Low carb fatigue
Having spent the last 5 months living the low carb lifestyle, I can tell you that the first week or so of starting a low carb diet is indeed the hardest part. And I recently found a study at the NIH on the effects of a ketogenic diet and fatigue. And it confirms my own personal experience. It takes a week or two to get your body used to being in ketosis and eating low carb.
BUT… after that first couple of weeks of acclimating to the low carb diet, your body will regain it’s energy levels. In other words, there is no measurable loss in energy from eating a low carb diet. It does NOT cause a loss of energy. And in my case, my body performs BETTER eating lower carbs. Now the only exception to this is competitive anaerobic athletes – meaning sprinters and weight lifters. These folks use up the sugar, required in large amounts for anaerobic activity, to perform at their optimal and should be eating more carbs in general. But for the rest of us, low carb will provide you all the energy you can handle.
I continually hear that low carb makes people tired. And I keep saying, yes – for the first week or two that’s true. But after that you’ll begin to feel better and better. I know I do. The longer I go on low carb, the better I feel. Kinda like when you go from sea level to up in the mountains, it takes a while to get used to breathing at a higher altitude, but your body will adjust. My friends, family and co-workers all have noticed a significant improvement in my mood and well-being. Why? Cause I feel better!! I have more energy and a better overall mental mood eating low carb.
I think the problem people have is not being consistent with the low carb approach. And for many people they just mistake certain foods for being low carb when they aren’t. For example, when I am referring to low carb, I am talking about less than 10g of carbs per MEAL. So a bowl of oatmeal is not low carb. And I think what’s causing so many symptoms of low carb fatigue is that people are constantly going back and forth from low carb to high carb. And they never spend enough time in ketosis and consequently they never get adjusted to being and eating low carb so they abandon the diet, saying it didn’t work them.
A low carb diet WORKS….IF you eat the right foods AND you do it long enough. You have to give enough time for your body to get used to it. And that takes at least 2 weeks. In that time frame, if you keep your meals under 10g of carb each, you will eventually begin to get used to low carb and your body will too. And I can tell you from personal experience that the longer I eat low carb consistently, the better I feel.
And lastly, I also would suggest adding a bit of raw organic coconut oil (I use Udo’s Oil Blend) for MCT’s (Medium chain triglycerides) which should help with your energy levels during that first week. MCT’s are quickly and easily used forms of energy for your body and would seem to be ideal with a low carb lifestyle.