I've seen quite a few of newcomers to PaleoHacks. In order to help them out, I thought sharing each other's "Low carb flu" experiences might help keep them on the right path. Everyone is different, so a good broad range of answers would likely help a lot of people.
I personally had a longer low carb flu experience than most of the stories I've read on this site. I want to say mine lasted a couple months. The symptoms I dealt with were, sugar cravings, fatigue, overall downtick in happiness (definitely not depression though) and a noticable decrease in performance. Looking back, I would say I was probably still scared of the dreaded "fat", and as such, did not consume enough of it. Also, I think trying to maintain a ridiculous exercise schedule throughout the process (Chronic cardio + weight training) and not embracing the importance of quality sleep factored in.
So I ask, Did you go through a low carb flu, and if so, what was it like?
EDIT: Added link - link text
oh i hated that low carb flu. i dove in both feet, and for the first week i was ok. my girlfriend was doing it with me, so i had her for support. i was also having a hard time with the "eat more fat" thing, and she was good about encouraging me along those lines. i would say it was in my second week that i started to feel really tired- i mean BONE tired. my muscles were so sore and i wasnt recovering from resistance training workouts at all. then, i got a scratchy throat way in back and up, like where strep starts, so thats what i thought i was getting. i took a week off of working out thinking i was getting the flu. i had a TERRIBLE headache that lasted for a few days and that wouldnt respond to NSAIDs ot tylenol. i pretty much spent two days in bed, flanked on either side by two very unproductive and whiny days. i had a ton of mucus, too and was blowing my nose like i had a cold the whole time. oh, and i couldnt think straight. it was like my brain was full of concrete.
then, one morning it all just lifted and was replaced by this wonderful feeling- like energy that you know is clean and natural, not artificial like from caffeine. the first time it happened, i blamed it on some viral infection and couldnt figure out why i was the only one in my family who got sick. those first couple of months though through the holidays, i had a few REALLY non-paleo days, and realized that about two days after a big cheat, i would get that flu again. i eventually put two and two together- it was never as bad as when i first went through it, but i definitely notice than whenever i binge on sugar and carbs, i can plan on that headache, fatigue, sore throat, runny nose, and muscle stiffness a few days later.
THEN- my carb flu was an entire year ago, but here goes: I had the WORST feelings of hunger that I have ever had in my life. I felt like I could literally go to a rock on the beach and tear the seaweed off with my bare teeth and eat it all! I felt like I could eat tablecloths, my neighbor, my hand, ...ANYTHING! Without grains, I experienced incredible hunger, even though I was eating paleo food and getting sufficient calories/nutrition. It took about four months for to adapt, and the first month or so were very difficult. The psychological difficulty was in feeling like I was in some sort of food free fall, and it has taken quite some time to trust this way of eating and living.
NOW- missing a meal is easy, I have MUCH better sustained energy, and I don't get nervous about not eating nor do I get horribly hungry.
Going Paleo/primal is one of the nicest things I have ever done for myself in my life. Well worth the effort, funny looks from the family, and transition time.
For the first 2 weeks I had diarrhea, new acne on my face and body, and a short temper, which I attribute in part to sudden increases in testosterone from strength training.
It was worth it because along with no longer having these problems, I now experience less razor burn, am no longer hungry all the time, my fat is disappearing as my lean body mass increases (less gut and neck fat, more muscle), and, most importantly, I am never sick, not even once since beginning, despite spending about half of the previous 4 winters sick in bed (I was in bed with the flu for 17 days last year!). So, to all of you newbies, hang in there because the benefits are HUGE!
I was never "high carb" and I am currently not "low carb". Paleo means a lot of things to me, like healthy meat, fish and vegetables, but it does not need to be low carb. I always had and still have tubers. Then of course I never had that flu.
Nausea, the shakes, headache, chills/heat flashes the first full day. I did eventually cave that evening and had a banana to moderate things as I had a nursing infant and 3-year-old in my care. By the next morning I was home free and even a coconut cream pie brought by my mother-in-law didn't seem so tempting all of a sudden.
My husband and I are currently on our 7th day of the 21 day transformation. We both feel horrible right now, headache, scratchy throat, runny nose and the brain fog and lethargy. I know it will go away soon but it's super not fun at the moment.
I am currently experiencing the Carb Flu. I went gluten free, but not grain free 3 weeks ago and was totally exhausted. I am a rock climber but I spent more time looking at the routes than anything else, just no energy. Then my doctor recommended (yes a MD!!) that I try Paleo.
Well, Mon-Wed were bad as far as mental fog, everything seemed like it was part of a dream. Then Thursday about 4pm the flu hit me hard - I was freezing, shivering all wrapped up in a blanket sitting outside (In ARIZONA - 109 degrees). My body felts like I was hit by a semi-truck, so achy it hurt to walk. Bad, pounding headache too. My roommate thought I was dying and I kinda felt like it. It was all I could do to go to bed. This morning was a little better but I am still a little achy and have had a headache all day. I really hope this helps because going through this for nothing would be awful (and I really want a donut haha).
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