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Thread: Varying between >50g and <50g carbs Ė Low Carb Flu?

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  1. #1
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    Varying between >50g and <50g carbs Ė Low Carb Flu?

    So, for quite a while I was typically under 50g of carbs a day. I felt good generally speaking. Lately Iíve been adding more fibrous veggies to my diet to bring up my daily nutrient intake. This began to push up my carb intake. Iíve noticed is varies quite a bit, anywhere from under 50g to around 90g of carbs.

    Iíve noticed a change lately. I have days were my carbs are very low during the day (I fast from after dinner 6-6:30pm to 11am + my lunches are reasonably low carb) and I start to experience tiredness, headaches, and general depression/grumpiness. Yesterday was an extreme example. I felt like I was experiencing the low carb flu all over again. Later, when I got home and ate dinner I went off on a carb binge (nothing too badÖfruit, nuts, & coconut) which pushed me to about 250g of carbs for the day. I noticed I felt much better after the binge (headache, tiredness, & depression went away).

    My theory is: Because Iíve upped my carbs, I more easily slip into the low carb flu when my carbs are low due to fasting or just not eating as many carbs. The logical solution seems to be either stick with >50g of carbs or stick with between 50 & 100g to prevent this from happening. Opinions are welcome.

    Has anyone else experienced this phenomenon?
    "You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need." ~ Vernon Howard

  2. #2
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    I had a period where I was walking a lot and doing plenty of bodyweight exercises (You Are Your Own Gym) while keeping the carbs around 50g, and I started to get tired/grumpy like you say, but also more hungry. Kind of like the carb-flu days. I upped the carbs with bigger salads, more fruit, and sweet potatoes, and found what I think is my sweet spot...I haven't measured it, but I'd guess around 75-100g depending on how hard I'm working out. Are you exercising much?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom B-D View Post
    I had a period where I was walking a lot and doing plenty of bodyweight exercises (You Are Your Own Gym) while keeping the carbs around 50g, and I started to get tired/grumpy like you say, but also more hungry. Kind of like the carb-flu days. I upped the carbs with bigger salads, more fruit, and sweet potatoes, and found what I think is my sweet spot...I haven't measured it, but I'd guess around 75-100g depending on how hard I'm working out. Are you exercising much?
    I do exercise quite a bit. I'm following the convict conditioning progression, plus some of the stuff from Convict Conditioning 2, along with some other exercise (walking, sprints 1X per week).
    "You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need." ~ Vernon Howard

  4. #4
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    My theory is: you feel like shit on VLC. If you exercise quite a bit, eat more carbs for crying out loud.
    "The problem with quoting someone on the Internet is, you never know if it's legit" - Abraham Lincoln

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fernaldo View Post
    My theory is: you feel like shit on VLC. If you exercise quite a bit, eat more carbs for crying out loud.
    Thank you. This is great.

    90g of carbs is a very low carbohydrate diet as well. It's dandy that people that lived in the Arctic subsisted on a diet like that, but we don't live on an ice shelf. We're omnivores and we function best with fat and carbs in our diets for the most part. It's not human to adhere to a low carbohydrate diet just like it's not human to adhere to a low fat diet. Eat real food - meat, vegetables, fruits and starches. If you feel like shit eating a certain way, there's probably a darn good reason for it.
    Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fernaldo View Post
    My theory is: you feel like shit on VLC. If you exercise quite a bit, eat more carbs for crying out loud.
    This is so simplistic. YOU feel like shit on VLC. OK. Not everyone does. The OP was talking about feeling yucky after adding some carbs not while VLC.

    Personally, I feel awesome in ketosis. YMMV.

    I think the OP and the Gnolls article cited by Comma nailed it very well. Either be in ketosis or not. I think a lot of people who say they feel like shit on VLC may actually have been only on that borderline, bouncing in and out all of the time. That's like permanent carb flu. No fun.

  7. #7
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    Hi there,
    How do I avoid the carb flu? I am on day 4 of eating this way... and feel like shit..
    any help??

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by klh39v View Post
    Hi there,
    How do I avoid the carb flu? I am on day 4 of eating this way... and feel like shit..
    any help??
    You can't avoid the carb flu, it just takes time for the body to adapt to burning fat instead of glucose. Just push through i guarantee you will feel much better in a week or two.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukey View Post
    You can't avoid the carb flu, it just takes time for the body to adapt to burning fat instead of glucose. Just push through i guarantee you will feel much better in a week or two.
    You can't avoid it altogether but you can make it easier. One of the things that happens as your body becomes adapted to fat burning is that you flush out a lot of extra water weight. With that a lot of electrolytes often get flushed as well so make sure you are eating enough salt maybe a bit more than your usual. Mineral water can also help and just generally staying hydrated.

    Also feeling like you really NEED to eat very frequently is a sure sign that you are still a sugar burner. When you can skip a meal without panic setting in, you will be a Fat Burning Beast as Mark calls it. (do a search on that term for a good MDA post on the subject). While you are transitioning, by all means, EAT. Do not worry about counting calories etc. You can dieal the quantities back in once you are adapted.

  10. #10
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    Thank you Fernaldo and ChocoTaco.

    I guess I'm just a bit paranoid because I've had such great success with VLC. I'm at my lowest body fat % ever and I want to keep it that way. I'm afraid upping the carbs will drive up my body fat. However, you both have a great point. It's time to move some move carbs into my diet and see how it impacts me.
    "You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need." ~ Vernon Howard

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