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Adapting to a lower-carb but not ketogenic diet. Still have the low-carb flu? Maybe just the low-carb cold?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 25, 2013 at 3:21 AM

Three days ago I switched from a diet with about 200g of carbohydrate a day to 80-100. The macronutrient breakdown is about 20% carb / 25% protein / 55% fat. I've been getting some well-known symptoms: brain fog, short temper, easily fatigued. If I were going LC, I'd know that this is normal and I just have to hold on until I see the ketone cavalry coming over the hill. But I might not ever go into wholesale ketosis at 80-100g, nor am I intending to.

As a result, I'm not sure what kind of adaptation I should expect, or when. Can anyone share any advice on what I should expect to happen, either biologically or subjectively?

In the long run I'm perfectly willing to up my healthy, paleo-compliant carb intake if that's what turns out to work best. But I do want to find out how I do at this level, which means I don't want to quit until I've given it a fair shake.

06ca9c524c28bc3fba95d4d90f8f43c6

on March 26, 2013
at 02:50 AM

It all depends on your goals and activity level. If you just want to be healthy, I wouldn't worry so much about the macronutrient intake as following a paleo template will take care of that for you and you won't have this stress associated with trying to limit certain macronutrients.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on March 25, 2013
at 05:08 PM

Do you think more protein / less fat would help? Or does spurring my body to produce glucose from protein defeat any possible benefits of dropping carbs in the first place, and I should just go back up on healthy carbohydrates or go down and shoot for ketosis?

Cf416725f639ffd1bb90764792ce7b8a

(2799)

on March 25, 2013
at 04:36 PM

Carbs are Satan's little helpers!

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on March 25, 2013
at 03:48 PM

Oh come on a few carbs can't be tha

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on March 25, 2013
at 04:19 AM

I got the impression that this was within the typical range of carb intake for people on a paleo diet who are not highly active, and I thought that within this range my body would be willing to up protein and fat metabolism in order to compensate. I should version of it that I've tried.

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4 Answers

best answer

1
D05f3050dc3d973b8b81a876202fa99a

(1533)

on March 25, 2013
at 04:28 AM

In my experience you're in what I like to call the carbohydrate zone of No Man's Land. Not low enough for ketosis but not enough to support any significant physical activity. If you're not going low enough to hit a deep ketosis why is your fat intake so high? I think you'd be much more satiated and feel better swapping the protein numbers with the fat numbers but that's just my personal preference. That amount of fat is only comfortable if you're really going to drop carbs down low. I haven't kept those numbers for prolonged periods of time but I imagine you'd be in a fog most of the time or I would anyway.

1
Cf416725f639ffd1bb90764792ce7b8a

(2799)

on March 25, 2013
at 02:06 PM

80 grams a day isn't a good amount unless you're already keto adapted. It's high enough to keep you from ever becoming fully keto adapted and low enough to cause your problems.

1
06ca9c524c28bc3fba95d4d90f8f43c6

on March 25, 2013
at 04:00 AM

What's the reason for the decision to cut your carbohydrate intake in half? Paleo isn't necessarily low carb, although it is typically much lower than the SAD. As a side note: the range you are in is probably still to high to reach ketosis and low enough to leave you feeling fatigued.

-Matt
PhysiqueRescue.com

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on March 25, 2013
at 04:19 AM

I got the impression that this was within the typical range of carb intake for people on a paleo diet who are not highly active, and I thought that within this range my body would be willing to up protein and fat metabolism in order to compensate. I should version of it that I've tried.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on March 25, 2013
at 05:08 PM

Do you think more protein / less fat would help? Or does spurring my body to produce glucose from protein defeat any possible benefits of dropping carbs in the first place, and I should just go back up on healthy carbohydrates or go down and shoot for ketosis?

06ca9c524c28bc3fba95d4d90f8f43c6

on March 26, 2013
at 02:50 AM

It all depends on your goals and activity level. If you just want to be healthy, I wouldn't worry so much about the macronutrient intake as following a paleo template will take care of that for you and you won't have this stress associated with trying to limit certain macronutrients.

-2
E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on March 25, 2013
at 02:16 PM

Carbs kill.

Zero carb or death

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on March 25, 2013
at 03:48 PM

Oh come on a few carbs can't be tha

Cf416725f639ffd1bb90764792ce7b8a

(2799)

on March 25, 2013
at 04:36 PM

Carbs are Satan's little helpers!

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