T Nation

Solution for Side Effects of Low Carb

 Hi, I am trying to lose fat, and maintain muscle. I want to drop about 15lbs of fat.

The only way I can stick to a diet without binge eating is staying away from all processed carbs and sugar, like bread, pasta, and even milk and cheese products. Basically all I eat is meat, eggs, and vegetables, and I dont feel the urge to binge at all, but I do feel headaces, and very low energy levels.

How can I get around these side affects without turning back to bread and pasta products?

Will increasing fat intake help? I drink lots of water already, and I don't think it's the sodium because I tried throwing pickles and broth in and still had a pounding headache. I also lose strength on this type of diet. 

appreciate any advice

My man, your brain need 100 or 200 grams of carbs a day to function properly. And that’s bare minimum.

As an athlete, you need much more.

Can you at least add some “starchy” vegetables to the mix, like potatoes?

Personally, I’d prefer that you upped the carbs, big time, and took Indigo-3G to help you handle them correctly (partition the cals to muscle instead of fat).

yea I can add some sweet potatoes in, I am still experimenting with which carbs trigger my appetite so I can stay away from them.

yup up your fats. Nothing wrong with dairy like original/full fat greek yogurt

[quote]BadCoreStability wrote:

 Hi, I am trying to lose fat, and maintain muscle. I want to drop about 15lbs of fat.

The only way I can stick to a diet without binge eating is staying away from all processed carbs and sugar, like bread, pasta, and even milk and cheese products. Basically all I eat is meat, eggs, and vegetables, and I dont feel the urge to binge at all, but I do feel headaces, and very low energy levels.

How can I get around these side affects without turning back to bread and pasta products?

Will increasing fat intake help? I drink lots of water already, and I don't think it's the sodium because I tried throwing pickles and broth in and still had a pounding headache. I also lose strength on this type of diet. 

appreciate any advice

[/quote]

yeah, i hate carbs too…

you need to actually determine your caloric needs ( google “cals per hour”), and go from there.

carbs taste great, but for some of us, they just don’t work unless we’re burning an absurd amount of calories…

You might want to try MCT oil. Ive been struggling with a low carb diet, most of the year and not having success. For me adding csrbs just caused cravings. I started MCT two weeks ago and It’s reduced my carb headaches to almost none, reduced cravings, kept my energy high, the weight is coming off but my strength and work capacity have stayed and started to grow.

[quote]TheKraken wrote:
You might want to try MCT oil. Ive been struggling with a low carb diet, most of the year and not having success. For me adding csrbs just caused cravings. I started MCT two weeks ago and It’s reduced my carb headaches to almost none, reduced cravings, kept my energy high, the weight is coming off but my strength and work capacity have stayed and started to grow. [/quote]
When do you have the MCT oil?
How often? With what?

tweet

What would Arnold do?

Glad to see you’re not afraid of sodium, but clearly lack thereof is not the issue.

Respectfully, I disagree with TC that you or your brain need carbs, as it does a fine job buring ketones, assuming you are in ketosis. I’m guessing that you’re not eating enough fat, causing your body to burn amino acids for fuel. As stated, MCTs (coconut oil) is exactly the right kind of fat to add.

If you aren’t getting the fats, then you would be burning aminos for fuel(!!). I’d venture a guess that supplementation of the most abundant (and most commonly deficient) amino, Taurine, would be of benefit because of its critical role in the sodium/potassium ATPase pump… though there are many causes of Taurine deficiency (besides burning it for fuel). Besides regulating electrolytes throughout your body, it also stabilizes blood sugar levels (as would mcts on a low carb diet) – all these would possibly address the issue. Are you taking caffeine? IMO, it should not be taken (at least initially) for low carbing, esp if you are having any side effects like these headaches. Be sure to take it with plenty of water if you decide to take it.

That’s my hunch and I’m sticking to it. Good luck.

[quote]theBird wrote:

[quote]TheKraken wrote:
You might want to try MCT oil. Ive been struggling with a low carb diet, most of the year and not having success. For me adding csrbs just caused cravings. I started MCT two weeks ago and It’s reduced my carb headaches to almost none, reduced cravings, kept my energy high, the weight is coming off but my strength and work capacity have stayed and started to grow. [/quote]
When do you have the MCT oil?
How often? With what?

tweet[/quote]
I just follow what it says, 1 tbs, up to 3 times a day. I’ve been doing 2 times a day.

True, your brain can function on ketones, but some get over the brain fog quicker than others. Still, there’s some question as to whether this is a good strategy in the long term. Rats that were fed a ketogenic diet had impaired brain growth, so it makes me wonder about the long-term effects of such diets.

Adding a modicum of carbs would be a good idea for brain function. Adding a lot of carbs would be a great idea for athletic function, not to mention building a decent physique.

[quote]TC wrote:
True, your brain can function on ketones, but some get over the brain fog quicker than others. Still, there’s some question as to whether this is a good strategy in the long term. Rats that were fed a ketogenic diet had impaired brain growth, so it makes me wonder about the long-term effects of such diets.

Adding a modicum of carbs would be a good idea for brain function. Adding a lot of carbs would be a great idea for athletic function, not to mention building a decent physique.[/quote]
I agree for the most part, but athletic function and building are not the OPs goals - losing is his/her goal. The best use of ketogenic diets is short term fat loss, and should not be used for long term or for maintenance, unless for a specific health concern IMO (seizures). OP’s question “Will adding fat help?” – the answer (based on his statement “Basically all I eat is meat, eggs, and vegetables”) is certainly yes. The best fats to add are EVOO and Coconut. But certainly, substituting refined carbs for potatoes (or other starchy/root veggies), rice, quinoa, etc would be a good alternative solution, which is why I first said “what would Arnold do?”.

edit: Not to highjack the thread, but was doing some additional research regarding my theory that Taurine can combat the “48 hour” ketosis headaches. Indeed it appears that Taurine (im)balance caused by gluconeogenesis could be the cause of the headaches, and the solution may be as simple as a few grams of relatively inexpensive tasteless powder. If taurine were burned (or more likely it’s creation from cysteine/methionine blunted), fluid levels would go out of whack, in addition to blood sugar levels. Dr. Atkins suggested Taurine to be the most important supplement to take for fluid retention/regulation.

According to the site aminomics.com, “Taurine has a protective effect on the brain, particularly if the brain is dehydrated. It is used to treat anxiety, epilepsy, hyperactivity, poor brain function, and seizures. Taurine is found in concentrations up to four times greater in the brains of children than in those of adults.” Perhaps, as I theorize, and which would agree with the brain development point made above by TC regarding baby rat brains, a ketogenic diet could be sacrificing Taurine. Indeed that would hamper brain development (kids/babies/pregnant women/nursing mothers should absolutely not be on a ketogenic diet, unless for a medical reason, and should definitely supplement with Taurine)… adults do not have developing brains however, but Taurine still has numerous benefits.

To quote Dr. Atkins,

“If the rest of the medical profession acknowledge or understood its value, taurine would consistently place as one of the top three best selling “drugs.””

How many grams of Taurine per day.

How many grams of Taurine per day.

I wasn’t getting enough salt when I was on Keto. I was having terrible migranes. One day I cheated and worked my way through a bag of stale tortilla chips and had an epiphany. I had been neglecting adding salt to my foods. Felt normal after.

Either way, felt this story was humorous at least. lol.

If you figure out how to drop 15 pounds of fat and maintain your musclemen know plz