8 Low Carb Side Effects
You’ve got to be curious about the low carb lifestyle. Chances are you know a friend or loved one who has tried a low carb diet—or perhaps transitioned to a low carb lifestyle—and you’ve been eying their results. The temptation to go low carb can be strong. The visual results are often rapid and stunning. But you may be wondering about low carb side effects.
There are 8 low carb side effects we will be focusing on today.
1. The induction flu
As soon as you step onto the low carb train, you will notice some physical symptoms. One of the most common and brutal low carb side effects is affectionately known as “the induction flu.”
And make no mistake, friends, this brief period is vicious. Expect head-splitting headaches, feeling sick to to your stomach, cramps, and a general sense of low energy.
You definitely want to carefully schedule your induction to the low carb life. Make sure you do it when you don’t have any pressing meetings or interviews happening. Many people start on a Friday so that they have the weekend to recover.
The first few days of suddenly not eating carbs are plain miserable. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. Once you’ve adjusted to the switch, it is not really too bad. But those first few days, don’t surprised if you feel like crying some of the time.
Just expect this. Your body is going through withdrawal.
2. Brain fog
Day one of your new low carb life, you may feel almost as though there is a fog over your brain. The reason for this is simple: your brain has been fueling itself through glucose.
This is not the necessary fuel for our brains, but it is the one our brains will resort to if it can. Once you burn up all of the glycogen stores present in your body, your brain will begin to utilize ketones instead. This is appropriate, but the switch will make you feel not yourself.You may feel off somehow.
This is a fairly short-term side effect, typically winding up by day three of your shift. It should be completely cleared by the time you have logged two weeks on the diet and many people report feeling clearer than they did before going low carb. If you did not abruptly remove carbs from your diet, but only reduced them, these low carb side effects will linger on for some time.
The first days of your low carb diet, expect to be testy. You may snap at people with little provocation and just generally be bad-tempered. There is an emotional aspect to eating you shouldn’t ignore.
Carbs are called comfort food for a reason. Suddenly, you’ve jerked the comfort rug out of from under your psyche. This low carb side effect should pass once you are out of the induction phase.
Many new low carb dieters feel silly when they find themselves depressed and near tears. After all, it’s just food, right? Well, yes and no. Carbs are comfort food. Many people worry that some people may be at risk for long-term depression due to reduced levels of serotonin in the brain.
However, most in the low carb community say that they feel better than ever—once they jump the induction phase hurdle.
This is a frequent problem on low carb diets, and one of the most reported low carb side effects. You can counteract this effect by making sure your fiber intact is increased.
As a matter of fact, Dr. Agatston (author of The South Beach Diet) explains that constipation is often a sign that you are not eating enough vegetables, which should be the staple food item in your diet.
You can also take fiber supplements daily to make sure you stay regular.
6. Muscle Cramps
Muscle cramps are a frequently complained of low carb side effect. The 2 a.m. variety are particularly distressing. Many low carb devotees report cramps like baseballs in their calves. This can often be the result of either dehydration, which is common on low carb diets, or lack of magnesium.
Since many people struggle to take oral magnesium, Epsom salt baths can be a remedy.
A very common low carb side effect is dehydration. This can lead to muscle cramps, but it can also cause confusion, fatigue and headache. Low carb diets lead to dehydration both through the loss of glycogen and the frequent urination dieters experience.
Removing an entire classification of foods drastically reduces your eating variety. When you reduce your number of culinary choices, it is not surprising that boredom would follow.
For some people, this low carb side effect simply alters their relationship with food and they feel better. For others, it is a challenge to overcome.
Low carb diets are highly effective, but you do need to be aware of the low carb side effects. They can be brutal and not being aware that they will happen ahead of time can make them worse.