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Thread: Ketosis & Low Carb Flu - Do you all get it when transitioning? page

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    Omni's Avatar
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    Ketosis & Low Carb Flu - Do you all get it when transitioning?

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    This came up in another thread and I am curious.
    Does everyone here going into Ketosis suffer "Low Carb Flu"?

    ie If you have, for whatever reason a higher carb intake for a few days, do you get the extended lethargy symptoms when you go back to a Ketogenic diet?

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    BestBetter's Avatar
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    I've never experienced carb flu when going low carb, so I don't really understand what it is. Ironically, I also don't thrive on a low carb diet. So maybe, no pain, no gain is true here.

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    I got the carb flu and I got it hard. I had every symptom you could possibly think of.

    I don't think lean people with a low bodyfat will do well on ketosis at all.
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    I don't know if I have ever been in ketosis, but when lowering carbs I feel the effect after about 2-3 days. My energy noticeably plummets during exercise (i start clock-watching and counting minutes) and I start getting irritable and feeling anxious. Sleep is interrupted, hard to stay asleep for longer than 4-5 hours. Restless body occurs late night. Food becomes an obsession: how many carbs can I squeeze in or cut? Etc. Then I bank my carbs for later because I hate using them all too soon in the day. It's... Too much for me. I start hating meat and resenting food choices.

    ETA: felt the same way only worse when I did a modified "fat-free"potato hack. I ate all naturally fat-free or low-fat foods. I was frickin' starving and couldn't eat enough to feel satisfied. It was awful. Low-carb blows away "fat free" for me, but a blended diet is my favorite.
    Last edited by j3nn; 03-15-2013 at 09:30 PM.
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    I do fine with low fat ~25g, no symptoms of low libido or anything. Cholesterol and saturated fat are converted from excess sugar anyway.
    Longing is the agony of the nearness of the distant

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    I was doing 10g/day. I typically get upwards of 100g a day, though.
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    Omni's Avatar
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    I do 20/4 IF most days with a moderate carb intake mostly, Maybe 100-150g range sometimes lower. I just let my body transition gradually going into Primal eating and the IF started gradually after about 6 months, my carb intake reduced over time and my taste for fat increased, once I got to the 20/4 IF I also jumped to the 44/4 a few times, I can't say I have ever noticed anything like carb flu, never felt lethargic or irritable. The only sign for me was riding the bike when hitting hills, kind of strange, not like the lactate burning, but there was just this limit of power, like I could only push so hard, no pain, just like an upper stop limit, but this has pretty much gone now and I just power up without issues.

    As I understand it the body goes through about 3 stages as liver glycogen falls, gradually reducing glucose consumption and increasing fat consumption, by about 24 hours the liver is pretty much out of glycogen and has switched over to ketones and gluconeogenesis. So most days I am probably into stage 2 maybe 3 and on the 44/4 IF days I think I must be into Ketosis, never pee'd on a stick though, I do physical labour most days, so no doubt about burning off stores both in liver and muscles.

    So for me never experienced anything like Carb flu, next stage may be to lower carbs right down and try go for full ketosis for a while and see if I have any issues.

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    Never had the low carb flu EVER when starting vlc or zc.

    But what I *did* continue to get towards the 4 month mark on
    either, was a weird headache, lethargy, heart palpitations and
    super low temperature, like 96.5, when 99.1 is my norm.

    This time around (started in January) I've really upped the fat to about 80%
    of my calories AND (big emphasis on the and) upped my salt intake, and
    holy crap on a cracker, the difference is amazing.

    Temp is steady at 99.1 daily and I feel totally awesome.

    So, just posting that in case someone feels like shit later ON in the process,
    they could try upping those things and see how they feel.

    Also, I walk upwards of 6-10 miles a day and weight train twice a week.

    Yesterday I burned 2800 calories, walked 19K steps, and did a full body
    weight routine (with weights, not bodyweight) fully fat adapted with zero
    carbs (well, not ZERO, as there are some in eggs/cheese etc).

    So, just saying, it IS possible to be extremely hyper like myself and do just fine
    with vlc or zc.

    I'm 44, 5'3 and have recently gone from 130lbs to 120lbs since Jan.

    Never had a spec of carb flu and even didn't when I took my Maiden Voyage into
    low carb back in 1996. Dunno why.

    Julie

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    I've never had a problem with it. In fact I did a 6 day on 1 day off keto thing for a while and never had any issue bouncing back and forth. If the theory that we need to go through the same daptive phase every time you ate even a bit of carbs were true this should have been the very worst way to do it. So no, I easily go from no carb days (or weeks) straight to a sushi and pizza day right back to low carb if I want.

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    I have gotten the flu a few times. It wasn't to the point where it was unbearable, and it did not last longer than a week for me. I would have no energy and be generally very achy overall. The worst part was I would get terrible headaches when transitioning. I didn't really exercise then so it didn't affect me in that sense in terms of energy, and I have a sedentary desk job so I'm sure that made it easier in a sense. I felt better drinking a lot of broth/bouillon. I used to do pretty strict keto (in between 10-30g per day mostly) and I found that if I was strict for a long time (weeks on end) and then "cheated" with carbier foods for a couple days, it only took about a day or so to get back into keto. Over the holidays, I cheated for an extended period (a month or so) and got the flu when I started severely restricting carbs again.

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