Low carb diet help please! Felt so sick and so confused

Answered on July 14, 2014
Created July 13, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Hi. I am a 33 year old female and I weigh 145 pounds. I would like to lose 15 pounds as it is weight i have gained in the last year since moving and starting a new job. I have tried calorie restricting but i can never manage to stick to it and only ever shift 1-2 pounds before going back. I also like to run and to do moderate weights for my arms. I run about 3-5 times a week for about half an hour to 40 min. I decided to try this low carb diet thing. About a week and a half ago before doing any research I cut out obvious carbs- like rice (which i ate a lot of- almost ever dinner), pasta, cakes, cookies, potatoes, etc. But not the fruit or veggies or anything like that. Then about a week ago I did a lot of research on this and decided to try and really limit my carbs a lot more. For the first few days I did fine but I was buying most of my food out. Then i decided to start cooking my own food so I could be sure of what I was eating. That started tuesday (its sunday now). I would eat about 2 hard boiled eggs in the morning, salmon or chicken with spinach and some olive oil and lemon for lunch, some nuts for a snack, another hard boiled egg, and then salmon or chicken with spinach and or kale for dinner. On the third day of eating like that I started to feel awful. I was at work feeling sweaty and nauseous and weak and just weird. I went and got an apple. It helped. That was thursday. Then friday after i ate my normal lunch of salmon and spinach I just felt exhausted and so weak. I went home and ate my normal dinner plus some sugar free jello and nuts and went to bed pretty early. Yesterday I woke up feeling like i hadnt slept at all after a 9 hour sleep. I was so tired and weak and just couldnt shake it. Oh, and my runs this week have been awful. After I run (which is hard to finish) my arms feel weak and like Ive been lifting when I havent been. Thursday I wasnt able to run but I did run friday morning. So yesterday when I felt awful when I woke up I went out to breakfast and had an omellette. Then walking around I felt like I hadnt eaten and i was so tired so I had half an apple. No better. After lunch which was grilled chicken and bok choy with a decent amount of olive oil, i took a nap. When I woke not really better. I ate a banana and some organic beef jerky. This helped a bit. Then I had some celery with low sugar peanut butter and for dinner I made a hamburger, no bun with mayo and ketchup and a salad with feta, romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers olive oil and balsamic. I did feel better but when I was going to bed i felt nauseous and weird and i got frusterated and thought that I was doing something wrong to my body so I decided to just forget it and eat half a luna bar (a whole one has 27 carbs). I slept well and woke up feeling normal again. I tallied my carbs for yesterday and they were about 70. So, my question is- what the hell do I do? ! Can I lose weight eating 70 carbs a day or do I have to go down a lot more? What should I do? I am so confused and really dont want to feel sick. It feels wrong and like its bad for my body but I read so much about this and it sounds right and people have great experiences doing this. Help me please!

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4 Answers



on July 14, 2014
at 10:49 PM

My unscientific observation is that people who have little weight to lose (under 20 or 30 lbs) don't see a lot of weight loss on paleo/low carb, at least not in the short term. I think that's because of a "set point"--your body may be happy where it is and strive metabolically to resist the weight loss in order to maintain it's homeostasis. You have to dramatically overcome that through severe calorie restriction, and that rarely sticks--if you lose weight that way you may find yourself gaining back MORE because of the backlash of hormonal response.

You are also going pretty fast for your body, which is why you have a bad case of low carb flu. You may want to more gradually decrease your carbs and/ OR give your body more support through supplementing with sodium and potassium. Give your body a break, too. Attempting to keep up a high level of exercise during the period of ketoadaptation is much too stressful. Let your body adapt and then you can ramp up the activity again--you'll be amazed at how much you will be able to do once your body has had time to adjust.


on July 13, 2014
at 09:54 PM

Well, I'd like to answer your story with my story. I joined the Marines at 17 and like all other Marines, I wanted to be mean and lean, so I hit the gym every day. Soon, I wanted to be a body builder so I went crazy with the weights. Oh and we had to run every day, too. I HATED running. Got shin splints and joint injures and pulled muscles, etc. I was frustrated for years because my body wasn't responding like I thought it should. Fast forward 30 yrs and in my 40's I found MMA. I was kickboxing and grappling and running stadium stairs and sprints, etc. My body responded immediately! All this time, my body was the type to respond to power exercises. So now at 55 yrs old. I do cross fit, strongman exercises: plyometrics, flipping over giant tires, carrying heavy weights from here to there. Pushing and pulling cars, lifting 10-12 ft lengths of telephone poles, at one end and walk it upright and then walk it back down. This is the stuff my body responds to. If you work on building muscle( lift heavy objects, run up stairs, run up a hill, etc ), you will burn fat 24/7, even while resting , even while sleeping.


on July 13, 2014
at 04:08 PM

So does that mean that because I ate 70 g of carbs yesterday I have to start all over again? Can I lose weight but staying on 70 grams of carbs a day or 50 or so or do I have to go as low as 25?


on July 13, 2014
at 02:46 PM

So your body is a carb fueled body. It's carb adapted. So what you experience when you remove your fuel is typically called the low carb flu. You are basically starving your body out... Whike providing it lots of fats.

IIt takes most people 6 days to become fat fueled body, fat adapted. But you need to stick to low carb (under 25g net) for at least 2 weeks 100% of the time... Or you reset things.

So there is one hack to make the low carb flu a lot easier, a supplement called L-glutamine. It's an amino acids and it will feed your brain energy during this carb fuel starvation period.

Once fat adapted, you will have more energy then before, it's like running on rocket fuel!

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