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JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
Fitness Minutes: (86,286)
Posts: 2,489
6/17/13 7:28 A

I experienced similar symptoms when I tried to do carb cycling. Even at 30% of my intake being carbs I experienced extreme lethargy, dead/heavy legs in the evening and my workouts suffered immensely despite eating plenty of veg as my carbs and watching my micronutrient intake. My workouts suffered greatly and I was extremely irritable and lived in a brain fog.

It seems carbs are a tricky pony. Some people have very positive experiences on low carb diets while others seem to require a higher carb diet. You just have to experiment and find the right macronutrient breakdown that works for you.

I find I do best in the 40-50% range (typically around 140-160g). I am most vibrant, energetic and strong on this intake. I make sure to load my diet up with plenty of veg, first and foremost. legumes, high fiber fruits (particularly berries), I don't eat much pasta or rice (more personal preference), whole grain oatmeal, quinoa and I do still eat a serving of whole grain bread here or there. I also love my Greek yogurt. It's usually my dessert in the evening with high fiber, high protein Kashi cereal sprinkled on top.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 6/17/2013 (14:01)
6/16/13 8:23 A

It's so true Naypooie since switching to "low" carb, I eat about 100g a day, I have noticed a huge difference in my energy and stamina. Just yesterday I raced in a 50km mountain bike race and I didn't eat a single thing the whole race. All I had was some coconut water mixed into my water and I killed it, I came in 5th overall and 1st for females. The week leading up to the race I ate my normal fare carbs from vegetables, meats, fats and some strawberries. Which is pretty crazy considering the conventional carb loading dogma that abounds in the distance training world. Low carb for energy for sure!

TCANNO SparkPoints: (360,125)
Fitness Minutes: (209,885)
Posts: 71,240
6/16/13 3:28 A

Wholegrain will help with a slow release and keep you going longer.

Plain Greek yogurt is yuk to me but as some fruit to it and it is ok. Higher in carbs and lower in fat.

NAYPOOIE Posts: 11,918
6/16/13 2:18 A

Well said JERF.

Most people find they have more energy with low carb because they are now adept at burning fat, an always-present energy source. They also avoid the ups and downs in blood sugar that occur when you eat a load of carbs.

I second the question of whether you're eating enough. I see you're near goal weight. You might want to check your body composition, see if you actually need to lose any more fat. You might be trying to starve off five pounds of muscle.

Edited by: NAYPOOIE at: 6/16/2013 (02:19)
MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,275)
Fitness Minutes: (5,920)
Posts: 3,791
6/16/13 12:13 A

I agree with JERF.

COLAVECD SparkPoints: (257)
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Posts: 78
6/14/13 9:37 P

Thank you all. Good information shared.

6/14/13 9:06 P

I think the fact that you are so anti low carb clouds your vision Anarie.

Why are grains fortified with vitamins in the first place? Because they don't have a lot of vitamins in them to start with. All of the deficiencies you mention are easily avoided eating vegetables, meats and fats on a grain free diet. Why? Because there isn't a single nutrient in grain that you can't get from a non grain source. Honestly your fear mongering is getting a little old.

So I guess you'll fear for us low carbers health and we'll fear for yours. I for one know my digestion has vastly improved by cutting grains out of my diet. I feel great.

Excellent sources of dietary folate include vegetables such as romaine lettuce, spinach, asparagus, turnip greens, mustard greens, parsley, collard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, and lentils. Not surprisingly, some of the best food sources of folate are calf’s liver and chicken liver.

Vitamin B sources
• Avocados
• Meat
• Beans
• Cauliflower
• Potatoes
• Cereals
• Pork
• Clams
• Oranges
• Dairy products
• Peas
• Dried brewer’s yeast
• Eggs
• Peanuts
• Fish
• Green leafy vegetables
• Nuts
• Liver
• Peppers
• Cabbage
• Carrots
• Tomatoes
• Mushrooms
• Sweet potatoes
• Radishes
• Onions
• Beef
• Salmon
• Trout
• Cod

Iron sources here.

ANARIE Posts: 13,200
6/14/13 4:34 P

I'm pretty vehemently anti- low-carb. I don't think it's really beneficial unless you have a metabolic problem, and I worry that the anti-grain fad is going to lead us to an outbreak of digestive cancers ten or fifteen years from now.

That said, I really doubt that a low-carb diet would cause aches and pains after 6 months if it didn't in the first month. I think there are other issues to look at. Number one would be total calories. Are you eating enough? What's an average day's menu? Number two would be anemia. A lot of grain products are fortified with B vitamins and iron. If you're not eating bread, commercial flour, or cereals, it's VERY likely that you're deficient in folate/folic acid. I would recommend getting some bloodwork done right away, and be sure to tell the doctors what you have and haven't been eating so they know what to look for. (And it's extremely important to avoid getting pregnant until you know you're not deficient in folate, if that's an issue/possibility. That deficiency causes most neural tube defects like spina bifida, which is exactly why they fortify cereal and flour.)

And the most likely cause of the issue... Are you trying to lose too much weight? Did you have a good discussion with a doctor about what your goal weight should be? If you're over 4'10", you're not overweight. Being lower in the "healthy" weight range doesn't necessarily make you healthier. You might not have excess body fat, and if you don't have extra fat, your weight loss would come from bone and muscle, either of which would cause generalized aching and fatigue. If you have insurance, talk to your doctor about getting a full-body bone scan as a baseline for osteoporosis screening. Those scans generally also give you a breakdown of body composition. It will tell you what percentage of your body weight is fat, some of which you can lose, and what percentage is bone, muscle, and organs, which you must preserve. Generally speaking, if you're in the healthy BMI range but you don't like the way you look, the solution is to build muscle rather than lose weight. A pound of muscle is much sleeker and smaller than a pound of fat, so a 120-pound woman who does resistance training and has a good lean muscle percentage might be as much as 3 dress sizes smaller than a 120-pound woman who keeps her weight low by eating very few calories.

Also, what do you mean when you say "natural sugar in foods happens to be my culprit?" Do you mean "enemy" rather than culprit? If you do mean culprit, what do you feel like it does to you? Natural sugar is energy; it's not a problem for most people unless they have some form of diabetes. Almost all foods eventually get broken down into sugars; the ones that start out that way are just easier on your body. Making your body work a little for its sugar isn't a bad thing, but like any other type of work, you can over-do it. You don't need to be eating cotton candy and Twinkies, but a piece of fruit or a sweet potato with lunch might very well take care of that fatigue.

And as for the Greek versus regular yogurt question, it's not a matter of better or worse; they're just different. Greek yogurt is basically concentrated yogurt, so it has more calories and protein per cup. It loses a little of the calcium when it's drained, as well. If you need more protein in your diet, Greek yogurt would be useful, but if you eat yogurt for the calcium, you're better off with regular. (Unless you make your own and save and use the whey, in which case there's no real difference.)

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
Posts: 3,293
6/14/13 2:39 P

I could not function on 50G/carbs per day. I would be exhausted and craving fruit. :)

Could you try 100 G/carbs per day for a week to see if that makes you feel any better? On a diet like that, you could have a serving of oatmeal for breakfast, a serving of fruit as well as some carbs from veggies and beans/legumes every day.

BARDIC_GRRL SparkPoints: (17,076)
Fitness Minutes: (31,935)
Posts: 229
6/14/13 12:35 P

For me, Greek yogurt is the only way to go. I don't like any other kind of yogurt plain.

NAUSIKAA Posts: 4,848
6/14/13 12:12 P

Greek yogurt is the best! (And I'm not just saying that because I live in Greece LOL.) It's higher in protein and doesn't have sugar and junk added to it. Make sure that the only ingredients on the package are "milk, yogurt culture." There should not be anything else in there!!

I think it comes down to individual bodies as far as carbs are concerned but if I dip below 150g of carbs in a day, I am absolutely dead tired the next day and cannot function. I don't eat junk so all my carbs come from things like fruit, vegetables, legumes, and a few whole grains like hulled barley and quinoa -- but these things are essential to me feeling well and peppy.

I experimented with a "low carb diet" back in 2002 when they were trendy (that was 30g carbs/day) and I stuck it out for like 9 months but oh, man, was that a year I'd like to forget. Now the way I eat looks most like the "Mediterranean diet" and it's carby and I have a lot more energy. But I do make a real effort to avoid sugar and white carby junk.

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
6/14/13 10:40 A

Eat more veg and fruit. If your carbs are that low, you cannot be getting in the suggested daily servings of veg and fruit! Add chopped up apple or berries to your yogurt. Have some salad and throw a handful of canned beans into it. If you don't like wheat/grain, skip the bread and have a sweet potato. Make some lentil soup.

If you are chronically fatigued, go see your doctor. There may be something else going on besides "composition of your diet." Best to check it out.

SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 2,314
6/14/13 10:21 A

Greek 0% Plain Fage Yogurt is a probiotic and as BLUESLEEP said it is good protein and Fage has the lowest sugar grams that I found in a sweeten use blueberries, to add crunch use some crumbled Walnuts which are good for your heart. Aches and pains are usually caused by inflammation and inflammation can make a person tired.

Some fruits can help with aches and pains such as flax seeds, cherries, spinach salmon, sardines and tuna, walnuts, onions, garlic, cucumbers, parsley, tomatoes, and fermented foods like pickles & sauerkraut. Red meat can cause inflammation so I eat it only once in awhile.

Carbs have the most influence over your blood sugar levels and the reason you may be tired is that your sugar levels might not be balanced.How much and what kind of carbohydrates you eat matter...complex carbs take longer to digest which steadies blood sugar...complex carbs include the fiber in spinach, watercress, buckwheat, barley, wild or brown rice, beans, and some fruit. Complex carbs may contain soluble or insoluble fiber. You can also get low carb from fruits such as pears, peaches, plums, cherries, apples, kiwi, all kinds of berries and berries have the least impact on blood sugar.

Also if you are not drinking enough water... Dehydration can make you fell worn down.

Sugar also causes fatigue....say goodbye to sugary foods....

For an energy boost eat berries....Strawberries, blueberries, an apple of an orange for an energy boost...

If you wait more than 3 hours to eat your blood glucose drops, and so do your energy levels so maybe have a snack with a small carb and a protein, something like one bread stick with sesame seeds and 1 ounce of low fat cheese, oatmeal & blueberries, cottage cheese and matchstick carrots and a bread stick.

Also C0Q10 is a great supplement for energy, protects the heart too. A little expensive but worth every cent and be sure to consult with your medical professional to make sure that it does not interfere with any meds you are now taking. Consult your medical professional for guidance.

KMHILLI Posts: 165
6/14/13 9:01 A

Dear some bread, girl!

Whole grain, of course ;) Brown rice is nice too.

Carbs are energy. You need them, especially if you are active (or use your brain in any way). 50 is way too low. Sparkpeople's guidelines are very reasonable, I think. Follow them! Be wary of low carb-ers who argue that carbs are evil -- they are misguided.

As far as yogurt is concerned, I've been eating greek yogurt and fage -- good combo of protein and carbs, both.

COLAVECD SparkPoints: (257)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 78
6/14/13 8:38 A

Even though I've searched through the book, can remember reading it somewhere, I can't find the reference to Greek yogurt and regular yogurt. Does anyone remember which is better?
Also, I have been plagued just recently (on month 6 of the plan) with fatigue and all over body aches and pains. My current thought is something is missing in my diet and perhaps not enough carbs. Whenever I've tried a grain, I either gain or stabilize so have committed to rice products. Looking at my menu, I am hardly getting 50 g of carbs a day. Natural sugar in foods happens to be my culprit, so a lot of the carb foods containing high amts of sugar are avoided. Any ideas? Thanks to all.

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