Some of us, for one reason or another, will brave the cold, doughless frontier of a no-carb diet. And that can lead to a very unpredictable sickness called the low-carb flu.
The low-carb flu, for those of you who will take the plunge, is that foggy, irritable, exhausting feeling after you’ve stopped eating carbs. But there’s light at the end of the no-bread tunnel! Here are six ways the low-carb flu will absolutely mess you up — and make you stronger in the end.
This might sound obvious, but let that sink in for a minute. No. Carbs. None. That means no rice, noodles, bagels, bread, sandwiches, cake, pies, pizza — I won’t agonize you anymore. The upside? You get to go crazy on flax and chia seeds! OK, maybe it’s not the most appealing lunch, but we never said going no-carb was easy.
During the low-carb flu, cravings will be everywhere. Blame fructose for your misery. Fructose, a natural sugar found in foods high in carbohydrates, is highly addictive. Although the going might get tough, stick it out! Snack on something high in protein, like lean turkey or nuts to hold you over. Most importantly, snack on foods high in fat.
Headaches, stomach pains, lethargy, brain fog and irritability are common symptoms when your body is going through a carb withdrawal. Counter by drinking lots of water, and perhaps a bath full of essential oils to clear your head.
When sugar receptors in the brain have been deprived of the sweet nectar for too long, it can drive people a little crazy. Try some breathing exercises to quell your swings.
The good stuff
If you’re still sans-carbs after a couple of weeks, then you’ll start to see some changes. Increased energy, better concentration and less binge eating are just a few things you can expect when you once you kick carbs to the curb. Eventually, the low-carb flu will leave and you’ll be left with a renewed sense of energy.
It might sound tough, but a no-carb diet shouldn’t have to take you to hell in a handbasket. And it shouldn’t take you to the breadbasket either.
Do you have a low-carb flu experience you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below!