Surviving The Carb Crash

I’m not sure how many grams of carbohydrates I had been taking in on a daily average, but I do know that about 18-48 hours after you begin the Atkins diet, you can go through, what I call, a “Carb Crash.”  Here is how I define it:

Carbohydrate Crash – when your body reacts to a significant decrease in daily carbohydrates.  Symptoms may include a sharp decrease in energy, headaches, migranes, and a dullness in thought processes.

For example, if your body had been taking in an average of 150 – 200 grams of carbs per day, and you shut that down to 20 grams, your body is going to react.  Especially, if the vast majority of those carboyhdrates were simple carbs from sugar, processed white flour, etc.

Your body was used to a continual feed of simple carbohydrates, which it easily converted into energy in your body.  When you cut back your carbs during the induction phase of the Atkins diet, your body can react. 

Mine did. 

About 18 hours into the first day, I noticed my energy level dropping and a slight headache.  The second day I had migranes, very lethargic, and it seemed to take me a while to process my thoughts.

I’m in the 3rd day now.  My energy is beginning to rise.  I just finished a Bowflex workout.  I have a very slight headache, but no big deal.  I have survived the big carb crash, and the next few days are going to feel better as my body continues to make the adjustments.

That’s one of the great things about the body.  After a day or two, your body realizes the simple carbs are not coming.  So, it needs to manufacture the energy in order to bring everything back to 100%.  Your body begins to convert stored fat into energy. 

As I complete the induction, I’ll begin adding complex carbohydrates back into my diet and my body will continue to burn fat as I restrict the simple carbs and continue by exercising.

My opinion – a carb crash is not fun, but it isn’t bad for you either.  It is simply your body reacting to the changes you are making, and then making adjustments.  If you can survive day 2 and 3 of the Atkins diet, it’s smooth sailing from there.

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