3

votes

carb disrupting hunger signals and waking up in the middle of the night.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 30, 2012 at 8:18 AM

So Ive been VLC for 4 months now. I eat meat and fat, and some green veggies. NO starchy veggies or sugar of any kind. Previously Ive had some sort of gut sickness, allergies/intolerances to wheat and dairy, and possibly other starches.

My main issue that caused me to try VLC Paleo was that I was a slave to food. I was starving every 3 hours..light headed, dizzy, cranky, unfocused. And, the worse part was that I would wake up about 3-4 hours after bedtime with my heart beating fast and my adrenaline pumping.....UTTERLY STARVING. The rest of the night was not restful. This went on for years, becoming critical recently.

Ive been basically a whole foods, natural eater for 10 years. It didnt fix it. So I gave up carbs cold turkey. I eat a a lot of raw lamb and beef and sashimi, and I love it. I dont crave carbs at all. My weight training strength gains (but not mass gains) have progressed better than ever before. For the first three weeks of keto adaptation, I suffered. Then, as my body got keto adapted, it felt like running on diesel.

I never run out of energy in my workouts now. I can go hours without eating, sometimes all day, and I never lose focus or get dizzy. I sleep much better. I still wake up 5 or 6 hours after bedtime, and sometimes my heart rate is up a bit, but I can go back to sleep and get quality rest after that, and I DONT feel hungry.

Then I tried adding 50 grams of starch carbs (Japanese yam) to post workout meals, three days a week, in an effort to get an anabolic effect and gain muscle mass. First time was Monday. That afternoon I got super sleepy at work, lost focus, and felt irritable. I also felt flush in the face as if my blood sugar just wasnt right.

Tuesday, I was back on my rest day/no carbs routine. I got really hungry before lunch, where I was content before. Wednesday, I had another carb/glycogen load post workout. Immediately felt cranky, moody, and flush in the face.

Thursday rest day I was starving before lunch. Last night, I woke up 5 hours after bedtime with my heart beating double time, STARVING. I didnt sleep much the rest of the night, laying there hungry.

My workout today was the first time in two cycles that I not only didnt progress, I regressed! I had no energy.

Im definitely dropping the carb load idea and going back to meat, fat, and veggies only. No muscle gain is worth feeling like that.

Has ANYONE else experienced anything like this kind of carb intolerance? Whats with the waking up at night with my heart rate up, starving? I now know unequivocally that carbs cause my disrupted hunger signals, and at least exacerbate my rude awakenings at night. Any ideas?

Medium avatar

(2417)

on April 09, 2012
at 11:51 PM

As for ability to maintain, meat only makes me feel mentally/physically/emotionally like the predator we are meant to be. I eat mostly raw meat. I have a Warring commercial blender, LIQUIFIES ANYTHING! nearly freeze the meat, cut it up, add water, blend a min, drink a raw fatty meat shake! Has little flavor, as raw always is that way. Took a week, and not gross anymore. Easy as can be. I do mutton/lamb in the morn, beef at night. Sometimes cooked chicken for lunch with coconut oil/avocado. I tried eating starch again just twice, and my "problem" hung around for a week!

Medium avatar

(2417)

on April 09, 2012
at 11:45 PM

Wow, you are experiencing EXACTLY what I am. I came to the same conclusions. It's nice to know I'm not alone. Another factor I've noticed is stress. If I'm say, in Thailand rock climbing for three weeks, it gets better because I have no worries. I've had the same findings with carbs; any, and IT happens, sometimes hunger, sometimes just heartbeat. Meat/fat only helps as you say. For me VLC has meant only non starchy vegetables, no roots grains or fruits. Lots of greens and cabbage.

C79a5b43dfc5749200bd9dcaa6bb0858

on March 31, 2012
at 04:14 PM

Yeah, and it's fing us up. I've just started supplementing with e. coli Nissle but will attempt a FMT (fecal matter transplant) if that doesn't work (doc supervised). I'm also doing my best to feed the good guys and give them what they want. I am determined to regain my health and energy and be a functional human being. Ha, maybe someday I'll have my own TEDx episode. Journey to Health - The Poop Saga. ;-)

Medium avatar

(2417)

on March 31, 2012
at 04:36 AM

I fully agree about the gut flora, but I think we are ALL OUT OF BALANCE there, and supplementation has been proven to be transient and benefits stop upon ceasing said supplementation. Of anyone knows different, chime in. Gut bacteria help us with carbs/sugars/cellulose mostly IIRC. Meat and fat not so much. Maybe that's why do so well on it. Maybe that's why carbs KILL me.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on March 31, 2012
at 04:30 AM

I'd love for someone to tell me what the hell is going on for that to happen!

Medium avatar

(2417)

on March 31, 2012
at 04:28 AM

Funny thing is, when finally wake again in the morning, my heart rate is unperceivable and all is calm. When I experimented with carb loading PWO this week, it happened at 4am with a vengeance. As soon as I got back into ketosis, it got better again.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on March 31, 2012
at 04:25 AM

Maybe for you it was just about calories, or because you were glycogen adapted as opposed to keto adapted, filling your glycogen stores more fully averted that starvation reaction. For me, it happened regularly, active or not, carb loads or reg carb eating. I was STARVING with adrenaline induced heart pounding abruptly waking me! A month after becoming keto adapted, it mostly stopped. I still wake up, and I can still feel my heart beating more strongly, but I'm NOT hungry, NOT in panic, and I can go right back to sleep.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on March 31, 2012
at 04:18 AM

Ipomoea batatas. I stand corrected. Actually, I never call them yam OR potato.....just satsumaimo (I live in Tokyo).

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 30, 2012
at 02:36 PM

Pet peeve: "Japanese yam" --> "Japanese sweet potato". I hate that we call sweet potatoes yams in the US. :-/ Yams are a way different (and tasty) way to get dense starch.

Cf416725f639ffd1bb90764792ce7b8a

(2799)

on March 30, 2012
at 12:05 PM

http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/nutrition/how-many-carbohydrates-do-you-need.html has some interesting stuff on amount of carbs required. Why not have a high fat snack and go back to bed if you wake up hungry?

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3 Answers

2
C79a5b43dfc5749200bd9dcaa6bb0858

on March 30, 2012
at 09:45 PM

Hi Animaleater. I'm not exactly the same but I have lots of problems with complex carbs. They make me very hungry very quickly (spaghetti squash can make me screamingly hungry), can make me gassy, can also make me very tired very very quickly.

I'm not sure why I have such a hard time processing carbs but it may have something to do with the bacteria in my gut being out of whack. I recently had a parasitology test which told me I'm missing some vital bacteria. I'm now supplementing with it and hope to try some carbs in the next few weeks. You might consider getting tested to make sure you've got good balances of the basic necessary bacteria. It's a symbiotic relationship where we are wholey dependent on our bacteria to process our food and feed us nutrients, vitamins, enzymes, etc... Antibiotics, stress, all sorts of weird shit can affect it. If they're out of whack then we are out of whack.

C79a5b43dfc5749200bd9dcaa6bb0858

on March 31, 2012
at 04:14 PM

Yeah, and it's fing us up. I've just started supplementing with e. coli Nissle but will attempt a FMT (fecal matter transplant) if that doesn't work (doc supervised). I'm also doing my best to feed the good guys and give them what they want. I am determined to regain my health and energy and be a functional human being. Ha, maybe someday I'll have my own TEDx episode. Journey to Health - The Poop Saga. ;-)

Medium avatar

(2417)

on March 31, 2012
at 04:36 AM

I fully agree about the gut flora, but I think we are ALL OUT OF BALANCE there, and supplementation has been proven to be transient and benefits stop upon ceasing said supplementation. Of anyone knows different, chime in. Gut bacteria help us with carbs/sugars/cellulose mostly IIRC. Meat and fat not so much. Maybe that's why do so well on it. Maybe that's why carbs KILL me.

2
30082ec1256954012471d4372b78335f

on March 30, 2012
at 05:37 PM

I had the same problem with waking up in the middle of the night with my heart beating and so hungry i could not go back to sleep. However, this problem i attributed to eating too little carbs to supplement my active lifestyle. I'm not sure if I was right to think along this track but I found that as soon as i upped the carbs in my diet, specifically on training days, the problem went away. I would really love to know the science behind this and why this happens to people.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on March 31, 2012
at 04:30 AM

I'd love for someone to tell me what the hell is going on for that to happen!

Medium avatar

(2417)

on March 31, 2012
at 04:28 AM

Funny thing is, when finally wake again in the morning, my heart rate is unperceivable and all is calm. When I experimented with carb loading PWO this week, it happened at 4am with a vengeance. As soon as I got back into ketosis, it got better again.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on March 31, 2012
at 04:25 AM

Maybe for you it was just about calories, or because you were glycogen adapted as opposed to keto adapted, filling your glycogen stores more fully averted that starvation reaction. For me, it happened regularly, active or not, carb loads or reg carb eating. I was STARVING with adrenaline induced heart pounding abruptly waking me! A month after becoming keto adapted, it mostly stopped. I still wake up, and I can still feel my heart beating more strongly, but I'm NOT hungry, NOT in panic, and I can go right back to sleep.

0
4938deeb74332fc26d76b5118ee8d85c

on April 07, 2012
at 12:06 PM

I have the same problem. The waking up multiple times with heart pounding has been the case for me forever. When I used to eat a "healthy" high carb diet, I used to have night sweats as well.

For one month I ate only fatty meat and morning coffee with cream and for the first time in years, I slept through the night- no waking, no hunger, no sweats.

After the all meat month, which I found hard to maintain, I went to VLC and starting waking with some but less hunger (no sweats).

My understanding of what's happening is that my blood sugar is too low at night and adrenal glands kick in to raise blood sugar, hence the racing heart. I’m also assuming insulin surges when that ravenous hunger is there upon waking. Sometimes I just have the heart racing and little to no hunger. Sometimes I have the hunger as well.

I’m now trying to go back to fatty meat as much as possible to try to get back to sleeping through the night. I wish I could get there with a general LC diet but it seems I have to be even more strict.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on April 09, 2012
at 11:45 PM

Wow, you are experiencing EXACTLY what I am. I came to the same conclusions. It's nice to know I'm not alone. Another factor I've noticed is stress. If I'm say, in Thailand rock climbing for three weeks, it gets better because I have no worries. I've had the same findings with carbs; any, and IT happens, sometimes hunger, sometimes just heartbeat. Meat/fat only helps as you say. For me VLC has meant only non starchy vegetables, no roots grains or fruits. Lots of greens and cabbage.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on April 09, 2012
at 11:51 PM

As for ability to maintain, meat only makes me feel mentally/physically/emotionally like the predator we are meant to be. I eat mostly raw meat. I have a Warring commercial blender, LIQUIFIES ANYTHING! nearly freeze the meat, cut it up, add water, blend a min, drink a raw fatty meat shake! Has little flavor, as raw always is that way. Took a week, and not gross anymore. Easy as can be. I do mutton/lamb in the morn, beef at night. Sometimes cooked chicken for lunch with coconut oil/avocado. I tried eating starch again just twice, and my "problem" hung around for a week!

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