First, this is not a NO CARB diet. There are some out there but this isn’t one of them.
There are carbs in your fruit, your vegetables and in the yogurt. You’re eating carbs everyday so “carb withdrawal” may not be as big a problem as some of you think. When people dieting don’t feel good they immediately think “Oh it MUST be the diet.” But a week ago, prior to the diet you might wake up and not feel good – or felt less than 100% and what was that about? Let’s face it we just don’t all feel great all the time. We all have good days, better days and a few not so good days, right? In fact since you’re eating healthier your “better days” might even be better than they were before making your “off days” just feel a little bit worse!
Let’s face it anytime you make a fundamental change in your diet your body is going to react.
There is a thing called “carb withdrawal” but it often has to do more about KETOSIS than it has to do with your body “needing” carbs it’s not getting. In fact if you are following the plan, eating your veggies, yogurt and fruit you are in fact getting enough carbs just less than you were eating.
But if you still think you’re having carb withdrawal let’s talk a little bit about that. I mean the goal is not just to lose weight but to stay healthy physically and mentally, right? So, here we go…
During the first three or four days of starting a low carb diet you might go through what’s commonly called, “carb withdrawal.” This can mean symptoms such as mild headaches (these slight headaches and dizziness can also be brought on by the probiotics also), weariness, cravings for sugar or starches, a few mild intestinal disruptions or a feeling of mild sickness and an increase in overall hungriness.
Sounds scary, right?
Well, let me assure you it will pass! These side effects I’m describing are “worst case scenario” for the most part but if you are experiencing them here are a couple of things you can do to minimize and cope.
Drink lots of Water. This is the most important thing you can do. When you are reducing carbs your body goes into Ketosis which in basic terms means your body is switching to burning off the carbs you’re eating to burning off existing or stored fat for fuel. In other words you’re ingesting less fat and carbs so the body will use the fat it’s stored in your fat cells for energy. YOU’RE BURNING YOUR FAT FOR FUEL.
This is a good thing. A GREAT thing. The body usually burns carbohydrates for fuel. In ketosis your energy is coming from ketones, little fragments created by the breakdown of fat you’ve stored. Basically instead of being a carb burning machine you are now a FAT BURNING machine. When you are in ketosis generally you will feel less hungry and you’re likely to eat less. The down sides, well, one is kidney stones can be a problem.
This is why you MUST drink a LOT of water to flush and dilute the ketones in your system
The lower your carb intake, the greater your risk of dehydration and the greater your need for water. Most low-carb diet experts suggest drinking at least 2 quarts of water daily.
In addition to keeping you hydrated – drinking enough water can also help alleviate another problem in low carb diets; The BIG “C” CONSTIPATION – On this diet you also have the combination of Green Tea which we now know causes constipation and ketosis which causes constipation. The double whammy!
Drinking lots of water can also help offset still another low-carb diet problem: bad breath. The ketones produced during the diet can lead to what is sometimes described as a fruity odor although it is often described as having an almost “chemical” odor similar to acetone or nail polish remover. Um, nice huh? So now you’re thin but no one will come near you!
Oh, and if you’re thinking you’ll just handle the problem by brushing and flossing a little more often, guess again. Since the breath odor is coming from metabolic changes and not necessarily a dental-related condition, traditional breath products are not likely to provide long-lasting relief. On the other hand drinking more water intake can do the trick.
If you’re feeling “peckish” or have low energy eat more protein! This should help get you through those first few days and get you into the habit of reaching for protein when you’re hungry, not carbs.
And of course if you really think you’re in carb withdrawal and just can’t take it, eat some carbs! Just make sure they are “good” carbs. Will it affect your weight loss? Yes, probably. But don’t make yourself sick. What’s the point in that! If you are really having problems have a half slice of whole wheat fiber bread or a couple spoonfuls of beans.
And, in case you’re wondering a “normal” healthy person at their desired weight is recommended eating about 100 grams of carbs a day. The good ones, not candy bars.
Okay a couple of other things…there are still comments on the board about, “I got on the scale and gained 2 pounds, what have I done wrong?” PLEEZE…If weighing yourself demotivates or depresses you – get off the scale! It’s not worth it. If you are following the plan, regardless of what the scale says, you are losing. The scale measures water and waste in the body as well as fat so there can be a couple of pounds of fluctuation from day to day, especially in women.
It’s like this: We’re all getting older every day, right? But you don’t notice yourself getting older every time you look in the mirror do you? So, just like you don’t notice yourself getting older every time you look in the mirror you will not notice weight loss every time you jump on the scale. Just focus on eating according to the plan and staying active.
DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS. Especially if you’re a woman. Women lose slower than men and generally lose it in “spurts” that can be separated by small plateaus. Weight loss can come in spurts. Sometimes the body needs to readjust itself and find its new metabolic triggers where it will kick in and start burning fat again.
TRUST ME, eventually if you are following the plan and exercising you will lose weight. I promise you!