I will be honest with you - I am against eating low carb in a long run and do not think it is sustainable and healthy. However, in order to deal with my digestive problems that keep bothering me (even my herbal doctor does not know what to say) I have decided to try very low carb. I am not at zero carb, but I might consider doing it in the future.
For the first three days I was extremely irritable, angry, had to give up probiotics (they were bothering my stomach), and had flue-like symptoms. Not a pretty picture. I was sleeping for most of the day, and did not have the energy to do anything.
The symptoms are somewhat similar to a drug withdrawal - constant shivering from being cold all the time, fatigue, muscle weakness, etc. Considering the fact that I was never under any influence (I don't even drink coffee or tea, just plain water for the last seven years) and did not have a flue/cold in the last three years, it was a very interesting experience.
I also developed a white coating on my tongue. Maybe I do have all this harmful bacteria after all?
Little by little I have started feeling a bit better and this morning I am feeling even better, although not 100%. I am not hungry. No sugar cravings. I still have my digestive issues, but I feel a bit better.
One interesting thing I have noticed - even though I have gained some weight on VLC, my stomach is noticeably flatter.
I am planning to stay VLC for not more than one month and then go for modified GAPs (I am almost GAPS now).
Thanks in advance.
I've been VLC since catching the T2 diabetes 18 months ago, the vast majority of which has been <25g of carbs a day.
During that time I've managed to:
Obviously (1) is the most important for me, and means that I don't have much choice in following VLC. I could probably get by on <90g of carbs a day, but I'm very interested in the Volek and Phinney "low-carb performance" thing.
In my case I prefer to reduce the known risk ofcomplications of T2 diabetes over increasing the speculative risks associated with low-carbing.
The only difficult parts were in the first month or so where I suffered low-carb flu and headaches associated with normalizing my BG levels.
Are you sure that VLC is worth doing for a month? You're going to go through all of the pain (of low-carb flu etc) for very little benefit.
1,3) I was VLC for 3 years and was completely fine. 4) When I first started I felt cold, food-obsessed (though not hungry) and achy as well- I soon discovered that this was just due to inadvertently eating barely any calories. Eating to hunger had clearly led to me eating insufficient by some other measure. As soon as I ate some more, symptoms relieved.
I think you may have a misconception about VLC. Volek and Phinney, who wrote "The Art and Science of Low Carb Living", are researchers who have been doing VLC for years. Eskimos did VLC for life! It's doable and perfectly healthy if done right. Whether it's optimal for you are not depends on your specifics but you're not going to suffer any harm sticking with it for quite a while, assuming you are otherwise healthy. Once you get over the first few weeks of transition.
On the other hand, if you have "digestive issues", it's probably unlikely that every carb in the universe is a problem for you. Doing some sort of elimination diet, whether GAPS or grain/legume/dairy-free paleo or VLC, is worth a try to see if your issues go away. If they do, then you know that something you eliminated was problematic for you, so you can reintroduce later and see what the issue was. Maybe you should not eat grains and dairy. If so, there's your answer. So I agree that VLC needn't be for the long term, and since it's harmless in any case for a healthy person, just take as much time as you need to figure out what your issues are. As long as you are consistently eating high quality food, you'll be fine.
Also, I disagree that if you are VLC, then 99% of what you eat is meat. Coconut, avocado, olive oil, eggs, butter, cream (if you're not avoiding dairy), nuts, non-starchy vegetables, ...
Wow, VB, I thought my diet was limited! I did the elimination thing last year, after being paleo for 6 months and not seeing a full resolution of my gut issues. I definitely got better, but wasn't all the way better. I can't eat high or moderate fodmaps, and can tolerate only very occasional lapses with small amounts of coconut or onion. I also can't have any dairy or nut products at all. I don't have problems with olive oil, though. Poor you!
I started a ketogenic diet a few weeks ago, mostly because that is the only way I can stay consistently pain-free. I'm having the usual hassles with thinking about sugar, being ravenous some days and barely wanting to eat on other days. However, I can now fast comfortably, have great sleep, and am consistently losing weight for the first time in my life. I started this as a short term experiment, but I can't see any reason to stop it right now. One day I will probably test out with sweet potato or banana, but that day isn't here yet. My main issue is that because of the dairy/nut/coconut intolerance I have to be mindful of eating fat. There are worse problems! I use egg yolks, a range of oils, and fatty meats.
I guess I didn't answer your questions, but I do encourage you to give it a try and see what your own experience is! I started this experiment with the theoretical idea that VLC wasn't a long term answer, and although I am open to changing back to the PHD style of eating, I am not basing my eating on what anyone else is saying. If it feels this good, I'm staying with it.
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