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Carbohydrate withdrawal?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 28, 2012 at 2:43 PM

I am on my second day of a VLC diet. I do feel more calm, so my emotions are more stable and my sleep is better. However, I feel weak. My energy level is very low, physically. Before going VLC, I was eating a good deal of fruits, sweet potato, and squashes.

Reason I'm trying VLC: I have some belly fat I want to get rid of. I am not overweight (5'4" 120lbs), but I have a belly. Even when I have weighed less, I have had this belly, to the point that people innocently ask if I am pregnant. I have some serious inflammation issues, and I am concerned that this belly fat is preventing my other efforts from ridding me of this inflammation. I think VLC is worth a try to get rid of this fatty liability.

Some background: I have already been gluten free for 6 yrs and nearly grain-free/bean-free/dairy-free for several months. I also do not eat eggs and nightshade veggies due to sensitivities. I take fish oil and other supplements. I have very minimal Omega-6 intake, shunning all plants and animals with high Omega-6 content. I get my fat from beef, fish, and coconut oil. My beef is grass-fed and my fish wild caught. I still eat plenty of low-carb veggies. (If there is anything else you want to know, just ask.)

75b3b900d09e555fc57b74ca24f7a76a

on May 09, 2012
at 05:12 PM

Yes, this has turned out to be the case! Increasing my fat and protein intake has worked, and I feel MUCH better now that I've greatly decreased my starch and sugar intake.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 28, 2012
at 04:57 PM

That must be frustrating, sorry to hear all that. Indeed, if you can't pinch too much abdominal fat, yet your abdomen is "out" and hard to the touch, it's likely lots of extra internal around-the-organs fat: i.e., "a beer belly." I would consider talking to a doctor, nutritionist, or trainer for direct, medical advice to try to fix this issue. We can offer hints here, but that's about all. Good luck!

75b3b900d09e555fc57b74ca24f7a76a

on March 28, 2012
at 03:38 PM

I think I was already lower-carb than most people, owing to my essentially grain- and bean-free diet, which also includes no sweeteners. However, one piece of fruit turns so easily into three, and one sweet potato can easily turn into two. I still get carbs in carrots, some peas (a green legume...), broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc.

75b3b900d09e555fc57b74ca24f7a76a

on March 28, 2012
at 03:35 PM

I wish it were just posture! This is definitely fat, and I think the internal, around-the-organ kind, which promotes inflammation. I have some surface fat, too, but really not too much. The muscle wall is distended. I do exercise...I know my pregnancy didn't help with my muscle tone, but this is something I've had for YEARS, long before I was pregnant and back when I exercised chronically.

75b3b900d09e555fc57b74ca24f7a76a

on March 28, 2012
at 03:26 PM

Question: Does this sound like carbohydrate withdraw? I want to know what other people have experienced when decreasing carbs. Exercise routine: I exercise moderately, starting most days with 20-30min on an exercise bike. I take several walks per week and sometimes jog. I do stretches most days and do floor exercises as well (crunches, push-ups, etc.) I am also at home with my toddler most days, which keeps me on my toes.

E34fbfa1bca9ae970c9c7313bf9de9f8

(1436)

on March 28, 2012
at 03:13 PM

what is your question?

Medium avatar

(10663)

on March 28, 2012
at 02:48 PM

What's your exercise routine like?

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5 Answers

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0
Ecbbe38d84d6cd466e1e58c41b1dbc7e

on March 28, 2012
at 07:31 PM

Upon switching to Paleo eating I felt the same as you describe and I had to up my protein and fat intake this helped with that constant tired feeling and gave me energy for my Crossfit workouts.

75b3b900d09e555fc57b74ca24f7a76a

on May 09, 2012
at 05:12 PM

Yes, this has turned out to be the case! Increasing my fat and protein intake has worked, and I feel MUCH better now that I've greatly decreased my starch and sugar intake.

1
4d0a80178a9f5f9adac5203ed92f3c52

on March 28, 2012
at 06:54 PM

Going VLC can take a long time to adapt to. I eat around 30g a day some days more, I feel great but it took about 6 weeks to adapt to where i felt good. You might want to go to 100 for 2 weeks, 75 2 weeks, ect.

Even while eating 30g a day. I still wasnt cutting fat. My body doesnt give up fat easily. I started to loose weight fast when i went VLC and low calorie. I did IF to cut my calories down, skipped breakfast most days.

It takes a lot of commitment to go this way, your body will adjust and feel totally fine after a while in VLC, your energy will come back. It takes time, stick with it. I went cold turkey and every week it got easier. You will have good days and bad days. Remember to eat lots of fat at the beginning it will help your body adapt.

1
Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 28, 2012
at 03:11 PM

I'm not sure if this is related to your VLC attempt. Besides, VLC is best entered somewhat slowly, and you're only on day 2. If you are feeling overly tired, eat more carbs for now!

At first read, it actually sounds like the possibility of an allergic reaction to something. However, you've removed so much from your diet. Take a look to see if the supplements you mentioned are also free from the allergens you've otherwise removed from your diet.

Second, if it is a physical thing, it could be that your belly seems large because of posture issues. A straight spine, with shoulders back supports a firm/straightish abdomen (via the abdominal muscles) and vice versa - a strong abdomen will help maintain posture. Yoga is not for everyone, but I suggest looking into yogic breathing, posture, and the uddiyana bandha (the bandha/lock that focuses on abdominal muscles). I suppose even a variety of crunches done in good form may help, if this is the case - not to lose belly fat, but to actually strengthen those muscles, so they are not hanging out in a rested state.

75b3b900d09e555fc57b74ca24f7a76a

on March 28, 2012
at 03:38 PM

I think I was already lower-carb than most people, owing to my essentially grain- and bean-free diet, which also includes no sweeteners. However, one piece of fruit turns so easily into three, and one sweet potato can easily turn into two. I still get carbs in carrots, some peas (a green legume...), broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 28, 2012
at 04:57 PM

That must be frustrating, sorry to hear all that. Indeed, if you can't pinch too much abdominal fat, yet your abdomen is "out" and hard to the touch, it's likely lots of extra internal around-the-organs fat: i.e., "a beer belly." I would consider talking to a doctor, nutritionist, or trainer for direct, medical advice to try to fix this issue. We can offer hints here, but that's about all. Good luck!

75b3b900d09e555fc57b74ca24f7a76a

on March 28, 2012
at 03:35 PM

I wish it were just posture! This is definitely fat, and I think the internal, around-the-organ kind, which promotes inflammation. I have some surface fat, too, but really not too much. The muscle wall is distended. I do exercise...I know my pregnancy didn't help with my muscle tone, but this is something I've had for YEARS, long before I was pregnant and back when I exercised chronically.

0
Cf416725f639ffd1bb90764792ce7b8a

(2799)

on March 28, 2012
at 07:19 PM

It takes two or three weeks for your energy levels to get back to normal.

http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/1/1/2

0
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on March 28, 2012
at 05:32 PM

I wonder if you backed off the carbs too quickly? it might just affect you differently than others. I'd suggest working backwards from what you are use to consuming and slowly start backing it down in 3 day increments or slower/faster depending on how you feel for a couple days.

Also are your carbs including fruit and starchy carbs? that could be something to remove as well as nuts if trying to melt fat.

I think when you are trying to 'target' fat its becomes much harder, perhaps a exercise regime that targets that area will help firm things up.

You mentioned immflamation, I also have issues with that, and sometimes I can see the 'swelling' in my bad times, but in general its more uncomfortable than actual distension (perhaps your is really bad??-definitely see a dr!!).

By going VLC or in ketosis, you'll melt fat but whose to say it'll come off where you want it, unless theres nothing else for it to target??

Wishing you luck, but perhaps a trainer can help with the core area and fix that for you!!!

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