My fabulous friend Cat was kind enough to share her experiences with “the low carb flu” and how she has learned to prevent blood sugar drops for her. Here’s the e-mail she sent me in response to yesterday’s post:
I thought it might be useful to share my experience with the “carb flu” and to also share some remedies that I find work really well for me. I’ve certainly suffered from the “carb flu” in a bad way and it still happens to me every now and then.About 2.5 years ago I decided to try out South Beach Diet. This was a much more extreme version of what we are doing now… no fruit, no sweet potatoes, really low fat. The first few days of it were HORRIBLE. I ended up having to come home from work early the first few days and had horrible headaches and was so tired. I certainly felt like I was getting ill. I powered through it and after a few days my energy picked up a lot. I slept better at night and had more energy during the day. I quit needing an afternoon coffee and working out got much easier! So, it will get better… I promise! One big issue is that I wasn’t eating enough calories… so it might be beneficial to count your calories for a day just to make sure you are getting enough. You will be amazed at how much more you need to eat to get enough calories!
The other awesome thing is that we can eat fruit! I still have problems like this when my blood sugar levels get low. The great thing about eating fat and protein is that it keeps your blood-sugar levels stable all day… no spikes… hurray! The problem is that if you don’t eat in time… that is if you let your blood sugar levels drop, it is impossible for fat or protein to raise them.
Often times my blood sugar levels drop in the afternoon and I get really tired and hungry and headachey (it is actually currently happening right now as we speak!). The old remedy was for me to eat some nuts, or peanut butter, or vegetables… sometimes even some steak. I would still feel sick and I would just keep eating these things. I have seriously eaten an entire container of nuts just trying to make myself feel better, but I still had a headache and was tired and just a mess. I have learned after experimenting that, for me, eating fruit in these times is key!! So, right now, I’m going to grab an orange and some nuts and drink a big glass of water and in 30 minutes I’ll be good as new and ready to work out this evening!
I hope this helps!
The Whole Life Challenge is not specifically low-carb, but it may be low-carb for you by default if you are removing many of your regularly consumed items. So, incorporate approved carbohydrate sources and, more importantly, make sure you are eating enough!