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Thread: How bad was your "carb flu"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010

    How bad was your "carb flu"

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    Hello all, long time reader, first time poster.

    I'm a long time believer of tenets of the Primal Blueprint, at which I'm generally 85-90% compliant. However my gym threw out a seven week challenge a couple of weeks to eat nothing but "paleo" foods. So along with the Primal Blueprint list it also excludes all dairy and limits nuts and fruit. For the challenge were are supposed to be 100% compliant. We started about a week and half ago and my diet has been spot on.

    That's the background, now the "carb flu" part. Tuesday I had a great workout in the morning and eat my normal foods throughout the day. Wednesday I woke up really tired. I sucked it up and went to work anyway. At work I couldn't focus and after an hour I went back home and immediately climbed back in bed. I slept until about 6pm, eat an apple, then climbed back in bed and slept right through the night! I think I had a bit of a low grade fever but no other symptoms of sickness. This morning I woke up 100% fine.

    I had a feeling I go through some withdrawal symptoms from the diet change over but, holy cow, that was pretty dramatic. Do you think it was diet related or did I get a 24hr bug? I can't recall ever go through such a dramatic healthy-sick-healthy swing in my 42 years.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    San Diego, CA
    I was eating a bowl of brown rice for breakfast nearly every morning for 2 years before I started going primal, sandwiches for lunch, lots of pasta, orange juice and milk and ice cream and cereal... and I never had any low-carb flu.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Denver, CO
    Basically non-existent and I was eating a fairly carb-centered "muscle-building" diet (yeah right!). :P

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Olathe, KS
    I felt bad (sick and had no energy) for about a week and a half to two weeks. At first I just thought that I had a cold and I had to pretty much hold off on working out during that period.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Which time? The first time, my thyroid threw an everloving fit and I'm still dealing with that. Other than that, 2 days, tops. I ate oatmeal for breakfast, salads for lunch (nonfat dressing), and pasta or steak for dinner.
    This time around (I fell off for a week, sorta. I was only eating bread/ sugar maybe once or twice a day and berating myself for it.) I hadn't felt it yet. I may not get it, given that I didn't fall too hard.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    I got hit pretty hard for two days (exactly as you describe -- listless, low grade fever) and still have a strange little lung congestion a week later. It could be something else, but I followed a pattern several Atkins eaters followed. And my symptoms seem spot on. I only felt knocked down for one day, battled for another, and have generally felt fine, but not GREAT since.

    eta: I basically lived on pizza, chips, burgers, fries, shakes, cookies, crackers, cereals, packaged desserts, etc...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    I had insomnia for the first 3 weeks. Some nausea. That's all. For some strange reason (maybe psychological), my energy increased immediately.

    My boyfriend was tired, angry and confused for 2 weeks. He said Mark the Apple was on his shit list. I usually don't laugh at other people's pain, but he was kinda funny in a pathetic, little kid way.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    I didn't have one but I was never much of a sugar/ carb junkie. My carb-loving fiance however had it for about a week.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Thanks guys, I guess I'll chalk it up to a 24hr bug. Still weird though. I'm at my desk now wishing I went to the gym this morning, where I couldn't get out of bed yesterday.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Shop Now
    Quote Originally Posted by UpNorth View Post
    However my gym threw out a seven week challenge a couple of ..... For the challenge were are supposed to be 100% compliant. We started about a week and half ago and my diet has been spot on.

    That's the background, now the "carb flu" part. ........ I think I had a bit of a low grade fever but no other symptoms of sickness.
    I think you were sick. Also keep in mind that if your activity isn't paleo/PB but is rather more intense and sustained, you'll need more carbs. Mark's written about it a good bit.

    Another good point is that this, while being highish in fat and moderate in protein, in terms of volume, it's a produce dominated diet. Most here aren't following it as such. Here are some things Mark's written about it with my follow up at the end:
    Primal Blueprint and Produce
    Here's what The Primal Blueprint says about produce:

    p40 TPB
    "The gathering of berries and other fruit, leafy greens, primitive roots, shoots and other vegetation, nuts and seeds provide the bulk of Grok's food supply."

    p.112 TPB
    "'it may take some acclimation to center your diet around vegetables....Dont follow the example of restaurants that serve skimpy vegetable portions seemingly just for decoration; serve yourself heaping portions that crowd everything else on your plate"

    "Plant foods..naturally promote a beneficial balance between acidity and alkalinity..inyour bloodstream. Almost all cells prefer a slightly alkaline environment to function properly, but many metabolic processes, including the normal production of cellular energy, result in the release of acidic waste products. The buildup of acidic waste is toxic to your body so it works very hard at all times to preserve a slightly alkaline environment, measured by the familiar pH levels."

    p110 TPB
    see food pyramid: the base is produce indicating that in terms of volume, this is a produce dominated
    diet. His food pyramid is a clear supportive visual to both his writing, and the evidence available
    regarding a primal diet (diet in our environment of evolutionary adaptation). Volume-wise, we're
    eating mostly produce, though in terms of a percentage of calories, we are getting more calories from
    protein and many more from saturated fat even when we don't add much, if any, free fat.

    In this blogpost regarding inflammation and gut health, Mark said:

    "I mentioned Dr. Art Ayer’s Cooling Inflammation blog last week, and I’m
    to do so again. First, Art suggests adopting an anti-inflammatory diet. His dietary
    recommendations are essentially identical to mine – high SFA, moderate animal
    protein, low O-6, O-3 supplementation, leafy greens, some fruit and nuts."

    ❑ 3,500 mg potassium (K) is the "Daily Value" (DV) intake per the FDA, NIH,
    ADA etc. Consdering that nutrient intakes from these organizations reflect
    standard intakes, not optimal, consider viewing potassium needs through a
    'primal' lens based on K intakes in traditional diets and what we know of diets
    in environment closer to those in which we adapted.

    ❑ Potassium intakes in the above 'primal' diets - likely ranges
    based on potassium to sodium ratio
    5mg K:1mg Na to 16mg K: 1mg Na

    based on potassium to calorie ratio
    2-4mg K per calorie ingested

    ❑ 10-13 servings produce will often be required to supply potassium at
    optimal or nearly optimal levels

    ❑ if needed to bring K:Na ratios or K:Kcal ratios into balance, tomato products
    at each meal or by drinking homemade veggie peeling broths are easy, low
    calorie, high potassium supplements. adding 99mg from a potassium tab
    is essentially worthless when total potassium needs are 3,500-12,000 mg.

    Think of magnesium and potassium as the relaxors and calcium and sodium as
    the contractors. We need both - but it's all about ratio just like it is wrt Ω3 and Ω6.

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