Dealing With The Low-Carb Flu On The Paleo Diet
One of the first things we do when we follow the Paleo diet is to reduce the number of carbohydrates we are eating. The amount we eat is far less than we would have been eating before.
Often only a short while after doing this we start to find ourselves feeling a little sluggish. We also seem to suffer a lot more with headaches and we find concentrating much harder. We also start to feel a lot more cranky.
Okay, you may not have been expecting this but in the future, you will start to feel a lot better. But don’t worry you aren’t ill. All right, you feel you’ve got the flu. What you are suffering from is the low-carb flu. This is because you’ve cut back on the number of carbohydrates you’ve been eating.
The kinds of symptoms you are likely to suffer from with this include:
- Feeling fuzzy or foggy.
- Your brain just doesn’t seem to work well.
- You may suffer from a pounding headache.
- You feel tired, cranky and have become irritable but don’t know why.
- As for exercise, you don’t feel up to do anything, as your feeling so drained.
- You may find that you feel hungry all the time and eat anything you can.
- You find yourself craving those carbs. But not the good ones instead of those found in pizza, pasta, bread, candy or mashed potatoes.
Paleo Diet – Shouldn’t Following It Make Me Feel Better, Not Worse?
Yes, it does, and you will start to feel the benefits of following a Paleo diet. But for some of us, there will be a period in the beginning when our body needs time to adapt. Especially if you are making such big changes to your lifestyle.
Just What Is Low-Carb Flu?
Your body like mine has been used to relying on carbohydrates. It has been relying on them for decades. Once you cut out the carbs and replace it with fat, this will cause a big change to your metabolism. Your body like mine needs time so it can now adjust to these changes.
As a result during this time, you may start to suffer from symptoms that are flu like.
But not every one of these symptoms results from you cutting back on the carbs. It also could be because your Paleo diet doesn’t include so much sugar in it.
A NOTE OF WARNING
The low-carb flu doesn’t lead to you getting a fever or having respiratory issues, like sneezing or coughing. If you find you are suffering from these. It could mean you’ve got an infection.
In such situations, I would suggest you don’t follow the Paleo diet now. But wait until the infection has cleared up.
But how can you deal with low-carb flu symptoms?
Below are just a few simple tips to help make getting over this part of following the Paleo diet easier.
Tip 1 – You Need To Eat More Fat
Fat is vital in helping to deal with “low carb flu”. You need to eat more than you were eating before. This is because the fat will provide you with your main source of energy instead of the carbs.
You should look to get at least 60% of all the calories you consume in a day from fat. Sometimes you may find increasing this up to 80% will prove more beneficial to you.
But it isn’t as easy as it sounds unless you are trying to make sure you eat more fat with each meal. Over the years we have seen that avoiding fat is important. But now we’ve seen that this is wrong. It will be difficult, but now you need to love fat.
To include more fat in your diet you should try to eat the following:
- Plenty of fatty meat, such as rib-eye steak, lamb chops, pork belly, and bacon. Also, chicken with the skin on. Plus, not forgetting salmon which contains plenty of fat. Also, up your intake of egg yolks.
- When it comes to cooking up your intake of oils and butter.
- If you feel hungry eat some avocado or some brazil or macadamia nuts.
Tip 2 – Cut Back On How Much Protein You Eat
If you eat too much protein now, it could prove detrimental to helping you. It is best when cutting back on the carbs you replace it with fat rather than protein.
If you can try to stick to the same amount of protein you were eating before. But if you need to increase how much you eat a little more.
What you may not realize is that our bodies have a way of being able to convert any extra protein into carbs. This is something you don’t want to be happening now.
If you can keep your protein intake to around 15-25% of your calorie intake each day.
To help you work out how many grams of protein, you need each day use a keto macro calculator. There are plenty of great ones available online.
Tip 3 – Avoid Sweeteners And Treats That Are Sugar-Free
There are quite a few products available today that claim to be suitable for a low-carb Paleo diet. If you can avoid these when going through this stage of transitioning over to a Paleo lifestyle.
Our bodies need time to get used to using the fat rather than carbs we consume. When you eat anything sweet, you are causing confusion. This can lead to your cravings for something sweet becoming stronger.
Tip 4 – Make Sure That Your Carb Intake Is Low Enough
The recommended standard intake for carbs that leads to ketosis is 20 to 30 g each day. For some people, they may find that this isn’t low enough. If you are having problems, then think about reducing your carb intake further. Instead, reduce it down to between 13 and 15 g per day. But never let it drop below 10 g per day.
Be wary when it comes to counting carbs, as they can hide in unexpected places. It is vital that if you are using any pre-prepared products; you read the labels first.
The best way to keep track of your carb intake is through preparing your meals yourself. Weigh everything you are using in the meal. Also, check the carb content if you aren’t sure how much it contains.
Tip 5 – Nutrition Is Key – Keep Track Of It
The best way of doing this is by keeping a food diary.
There are plenty of great apps now available that allow you to keep track of what you are eating. You could rely on the more traditional method of writing everything down.
When keeping such a diary you need, to be honest with yourself. Make a note of everything food you are eating and check the number of carbs it contains. Also, keep a not of the amount of fat and protein you are eating throughout the day.
By tracking what you are eating you are less likely to deviate from your Paleo diet. If you do deviate from the plan, then you may find the time you suffer from low carb flu will go on longer.
Tip 6 – Drink Plenty Of Water
You’ll find that when you suffer from low carb flu, you feel a lot thirstier. So you’ll find your intake of water is a lot easier.
But the problem is that this can lead to vital electrolytes in your body getting flushed out. The ones your body needs now include potassium, magnesium, and sodium. There are certain foods you can eat that can provide you with these. But the best way to replenish these is through taking supplements.
You’ll notice that your levels of electrolytes are much lower because you’ll find that you feel tired. You’ll also suffer from headaches and muscle cramps. This is also one of the main reasons why you feel so awful during this time.
Along with taking supplements trying drinking plenty of mineral water. Also including more salt in your food will help.
Tip 7 – Keep Moving
Yep, you are feeling tired, but now it is important to keep moving.
You’ll find that you won’t be able to exercise as much as you did before. But you should never thing just sitting it out is a good idea. If you want to get rid of those fat reserves, you need to keep moving. Your body will use up this extra fat to help provide it with the energy it needs.
Even if you don’t feel up to going to the gym or to your exercise class, go for a walk.
Tip 8 – Take Supplements
These can make a big difference in how you deal with low carb flu. Not only can they help to improve energy levels, but help you get into ketosis much faster.
Along with the supplements mentioned above, here are a few more worth taking.
Co-Enzyme Q10 & L-Camitine
Both nutrients will help to speed up the transition process to ketosis. Also, you’ll find that they help to overcome metabolic resistance.
You need to choose ones that are for those following a low-carb Paleo diet. These will contain extra strong C and B vitamins. Plus essential minerals that the body needs. They will help to bridge any gaps in your nutritional requirements. Also, you’ll find that they help to reduce levels of fatigue you feel. Plus, they will provide that all-important boost to your metabolism.