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Feeling Weak on Low Carb Days

Does anyone else have this problem? I have been doing carb cycling on Cheat to Lose, and have noticed that on my low carb days I feel weak, lethargic, and sleepy.

Taking HOT-ROX before my workout helps some, but any other ideas on how to address this?

Just give it some time my friend. Your body is most likely going through a metabolic shift of sorts in order to use fat as fuel moreso than carbs. I’ve only looked at the CTLD book in passing, but doesnt the initiation phase entail something like 3 weeks low carb or something similar? That right there will do it for sure.

That’s what happens when you go low carb.

I find using stims (as mentioned), green tea and water to help. Also, try getting more sleep the night before and upping your fats (if possible).

Can’t offer much more advice than that.

I’ve been on CTL for probably 6 months, but recently went back to the priming phase where you go low carb a whole week. In the core phase, you go low carb 2 days each week. The first day isn’t so bad since you have carbs from the previous day to carry you over, but the second day is tough and my workouts suffer.

I don’t know how people do low carb for months at a time; maybe your body adjusts to burning fat instead of carbs for fuel as you say.

I’ll try green tea, and getting more sleep couldn’t hurt.

Just to add to what’s been said already, if you are new to low carb dieting, then this is pretty much expected. It will take a while for your body to adjust.

When I first started low carb dieting, I hardly had any energy. After a while I started noticing that I had more energy once my body got used to it.

Like rsg said, you may not be eating enough fat, so you can try upping that. Stims help too at first.

I agree with what others are saying. When I go on a nutrition plan where my carbs are very low for most or all of the week it takes a week or 2 for my body to adjust even though I’m getting in plenty of healthy fats.

During the adaption I try taking in some extra green and white tea and if I’m really dragging I will take a caffine pill pre workout, rarely do I use the caffine pills anymore.

Once I get in the gym I usually get a burst of energy and I think it is because I have learned that going really low carb gets me real cut up and I can still make strength gains, so I am motivated to train.

Eat more fat.

Thats whats supposed to happen on a lo-carb day. I simply pound blues and caffeine tabs throughout the day to keep me alive. I usually don’t expect a memorable workout with a lo-carb day.

i felt bad when i am low carbing it also.
after a while ytou get used to it and yes take more fish oil and down tablespoons of olive oil .

I do take HRX and caffine on workout days though it helps give me that edge

Sounds like your body eventually adapts to a low carb diet after a couple weeks, where the lethargy isn’t a big issue.

The problem I’m having is that CTL is a carb cycling diet, so you only have a couple days of low carb each week. The variation makes it hard for your body to adapt, which I guess is part of the point of carb cycling. The downside is that your body doesn’t adjust, so you experience the lack of energy every time you go low carb.

I guess the best I can do is get plenty of rest and take HOT-ROX or some other stim on my two low carb days each week.

Its an adjustment period for you. Less carbs means less glycogen, your recovery is compromised. Your rest intervals could be extended a bit, ditch the HIIT for while, and keep the volume under control until you get used to low carb.

Like I said in my last post though, I’m not sure my body will ever get used to low carb due to being on a carb cycling diet. I only go low carb 2 days each week.

Has anyone on a carb cycling diet found it gets easier with time?

[quote]forlife wrote:
Has anyone on a carb cycling diet found it gets easier with time?[/quote]

Yes. How long have you been doing this diet and having these feelings. I’d say it takes atleast 2 weeks, maybe up to a month.

[quote]ACTrain wrote:
forlife wrote:
Has anyone on a carb cycling diet found it gets easier with time?

Yes. How long have you been doing this diet and having these feelings. I’d say it takes atleast 2 weeks, maybe up to a month.[/quote]

Agreed. It took me a good month to get used to eating like this. Just be patient with it. I think you’ll find after a while that it’s more mental than anything.

Is that you in your avatar? If it is then judging by your face you don’t seem fat anyways… Why are you using an advanced tactic like carb cycling to lose fat? Just drop the kcals and you will lose just fine and you won’t have to feel like shit.

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I’ve been doing CTL for about 6 months. I like the diet, but still find that my low carb days (especially the second day) leave me weak and lethargic. For whatever reason, I haven’t adapted and seen my energy increase on low carb days. Sounds like I probably just need to suck it up, and be sure to get plenty of fat and HOT-ROX.

Dan, that’s me but I’ve found “advanced tactics” like carb cycling become more important the closer I get to my goals, not less. Losing those last 5 pounds is way harder than losing the first 5.

[quote]bushidobadboy wrote:
Large (300mg +) doeses of co-enzyme Q10 for more than 3 months is expensive, but is said to restore the condition of your mitochondria, allowing them to produce energy more efficiently.

I tried it and have to say that I was impressed by the results. No more daytime sleepiness. More energy and for some reason, I became more ‘verbal’ as well.

Bushy[/quote]

Interesting stuff, as usual, Bushy.

[quote]forlife wrote:
I’ve been on CTL for probably 6 months, but recently went back to the priming phase where you go low carb a whole week. In the core phase, you go low carb 2 days each week. The first day isn’t so bad since you have carbs from the previous day to carry you over, but the second day is tough and my workouts suffer.

I don’t know how people do low carb for months at a time; maybe your body adjusts to burning fat instead of carbs for fuel as you say.

I’ll try green tea, and getting more sleep couldn’t hurt. [/quote]

The priming phase is supposed to be 3 weeks. You likely don’t adapt to fat burning in just one week.

I have not had this experience on CTL. If glycogen is full from your cheat day, you should feel fine the whole next day unless you are doing some ridiculous amount of glycogen-depleting cardio. I hike 2 hours the day after cheat day and feel great. Then I hike 1 hour the next day, feeling reasonable. Weight training both days, followed by Surge as Joel approved in his thread. By the third day, I feel somewhat depleted, but start to take in more carbs on the diet.

So after 6 months, I would say that either you need to go back and get more adapted to fat burning as in the 3 week priming phase, or else tweak the diet for your needs. For example, follow a low day with a high day, then a medium. And/or consider the effects of your training on glycogen depletion.

Good points. Like you, I find my first low carb day is no problem. In fact, I do my hardest lifts on that day because I have high reserves from the cheat day. It’s the second day that is hardest for me, as well as the whole week of low carb when in the priming phase.

I wonder if alternating low and high days would interfere with the basic logic of the carb cycle (i.e., building up carbs gradually then returning to ground zero to start over). If not, that might be a good solution.