Atkins - Please help me with low blood sugar with induction.

05-21-2013, 05:07 PM
Doing induction.. about 6 days in I woke up sweating, shaking, with a tremendous headache. I had two PB cracker sandwiches on these MIDEL whole wheat crackers I buy for my toddler, (I buy raw unsweetened PB.), And a glass of whole milk and took a few motrin. Headache went away after 1 hour. I had had the headache for 2 days and has had extra snacks of a boiled egg and a spoonful of raw PB etc. and took motrin to help to no avail. I've been back on track now this morning, day 7 but no ketosis.

This always happens to me on low carb diets. My body really resists the change over to ketosis. I have been eating the same basic menu for 5 days.... I bought ketosticks and have tested myself and they remain negative....

Typical Day:

4 slices bacon
2 eggs
coffee with 2T cream

green veggies - broccoli, steamed cabbage, romaine lettuce
1 can tuna in oil with 1 t mayo
coffee with 2 t cream

water, water, water
1/2 c cashews

meat tuna steak or salmon or plain burger or small steak (4-6oz)
asparagus or brussel sprouts or cauliflower - 2 cups

unsweetened decaf tea before bed

When I work my stretch of 3, 12 hour night shifts I am up for 24 hours a day two days a week. During those days I add another serving of cruciferous veggies 4 -6 hours after dinner and 4 hours after that had 2 T raw PB with celery. I work out by powerlifting but took off the last two weeks due to shoulder injury so exercise limited to work and walking the dog, housework etc. Going back to gym today.

Just FYI I lift heavy for a woman. (All natural no steroids.) Doing reps with 200lbs for deadlift, 110lbs for bench, 150 box squats with bar as my coach is correcting my form right now. I am not opposed to cardio but with powerlifting it is often limited to warm ups and cool downs. My coach wants me to do the "faces" diet which is green veggies and anything with a face. It does not lend itself to much direction so I decided to give Atkins a whirl and do my best to integrate the two (Basically do atkins and try to eat more Green veggies versus other allowed varieties.)

Except for that one night been sleeping well. I have lost 3 lbs first week.
I am 6 foot tall woman, Started 192lbs now 189. I have tried IP diet too and felt better on it because it has more carbs. But find living on shakes very dull and hard to stick to.

I am a size 12/14, so I think getting to size 10/12 will be the most healthy for me.

Any help with tweaking my diet, advice, or similar stories appreciated. I see on bodybuilding forums that people doing "faces diet" tend to hit a wall at 2 weeks and just "power through it". Any suggestions besides keeping hydrated and taking motrin?

05-21-2013, 05:37 PM
I can't follow induction, my blood sugar drops too low. The headaches, nausea, dizziness, and shaky weakness do not improve, they only get worse and worse, to the point that I will actually pass out.

When my hubby and I saw a weight loss doctor heading a local clinic, the doctor who had lost almost 100 lbs herself on a modified Atkins told us that many people with diabetes, insulin resistance or a tendency towards hypoglycemia couldn't tolerate Atkins induction. She suggested that I skip induction and instead of waiting a week to add 5g of carb per day that I use my symptoms to guide me - that I eat the fewest number of carbs that I feel decent on. She recommended that my husband (insulin-dependent at the time) do Atkins "backwards" instead - starting at his normal, or a comfortable carb level and reducing carbs gradually rather than starting at induction and adding carbs gradually. The carb ladder is also used bacwards, stepping down the carb ladder rather than up.

05-21-2013, 06:31 PM
wow that sounds like me .... I'll keep it up and try having little bits of carbs when my blood sugar drops. Def don't want to faint at the gym with a bar on my back....

What snacks do you add when your blood sugar drops. Or do you just eat more veggies?

05-21-2013, 06:53 PM
Can I ask how you know it is low blood sugar? Are you testing your blood sugar when these episodes happen and it's actually below 70 or lower than what you normally run?

Also when I was following a plan that emphasized nutritional ketosis I also would test for serum ketones for accuracy as opposed to ketostix...

When I felt shaky I would try some broth... The sodium would usually help... And I also would supplement with Mg+ and I kept some K+ supplements around but you can only buy 99mg OTC since K+ supplements can be dangerous and personally I would never take them without having my K+ level checked and then after discussing it with my doctor...

And staying really well hydrated should help with the headaches... Since being in ketosis means that you're body has to work to excrete those ketone bodies and that in itself can be very dehydrating...

05-21-2013, 07:08 PM
wow that sounds like me .... I'll keep it up and try having little bits of carbs when my blood sugar drops. Def don't want to faint at the gym with a bar on my back....

What snacks do you add when your blood sugar drops. Or do you just eat more veggies?

Currently I'm following a modified paleo (modified to include some dairy and high protein grain like wild rice and quinoa occasionally not Atkins, so more carbs are allowed in the form of veggies and fruit (but grains, even whole grains are avoided or eaten very rarely).

For the most part, I've learned to prevent drastic blood sugar drops. Usually I only get low blood sugar when I've been careless, for example skipping a meal, or not eating enough fat and protein at my last meal.

What I eat/drink to fix the situation depends on the situation. Fruit if I'm going to. I might have a piece of fruit or even a small hard candy if I'm going to be eating a meal soon, otherwise something with some fat and protein, like cheese or yogurt which have enough carbs to work quickly, but enough fat and protein to last a while.

05-21-2013, 07:19 PM
Thanks for the advice. That helps a lot. And to the poster above, I am not paying out of pocket for serum ketone testing. And I have no idea what my blood sugar was at the time but have tested it at work periodically when feeling shaky and it is usually in the 50s. As it went away by eating some carbs I assume it is low blood sugar. I work on my feet for hours and even though I eat every 4 to 6 hours I'm sure it's not enough as these episode always happen after working or working out.

I personally think Atkins is hard for someone working out at the gym as hard as I do. My trainer says he has men who eat less than 25 gm a day and work out with no problem. Given how fat a lot of the guys working out there are I'm going to assume most of them have not stuck with any kind of low carb diet for any real length of time. Hence why I'm on this board.

The body building/powerlifting forums on other websites are full of people who are cycling diets with steroids. I've previously powerlifted for years without them and think they are a dangerous crutch that make you prone to injury and health problems. Sooooo that's why I'm here asking about Atkins...

I know people do Atkins and workout. I think the previous poster was right... some people just need a few more carbs. If I don't lose weight.... well I'll just cut back. I just need to stick with it.

05-21-2013, 07:56 PM
Actually I found out that I am one of those people that needs more carbs.... I was following a plan that had its basis from "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performence" and it just did not work for me and my endurance training... And it also led to some lipid abnormalities .... So my doctor told me to stop for that reason alone... I run 35 to 40 miles a week... and I swim and bike as well... And I strength train a couple of times a week and also do Pilates and yoga.... And I'm finding that I need about 200g's of carbs a day to support that... But I can go as high a 300 and not gain...

I just picked up a couple of books... "Racing Weight" and "The Racing Weight Quick Start Guide" which is a 4 week weight loss guide that I'm going to try out since it focuses on getting "lean" which is what I'm really after now...

05-22-2013, 11:39 AM