T Nation

Low Carb - Feel Like Sh!t


#1

Well, once again I am trying to go low carb to get unfat. And once again I am feeling like shit.

Yesterday I at good quality lean meats (chicken & turkey), protein shakes, good fats (coconut oil, almonds, fish oil), and vegetables. That is it. No bread, potatoes, rice, pasta or anything else considered starchy or "bad" carbs.

I took in about 1600 calories, 150g of protein, about 90g of fat, and only about 45g of carbs (mostly from the almond butter and protein shakes).

As I was going to bed last night my sinuses started to bother me and I felt a headache coming on. This morning my head hurts and feels very heavy.

Are some people just not meant to do low carb?


#2

Stick w/ it if your goal is fat loss. Your body will adjust to the lack of carbs (obviously it will take some time). Hopefully, the 1600kcal is enough for you to not lose too much muscle if any at all. Check out tmuscle’s search box for the word “ketosis” if you haven’t done so already.

The articles associated with ketosis will give better knowledge and better guidelines to what you are doing…If u still feel that ketosis is not for you, consider carb cycling (taking in carbs ONLY when needed; put “carb cycling” in the search box and im sure there are discussions/articles about it)…Hope this helps & good luck looking like GSP!!..he dominanted Thiago Alves in UFC 100


#3

Low-carb or not, if I only ate 1600 kcal I’d feel like shit, too.


#4

[quote]evitagen wrote:
Low-carb or not, if I only ate 1600 kcal I’d feel like shit, too.[/quote]

x2


#5

[quote]evitagen wrote:
Low-carb or not, if I only ate 1600 kcal I’d feel like shit, too.[/quote]

This is the truth. If you dip to 1600 and you didn’t have a high calorie day the day before, then you will probably feel shitty. I don’t know your body weight. But try getting in 2300-2500 cals. I would add 50 grams protein and 50-75 grams fat.


#6

How tall are you? how much do you weigh? 1600 calories seems extremely low for any man.

I’m on a diet as well, low carb even. However i’m getting 2400 cals (50g protein 20g fat per meal) and maybe 30-40 grams of incidental carbs.

Also remember that you need adequate fats when you go low carb, or else you won’t have as much energy.

1.5g protein per pound of lean body mass and about .6 grams of fat per pound of LBM is a good place to start.

Finally, many people feel like crap the first few days on a low carb diet. However THIS GOES AWAY once your body gets used to using fat for energy. However this also means you need enough fat in your diet to begin with.


#7

Thank you all for the replies. I am 5 foot 8 inches tall, 185 pounds and fat. I’ve got a gut. I thought 200 grams of protein would be good for a day.


#8

As others have said, 1,600 is just really low calories. You’re going to feel like shit until you adjust.


#9

What you need to do to feel better is get some meats with some fat in there, like beef. I’m on the cheat to lose diet, and I had to do a whole week of low carbs. I think I had under 50g a day.

Breakfast: 3tbsp Peanut Butter, 1/4 Ground beef
Snack: 2 Scoop EAS whey
Lunch: 1/4 Burger, 1scp Eas Whey
Snack: 5oz chicken breast, Whey
Dinner: 1/4 Burger
5g German Creatine thrown in depending on when I lift.

The fat kept me feeling full, and some will say the Creatine will take away some of the foggy mindedness.


#10

Yes and no. Like most people said, 1600 calories might be on the low side. However, besides just the calories, eating low carb will induce in some people headaches and low energy in the first few days/weeks as your body tries to adapt to using ketones for energy instead of glucose. If you can handle low carb dieting without cheating, you should try to up your calories a little and stick with it.

In a few days/weeks the headaches/low energy should go away. It did for me and my brother when we were doing low carb diets. (I am not a fan of low carb in general, but it worked for my brother tremendously and even for me when I was able to keep it strict).


#11

I’d have to parot what everyone else is saying, but I’d just up your intake of nuts, either peanut butter or more almonds. You’ll be getting more calories from good fat plus the zinc from the nuts which can’t be bad. Also you’ll be getting more protein and fiber at the same time.

Also try taking 5 to ten grams of Luecine a day, maybe with your last meal prior to bed.

I’ve been using a sleep stack of Z-12, ZMA, and 2 Alpha GPC tablets, and not only do I sleep like a rock, but I wake up feeling like a million bucks. I don’t use Biotests ZMA I use another one that has copper in it as well. Something like this might ease the morning headache symptoms.

Also high protein diets tax the Pancreas so you mitght try taking some digestive enzymes at meals to help in digestion and absorption. (maybe a probiotic to)

Just some thoughts… Good luck.


#12

The same thing happens to me when I go down to the zero carb day. Usually by midday I have a monster headache, by the next night though it’s cleared up and I feel fine.


#13

hey man, i’m on a low carb diet, and i learned the bad way, if you go low carbs, you CAN NOT go low fats, that’s where the energy will come from, try almonds, fish oil, peanut butter, don’t be afraid of healthy fats, try it and report back


#14

[quote]tuchavito wrote:
hey man, i’m on a low carb diet, and i learned the bad way, if you go low carbs, you CAN NOT go low fats, that’s where the energy will come from, try almonds, fish oil, peanut butter, don’t be afraid of healthy fats, try it and report back[/quote]

definitely agree. you have to shift your energy source from carbs to fat (body or dietary fats).


#15

Double your fat intake. also, are you drinking enough water? dropping carbs will flush alot of water out of your system, so you might be dehydrated as well as the ‘brain fog’ that accompanies shifting from carbs to fat.


#16

[quote]tuchavito wrote:
hey man, i’m on a low carb diet, and i learned the bad way, if you go low carbs, you CAN NOT go low fats, that’s where the energy will come from, try almonds, fish oil, peanut butter, don’t be afraid of healthy fats, try it and report back[/quote]

Hes 100% right. Gotta be hitting some fat in there. For giggles I tried low carb/low fat for a few days and felt like death. And as others say, 1600 calories is practically a single meal for most people, you will feel the residual effects of just that alone.

Even on just low carb (<50g a day), it took me 2-3 weeks to adjust. After that, I loved it and was smooth sailing for 8 months.


#17

just as some people don’t do well on high carbs, some don’t do well on low carbs. as is usually the case, the best diet for most people will be somewhere in the middle. a moderate fat/moderate carb (think 40/30/30 P/F/C) might be better.

also, as other has suggested, your total calories may be too low. again, think moderate deficit: something like BWx11-12 to begin with.


#18

Also, I’ve noticed when I drop carbs the calories I can eat and still lose shoot up pretty dramatically. 1600 for a low carb diet is way too low (too low for a normal diet), if you’re eating 2k kcal per day before, I would guesstimate with low carb you could lose on 3k kcal, but I’m sure it depends on the person.


#19

Ok this is what I do. Take your previous carb intake (my example would be 300 grams of carbs per day). Immediately drop it to 250 carbs. Next week 200, next week 150, next week 100, ect. I have bad symptoms from low carbing too. This takes longer but at least you will be able to avoid the side effects of low carbing since your body will be able to slowly adapt to the lower intake of carbs over time. This strategy is the only way I can low carb for an extended period of time without throwing in the towel because of the side effects of low carbing.


#20

And the other guys are right about increasing your calorie and fat intake. Steak and bcaa’s always make me feel better.