Many people switching to a low carb diet experience marvelous health benefits, but unfortunately there’s also a large group who don’t. The reason being is that they try the “low carb thing” for a while, feel worse than ever before, and decide that it was just another fad diet. What’s happening here?
Let’s find out!
It’s obvious to people who take a low carb diet seriously, that this way of living is nothing but good for health, weight, and performance. Still, there are a lot of people claiming that we need the carbohydrates to function properly and who also experience down sides when cutting them out. Natural and anti-inflammatory food is much better than sugar, starch, and anti-nutrients in excess, so when this diet wreaks havoc in the body, there are many interesting aspects to consider.
How is it possible to feel lethargic and sick from a diet rich in good quality nutrients, natural fats, vegetables, meat, fish, and eggs? It doesn’t make sense, does it?
When a sugar-adapted body runs out of sugar and needs to find another fuel, there’s an initial inertia. That’s the natural process of switching to a low carb diet, but when the body learns to run on fat, everything becomes fun and games again. This initial phase usually lasts up to a couple of weeks and all problems occurring after that are not related to fuel issues. New problems that arise are actually related to withdrawal and detoxification symptoms. Very few people consider this aspects of changing to a healthier diet, and instead blame the healthy diet and wrongly jump to the conclusion that they cannot live without carbs.
Let’s not forget that most overweight people have a heavy addiction problem and fat cells are excellent at storing not only body fat, but also toxins. This makes it a great physical challenge to give up white flour, sugar, starch, and processed and unnatural foods. A person with a lot of body fat can experience symptoms of detoxification during long periods of time, especially in ketosis. Withdrawal and detoxification makes a person feel sick and weak. There might also be skin and joint problems, bowel issues, anxiety or depression. In these cases, it’s easy to feel unjustified to continue the low carb diet, and just go on with life as it used to be.
Don’t fall into this trap if you recognize some of the symptoms above because it’s not a solution, but will instead create more havoc in the long run.
How it works
The first phase when converting to low carb is the, ‘convalescence phase’, which can persist for a couple of month. It implies that the vital energies that usually are utilized by the muscles, migrate to the inner organs to begin a process of rejuvenation and reconstruction.
Most common symptoms of this are lack of strength and energy, but in reality it’s the other way around. The vital energies are actually realigning to the inner organs, giving renewed energy. A lack of understanding happens when people fight this natural process with excess caffeine and harder workouts, with the result that the healing process takes longer time. During a very strict low carb diet, the body is thrown into an, ‘energy consuming phase,’ which can be very discouraging for many people.
When the cells gradually begin their detoxification process, the entire body is affected. The bile, intestines, arteries, veins, and capillaries declutter, and flush out medical waste, pollutants, heavy metals, and preservatives. The body tries to get rid of everything at once, but doesn’t have the capacity for it. Therefore, the toxic load can lead to rash, fever, eczema, lethargy, nervousness, depression, diarrhea or constipation. It might seem weird that a healthy diet can lead to symptoms like this, but in reality the body is becoming more active and more alive than ever before. The body is finally getting the chance to heal itself from within.
With an understanding of the healing effects a low carb diet has on the body, especially a strict one, it’s easier to handle the process with a peace of mind. Without this fundamental understanding, it’s more likely to believe something is wrong and go back to old patterns. To avoid this, there are some things that facilitate the process. The first is to dare to think in new ways instead of constantly looking for replacements.
Skip low carb approved, sugar free and gluten free bread, cookies, chocolate, and other foods. It's the wrong mindset. Begin at the right end with natural foods free from additives and as simple meals as possible. A steak with cooked vegetables and butter on the side is a complete dinner.
A lot of people are indeed interested in detox and health magazines write about it regularly and provide recipies for green smoothies and other detoxifying mixtures. The truth is that a stric low carb diet is the easiest and by far the most effective detox available, but it is long term and therefore dissuasive. A green smoothie in a toxic body makes no difference and to change the course of health long term is not comfortable at all times.
Listen to your body, dare to rest and to trust the process. Being well-informed is the best weapon against deviation because then you get an inner understanding of why you do what you do as well as why it feels the way it feels.
Done everything right and still don’t feel amazing?
It’s important to mention that all people don’t fit into a strict low carb regimen because they have bodies with a different sensitivity to serotonin production. People who are relatively insensitive to serotonin tend to feel very good on a strict diet, while sensitive people may feel worse. It is often due to mineral deficiencies, or that neurotransmitters that are already low have suffered a blow. One trick that works for most people is very simple and includes ingesting a cooked and cold spud before going to bed. This will jinx up the serotonin precursor trypthophan and it makes a huge difference to mood and temper.
Resistant starch has also proven to be a good idea when in comes to energy and stamina. “Resistant” means that the fibrers survive all the way down to the colon, where they serve as food for the good gut microbes. Good sources of resistant starch are cold potato starch and kidney beans.
The feel-good-amino tryptophan is also released during exercise, along with dopamine and endorphins. To combine a low carb diet with exercise is a winning combination. Especially for people who spend their days in an office.
The supplements to look out for to help the body get rid of toxins are sulfur supplement MSM and green alga such as spirulina and chlorella. To amp up the energy methylated vitamin B12 can be used to treat chronic fatique syndrome. Liquid vitamin D and Magnesium Malate are both effective against fatique and depression, and Magnesium Citrate and oxide are effective to help with worry and anxiety.
Now you hopefully have a few more pieces to the puzzle and recognize the importance of trusting the process and think in a long-term perspective regarding health!