #2
    I'm not convinced you got carb flu on 150g of carbs per day--I wonder if that was just a coincidental mild illness or the result of expecting to feel bad?

    NOW you're getting carb flu. Push through it, it's great the other side

    Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
    Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food


    • #3
      Yes, I experienced symptoms immediately after going Primal (60-70 g carbs) and then again when I dropped down to 20 g net carbs. I'm now hovering between 30-40 net carbs and feeling great!
      Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
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      • #4
        Yeah sounds like the carb flu. Mine only lasted 2 days. It started on day 4 and I still went to work out on that day. I bet yours will clear up pretty soon because you were eating pretty clean beforehand. My main problem was insomnia for the first couple weeks. But that goes away too.


        • #5
          I got it twice...the first when I first went primal and cut out the grains etc. The second was 18 days ago. I'm doing a 20 day thing where I cut out all fruit, nuts and dairy, on top of the other stuff. So carbs went waaay down. First 2 or 3 days I was a bit grumpy and headache etc. Cleared up after that. Now I'm just grumpy. heh heh


          • #6
            The carb flu can be so weird. Waaay before I really got into primal eating, I ate 75g of carbs one day (low for me at the time), and the next morning I felt like I was DYING. Then I ate a sweet potato and was healed. I never, ever felt bad when I intentionally went low-carb. Was that some form of carb-flu, or just coincidence? I'll probably never know, and I don't really care, haha.


            • #7
              Thank you everyone for the replies -- very useful information! :-)