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TOPIC: Low carb diet = MASSIVE HEADACHE?!?! Need advice please!

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May 14, 2012 1:57 PM
So I started watching my carb, sugar and fat intake last Monday (5/7). Thursday through today I've had the worst headaches I've EVER HAD. I am still taking in about 50-60g of carbs a day so I'm not sure what the deal is. Anyone else experience this? If so, what is the solution? How should I alter my diet?

Here is what a typical day looks like:
Breakfast: Egg beaters, sometimes also an Adkins shake
Snack: Green peppers or raw broccoli
Lunch: Spinach salad, broccoli, egg white, green peppers with Walden Farms dressing and a protein (fish or chicken grillers)
Snack (if needed): Adkins bar
2PM: Crystal Lite Wild Strawberry
Dinner: Chicken breast with frozen veggies
Throughout the day: 6-8 glasses of water

*Also, I did go to the Dr. and get blood work done, all came back normal.

Am I not having enough carbs? Calories? Most days I only take in about 900 calories but assumed this is okay because I'm consuming so many veggies and to be honest I'm not sure how to eat those calories back in a healthy way. Thanks in advance MFP's!
May 14, 2012 2:01 PM
Salt. Add at least 2g per day.

Low carbing is diuretic - makes you lose water by peeing, which loses sodium. Light headedness etc can also result.

Obviously if you have a high blood pressure or similar medical disorder this may not be appropriate, but the "Atkins Flu" is easily avoided by salt intake.



Atkins is spelled with a t not a d by the way ;-)
  18022302
May 14, 2012 2:02 PM
Thanks yarwell. I do have normal blood pressure as well.
May 14, 2012 2:06 PM
have you though about getting rid of the crystal light and Atkins bars? The chemicals in both of these items could be giving you headaches. Maybe try a protein shake with almond/coconut milk and some fresh brewed iced tea with lemon as substitutes. You could also add some cheese or bacon to your eggs in the morning to give you some more calories. A good, filling breakfast well help you through the rest of your day.
  431725
May 14, 2012 2:06 PM
No wonder you're having massive headaches. 900 calories isn't even enough for your body to function on. If you don't want to exercise, then reduce your calorie deficit (up it to at least your BMR) and lose weight slowly.
  169682
May 14, 2012 2:11 PM
I would have a horrific headache if I ate that every day....you need more calorie intake. 900 is not much at all even though you are eating veggies. I tried the 50 grams carbs or below as well and it is difficult. Do that two days a week...I have read that just going low carb two days a week can benefit you as much as doing low carb every day.

Remember....this is a lifestyle, not a diet. Can you sustain this every day?


Good Luck!
  10341237
May 14, 2012 2:33 PM
Good thought. Which chemicals should I avoid? I was kind of thinking the same thing. Any suggestions for an alternative bar or shake? Specifically, brand names?
May 14, 2012 2:36 PM
Did you recently give up caffeine?
May 14, 2012 2:36 PM
Grab a cup of grapes or a few clementines with a handful of almonds. Real food is MUCH better for you than a processed bar or shake and it's just as convenient!
  169682
May 14, 2012 2:37 PM
At the time of the change in your diet, did you also give up caffine? I know if I go without it, after a few days I develop a massive headache.
  22543830
May 14, 2012 2:49 PM
I did the Low carb diet last year lost all my weight, which was water weight and muscle which really mess my metabolism up, now my weight is back up am starting all over with heathy eating and exercise. I felt horrible the whole time I was on that diet. The point am trying to make is low carb is a quick fix over all you have to learn to eat right chose right carbs and exercise. I also got kidney stones for being on such high protein diet. If you do this just do it short term to jump start your weight lost.
  22116931
May 15, 2012 12:23 AM
QUOTE:
900 calories isn't even enough for your body to function on


What about her fat reserves, that's how diets work !

You don't have to eat what your body uses, if you did we could never lose weight.

Caffeine is fine, promotes fat burning in some studies. It's the sodium balance, it really is that simple.
Edited by yarwell On May 15, 2012 12:24 AM
  18022302
May 15, 2012 12:32 AM
Crystal Light has Aspartame in it and that can cause migraines.
  15220982
May 15, 2012 12:33 AM
Low carb diets give you some side effects for the first week. Stick with it and they will go away. Don't take any notice of people saying you are eating too little and trying to make you eat fruit which is high in sugar. Low carb works and it works fast which is very mitivating. My advice is to drop the weight fast with low carb and then look at maintaining with a sensible diet regime still using this site. Some people are very sensitive to carbs and cannot lose weight without restricting them. I am one of those, many people on here do not understand low carb diets and metabolism and spout a load of nonsense.
  7779543
May 15, 2012 12:35 AM
QUOTE:

Crystal Light has Aspartame in it and that can cause migraines.


She would have figured that out long before starting the diet last week surely ?
  18022302
May 15, 2012 12:37 AM
Your body's whole purpose is survival - to keep functioning - and if you cut your calories too low your body will re-act by making you tired to slow you down and to conserve calories or by making muscles and joints sore - to slow you down and to conserve calories etc etc . The headache is because you are on too low a calorie intake and your body is re-acting. Whatever type of diet you are on isn't the issue but you need to be realistic about how many calories your body needs to function properly.
  17603148
May 15, 2012 12:39 AM
I think any diet that makes you feel unwell just isn't the right diet for you. You should feel better - not worse!
  20223889
May 15, 2012 12:40 AM
Hi there, what's your stats? What has made you watch these macros?

900 calories a day is really not enough as I highly doubt your BMR is that low and, if you are doing regular exercise, or a job where you're on your feet for a good part of the day, you'd need to eat more anyway. Unless you're obese and under medical supervision, by depriving your body of essential fuel, you're going to do yourself damage and, you'll start to lose muscle mass, not just fat. You do not want this to happen.

Regarding headaches - Have you cut out stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol? If so, that will be causing the headaches, along with the major change in diet! With low carbing you can put yourself into a state of Ketosis, meaning you may notice a change in your toilet habits. http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/faq/f/whatisketosis.htm

I think as a minimum, you should be drinking 2lts of water a day to keep you hydrated, and more so for when/if you work out.

If you're wanting to lose weight, you need to adopt healthier cleaner eating habits. Literally, cut the processed food/drinks out of your diary! Lean meats, the rainbow effect when it comes to fruit and veg, plently of fluids, good quality food.....opting for stir fried, grilled and baked foods opposed to deep fried. I'd also cut out the pop/soda and limit things such as caffeine and fruits high in sugar.

Good luck with your journey :)
Edited by Ahluvly On May 15, 2012 12:57 AM
May 15, 2012 12:46 AM
drink broth, dont give up your caffeine, and this does work... I have lost 5.8 lbs this week on Atkins.
  19857874
May 15, 2012 3:00 AM
QUOTE:

Atkins is spelled with a t not a d by the way ;-)

does it really matter how we spell something , i cant spell and if people kept pulling me up on it it would stop me using this site.
  19374329
May 15, 2012 3:01 AM
My experience is the exact opposite. I used to have horrible headaches 6-7 days a week. Since going low Carb I haven't had a headache in months.
  3485634
May 15, 2012 3:21 AM
I started around 2weeks ago, keeping my carbs under 40g my cals between 900-1200 but the odd day i have gone high on purpose. I have lost 9lbs.

I had a headache, its normal for low carber's, please keep the water up and drink slowly all day long.

It works so don't listen to people who are pushing the diet that works for 'them', we are all different and putting weight back on all depends on how we go about our habits in maintenance.

I lost 4stone in 3months 2 years ago doing a 800cal per day diet (shakes low carb), let me tell you i have maintained give or take 5lb and i have never felt better. I didn't mess up my metabolism, i didn't put all the weight back on. Im here to finally lose my last 30lb, im doing low carb because its quick enough to keep my motivation up and i feel great on it. We as humans began to eat too much unrefined carbs with every meal, we don't need it.
  17554952
May 15, 2012 3:25 AM
if your calories are low, you will feel like junk. I got to feeling really sick at the gym last week on my first day of doing atkins and had to leave without doing my strength training. When I looked at my food diary, I realized that my breakfast was only about 200 calories, and I had just burned 400 on the treadmill! I also felt really shaky.

What I have been doing for breakfast the last week has definitely been working for me--2 scrambled eggs, 4 pieces of morningstar farms soy "bacon", a piece of cheese, and a high fiber tortilla. total is about 400 calories, 20 carbs, 9 fiber. Since on atkins you don't count fiber, I only have to count that as 11 carbs!

for lunch I have been doing a big salad with lettuce, cukes, cheese, and lunchmeat. ( another 300 calories or so)

for dinner I have been generally having a smaller portion of whatever the rest of the family is having.
Edited by sarahrbraun On May 15, 2012 3:27 AM
  9724253
May 15, 2012 5:12 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Crystal Light has Aspartame in it and that can cause migraines.


She would have figured that out long before starting the diet last week surely ?


I did not know untill recently that aspartame could trigger migraines. Only found out cause I had to research it. Why? Because since going on my Heath kick I started drinking Coke Zero, started getting more than double my usual migraines and wanted to figure out why.
Edited by jsp2374 On May 15, 2012 5:19 AM
  15220982
May 15, 2012 5:55 AM
Here is the thing - did you cut out a lot of junk? If so your headaches could be caused by your body going through withdrawls as it purges all the chemicals and crap from your body...A few months ago I did a clean eating challange with a group of people - I was already fairly eating clean so I didn't have any issues but I know a few people that switched from lots of packaged food to whole food had headaches and a run down feeling for a few days after they started...

it isn't just "low carb" it is from changing your eating habits from eating a majority of food filled with perseratives and chemicals to cleaner whole foods that are lower in sugars and chemicals. Also if you gave up caffine that can also cause headaches as well...I love my coffee too much to ever give it up - my vice :) but I gave up soda 2 years ago...

As far as eating more calories- it looks like you could actually use more good fats in your diet - things like a serving of almond or pecans (or mixed) - avocado (my go to snack as of late is a pack of 100 calorie guacamole (Wholly Guacamole or Walmart has some as thier store branded) and I used baby carrots or sliced red pepper instead of chips) - sautee in olive or coconut oil...

Doing the above will give your body the good fats it needs, as well as, the calorie boost you are looking for...
  1404940

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