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    Valerie91's Avatar
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    Question My first low-carb week: feeling very weak and tired?!!!

    Primal Fuel
    Hi to all and everyone!

    So I've started to eliminate sugar about two weeks ago whilst treating my eating disorders like binge eating, overeating etc. which I developed through many years of yo-yo dieting (about 11 years as for now).

    Since I'm following Gillian Riley's approach in dealing with food addictions, it goes pretty well even though I know it takes time but I already can see/feel a big improvement.

    My initial search about how sugar messes up our hormones led me here So, for just slightly under a week I've been trying to eliminate grains and generally eating low-carb.

    I'm still learning and wouldn't consider myself to be officially into 21-day challenge BUT I can definitely feel some changes and there are not exactly as expected...

    I feel weak and tired throughout the day, even though physically I don't feel hungry. I also feel my body temperature is much higher than usual.. I feel stuffy and foggy, hot and dizzy.

    Honestly I don't know whether I have enough fats in my meals or the symptoms are just the part of adaptation process.

    All I know is that I wake up and don't have energy to follow my plan for the day...

    I will list my before low-carb typical daily meals and my current meals, in case you guys have any suggestions feel free to share your advice!


    Before low-carb:

    Breakfast: - Oatmeal porridge with milk and some sugar (added when cooked, lately in small quantities).
    - Either apple or one slice of bread with butter and cheese
    - Green or black tea (no sugar)

    Lunch: - Chicken breasts (grilled or fried) with salad and white rice
    - Peppermint tea

    Dinner: - Either Egg omelette or cottage cheese with yogurt and fruits, or spinach and tuna salad
    - Either green tea or Peppermint tea

    Snacks: Usually after high carb breakfast I felt like having a fruit in about two hours time.
    I would say if I felt like snacking I'd go for fruits.

    p.s. Before I eliminated sugar/sweets/bakery almost every meal was followed by stuffing myself with cookies, buns, flapjacks etc. Since I've started practicing G.Riley's approach I am finally able to have a meal just by itself, without binging on sweets afterwards! Yay!


    My current meals (typical):

    Breakfast: - Egg omelette + apple or some cheese
    - Green tea

    Lunch: - Some chicken or meat + salad + some steamed veggies (carrots, greens etc.)
    - Mint tea
    Dinner: - Either greek yogurt with fruits or cottage cheese with full fat yogurt with berries or turkey/spinach salad. something like that.
    - Green or mint tea

    Snacks: Some nuts or fruits.. or even carrots sometimes

    Oils: I still have to get coconut oil, for now mostly cooking with olive oil or butter. also using olive oil for seasoning...


    Exercising: I walk quite a lot (live in London after all) also do hour-long Callanetics workout which I love, but lately due to feeling weak didn't do much((...

    So please guys if you have any clue why I'm having all those symptoms or/and have any advice for me I would very much appreciate that! =))

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    There could be three main things happening (or more, but for the sake of simplicity... three).

    You're not eating enough calories. It's awesome that you're beating an eating disorder. That's an accomplishment. But, now you're body's dealing with less energy. It's possible you simply aren't eating enough, and you can try eating a little more (of all macronutrients) and seeing how your body deals with it. I find I can exist on very minimal calories, but I get more and more tired and won't lose any weight (yeah, weird).

    You're body needs a little time to adjust to burning a different fuel. I hate the term "low carb flu." It's an oversimplification and seems to be rubber stamped on as many issues as "detox" is. However, you did just totally change your diet. It may take a couple weeks to adjust to mobilizing and burning fat, especially if you previously ate frequently. You can try a more gradual reduction with your carbohydrate closer to 100-150 grams (potentially more with your activity).

    You went too low carb. This one's kind of similar, but it seems to me that low carb is a great tool to get your body burning fat again, but after the initial plunge, you can actually benefit from a more moderate approach. This was my experince at least, though it may be different for you. It seems many people, athletes especailly, see greater returns with more than very low carbohydrates. Like above, eat some more carbohydrates from safe sources that won't trigger cravings.

    Some questions: Do carbohydrates make you binge (increased hunger > snacking > binging)? Or is it more the type of foods (grains, dried fruit, nut butters, combinations)?

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    Thank you for your help RittenRemedy!

    I just came back from shopping and honestly it was very hard to reach my door .. I felt very dizzy.. ! It scares me now a little bit.

    I think I did a very quick shift. I probably shoud've not decrease carbs so rapidly and eliminate grains all together so fast. I think I will include more carbs at least for now...

    Btw could you please specify what food you mean by "carbohydrates from safe sources"? Would you consider grains safe or not? I am quite frankly confused which carbs are good in PB... is it just veggies and fruits?

    Answers to your questions: "Do carbohydrates make you binge (increased hunger > snacking > binging)? Or is it more the type of foods (grains, dried fruit, nut butters, combinations)?"

    I wouldn't say carbs make me binge... I'd say there are other triggers (which a lot of the times beyond food/nutrition itself) like social, habitual and emotional triggers... I find I can now it in moderation even things like nuts, which are very easy to overeat...not all of the time but as I said I'm still learning

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    Forgot to mention I got my period a couple days ago and this time it's more profuse than usual (I'm sorry if it's inappropriate). I have no idea whether it has anything to do with the recent changes in my diet. My point is that due to period my body might have increased need in certain nutrients and maybe it's another reason for my symptoms.

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    Hey there! Have you had a chance to read the Primal Blueprint? If you do, I think you'll feel better about your symptoms. No, it will take time for the symptoms to go away. But at least you'll know that it's normal. Some folks don't experience "low carb flu". Others have it for a week to a few weeks.

    As a woman, I will say that it's even tougher to change your diet right at that time of the month. Just added drama with the hormone fluctuation. This too will pass but is probably making it more difficult for you. Ritten remedy gave some great advice. Stay the course and you'll be better for it!! Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by edennperez1 View Post
    Hey there! Have you had a chance to read the Primal Blueprint? If you do, I think you'll feel better about your symptoms. No, it will take time for the symptoms to go away. But at least you'll know that it's normal. Some folks don't experience "low carb flu". Others have it for a week to a few weeks.

    As a woman, I will say that it's even tougher to change your diet right at that time of the month. Just added drama with the hormone fluctuation. This too will pass but is probably making it more difficult for you. Ritten remedy gave some great advice. Stay the course and you'll be better for it!! Good luck!

    Hi) Thanks for stopping by My copy of BP arrived this morning so I haven't really read it yet. I'll try to stay on track as much as I can considering I have to study for my exam next week.. means being focused and fresh. but I hope all be well =))

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    Quote Originally Posted by Valerie91 View Post
    Thank you for your help RittenRemedy!

    I just came back from shopping and honestly it was very hard to reach my door .. I felt very dizzy.. ! It scares me now a little bit.

    I think I did a very quick shift. I probably shoud've not decrease carbs so rapidly and eliminate grains all together so fast. I think I will include more carbs at least for now...

    Btw could you please specify what food you mean by "carbohydrates from safe sources"? Would you consider grains safe or not? I am quite frankly confused which carbs are good in PB... is it just veggies and fruits?

    Answers to your questions: "Do carbohydrates make you binge (increased hunger > snacking > binging)? Or is it more the type of foods (grains, dried fruit, nut butters, combinations)?"

    I wouldn't say carbs make me binge... I'd say there are other triggers (which a lot of the times beyond food/nutrition itself) like social, habitual and emotional triggers... I find I can now it in moderation even things like nuts, which are very easy to overeat...not all of the time but as I said I'm still learning
    Ouch! Well I hope something helps if that's the case. That’s awesome that you’re doing so well with learning how your body deals with food. Go you.

    Carbohydrates from safe sources are your safe starches (potatoes + sweet potatoes, rice, quinoa, other roots, plantains/green bananas... low toxin, traditional starches) and fruits (since you are dealing with an eating disorder, I would definitely stay away from dried fruit or juices. Not because they are necessarily "bad" per say but because it's easy to eat/drink the whole container).

    Grains are not a good food because they’re not very nutritious, contain mineral binding anti-nutrients, and are hard on the gut. Some people can do fine on a more Weston A. Price diet, but that is honestly a huge hassle when you can just eat meat, veg, and fruit. They’re not worth it in my opinion and not conducive to optimal health. The same can be said of legumes, but to a slightly lesser extent, as we haven’t gotten to messing with beans (excluding soy) as much as we have grains. I'd keep to mostly primal/paleo foods for now, to let your body heal and strengthen, and then you can see if you tolerate other foods.

    Here’s Mark’s 101 on grains. (Edit, you're ahead of me! Enjoy the book!) Here are some more articles to check out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RittenRemedy View Post
    Ouch! Well I hope something helps if that's the case. That’s awesome that you’re doing so well with learning how your body deals with food. Go you.

    Carbohydrates from safe sources are your safe starches (potatoes + sweet potatoes, rice, quinoa, other roots, plantains/green bananas... low toxin, traditional starches) and fruits (since you are dealing with an eating disorder, I would definitely stay away from dried fruit or juices. Not because they are necessarily "bad" per say but because it's easy to eat/drink the whole container).

    Grains are not a good food because they’re not very nutritious, contain mineral binding anti-nutrients, and are hard on the gut. Some people can do fine on a more Weston A. Price diet, but that is honestly a huge hassle when you can just eat meat, veg, and fruit. They’re not worth it in my opinion and not conducive to optimal health. The same can be said of legumes, but to a slightly lesser extent, as we haven’t gotten to messing with beans (excluding soy) as much as we have grains. I'd keep to mostly primal/paleo foods for now, to let your body heal and strengthen, and then you can see if you tolerate other foods.

    Here’s Mark’s 101 on grains. (Edit, you're ahead of me! Enjoy the book!) Here are some more articles to check out.

    So potato/sweet potato/rice are considered to be appropriate on PB? For some reason I thought they must be completely eliminated...
    I def thought rice was included in the "grains" list. hmm.. well that makes it much sustainable to go Primal... I better start reading the book now! lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Valerie91 View Post
    So potato/sweet potato/rice are considered to be appropriate on PB? For some reason I thought they must be completely eliminated...
    I def thought rice was included in the "grains" list. hmm.. well that makes it much sustainable to go Primal... I better start reading the book now! lol
    Paleo has a weird thing with sweet potatoes. It was like, the only starch allowed in paleo circles. [RANT]In my opinion, if you're going to choose a single staple starch, at least pick from your own ancestry and not this one certain African tribe...[/RANT] Sorry, ignore that <==. I've had coffee. #1 rule is know your body's tolerances and weaknesses. Mine is pumpkin spiced.

    ... So what I'm trying to explain is that roots are considered good, but those following a strict low carb diet will avoid them. I mostly ignore the Great Carb Debate in favour of self experimentation. White rice is also considered safe because it is basically pure starch; not very nutritious, but not toxic either. It's clean energy and good for stretching meals and recovery from intense workouts. Quinoa is also considered safe, as it's sort of not really a grain, but it's so expensive.

    The best thing you can do is food journal for a month or so and track how you feel after meals, your sleep quality, energy, whatever; treat paleo/primal like an elimination or reset diet to find your ideal diet for life (it may change!). It may be a little compulsive, but I'm a nerd with a dull job lol. Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by RittenRemedy View Post
    Paleo has a weird thing with sweet potatoes. It was like, the only starch allowed in paleo circles. [RANT]In my opinion, if you're going to choose a single staple starch, at least pick from your own ancestry and not this one certain African tribe...[/RANT] Sorry, ignore that <==. I've had coffee. #1 rule is know your body's tolerances and weaknesses. Mine is pumpkin spiced.

    ... So what I'm trying to explain is that roots are considered good, but those following a strict low carb diet will avoid them. I mostly ignore the Great Carb Debate in favour of self experimentation. White rice is also considered safe because it is basically pure starch; not very nutritious, but not toxic either. It's clean energy and good for stretching meals and recovery from intense workouts. Quinoa is also considered safe, as it's sort of not really a grain, but it's so expensive.

    The best thing you can do is food journal for a month or so and track how you feel after meals, your sleep quality, energy, whatever; treat paleo/primal like an elimination or reset diet to find your ideal diet for life (it may change!). It may be a little compulsive, but I'm a nerd with a dull job lol. Good luck!
    Started my food Journal =)) In the 1st chapter of the PB, hopefully will clarify some questions along the way...

    I think my enthusiasm and will-power want to go all primal here and now, whilst my body prefers to take it one step at a time... well I have to follow my body and I know eventually I will get where I want to be


    Thank you for your help guys! If you have any other suggestions/thoughts, those always welcomed!

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