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Low Carb Anxiety


Is it normal to feel anxious when eating low carb? I have been cutting carbs down and find that I feel anxious, not all the time but, it happens. I feel better after drinking some coffee or diet soda, maybe it is the caffeine. Is there anything else I can do?


It could just be from eating less in general. But there are other diets to lose fat than a low carb diet. Do some research on those way on this great site.


it's normal, I get it too when I'm in keto.


It goes away once I add back in carbs.


Normal for me as well.

I typically have trouble sleeping on a low-carb diet, which is one reason I don't try to follow one any more.

You can get lean and muscular while consuming carbs.


Definately there are other ways to lose some fat but, after having to lose weight for a couple plays I went a little crazy and got to soft more my liking. I figured this would be the fastest way to get back to where I was. Maybe I will try a carb cycling approach instead.


Carbs are important for serotonin production for essentially the same reason they're important for building muscle. Insulin promotes protein synthesis, which allows tryptophan (which does not get incorporated into muscle) to cross the blood-brain barrier. Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, low levels of which can be responsible for depression and anxiety.

Going low-carb is fine in the short term (don't expect to feel awesome), but carb cycling is a better strategy for the long haul.


So, then other than adding carbs back in, you have to just deal with it? I feel that caffeine helps but, drinking coffee and diet soda all day may come with it's own problems.


Having been involved in this stuff for as long as I have, I don't see any valid reasons not to consume carbohydrates.

Quality sleep is crucial, so there's no way I'm going to sacrifice it for any one particular dietary strategy.


I was just curious, I see many people on low carb diets I was wondering if they just put up with it or are they taking anything (caffeine).

Today I ate some oatmeal and fruit in the morning feeling much better. My problem is controlling myself. I can put down oatmeal.


I really don't understand how caffeine helps you if anything it should compound the problem.


I have been eating low carb for about 6 months now and in the past have suffered from relatively low level anxiety.

In reverse to your situation I actually found my anxiety levels reduce quite noticeably. This happened a couple of weeks after starting low carb eating and doesn't alter unless I have a weak moment and have a higher carb meal, then it takes maybe a couple of days for any increased anxiety to settle down again.

From looking at a few forums on Primal / Paleo sites, having a reduced anxiety level on a lower carb based diet seems to a pretty normal side effect (yay for side effects that don't suck for once).


Eat your carbs at night. Your last meal. Seriously. You get to go your whole day looking forward to that, rather than spending it thinking about how you just ate some tasty carbs and now you have to stop. And you'll be making serotonin, which should make you relaxed and sleepy.

You could also get some Z-12 or 5-HTP.