Atkins - Oh mannn... Atkins flu, how long does it last?

10-16-2010, 06:47 AM
I read about this and thought since I've been low carbing for a while I'd be spared. No such luck!

I'd previously kept my carbs low but also kept my fat low. Was eating a lot of grilled chicken, cottage cheese, veggies... etc. No full fat cheeses or the like.

I'm not doing so hot today.

For breakfast I had 2 slices of bacon and some eggs scrambled with bell peppers

Lunch was 3 more eggs (I need to go to the store for protein badly...) with cheese, seasoned ground beef, and broccoli.

I had a spoonful of cream cheese this afternoon because I was just picking in the fridge and knew I should get something in my stomach.

Anyway... I feel like death right now. I know I should round a salad and something up for dinner but I'm feeling really green at the moment.

How long will this take to pass???

10-16-2010, 09:38 AM
Straight from Dr. Atkins himself:
"There are a few people who experience fatigue or light-headedness during their first week doing Atkins. Most often this means that the progress is going too fast for their particular metabolism--they're losing weight too fast, losing water and certain minerals too fast, and their bodies can't keep pace with these quick changes. One sign is ascent weakness: you feel weak walking up stairs, These reactions can be aggrevated by hot weather, when you are already losing minerals through sweat, or by taking a diuretic. Obviously drinking lots of water is essential.
Usually, I advise patients who have these problems to slow down the weight loss. They should add another helping of vegetables to their evening meal or two ounces of nuts or seeds. Although their bodies would almost certainly adjust during the second week, there isn't any good reason for feeling washed out and sickly for even one day. After the symptoms abate, go back to the lower level of carb intake."

The new book, "New Atkins New You" suggests 2 cups of broth (NOT low sodium) , one in the morning, one in the afternoon to prevent dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.

I personally, would start with upping the veggies:)

10-16-2010, 09:43 AM
Thank you so much!!! I had a salad with chicken and blue cheese and I'm actually feeling a bit better. Probably from the lettuce? I'll eat a cucumber now and make some broth. I have the 1972 version of the book (my grandmother gave it to me a while ago) and I've read through it but I know I need to take a closer look. It's been a busy few weeks :).

Anyway, you're the best! Thanks again :)

10-16-2010, 10:38 AM
I hope you feel better Val! I don't seem to get the 'flu' but I do get head aches sometimes. They suck, but I can deal with them until I'm ready to start maintenance.

10-16-2010, 01:04 PM
I always thought low-carb diets were unhealthy, because induction flu didn't disappear for me, and at that time I don't remember anything in the Atkins book recommending slowing weight loss (this would have been in the 80's). Rather for someone my weight at the time, the book encouraged long term induction, assuring readers that the flu would disappear within the first two weeks. I distinctly remember that edition of the book (it would have probably been the first or second book) encouraging readers to tolerate the symptoms until they disappeared (saying that the symptoms were proof of carbohydrate withdrawal).

My symptoms never abated, in fact they worsened to the point that I passed out on several occasions, and as a result I never was able to make it much past the third week. Every once in a while I'd try a Atkins or another low-carb diet, but I never got past the induction/first level. The symptoms were intense enough they repeatedly convinced me that low-carb diets were impractical and possibly even dangerous.

Sadly, I gave up, thinking low-carb wasn't right for me (and that it couldn't possibly be healthy). Even when my current doctor recommended low-carb (telling me not to go too low, but admitting he didn't know how low that was), it took a second opinion from another doctor (who with her husband each lost about 100 lbs on a modified, higher veggie Atkins) to convince me to reconsider low-carb.

My husband is diabetic, and I am insulin resistant. By using hubby's blood sugar testing gadget, I learned that the symptoms I associated with induction flu were from low blood sugar, or a rapid drop in blood sugar. And from our classes with the diabetic educator we learned that carbohydrates aren't the only fix for low-blood sugar, they're just the fastest. Before I knew this, I just knew that returning to a high-carb diet made the symptoms disappear.

I could kick myself that I didn't think to try a slightly higher carb level. I only ever chose between induction-level and the standard american high-carb diet. If I had gone on to OWL or even added just a few carbs, or even if I had eaten smaller meals more frequently I probably would have prevented the blood sugar issues (and therefore the flu symptoms) and would have learned decades earlier that low-carb was the perfect WOE for me.

10-17-2010, 08:53 AM
Thanks so much for the good input Kaplods! I'm feeling a lot better today. I didn't track my carbs but I ate more veggies. I'm thinking of stepping them back down until I'm at 20 and see if I can sustain that for a week. Aside from this initial yuck feeling I really think my body works so much more efficiently when I don't feed it a lot of carbs. I used to feel so bogged down and foggy even when I was calorie counting. I feel like that feeling is lifting more each day. I feel really clear! It's really interesting how everyone's body works just a little differently in this regard. I am so grateful for the support of this board and the ability to read about other people's experiences :).

10-17-2010, 10:46 AM
Val, I've heard that about others too. That they feel a fog is lifted when on Atkins and everything is clearer.

I love that I don't have blood sugar spikes and dips! I'm not starving all the time anymore :)

10-17-2010, 03:46 PM
I really find that a cup of broth helps when i have a headache or feel tired. good luck!

10-17-2010, 06:59 PM
Val, I've heard that about others too. That they feel a fog is lifted when on Atkins and everything is clearer.

I love that I don't have blood sugar spikes and dips! I'm not starving all the time anymore :)

YES! On top of the weight loss... I seriously feel LIGHT which seems so counterintuitive when I'm eating all this fat. I had a hard time getting past that barrier to low carb eating so I did veggies and grilled light meats for a LONG time. I'm losing faster this way and it tastes better :dizzy:. Mentally I already feel so much more even keel. I really think I was having a lot of blood sugar issues before. Swinging around all the time... it wasn't good!

I really find that a cup of broth helps when i have a headache or feel tired. good luck!

I need to get more broth! I had a thing of beef broth but I've drank it all now :). It really did help!

10-17-2010, 08:05 PM
I'm going to try to remember to drink a cup of broth when I'm feeling tired, washed out, starving, etc...I haven't had lots of energy lately...probably totally unrelated to diet, more likely to the fact that it's 7 p.m. and it's DARK!