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-   -   carbs and my moods (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3299)

Mandy LaGreca 11-06-2008 05:27 PM

carbs and my moods
I have a question:

Why is it that when I switch from a higher carb diet (50% carbs or more) to a lower carb diet (35% or less) do I feel sluggish, tired and cranky? I notice my blood sugar drops more frequently, I am thirsty and want something sweet like fruit badly. Is this withdrawal? Should I abstain a few days, bite the bullet and hope the symptoms go away?

Are there other ways to deal with this, b/c I know it will work for fat loss if I can just suck it up

Kevin Perry 11-06-2008 05:38 PM

What foods are your 35% ratio consisting of? And when did you start the diet? Also what foods are making up the other ratio's and what percentage are those? Are you getting enough calories?

If your eating very clean and just started yesterday for example then there will be some withdrawl and cravings for a few days. Have you checked out some stuff on MOD's site?

joe waguespack 11-06-2008 05:48 PM

When I recently tried the Anabolic Diet there was a two week period of <30 g of carbs as an induction period. The sluggish feeling will subside after a few days for some and it may take a little longer for others. There was a day where I felt a definite "crash" and then was fine the next day. If you are going the low carb route make sure you are keeping your fat intake at 60% of your calories, especially when you first start and keep your calories at around 18x bodyweight for a week or two. It will make the transition easier. After that then start dropping your cals by about 500 and stick with that until fat loss stalls. it may work great for you, I know it does for many. The low carb thing did not work for me at all as far as fat loss goes. At first I think due to the bump in calories jacking up the metabolism a bit and the loss of water and glycogen it seems like leaning out and weight loss is fast, but after that it didn't do much for me , even with dropping my cals pretty low. Good luck though.

Gittit Shwartz 11-06-2008 05:59 PM


The hunger and lethargy will subside. It can take up to 2 weeks for your body to adapt to using fat as fuel rather than carbs, so hang in there!

35% carbs is not that low though. Personally I find I only feel good when I keep them really low - around 30-40g a day (not counting fiber) or about 10%, and get 55-60% of calories from fat. Different people will have different results, but if you were ever overweight or have poor insulin management, you'll likely do better with lower carbs. At 35% you'll be stuck in the middle ground, neither here nor there, like a never-ending induction phase - tired, cranky, brain fog and cravings. That's my experience, anyhow.

MOD's blog is the place to look for the 101.


Gittit Shwartz 11-06-2008 06:02 PM

MORE FAT will help you get through this phase.

Also, I find caffeine gives me weird blood sugar swings and I adapt faster if I cut it out. YMMV though.

Craig Brown 11-06-2008 07:41 PM

I just want to back up Gittit's post. Go way lower, and no slack for a couple of weeks. You will level off.


Steven Low 11-06-2008 09:31 PM

If you're on a lower carb diet for a month or two and you're still feeling sluggish you MIGHT be ones of the people who can tolerate higher carbs better. BUT this is generally an exception.

It takes anywhere from about 2-4 weeks to adapt to a diet with fairly different macronutrient ratios.

Mandy LaGreca 11-07-2008 06:30 PM


Originally Posted by Steven Low (Post 42524)
If you're on a lower carb diet for a month or two and you're still feeling sluggish you MIGHT be ones of the people who can tolerate higher carbs better. BUT this is generally an exception.

It takes anywhere from about 2-4 weeks to adapt to a diet with fairly different macronutrient ratios.

Here is the deal: I go on a reduced carb diet, and by reduced I mean a diet of unlimited veggies, a few fruits (two), 2 tbsp essential oils, 8oz lean protein, 2 eggs and a whey protein shake a day. Oh and I would have a little bit of starchy carbs (Ezekiel bread or rutabaga) with my post workout meal. Seems like adequate carbs to me,right? Perhaps its due to the fact that I am usually overloaded on carbs, so perhaps its just a withdrawal phase I am going through.

But I tend to feel sluggish, my workouts suffer and I get moody and craving skyrocket. But I do lose fat on this type of plan, I just cant stick to it long term.

Maybe I need to get my head checked

Steven Low 11-07-2008 09:16 PM

Probably need to add in a bit more fat. That doesn't sound like much food AT ALL... unless you're like 70 lbs.

The problem with most things is sticking with it. If you can't do the big jump then you can transition slowly. First, cut the bread for example. Then after a week or two cut something else and add in something.

Gittit Shwartz 11-08-2008 12:23 AM


Originally Posted by Mandy LaGreca (Post 42606)
Maybe I need to get my head checked

As a recovering binge eater and chronic dieter, I can tell you I made very little progress as long as I was blaming myself for every step out of line.

Like Steve said, get through the transition period, eat more fat (don't try to outsmart your diet by cutting fat to lower calories), and I'll add - do everything you can to improve insulin sensitivity. You won't believe how much it helps control the urge to binge.

Here's what I did recently:

- Carbs at up to 30g daily for 2 weeks
- Limit caffeine intake during that time, and watch what it does to you after.
- PWO only, I would allow myself 1/3 cup of berries since they have a very low glycemic impact, but they would still have to fit into the daily 30g limit.
- Chromium picolinate - 1 capsule upon waking, and 20 minutes before each meal when I remembered to.
- Fenugreek - I took a lot of this, not sure if it helped, but many people recommend it so it can't hurt.
- Cinnamon - put a ton of it on everything. Put it in your PWO shake if you do those. I even boiled cinnamon sticks and sipped on the water throughout the day... made me a bit nauseous though :)
- Don't limit your calories too much for the period of the transition.

Again, I've done the "unlimited veggies and few fruits" thing. Didn't work for me. It's a little sad to think you even have to limit your VEGGIE intake, but I really do better this way.

I hope this helps! It's made a big difference for me.

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