Although raging in popularity and seen as widely effective, low-carb diets do come with their drawbacks, One of them being what many call low-carb diet fatigue. What causes this? Are low-carb diets really safe for weight loss? What can you do about it? First in order to know what causes you to feel so run down, we need to know some important facts about carbohydrates and how our bodies use them.
Why are carbs important?
Our bodies are designed to break down carbohydrates, fat, and protein in order to use them as energy. This is called metabolism. But, in fact, when we eat carbs, fat and protein, our bodies naturally choose to breakdown the carbs for energy first, and convert them into their simplest form to provide our muscles with adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This ATP is your energy. Consequently, when not enough carbs are eaten, we feel fatigued.
Are low-carb diets safe?
Some low-carb diets are safe and some may be unsafe, according to some. Any diet that limits your carb intake to less than 150 g per day can be unsafe because of the possibility of causing brain damage. Diets that require less than 40% carbohydrate intake can also be unsafe, because when ketosis (a condition where the liver produces ketones to convert fat into energy) occurs, it can rise to unsafe levels if too few carbs are consumed. Also, carbs play an important role in removing certain unwanted proteins from your blood. If you are really sold on very low carb diets, make sure to test your urine for your ketone level regularly. Also, work very closely under your doctor’s consultation.
How does one get energy when on a low-carb diet?
The best way to increase your energy level if you like low-carb diets is to up your carbohydrate intake to at least 40% of your calories. This is known as a nonketogenic low-carb diet. A study by the American Diabetic Association in 2007 showed that ketogenic and nonketogenic diets produce the same results, the only difference being that those on the ketogenic diets experienced fatigue. So unless you have epilepsy and your doctor has prescribed such a ketogenic diet, why would you want to deprive yourself of important and delicious food?
If you are eating at least 40% carbs each day, and you are still experiencing fatigue, consider taking vitamin B-1 and vitamin B-12. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Also, make sure you are exercising. Moderate exercise that raises your heart rate can give you energy. Diet alone does not produce near the weight loss results as dieting coupled with aerobic and strength training exercise.
It is always important to do your homework and know your diet plan. You should always consult your physician before attempting any diet or exercise routine. Low-carb diets can be safe and effective if done correctly. Eat a healthy amount of the right kinds of carbohydrates, exercise regularly, and you will feel revived and fit.