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HFLC makes my stress levels skyrocket.

Commented on November 13, 2013
Created November 12, 2013 at 7:49 AM

From what I've read HFLC version of paleo is the way to go. So I try and eat shit loads of fat (coconut oil, butter, olive oil) and low carb veg and moderate protein. I don't feel satisfied, I'm hungry no matter how much fat I eat. And my stress levels have skyrocketed. If someone looks at me wrong I may cry. I also feel jittery and my heart seems to pump faster than usual. This is on around 50g carb a day. What are people's thoughts? Are some people just no good on HFLC?

A3db46eeb92ff43246ba05aace88bc5a

on November 13, 2013
at 05:06 AM

Actually, I agree with this. In particular, salt, magnesium and potassium may help.

23fe01308e3320ecf144b47b99a135a4

(149)

on November 12, 2013
at 09:57 AM

Thanks for your response. Yeah coffee definitely exacerbates my stress levels too, I have noticed that. And after coconut oil it's worse. Well a tonne of fat for me is probably about 65% of my calories. I'd say I'm around 65% fat, 20% carb, 15% protein. By the sounds of it you eat a lot more fat than I do but suffer from the same problem. I think my macro ratio now is actually quite similar the perfect health diet. I guess I'm not really all that low carb.... but my body still doesn't seem to like it. :(

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on November 12, 2013
at 08:21 AM

why not give The Perfect Health Diet macros & recommendations a go, i can highly recommend

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4 Answers

0
5f52a0bdbb94470bf7563b445702cfcc

on November 12, 2013
at 04:17 PM

Have you tried adding in some extra salt? On low carb, your body becomes extremely efficient at shedding water... And therefore sodium. Our nervous system depends on adequate electrolytes to function, so add a sea salt with a good mineral profile. Try a 20 day course of Magnesium chloride (Slow-mag is a good brand) a good potassium supplement, D3, and CoQ10. Drink a cup of bouillon once or twice a day. I was diagnosed with anxiety before low-carb, but LCHF for 2 years now has made me calmer, less irritable, and healthier. (Beware magnesium oxide which has a laxative effect, and is not absorbed well by the body). Source "The Art and Science of LowCarb Living" by Drs. Phinney and Volek

A3db46eeb92ff43246ba05aace88bc5a

on November 13, 2013
at 05:06 AM

Actually, I agree with this. In particular, salt, magnesium and potassium may help.

0
Medium avatar

on November 12, 2013
at 11:47 AM

For the average person, HFLC is probably one of the most damaging diets you can do to yourself. I'll even make the bold claim that vegan-fruitarianism is better than HFLC in the long term (although I dont regard the first as optimal at all). Elevation of stress hormones is a well documented effect of HFLC and via that mechanism contributes to anxiety and mood problems. The free fatty acids which certainly elevate on this diet have a cascade of deleterious downstream effects (just google >free fatty acids mortality< >free fatty acids insulin resistance< etc.).

There is a lot of propaganda going on in Paleo and LC circles that I would regard as very naive and dangerous (the vegan or other communities are not better though). It's fine to suggest or write about HFLC for information purposes but it should always entail a notice of its potential side effects, which certainly exist for HFLC. Saying HFLC is "the way to go" is an evil misinformation and misleading of people.

0
C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

on November 12, 2013
at 11:16 AM

Why are you trying HFLC? Is it really necessary for your health goals? I did it when I first started paleo and was much more overweight. More recent attempts have led to the emotional fallout you describe. I decided that it's just not right for my body right now.

0
A3db46eeb92ff43246ba05aace88bc5a

on November 12, 2013
at 09:02 AM

OK, how long have you been eating HFLC? There is something of an adjustment period, I've noticed.

I've started dabbling in HFLC personally in recent weeks, and for the first time in my life I've had anxiety attacks. Never had a problem with stress or anxiety in my life; I've always been great at keeping my cool. Suddenly though, heart racing and perceived palpitations have left me hyperventilating and laughing nervously/almost crying out of nowhere. The only change? Going lower carb. The caffeine in my bulletproof coffee only seems to exacerbate it. And I hear the MCT I use may also have a hand in ramping up anxiety.

So, I upped my carbs a few days a week. Added in a few potatoes or carrots. A little more dark chocolate. It's been days since I've had any sort of anxiety, and I suspect that, for some of us, more carbs are simply necessary. I aim to keep my carbs at less than 120 grams/day a few days a week, and other days eat about 50g. I still seem to keep the benefits of low carb, while not losing my mind.

Oh, and a side-note: I'm not sure what you necessarily consider a ton of fat, however I can say I've never felt particularly hungry on HFLC. I eat about a stick of grassfed butter a day, about a pound of meat (usually beef, cooked in coconut oil), MCT oil, etc. I dunno if you're eating quite that much, but if you feel able, perhaps try and sneak some extra fat in there, or have fat a bit more frequently throughout the day.

Give it a shot. You're not the first person I've heard of experiencing this on HFLC. Perfect Health Diet may be a good starting point, and there are other threads here, as well as on the Bulletproof Executive forum where people have discussed similar symptoms.

Good luck!

23fe01308e3320ecf144b47b99a135a4

(149)

on November 12, 2013
at 09:57 AM

Thanks for your response. Yeah coffee definitely exacerbates my stress levels too, I have noticed that. And after coconut oil it's worse. Well a tonne of fat for me is probably about 65% of my calories. I'd say I'm around 65% fat, 20% carb, 15% protein. By the sounds of it you eat a lot more fat than I do but suffer from the same problem. I think my macro ratio now is actually quite similar the perfect health diet. I guess I'm not really all that low carb.... but my body still doesn't seem to like it. :(

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