Have you recently begun a low-carb diet and are feeling MORE fatigued than usual? Having a few muscle cramps, brain fog, dizziness, or headache? Ready to throw in the towel and chock up this eating plan as another failure? Don’t give up right now! It’s likely what we call “low-carb flu.” It is a state of transition. Your body is adjusting to burning fat instead of carbohydrates, and it will definitely pass. If you lowered your carb intake markedly, you are inducing ketosis. Soon, the opposite will be true, and you’ll be brimming with energy. Really!
Once you have cleaned your body of sugar and junk foods that had nothing but empty calories, your life will be much more focused, and your body will join your brain in a state of clarity.
But for now, you need help getting through the low-carb flu (no, it’s not a true flu with fever, etc). Try eating more fat since it’s key in this way of eating. Fat is not the enemy as was once preached. Read a few up-to-date nutrition articles from reliable sources. You’ll see that low-carb, higher fat, and low carb eating is what our bodies thrive on. It can be difficult to make the switch after decades of believing the other way. If you fuel your body with fat instead of carbohydrates, it will adjust to burning fat instead of sugars and empty carbs. The energy you’ll experience will be SO worth your living this diet. Think mayo, cheeses, butter, steak, chicken with the skin on (not battered), half and half in your coffee, avocados, nuts, and sauces without sugars but with fat as a base (ex: Hollandaise sauce).
In addition, be careful how much protein you consume. About 4-6 oz a meal is plenty. Your body might decide to convert protein you are eating into sugars and burn those instead of the fats. Balance is key.
You’ve heard that drinking water is vitally important to feeling your best. It’s even more important when you are on this type of eating plan. However, you flush away electrolytes (potassium, magnesium, sodium) when you drink good amounts of water. So, take a multi-vitamin every day. Also increase your sodium intake. I know, we’re flying in the face of recently-modern medicine but it’s now been researched and is becoming the norm given by health professionals.
Another idea if you are in a low-carb flu is to avoid sweeteners. They can cause cravings by their sweet taste.
One last idea – move! It may be the one thing you do NOT want to do right now but just move a little. Just walk at a slower pace, and encourage yourself to do something besides lay around.
When you’ve eaten, had a drink of water, taken your multivitamin, and followed other actions to combat the low-carb flu, sit back and look forward to energetic days ahead!
Love you guys! Hang in there. It’s only temporary. Remember . . . good-bye sugary junk and hello new, healthy life!