Life is exploding...on every level. Not saying that I shouldn't have an emotional response. However, I went two days without carbs... eating eggs, tuna, veggies.
I lost my friggin' mind yesterday. Not TOM.
I left work early, walked for 20mins, came home, bawled my eyes out and then had a sandwich. Now it was wheat bread, two slices of turkey and a ton of cukes and veggies. Not spectacular for a low carb lifestyle, but certainly not a binge or diet breaker. I instantly felt better ( i am talking ten minutes) and reclaimed my snarky warrior b!tch self.
Am I insane...wait...moot question. Is that normal?
May sound strange and maybe it is the result of just not eating enough.
Hard to say if it's only happened once, I guess. I know I would cry if I couldn't have carbs.
People react differently to carbs. They definitely have a feel good effect on MANY people, (which in part explains our cultural sugar addiction). Some people see that at as a drug effect that needs to be overcome.
I'm not one of them. I think carbs, especially the whole grain unprocessed kind, are a natural part of a diet. There's nothing wrong with feeling good from having eaten. Carbs provide slow burning fuel to keep our energy levels constant and our moods lifted. Where's the problem?
I had a physical reaction when I started a low carb diet. For about 3-4 days I was sick and extremely tired. I guess I also had an emotional response. I was mean as a snake. If you are addicted to sugar as I was, then you probably will have emotional/physical turmoil as your body gets used to doing without the simple carbs.
Some people who are very sensitive to carbs have a reaction to a "cold turkey" approach to eating fewer carbs. If you look up "atkins flu" you'll see that some folks describe feeling tired, run-down, and sad 2-3 days after cutting back drastically on the carbs in their diets. It's during the time when your body is switching from using glucose (from sugar and starch) as its primary fuel to using ketones (from fat and protein).
It sounds like you're one of the folks who may suffer emotionally and physically from this switch-over. You can steamroll through it, and realize that after a few days you'll start feeling better even with very few carbs. Or you can lower your carbs in a curve... from the SAD level of 50-60% of your diet to 40%.... to 30%... to 20%... and see how you feel at each level. Lowering your carbs may work better for you than "cold turkey" carb-resistriction.
I want to say first off that my goal is not to offend anyone on a low carb diet, and this does not apply to everyone that goes low carb. But a low carb diet can lead to depression and/or irritability for many people. Carbs trigger the release of serotonin, the hormone responsible for making us feel good. If you are already susceptible to depression or mood changes then the effects of low carb could make it worse. There have been several books written about the topic. The lesson learned being that low carb is not for everyone.
If you don't feel good when you are on a specific diet plan, then maybe it's time to try something else
I definitely suffered from the emotional let down when drastically reducing carbs. It just wasn't the option for me, to go on the Atkins induction phase at just 25 gm of carbs. But eating the amount recommended for type 2 diabetes (200 gm for my size) meant I wouldn't lose any weight at all, and most likely keep gaining. And also being PCOS, I'm very carb sensitive on top of everything else.
Through lots of experimentation with carb intake and types of carbs, I found that for me, if I get most of my carbs from vegetable sources (like greens), sometimes have oatmeal, brown rice and less-sweet fruits (no more than one a day), avoid dried beans, potatoes, pasta, breads and grains most of the time (I occasionally have a slice of Julian Bakery Smart Carb bread), and avoid all sugar as much as I possibly can, I've been able to keep my carbs between 80 and 120 gm, keep my sanity and lose weight. It took me a few years to figure it all out.
Another important element for my mental health is to regularly go to Pilates. If I don't do Pilates or weight training once a day, I can't maintain my mental well-being.
A few years ago, I'd tried Atkins. I enjoyed the food at first and certainly liked the weight loss, but three weeks into it, I was miserably unhappy, irritable, and so difficult to live with that my poor husband took to hiding out from me. Too low was not at all good for me. (I emphasize "for me" because I know that for other people, very low-carb works wonderfully.)
Now that I calorie-count, I find that what works best for me is a balance of all three macronutrients. Carbs are fine, but I try to stick to nutritious carbs instead of empty ones--a banana instead of a handful of crackers, whole wheat sandwich thins instead of puffy slices of flimsy white bread.
It's been really useful for me to read here and understand something that diet books will never tell you--that everything is a continuum, not a binary choice. If really-low-carb isn't doing it for you, you can move on to sorta-low-carb. It's funny how it never occurred to me, during my Atkins experiment, to try moving into the next phase; it might've worked for me then.
I lost my weight on lowcarb. With no 'frankenfoods' (shakes, bars, etc.).
I had that induction flu for the first three weeks...and I did hang in there...and eggs have carbs, and veggies have carbs too..so you weren't doing 'no' carb.
It does hit some harder than others, depending just how carbed up they are when they start. Detox is always hard.
I think you should eat what 'suits' you. I'm Celiac (no wheat/gluten for me ever), and have anaphylactic allergies (list is over 67 foods now, many that are the best for lowFAT diets). I really had a choice...that choice was to stay fat or go lowcarb
The reason there are so many weightloss plans is because there's probably one 'right' for everyone
I tried low carbing and, frankly, I got mean. Mean! I had a headache all of the time, felt lethargic and wasn't very nice. But I have found, a diet higher in protein (although not necessarily low carb) is more satisfying, regulates my appetite better and does not create the cravings that can come with refined carbs.
I eat about 150 to 200 grams of carbs per day for my 1800 calorie diet. I should say that much of the time, the carbs I do eat come from higher fiber sources or natural things like fruits and veggies. I do sometimes eat popchips or jellybeans (Starburst ones at Easter) or some other kind of dessert, but I am not a big "snack on a rice cake" kind of person. I will eat a piece of string cheese, a hard boiled egg, a spoonful of peanut butter or something like that if I am needing a snack.
I truly have found when I get too out of hand with the refined carbs, sugars mostly, that I set myself up in a craving cycle and all of the sudden a few days later I will realize that I cannot stop craving sweets and have difficulty staying away from them. Then I have to go off refined sugar and carbs for several days to "cleanse" my system. For me, those are a slippery slope.
Last edited by mental voyeur : 04-08-2011 at 09:46 PM.
Carb-withdrawal isn't the only cause of low-carb snarkiness. Low-blood sugar can do it too.
I always thought low-carb diets were dangerous, because I never got over "induction flu" or what the low-carb books called "carb withdrawal." Even after three and four weeks, I was still very sick, nauseous, irritable, nasty, and even prone to passing out.
Now I recognize those symptoms as low-blood sugar. I'm also now diabetic and on metformin. If I try to eat induction-level, I get sick and stay sick. To some degree, eating more often and eating more fat helps, but not enough to make induction-level practical for me. So I choose a more moderate carb level (and use an exchange plan to do it, so my carb-level is consistent from day to day).
Carbs also have a sedative effect, even when you're not "withdrawing" from them. Bringing an angry wife chocolate is cliche for a reason - it works. Hubby did that to me yesterday. I was irritable because of pain, not carb withdrawal, but eating the chocolate bar hubby brought, actually worked better and faster than my pain medication. That doesn't mean I should replace or supplement my pain medication with candy, but it does indicate (at least to me) what a powerful drug simple carbohydrates can be.
A recent study found that not only did normal, healthy rats prefer sugar to cocaine, even cocaine-addicted rats chose sugar over cocaine. Sounds like a drug to me.
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