Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
7 Jun

Dear Mark: The Low Carb Flu

Conquering carbs offers a whole constellation of rewards, not the least of which is a steady, brisk energy unlike most people have known before (well, maybe since the whirling age of 10 or so…). People tell me constantly that they can finally make it through the day without being down for the count every midafternoon. They enjoy enough vigor and vitality to weather a whole day’s worth of activity. The busyness of life becomes easier to handle: the energy demands of daily work or business travel, the mayhem and constant commotion of kids, a weekend’s worth of chores and errands, etc. A skipped meal doesn’t suddenly change the agenda to including procuring a bagel or other false pick-me-up. Nonetheless, for some folks, there’s a common, temporary but still bothersome bump in the road on the way to that Primal prize. Though it varies, it often means a couple weeks of mental fuzziness, fog and fatigue. Although your body might be off to the races, your brain can lag behind like a little brother in a stuffed snowsuit. It’s a game of “hey, wait up!”  while the body’s mechanisms and metabolism align themselves. They call it “low carb flu,” and rest assured it’s just as temporary.

Dear Mark,

I just want to know if anyone who has been Primal for some time had any trouble with cognition in the first few weeks. I can hardly think straight, especially after eating, and I am also low on energy. Will this pass??? Besides that, my body feels great!”

Thanks to Jessica for her question in response to Matt Garland’s excellent guest post last week. It’s a common subject of emails I receive.

First off, I should mention that some folks experience the low carb flu, and others don’t. Overall, those who have been lower carb for some time seem to have fewer problems with the transition taking their carb intake down a notch. As rational as it sounds, this trend still isn’t a hard and fast rule. I know a number of Primal adherents who fit this profile and then went on to experience the symptoms Jessica describes. Others I know went from sky high sugars to low carb cold turkey and felt great from day one. Go figure. It might be due to the “sliding  range of genetic variations” I’ll be discussing in an upcoming post.

Although the low carb flu isn’t universal, that doesn’t mean it’s abnormal. For many people, it takes about two to three weeks to move beyond the temporary fog and fatigue. Studies following the physical performance of low carbers showed that initial disadvantages were erased after this window of time. If your body is used to employing easy glucose carbs and now must create glucose from fats and protein (a slightly more complex but entirely natural mode of operation), it can take some time to get up to speed. Rest assured that our bodies can and are doing the job. It simply takes time to work efficiently. The transition actually shifts metabolic related gene expression, increasing fat oxidation pathways and decreasing fat storage pathways. (That’s nothing to shake a stick at!) Within a few weeks, the body should be fairly efficient at converting protein and fat for the liver’s glycogen stores, which provide all the glucose we need for the brain, red blood cells, muscles, etc. under regular circumstances.

The small amount of specifically targeted research on low carb diets and cognition are small and shoddy at best. A recent study, for example, showed minor memory delay during the first week of strict carbohydrate elimination (as opposed to reduction), but further measures were not taken until carbs were reintroduced. By the same token, those on a traditional American Dietetic Association diet exhibited more confusion during the study tests. I don’t think this study offers any legitimate, useful assessment on either diet.

Nonetheless, there’s the sense that we’re stressing the brain and causing damage by not bathing it in a steady supply of glucose. In fact, we may be doing our brains the ultimate favor. Recent research has pegged Alzheimer’s as a kind of “type 3” diabetes, a disease related to insulin resistance. Truth be told, our brains can function on ketones, fat-metabolism byproducts and key energy sources in low to very low carb diets, which some say may be even healthier yet for our noggins. Check out Jimmy Moore’s interview with Dr. Larry McCleary, a respected neurosurgeon and author of The Brain Trust Program: A Scientifically Based Three-Part Plan to Improve Memory, Elevate Mood, Enhance Attention, Alleviate Migraine and Menopausal Symptoms, and Boost Mental Energy.

Keep in mind also that people in low carb transition can genuinely shortchange their physical needs when they aren’t eating enough fat or when they’re pursuing high intensity exercise routines lasting over an hour, which send the body’s glycogen stores into a nosedive to the ground. I hear this from CrossFitters and P90Xers who insist on maintaining their daily high intensity while transitioning to Primal eating. This isn’t to say that you can’t exercise more intensely for longer on a Primal Blueprint diet (although there’s no real need to for perfectly solid fitness), but more than an hour’s time for most folks requires some extra carbs when glycogen is depleted. If you’re bothered by the mental fog even without intensive exercise, ease up on your carb restriction by adding 25 grams or so to see if it makes a difference. Listen to your body and gauge your sensitivity. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you’re not going to compromise your overall benefit by taking it slowly.

As any Primal buff would attest, this temporary setback pales in comparison to the benefits once the transition has passed. Without the persistent carb-induced peaks and crashes, you should enjoy a measurable boost in energy – steady and stable – in no time. Hang tight, and know you’ll be on the other side of the hill soon! In the meantime, take good care of yourself with a little extra shuteye and maybe some well-timed green tea for a modest boost when you really need it.

Avid Grokkers: what words of experience do you have for Jessica and other new folks at the Primal table? Be sure to share your thoughts, stories and words of wisdom. Thanks for reading and keep your questions coming!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I needed this today. Day two of eating primally and feeling a bit foggy. Hopefully it will subside quickly. It is not too bad…yet.

    Mindy1986 wrote on June 16th, 2012
  2. Hey Everyone An observation possibly experiencing no carb flu?

    Full Day #1!
    This morning after my walk with dogs and breakfast of fried onions and eggs I picked up the kindle to finish reading about paleo and got sooo tired… I was sitting up in the chair unable to stay awake. Slept well last night. Lay down and couldn’t get warm
    hooded fleece, 3 animals curled up with me and a blanket, nothing worked. Got up, put on another layer and then started sneezing with a runny nose… (knew nothing about no carb flu at this point) This afternoon I broke a sweat driving in the car and after that the flu symptoms left. It’s 11pm and I’m still feeling full of energy. Holy Jumpins… Normally I’m toast after 8 or 9 pm… Was still out in the woods with the dogs till 9:30!
    no after supper bloating (had a few berries from the garden and woods as dessert)
    Sore tired feet that normally/commonly happened by this time of night haven’t happen – my feet aren’t swollen, my stomach doesn’t feel bloated and my eczema isn’t as bad as it was yesterday… All in my head… who cares!
    Thank you!

    Jennifer wrote on July 3rd, 2012
  3. Ohhhh. Now it makes sense. I didn’t know about the “flu” but I had been experiencing headaches, though I didn’t relate it to the diet. I was so happy with the way things were going that it wasn’t important. I was just surprised because I’d never gotten many headaches. I was one of the people for whom this wasn’t a big stretch, though big enough I guess, to get the “flu”. It’s gone now and the enormous benefits remain. I’ve always felt better on a high protein, low carb diet but was always swayed by the “certainty” of the benefits of brown rice as a staple. Now that I’m grain, legume, and dairy free I’m healthier than at any point in my life. I have energy to burn (at 63) and can go all day. My exercise regimen is now about half what it was with twice the benefits. You just can’t beat this! My weight has stabilized at 127 lb on a 5’4″ frame. I try not to talk about it too much but I always wind up extolling this diet’s virtues when asked why I look so good. I’ve turned the clock back 20 years, effortlessly. If your new, stick with it!

    ellen wrote on July 4th, 2012
  4. Hi Mark, I know this is an extremely late reply to this particular article, but I was talking to a scientist the other day about low-carb diets, and he mentioned that they can cause a brain fog because of low B-Vitamins. B-vitamins are essential for neural function and development, and usually come from grains and the like. Perhaps supplementing them can help prevent or reduce this symptom?

    Sophia wrote on July 4th, 2012
    • Hi Sophia, I’m no doctor, but I can assure you you can all the B vitamins you need from fruits, vegetables, nuts and meat sources. I’ve found that doctors will feed you the old USDA food pyramid crap. I don’t know if they are really that naive, or there is pressure from the big conglomerates who control all the grains to not say anything. If you look at, you will see you get plenty of B vitamins from non-grain or non-dairy sources.

      cindyk wrote on July 8th, 2012
  5. Hey All!
    I have really just dived into my PB lifestyle and am really enjoying eating and tasting foods differently.

    My question is simple: When you all reference “carbs” could you clarify whether you mean Carbs in general, veggies, rice, fruits, grains, or do you mean only good carbs, veggies and fruits?

    I am a novice, so any advice is welcome!

    Tim wrote on July 12th, 2012
  6. I’m feeling a bit crunchy lately. My challenge is canker sores which I’ve had off and on my whole life. Haven’t had them for a while but eating primal seems to have brought them on.

    The primal thing appears to be working though I saw veins on my obliques today for the first time. Hopefully this is what I need to get through the last 5-10 pounds. For those cross-fitters out there I suggest you google Tacfit and plug into that it awesome.

    I think in today’s world full of junk it makes sense to count calories because how can you win if you don’t know the score?

    Aaron wrote on July 19th, 2012
  7. Aha! Day 4 for me. I had to turn back twice this morning on my way to work because of things I had forgotten. Other than the brain fog, I feel great.

    Annie B wrote on August 16th, 2012
  8. since the age of about 14 (now 18) i have experienced a constant heavy headedness/mental fog, aches, and general fatigue – i attribute that all to eating an extremely grain focused diet. after 2 days of the paleo diet, i felt great! now a week later, i definately have the “flu”. I know that if i can just bare with it i will feel better, 2 weeks of flu is better then a lifetime of being ill!

    ashley wrote on August 27th, 2012
  9. Hmm soo jessica has been feeling shitty on the primal diet eh? Could it be the low carb flu? Or is it more likely that she feels so horrible because even though her diet is primal it consists of mostly cooked food

    dylan wrote on August 31st, 2012
  10. I’ve been primal for two weeks now so I thought my experience with this might be worth sharing. I made the switch cold turkey, with the only “cheating” being a serving of yams and a couple of beers over two weeks.. oh and some accidental soybean oil (store-bought mayo..I’m learning). So far, I’ve had nothing even close to the “low-carb flu,” in fact my energy is way up and more importantly it’s consistent. I used to crash every single day at 3pm, but it hasn’t happened since I made the switch. For that fact alone I don’t think I’m ever going back.
    My only somewhat negative experience has been that I get a little sleepy for a few minutes following a higher-fat-than-I’m-used-to evening meal, but I think that’s normal and it fades quickly.. it certainly isn’t severe enough that I would call it a problem.
    As I said I’m a bit new to this, but I suspect that my fellow primal tyros who are having especially severe symptoms may be under-eating.. particularly not eating enough fat. I’ve noticed that it can be hard to overcome the “fat is evil” propaganda in my habits, even though I understand it intellectually. When I’m tempted to eat ultra-lean per my old habits I try to remember this analogy, paraphrased from Mark, “fat is the firewood keeping the house warm, protein is the beams holding the roof up. The beams will burn, but why would you want them to?”

    Josh wrote on August 31st, 2012
  11. I’m having a really hard time getting past the carb flu. Within the first 3 days of giving up bread, rice, soy products, pizza or pasta, I start getting headaches, feel nauseated, anxious, bloated, bowels cramp like hell and I wake up in the middle of the night having dreamed of bread and craving it.

    As I push through to 2 weeks, I feel like a drug addict, always craving, seeking, and then the exhaustion and weariness gets so tough that I start missing days of work as I sleep 12+ hours.

    By the third week I feel like I am a broken human being. I grind my teeth just wanting a hit of bread or pizza. I feel angry all the time.

    After that third week I run out of steam and ability to cope, and go back to the 150g-200g of carbs I was eating every day before I heard of paleo and was losing weight despite it. But now something has become upset, changed, and my body reacts violently and gains 10 lbs in a month.

    So then I try again, fail within two weeks, and another 10lbs flies on. These are not muscle pounds, it’s all fat in the stomach area that has never accumulated like this before. It doesn’t matter how many eggs, meats, veggies I eat, unless I have 100+g of carbs, I constantly feel like nothing ever “satisfies”. I don’t feel hungry, but always feel like pacing as if I’m missing something still, subconsciously chasing it. Carb cravings are cavernous and haunting.

    I’m now 20lbs heavier and scared of Paleo. Before I ever tried paleo, I was losing 20 lbs a year just through gentle portion control. Now my body is so pissed off at my diet change attempts that I’m stuck at a plateau. Whatever I did to lose wait without drastic changes isn’t working like before. It’s been 2 months since my last paleo switch attempt and I haven’t gained nor lost a pound. I’m stuck.

    I’m so envious of friends who switched to paleo and their bodies changed magically, without any physical addiction-like withdrawals. I don’t know what to do except feel a lot of regret. I had a good thing going, a stress free relationship with food that was continuously improving, and then I pushed buttons that upset it all. It will probably take a half year to calm down, get my body to not be so reactionary, and then return to the gradual weight loss I had become so good at.

    Ariella wrote on September 11th, 2012
  12. I’m getting lost in all the comments… so I’ll just re-ask the obvious. Don’t beat me…

    I’m a fitness instructor. I teach 2-4 classes per day (upwards of 15 classes per week). Zumba, Tabata Bootcamps, spin. It is my business, so stopping this level of fitness is not an option for me. This is week 2 of Paleo/Primal and I’m dying. 75-100g carbs is not cutting it for me. Or do I need to wait it out? Help meeeeee…

    B-Sting wrote on October 3rd, 2012
    • yes, increase carbs for lifestyle. bump them up (particularly after a classs). maybe start at 200 carbs a day on hard days and slowly lower it to where you want to be. remember the workouts you’re doing are high heart rate, so you need more carbs.

      Matty wrote on November 8th, 2012
  13. I have gone very low carb this week after 3 weeks of cutting out all sugars, caffeine, alcohol and anything out of a packet with preserves.

    It was tough at the start, but now with the carb drop i feel yuk, headaches, flu like symptoms, & so tired.

    My husband who is a type 1 diabetic told me that I would go into ketosis if I gave up my beloved carbs and this was really dangerous, I know that he sometimes has to check for ketones in his blood.

    I have to pretend im feeling fine otherwise I am sure he would cook me up a pot of potatoes and make me eat them if he knew how ill I was feeling. I’ve really gone off eating and the thought of meat & vege makes me feel sick, today has been the worst.

    I am hoping this will pass and I will come out the other end. I’ve stopped exercising (no energy anyway). All I want to do is do nothing or sleep.

    The other thing I’ve noticed the last few days is my skin colour, I’ve always been a pasty, white, sick looking with dark circles around my eyes, now I have ‘colour’ in my face and don’t need a 44 gallon drum of concealer and makeup….wahooo!

    Jude wrote on October 12th, 2012
  14. As my daughter and her boyfriend have most every imaginable sensitivity I looked into solutions and went Paleo earlier this year. 64 and started at 219#. Couldn’t jog a lick. Fog wasn’t too bad but couldn’t sleep for but a few hours at a time for a couple of weeks that eventually disappeared. Down to 184, did 13 mile run the other nite getting ready for numerous runs and half marathon. Have hit somewhat of a plateau and increasing carbs after long runs seems like a plausible remedy. I no longer experience soreness after heaving indoor cycling and my runs. Now my wife is interested and heading down the Paleo path. Work the plan and the plan will work.

    Bob wrote on October 31st, 2012
  15. Started low carb – high fat diest 4 weeks ago. We went cold turkey.

    I had no such fly but my wife did. Go figure :)

    But it is passed and we feel just great. I just discovered the primal blueprint and this makes perfect sense. We will now complete these new eating habits with the rest of the PB principles. We live near a lake and hilly forest in Denmark, a perfect environment for daily hiking. I will include weight lifting as well. After dall, diet is 80% but I don’t want my muscles to be eaten by my brain either :) (I am near ketogenic at the moment)

    James wrote on November 1st, 2012
    • Jeeze, I type like crap … reaed fly for flu, and diest for diet! Damned …

      James wrote on November 1st, 2012
  16. Glad to read all of this – was starting to feel like I was going crazy. Have been a conscious, but relatively high carb vegan for a long time. Started out introducing some fish and other things, and now settled into a paleo scheme that works for me. But, since I truly stopped the grains, sugar and alcohol – whoa nelly. Tired, able to sleep like crazy (insomnia used to be a problem for me) but a few times have woken in the middle of the night with a SPLITTING headache and feeling really weird. Overall just pretty low key, achy, spacey.

    Hope it passes soon! Thanks for all the encouragement from everybody. It’s very helpful.


    EBG wrote on December 7th, 2012
  17. I just started this way of eating 2 days ago. I want to start exercising but am confused as to what to eat before and after my workout. HELP!!

    Bonnie wrote on January 15th, 2013
  18. Hey guys, nine days on my BP and I feel sooooo sick some days that I really do feel like quitting. The worst part is I suffer from General Anxiety Disorder and some days I can´t figure out if it´s my anxiety symptoms or the carb flu. I have a question. Has anybody experienced anxiety or if you had anxiety before did it become worse getting on a low carb diet? I´m just hoping it will pass soon because I´m loving it for so many reasons. Today was a bad day, feeling shaky, very tired, weak, brain fog, wierd stomach feelings, just feeling sick overall. I can´t tell if my anxiety is getting worse or if it´s my body having a carb detox or maybe both. Can anybody relate? Can anybody give me some tips? One more question. Have any of you anxiety sufferers found that this diet helped with your anxiety: some, a lot or nothing?

    Lila wrote on January 31st, 2013
    • Have you tried magnesium? Get in the form of glycinate or other chelated, not oxide. It may help calm you. Also, try some higher carb veggies, like butternut squash, or even 1/2 a sweet potato, with lots of butter.

      Maxmilliana wrote on February 1st, 2013
      • Thanks fot the tip. I do consume almost every day yams with lots and lots of butter (my favorite treat). I also consume quite a bit of cucumber, bell peppers, celery,a variety of seeds, including sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and flaxseeds. Beside getting the magnesium from my food, do I need supplements? I guess I will give it a try and see what happens. Thanks again 😉

        Lila wrote on February 1st, 2013
        • Some people have low blood levels of magnesium and need to supplement. I take extra magnesium to help with migraines.

          Maxmilliana wrote on February 1st, 2013
        • Natural Calm is a great supplement for magnesium. My Dr. recommended it to me 4 years ago, and I still take it every night.

          Cindy wrote on February 4th, 2013
    • Hi Lila, I have an anxiety disorder and most of my anxiety went away by simply adding fat (eggs and butter, mostly) to my diet. The anxiety isn’t completely gone yet, since I just started eliminating grains and sugars a couple days ago. I have a bit of anxiety at the moment, but it’s definitely not as panicky as it used to be. Your comment was about 4 months ago, how has your diet been going? Is the anxiety gone?

      Brian Kozmo wrote on May 15th, 2013
      • Hi Brian. I honestly did not feel any differente from when I was eating my regular diet consisting of “healthy grains”, protein, fruit and vegetables and I avoided sugars and processed foods and fats. When I went primal 4 months ago I was happy to eat bacon again, eggs, butter and the rest, so delicious! But it hasn´t worked for me, I gained more weight. I guess I was over eating more than I needed of every macronutrient. My anxiety was the same, it did not change until I started taking magensium, Thanks to Cindy and Max, I started taking magnesium supplements and I felt immediately better . I can say my anxiety and panic attacks are almost none existent. I am so happy for that. Thanks Cindy and Max. Maybe you should try as well adding extra magnesium. I´m taking almost 1000mg a day. That is how deficient I was! I had a very stressfull period in my life, I guess that´s why. Stess depletes you from precious minerals. This I just learned. I felt like dying every day, not any more. I feel almost normal again. I guess the body takes time to heal too. I had severe to moderate anxiety for almost 5 years.

        Any way, I went back to my regular diet but I keep away from wheat as I discovered my adult acne disappeard as well, so happy about that too. I had never had clear skin until now! Also the bloating disappeared as well. All the moderate carbs I eat now are corn and beans, fruit and vegetables.(I stay away from most grains or I soak them if I will eat them) So all I´m doing now is being careful on portion size. They say you should eat until you feel satiety, but I was over eating too much (too much fat as well) So this didn´t work for me. I´ll just go to eating balanaced, healthy and in moderation. A little itbit of everything works for me (even some sweet treats :) I´m, glad it´s working for you. We are all different and have different needs and reactions. I hope you well :)

        lilaalejandra wrote on May 15th, 2013
  19. Where can I buy natural calm? Do I order ir onlime? I live in canada.

    Lila wrote on February 5th, 2013
    • Yes, you can order online. Just Google it.

      Maxmilliana wrote on February 6th, 2013
  20. OMG!There are people starving in the world – their children are dying because all the world’s resources are being used to produce food for the so called 1st world and we have the luxury of saying that we really don’t want to eat carbohydrates even if they are there and cheap in our supermarkets!! We should be ashamed of ourselves for letting this happen.

    non wrote on March 8th, 2013
  21. I felt dreadful particularly on day 20. I thought I would be locked into candida die off for 10 years and never feel well again unless I went back on to fruit and/or chocolate but then suddenly today I woke early and not exhausted. I had had 3 pretty awful weeks of feeling like I had an ME virus, terribly tired, eyes hurting, eyes watering, slightly blocked nose despite never drinking milk which is what normally can cause it for me, and most of all tired, tired, tired as if there were a drip on my arm draining the energy from me or as if vampires had been in the night to drain my blood and energy away. I thought I must be catching a germ at some point.

    (No really weight lost in 3 weeks and I gave up everthing except my 3 meals a day and small potato at night – I still have brown rice and baked potato so not low carb but totally clean and no snacks and only drink water)

    Then today I feel okay.
    I might try stopping my brown rice with meals although for my psychological health which for me is most important of all carb seems to be needed. I will see how I feel today but I do want to lose 7 pounds a month and only lost about 1 pound, possibly 2 in 3 weeks so far despite giving up all fruit, dried fruit and chocolate (which was at least 500 if not 1000 calories at day on top of my normal food 4 weeks ago and earlier so it’s surprising I have not been losing lots of weight).

    EnglishRose2012 wrote on June 13th, 2013
  22. Day 18, and I have been having the low carb flu for 14 days now.
    Today I nearly caved and the cake on the counter looked awfully good to me!! But i did`nt… Instead I went on here and I’m gratefull for reading all the comments

    Nothing will stop me now

    Thank you

    Neel wrote on September 14th, 2013
  23. I am so going through this right now. I’ve been getting headaches, insomnia, and fatigue. I wasn’t too high carb like most Americans. More in the 200-300 range before paleo and most of it was from eating too many medjool dates (I kind of have an addiction to them). But I was nowhere near 500s. I also haven’t had sugars except occasional honey for over a year and very few grains before I started. I haven’t cut dairy and don’t think I will. I just have way less off it than I used to. I also get light headed 15 minutes into working out. But today I felt much better (aside form insomnia last night). I can’t wait for it to fully pass!

    Susan wrote on September 17th, 2013
  24. For what it’s worth, I was lucky and my transition was painless. But I had banished sugar from my diet (I replaced it with stevia) several years before I’d even heard of primal-paleo and about six months before I went primal I’d changed over from wheat to ryebread (lower in carbs) so in effect I’d largely weaned my system off carbs.

    Paul in Australia wrote on October 31st, 2013
  25. I realize this is an old article, but I am a little disappointed.
    I was hoping to find some tips on how to survive the low-carb flu without giving up and jumping the train. But it sounds like all I can do is have faith and tough it out?

    I realize I’ll feel better than ever once this passes. I’ve done it before, but my symptoms are notably worse than they were the first time.

    Right now I fee like going home and taking a nap. I expect I will feel like that a lot over the next week or two. Is that a good idea, or a bad idea?

    Julia wrote on February 27th, 2014
  26. I actually had the “low carb flu” for only one day and maybe slightly less the next day. I would feel pretty ill (fever, fog-headed/dizzy) the first day (evening actually) and then some sort of combination of energetic and ~weird the next day. After that it’s goes better (I started paleo 2 times and both times it went like this, both times before I started paleo, I ate some kind of modified paleo, which could more be described as gluten-free).

    Issmene wrote on March 11th, 2014
  27. 3rd day in my Primal diet (95%), before that I was a fan-of-carb-person. Have a moderate active lifestyle almost throughout my entire life. This morning I woke up with full of energy (haven’t experience this kind of energy for quite some time), my body was certainly very happy with the diet. Started to feel the effects of eating primal. However, after consuming my breakfast which consists of 5 eggs with the mix of mushroom, bell pepper, onion and tomato, I am experiencing a slight headache and very low energy – lethargy right now. I guess my brain have not catch up with the diet yet. I love the energy level I felt this morning. Certainly gonna stick with the primal diet. Keep going!

    Jeremiah wrote on July 4th, 2014
  28. Wow.. So glad I found and read this thread.. Me too!!to most of it.. On about 3-4 week now and slowlycoming out if the fog! I dropped carbs totally.. But the symptoms.. My god.. Aches .. Dizzy.. Tired.. Can’t sleep.. The list goes on,,, you have all
    Inspired me to keep going although I have put on a few kgs.. I understand this can he normal???

    Shelley Howe wrote on July 19th, 2014
  29. I don’t think I eat many carbs but I am not losing (and sort of gaining). Today I am starting. I need help. I weigh about 124 and want to get to about 115-118 lbs with less FAT. I am 5’5″ and am used to having a rocking body….of course I am 57 years old now so nothing is easy (in my 20s I weighed about 105). I had tried to track with MY FITNESS PAL but it became difficult b/c I do pick (need to stop that) and how on earth could I track all the stuff I put in my salad?
    I am quite confused… many carbs should I eat to be “primal?” There are carbs in vegetables so are you counting all of them? It’s easy to be over 50 grams of carbs just by eating veggies (no fruit). Further, I think I am eating too many calories because when I get super hungry I eat a TBSP or two of organic peanut butter. Plus I probably eat too much bacon and avocados. Can someone please tell me how to start? I am overwhelmed with all this info….
    Thanks in advance,

    Melissa Pektor wrote on September 4th, 2014
  30. I have been very low carb for two days. I am 64 and I just cannot seem to lose 10lbs of fat on my body. I exercise daily. I also am a group exercise instructor. Today I taught a high intensity spin. I felt “pins and needles” in my legs and then started to feel light headed. Thought I was going to pass out. But I didn’t. I don’t know if I can do this. Went home and ate frosting!!!!! My bones and muscles ache. What do you think?

    Lynda Dove-Garcia wrote on October 27th, 2014
  31. Thanks Mark!

    I did keto for about 35 days starting mid October through november and wow – I was impressed. I felt more emotionally stable and consistent with my energy than ever. I also made the most money I ever made in one month in my entire life and got the phone number of a girl that looks like Arwen in LOTR because I was so “the man” – unfortunately I didn’t get the date when I made the call to ask her out cuz I got scared and went off my keto eating to take the edge off and kinda geeked out on her when I made the call.

    But this showed me how keto is the way to go something worth sticking with for the long haul. I just started back on Christmas day after seeing Unbroken – great movie – and am now feeling that flu again and this is very helpful to remind me that I’ll get through this and hopefully get those dates with beautiful women after I’m on the other side of this and have restabilized.

    Ian wrote on January 5th, 2015
  32. Hello! – I’m new to paleo, quitting grains and such forth. I’ve begun by reading the book “Grain Brain” by David Perlmutter and occasionally I’m reading stuff on here too. I guess my best bet would be to read the primal blueprint?
    Anyway since the 2nd of Feb Ive been reducing my grains (I’m already wheat free) so I’ve also cut out spelt. I did falter and had some home made popcorn and I’ve been eating a bit of quinoa. Is this ok when weaning off grain?
    I feel stupidly tired though, immense brain fog and can’t seem to stay awake without a coffee – is this normal for when you go off grain?

    Anzjuli wrote on February 7th, 2015
  33. My experience so far is I went cold turkey into the Primal eating lifestyle on 1/27/15. I could be better at the exercise part. I believe I have been excellent sticking to the plan, save for some craft beers as my indulgence. The weight has been dropping off with great haste. I started at 288 lbs and today, 3/13/15, I am down to 256 lbs. I feel good when I am healthy, but 2 weeks ago I was on vacation in sunny Florida getting my daily sun exposure and relaxation when all of a sudden I came down with a nasty stomach virus that put me out for two days. I recovered pretty quickly and was able to enjoy the rest of my vacation. Then three days ago, I started feeling a tickle in my throat which a day later turned into a full blown head cold with stomach and intestinal disruptions. The skin on my torso, front and back, is sensitive to the touch. I have stayed on the plan through both illnesses. Before going Primal, I would eat my way through sickness. It’s interesting to see me not eating much through these ailments. But I figured almost 2 months in, my body should be healthier and my immune system should be stronger. I have no plans on changing anything from the plan that has given me much success so far, but is this typical for people to still be getting sick like I have been?

    Scott Y wrote on March 13th, 2015
  34. Hey everybody.

    I feel like death. When I look in the mirror i see two dark shadows and some sort of white, pale plate-thing staring back at me haha! Everything hurts.

    The reason being I was a total twat and transitioned into the “banana girl” diet. Yep. 3 months. Carbs >500 per day. The results? Terrible blood readings on all counts, insulin resistance and pancreatitis. I don’t know what came over me but CAN YOU IMAGINE the flu in my case………….and this is just day three.

    I don’t even…

    EIRGH. Good luck to all of you anyway! I cannot WAIT for this nightmare to end.

    Honestly it’s been the worst and most stressful time in my entire life…I’m not sure what the point of my comment is I guess I just want to say hello and that your posts are giving me faith that i can eventually get over all of this :(

    Emma wrote on May 1st, 2015
  35. 82%fat14%protien4%carbs and keeping a meal under 8 or 10 carbs seems to help me also bcause my slow gut n gall no protien after 5pm as it spikes my glucose heavy on the fat and protien early then greens and other low carb veggies and fat therest of the day with small amounts of protien broth at night very occaissionally raw cream and some cherries. Which is yummy but even that gives me glucose issues if i eat more than 6 cherries. So my numbers (bp,glucose,cholesterol, skin and mood )are only goodwhen strictly cutting out dairy nuts grains sugar and fruit. It is hard because i love berries and have difficulty every time i break down and have more than a few . It will take years of strict adherence for me to reverse the nerve damage but the immediate return to normal of my blood gl. And bp was astounding as well as losing 46 lbs in the first 2 mos. and staying around 165 for the last 4 while adding some muscle …just need to eliminate a bit more body fat not weight .had some setbacks lately with dairy and prednisone for injury have sent my glucose up but only have gained a pound or two once off the pred things should bounce back this way of life is saving me

    ned wrote on August 16th, 2015
  36. Have any ‘flu’ sufferers had any symptoms beyond being tired and having brain fog? I’ve been feeling very strong sadness, and very intense anger.

    I’ve been eating paleo 18 months (no grains, fairly high fat) – and was fairly close to primal eating anyway. I never got the increased energy that many other paleo starters talk about and I realized that I still had lots of sugar cravings. I would generally respond by eating fruit. So I decided to limit my fruit intake to reduced my carbs. I’m on day 6. The sugar cravings for the first 3 days were pretty strong but have mostly gone away since then. Energy levels and mood were normal those first 3 days. On days 4-6 I was a bit tired and had a slight headache. But – my mood was totally off. I’ve been alternating between very sad and very angry.

    Anybody else have strong emotions like that as part of their ‘flu’?

    Geoff wrote on November 8th, 2015

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