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Thread: Long-term effects of eating low carb? page

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    Ribbons's Avatar
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    Long-term effects of eating low carb?

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    When I don't eat enough carbs (or sometimes just food in general) I get symptoms of hypothyroidism like being cold all the time, having low energy, puffy eyes in the morning, etc. I tried eating more starchy food like sweet potatoes and fruit and the symptoms are gone but now I get sugar cravings and I always want more food, so I've been keeping a food diary (without counting calories or macros or anything) so I'm less likely to overeat. But I don't want to have to do this my whole life. I'm worried that I'm going to become insulin resistant from eating too many carbs but I've also read that if you eat low carb you become very sensitive to carbs and put on weight if you eat them.

    I can probably sort out my thyroid issues by having more iodine (I haven't done anything about that yet) so that's not my main concern. I'm just getting worried that i'm going to do permanent damage to my metabolism by either eating high carb (moderate compared to CW I guess) or low carb and I don't know which is worse. Does anyone have any opinions on this?

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    Wanderlust's Avatar
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    1) How long have you been primal?
    2) Please quantify low carb (g/day)
    3) Have you been diagnosed with Hypothyroidism?

    You're not going to get insulin resistant from having a sweet potato a day, so you can relax on that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderlust View Post
    1) How long have you been primal?
    2) Please quantify low carb (g/day)
    3) Have you been diagnosed with Hypothyroidism?
    1) On and off for 5-6 months. I haven't been able to stick to it because I keep getting too obsessive and then giving up and either binging or starving myself. But this time I've been trying harder to keep it simple and not get stressed so it's been around 2-3 weeks since I started again.
    2) I don't know how many grams because I don't count anymore. And it's different everyday. But my guess would be an average of 75-120g. Sometimes more probably.
    3) Nope, I've just noticed that I have a lot of the symptoms of it and I can't think of what else it could be.

    You're not going to get insulin resistant from having a sweet potato a day, so you can relax on that.
    I know but what about the sugar cravings and hunger and stuff? I don't eat any refined sugar so it must be from the added carbs right?

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    It sounds like you're yo-yo-ing. Transition more gradually. For lack of a better term don't be neurotic about it. It's a lifetime change, one step at a time. If you eat something "non-primal" it's not the end of the world, hell I had a doughnut today (which I'm now paying for, but not the point).

    If it's been 2 weeks "back on the wagon" you might be getting the "low carb flu" search it, or I'm sure someone will chime in.

    Hypothyroidism is fairly rare < 4%, so most likely not the case. But if you think it is, get seen by an endocrinologist.

    You're getting sugar cravings because you have lived your whole life eating sugar, and 2-3 weeks without. Give it some time. Don't be afraid to fall off the wagon, good doesn't mean perfect.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderlust View Post
    It sounds like you're yo-yo-ing. Transition more gradually. For lack of a better term don't be neurotic about it. It's a lifetime change, one step at a time. If you eat something "non-primal" it's not the end of the world, hell I had a doughnut today (which I'm now paying for, but not the point).

    If it's been 2 weeks "back on the wagon" you might be getting the "low carb flu" search it, or I'm sure someone will chime in.

    Hypothyroidism is fairly rare < 4%, so most likely not the case. But if you think it is, get seen by an endocrinologist.

    You're getting sugar cravings because you have lived your whole life eating sugar, and 2-3 weeks without. Give it some time. Don't be afraid to fall off the wagon, good doesn't mean perfect.
    Yeah I'm trying to just do the basics of the PB without getting too stressed about it. I guess it could have been the low carb flu instead of hypothyroidism - I didn't think of that. As for the sugar craving, they're pretty new because I've hardly eaten any sugar (especially fructose) for months, so it must be from the carbs I've eaten recently. Should I try low carb again? I've heard that if you eat VLC for a long time then you can't go back to eating carbs without putting on weight..

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    It sounds like you are already low carb, if you want to go lower try it.

    Regarding weight gain from VLC to LC, if everything remains the same the yes you would gain weight, because you just added more calories. VLC is pretty hard to sustain indefinatly and tends to be overly restrictive, so I'm not sure why you are so keen on pursuing it. But I'll let some of the VLC Grokelles (as they like to be called) chime in for that.
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    You probably get sugar cravings because you need to eat more
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    Yes, it's more likely 'carb flu' than any thyroid issue. I'm hypothyroid, and the symptoms come on so gradually and are so vague that many of us don't get diagnosed for years--and don't feel 'terrible' either.

    You don't know the effect of low-carb eating because you haven't been doing it long enough (consistently) to be in the ketogenic state where you experience the positive effects of low-carb eating.

    And contrary to what you read, low carb isn't bad for your thyroid. I have Hashimoto's (a disease) that causes my hypothyroidism, but my endo loves my low-carb WOE and wishes he could get more patients to eat this way.

    You don't become any more 'sensitive' to carbs from low carb eating. What happens is that if you suddenly eat a lot of carbs, your muscles will fill with glycogen, which is bound to water, and you will see a 3-5 lbs weight gain. That's from the water and has nothing to do with 'gaining weight.' However, those carbs may stimulate your appetite--and that could cause weight gain.

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    Ribbons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderlust View Post
    It sounds like you are already low carb, if you want to go lower try it.

    Regarding weight gain from VLC to LC, if everything remains the same the yes you would gain weight, because you just added more calories. VLC is pretty hard to sustain indefinatly and tends to be overly restrictive, so I'm not sure why you are so keen on pursuing it. But I'll let some of the VLC Grokelles (as they like to be called) chime in for that.
    I mean eat less fat and more carbs, not just extra calories. It's not that I necessarily want to do VLC, I just don't want to be hungry all the time and that tends to happen when I eat carbs.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gadsie View Post
    You probably get sugar cravings because you need to eat more
    Nah I think I'm eating enough calories.
    Quote Originally Posted by emmie View Post
    Yes, it's more likely 'carb flu' than any thyroid issue. I'm hypothyroid, and the symptoms come on so gradually and are so vague that many of us don't get diagnosed for years--and don't feel 'terrible' either.

    You don't know the effect of low-carb eating because you haven't been doing it long enough (consistently) to be in the ketogenic state where you experience the positive effects of low-carb eating.

    And contrary to what you read, low carb isn't bad for your thyroid. I have Hashimoto's (a disease) that causes my hypothyroidism, but my endo loves my low-carb WOE and wishes he could get more patients to eat this way.

    You don't become any more 'sensitive' to carbs from low carb eating. What happens is that if you suddenly eat a lot of carbs, your muscles will fill with glycogen, which is bound to water, and you will see a 3-5 lbs weight gain. That's from the water and has nothing to do with 'gaining weight.' However, those carbs may stimulate your appetite--and that could cause weight gain.
    So does that mean that when you don't eat carbs for a long time you don't have any glycogen in your muscles? If your body adapts to VLC then it should be able to store energy in your muscles, but then if you eat carbs then there's nowhere for them to go... I'm a bit confused about that.

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    Hey Ribbons,

    Good to hear you, I was thinking about you this week and how you were going. I have been in crisis with restricting and binging and took the plunge last week to eat only primal and whack up my fat intake (I brought down fruit to one a day and banned nuts). I have eaten three huge meals a day, had a primal snack in emergency hunger, never felt better and to my surprise have even lost a kilo. I cannot tell you how good it feels to be eating what I need and to not be hungry or even worrying about food. if you want to see what I ate take a glimpse at my journal.

    My fat intake was huge, I have eaten more this week than I have ever done in the last 2 years. I feel wonderful, trust primal, it really works!

    I hope you can find your way and keep getting the support you need, I've had a lot of help from other PBs.

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