(Closed) I get sick when I skip carbs–is that normal?

posted 9 years ago in Wellness
Post # 3
5399 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Maybe it was your body going through withdrawal like when people give up stuff like sweets or caffeine.  I always like to say, everything in moderation! 

Post # 4
18 posts

The same thing happens to me! A few years ago I tried the one-week long "cabbage soup diet" and was so dizzy and felt sick around day 5. I ended up cheating and eating bread, and felt MUCH better. I also found that I was much more irritable while on the diet….

Post # 5
672 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

Oh man, go with moderation.  I don’t know anything about dieting like this – my expertise is only in runner’s nutrition – but I have always had a hard time believing that diets without carbs are healthy at all.  I’m of the opinion that if you feel dizzy, nauseous, or have chronic headaches, your body is trying to tell you something.  Listen to it. 🙂 

Post # 6
2765 posts
Sugar bee

When I stop eating processed sugar (alas, most of my favorite foods), I get a headache and don’t feel that good for a few days.  Then it goes away, and I feel much better!

I don’t feel bad about it at all, because those foods are all high in sugar and fat.  I don’t think any nutritionist would recommend eating lots of processed sugar!  But I make sure to eat complex carbs still, along with dairy.

In any case, just confirming that eliminating sugar gives me similar symptoms to what you described, for a few days at least.

Post # 7
58 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I’ve had that issue, and like Mr. Bee said sometimes if you push through it goes away.  Whenever I lower my carb intake I make sure to have almonds around and to eat several smaller meals throughout the day.  For whatever reason that helps curb the dizziness and stomach ickiness.  I also think that sometimes when I lower carbs I up my fruit intake, and the acids from the fruit go to town on a breadless belly.

Post # 8
145 posts
Blushing bee

I get sick when I cut out carbs too, though I get, um, stomach-flu-type sick.  Fruit actually has a decent amount of sugar, and vegetables have a susbtantial amount of fiber, so it’s probably not a reaction to pure lack of carbs or bulk.  I’d suspect it has more to do with eating more protein and fat than your body is accustomed to.  But, yeah, if it’s making you sick, definitely eat carbs in moderation.  They’re not bad for you as long as you focus on whole grains, beans, etc. instead of things made from white flour.  

Post # 9
5273 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2009

I did a low carb diet (atkins) last year and dropped 15 lbs in like 3 weeks! BUT I felt miserable, i had headaches and just felt weak excatly like you.

When you don’t eat any carbs your body goes into ketosis, which essentially your body is eating itself, its a stage of starvation b/c your body doesn’t have any carbs to burn it starts to burn nothing but pure fat.

Atkins is way to extreme for me and eating that low carb was just impossible. So now I just watch my carb intake, but do still eat carbs daily. I always have carbs for lunch, but I will alternate either my snack or my breakfst for lob carbs. my typical snack is  turkey pepperoni & a little cheese, and maybe a little fruit. For breakfast I will have eggs & turkey bacon, or hard boiled eggs & fruit. I usually don’t do both (breakfast & snack) low carb, only one or the other.  For dinner, I’m actually starting a new weekly plan, I will eat wheat pasta/wheat rice & chicken twice a week, I just LOVE pasta! And three times I will do a low carb dinner: chicken & a low carb veggie. I never get tired of chicken so it works for me! And then I allow myself one or two bad meals a week and eat whatever I want 🙂 This process is making me loose weight slowely, but im much happier and not feeling like crap 🙂  

Post # 10
2004 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

Carbs are good for you! They are the nutrients that your body uses to run itself. It converts carbohydrates into glucose, which is the sugar that runs the whole system. Without them you indeed get sick because you are hurting yourself.

Simple carbohydrates are processed very quickly into glucose, so they are not as good for you because they produce a spike in glucuse, which causes your insulin to spike, which means you get quick energy that dies quick. Simple carbs are in lots of processed or refined foods—refined flour, simple sugars, junk food, etc. These would be great to cut out from your diet.

Complex carbohydrates are better for your body because they are converted slowly into glucose. You avoid any spikes (and their corresponding troughs) in blood sugar, you feel fuller longer, and your body is able to more fully utilize them. Complex carbs include whole wheat flours, brown rice, and vegetables. These NEED to be in your diet in some way or you are going to feel sick.

Foods like whole grain bread and rice are good for you and part of a healthy diet. If your diet is making you feel weak or dizzy, it’s not good for you. Yes, you can get withdrawal or cravings on a new diet, especially for processed foods. I address my cravings by thinking of them in relation to the FDA food pyramid. If I am craving something and it’s on the foundation of the FDA food pyramid, then it’s probably an okay craving to satisfy in moderation. But if I am craving something on the top, like ice cream, then this is a craving I can suppress because I’m not supposed to be eating a lot of it in the first place.


Post # 12
87 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

I did South Beach and was so fatigued….Phase 1 is so restricting: no carbs no sugar. I did lose weight but felt like crap was not worth it. I am usually so energetic and active.

Post # 13
256 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I did a detox inspired diet for a week after the holidays this year and had no problems.  I altered the diet a little bit though to avoid cheating or getting frustrated.  Basically I ate, or rather drank, vegetable soups and fruit smoothies for lunch and dinner for a week (my inspiration and some of the recipes came from Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop blog – but her version was waaaay too hardcore for me).  However, I allowed myself some flexibility with breakfast.  I ate oatmeal with raisins (homemade not the microwave stuff, it really isn’t hard) every morning and had an apple at work mid-morning.

My advice is, if the detox is too hardcore, allow yourself some healthy, non-processed carbs in the morning to get your day off to a good start!

Post # 14
443 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

If you’re working out you definitely shouldn’t be skipping carbs and dairy, your body needs them to refuel and keep running properly. You should also increase your calorie intake if your building muscle. Carbs are not bad for you, it just depends on WHAT carbs you’re eating. Like chelseamorning said you should be eating complex carbs- meaning no white bread, candy, soda, or anything made with white flour. Choose breads made with whole grains. Eat lots of brown rice, whole wheat pasta, fresh fruit, low fat yogurt, veggies, oatmeal, beans, nuts, etc. Definitely avoid processed, boxed, "instant" foods, they are bad for the waistline!

My trainer tells me that if you want carbs the best time to eat them is in the morning, or early afternoon cause you have all day to burn it off. Skip the carbs for dinner and don’t eat anything after 7pm. Not eating after 7 is the hardest part, but like my trainer says most of us dont move much after dinner and hang out on the couch til bedtime, therefore everything you eat that your body doesnt use will just turn to fat since you arent doing anything to burn it off. Her advice has helped so far and I’ve lost 8 inches in a matter of about 2 months. Best of luck!

Post # 15
14186 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

No carbs equals no sugars in your body…no sugars equals no energy.

I get sick, too. I have to substitute white/bad carbs for healthy carbs. Otherwise I’m just like icky all the time. It’s all about balance! 

I never understood how eating bacon and fat but no carbs was ok….i did that in high school (mom made me do the no carb thing with her!) and it worked. How, I will never know. The idea abhors me now! 

Post # 16
739 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2009 - Red Fish Grill

I checked with Smarty (he’s an exercise physiologist) and asked him what he thought of your situation.  He said that without knowing too much about what you’re eating, there could be a couple of explanations.  The first is that without carbs, you may not be taking in sufficient calories, especially if you aren’t replacing the carbs with enough fats.  The second possibility, which can happen if you’re cutting carbs and working out, is that you become almost hypoglycemic (which would cause dizzyness and headaches).

The bees have it right, though.  No carbs means no energy.  Your best bet, according to Smarty, is to restrict your simple (bad) carb intake and rely mainly on the complex (good) ones found in whole grains and fresh fruit.

I hope you’re feeling better soon!

The topic ‘I get sick when I skip carbs–is that normal?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors