We had our annual health check at work the other day, and the doctor noticed my blood pressure was a bit low - 89/54 - and suggested I eat more salt. This week I have been keeping calories fairly low, around 1300-1400, distributing them fairly evenly throughout lunch and dinner with small breakfasts. I know hunger is a natural part of dieting, but the past couple days I have felt a little light-headed or just "not all there," with foggy thinking/reaction time and a strong craving for meat. I just attempted to start a workout DVD I have done hundreds of times before, and had to stop because I felt weak and couldn't move fast enough to keep up.
I don't recall feeling this out of whack when I was eating low calorie in the fall/winter. I keep very well hydrated, exercise regularly but not terribly vigorously (lots of walking, jogging 2-3x/week, DVDs and body weight exercises at home - no HIIT or heavy lifting), and eat a lot more protein than I did before.
Has anyone experienced anything similar? I'm a little worried...
I have low blood pressure too! The light-headedness is almost undoubtedly related to the low blood pressure. I know exactly the feeling you are talking about. I can't remember feeing hunger pains associated with it, but the foggy feeling is definitely a symptom of low BP. Salt definitely helps.
Unrelated, I've been eating more protein lately and that's kept me *very* full throughout the day. If you are craving meat I wouldn't hesitate to eat more, or consume more protein from other sources.
Last thought it how are your iron levels? Do you have a history of anemia? Meat could definitely help if there's some sort of deficiency there as well.
Thanks for your response indiblue! I never noticed light-headedness until this week (probably because I was eating at or above maintenance for the past gosh-knows-how-long...); maybe eating at loss level really brings it out. I don't feel "unmanageably" hungry but come to think of it all these symptoms combined feel like how anemia is described. When did you first notice low BP symptoms?
Protein is something I struggle to get enough of daily, though I am pretty sure my iron intake is decent. I guess I'll go ahead and make my pepper steak dinner - and dump some soy sauce on there just to make sure.
I was first diagnosed with low blood pressure in college, when I happened to be sick with a cold. I almost fainted on the way to the doctor's, which is when he told me my BP was about the same as yours was (85/50 or something like that). I was told my cold was exacerbating the symptoms of low BP, and it sounds like your lower calorie diet could be doing the same thing to you. Salt definitely helps so bring on the soy sauce!
I haven't had it that low since, at least not that I'm aware of. It usually runs around 100/60 these days, which is still in the normal range and not low enough to induce light-headedness.
I'm also struggling to get protein (nothing huge, just 50-60 g a day), though I've been doing better lately. It really makes a huge difference in terms of fullness. As you know I don't eat meat, so I've been really relying on dairy (specifically eggs, cheese, and milk) and beans to build up my protein. Have been playing around with making high protein desserts too. If I'm going to eat dessert it might as well be a homemade protein cookie that give me an extra 5 g protein boost rather than candy which gives no nutritional boost at all!
I've had chronic low BP most of my life (until I gained 80 lbs and it went up to my "high", which is really more like a low normal, but that's a different story) My normal was around 80/60. Because that was an everyday thing for me, I rarely had many symptoms. However, I did get that foggy head fuzzy feeling sometimes, and I HATED it. I just felt off, lethargic, weak. Ick. Salt definitely helped, lots and lots of it. Protein was helpful too. With time, I got pretty in tune to my body and understanding that if I was craving french fries, it usually meant my BP was dropping. If I was craving meat (I was a vegetarian at the time) I needed protein and iron.
I found some of the protein bars to really work well for me- I like Luna bars a lot. Now I've switched to Think Thin bars since they don't have any sugar. Not as tasty, but still very good. I've found that I have somewhat high protein needs- it increases my energy and stamina significantly. I tend to get headaches and lose focus if I don't eat enough.
Definitely get your iron levels checked out too- anemia would certainly exacerbate the symptoms.
I love the way our bodies tells us what it needs...fairly accurately. Mine could tell me I need chocolate a little less. But I feel like when you are craving out of the norm things like steak or like Southlake's french fries, your body is telling you it needs something in that food. Indulge.
Your symptoms sound similar to what I get with low blood sugar. I hate it! Fortunately I rarely have that problem now.
Long term goal: To still be calorie counting 11/9/2010
mini goals: ~211-10% lost;12/24/09 ~203 class I obesity 1/28/10; ~199 Onederland/15% 2/19/10; ~188-20%; ~185 half way 5/14/10; 179-bye 180's 6/12/10; ~174 overweight 7/3/2010;169-bye 170's 8/13/10;~164-30% 10/23/2010159-bye 160's~11/1/10; 153-35%~12/23/10; 149-bye 150's~2/11/11; 145 normal~2/14/2011; ~141-40%; 139-bye 140's ~135 GOAL! (129-45%; 117.5-50%)