I went to the mall with my little sister yesterday a few hours after I ate my typical lunch of greens and an omelet. I had skipped breakfast, but I honestly thought I would be fine. Midway through the afternoon, however, I was dizzy and faint, sweating and ready to pass out.My energy levels were tanking, I felt like I was going to collapse and I was breaking out into a cold sweat. It felt like I had a suddenly come down with the flu. Low-carb flu.
Carb withdrawal is real and it completely sucks. Just like any other addict, my body is going to rebel against my efforts to go cold turkey. I went cold turkey the first time I went paleo with a decent amount of success, but I’ve noticed that it’s gotten harder and harder to get back into it each time I fall back into the lifestyle of conventional wisdom. To successfully get through the next two weeks, I’m going to need to implement some changes to make sure I stay on track and make it through. I need to:
- Eat more. I need to eat more fat and protein. It’s going to take some getting used to adding the fat back into my diet, but cooking my CSA greens in bacon grease is a good place to start.
- I need to plan my snacks out and restock my pantry with healthy foods. Today, I resorted to two iced cookies at the mall because I was desperate for something, anything to break through the low-carb flu. If I had a Larabar in my purse, that wouldn’t have happened.
- I need to remind myself that two iced cookies aren’t the end of the world. I’m going to long term sustainability, not short term results. One cheat does not derail an entire lifestyle and I just need to get back on board with my next meal.
- I need to give up short term satisfaction for long term gratification. That cookie will make me feel better now, but in the long run, I will be happier when I can buy that dress I love at J. Crew. I need to remember that giving up that cookie is the right decision because this is not a diet, this is a lifestyle and I’m in it for life.
Things will get better. I know the first two weeks are always the worst and that once I am past the horrid low-carb flu/carb withdrawal, I’ll feel so much better. Even now, coming off the sugar rush of those cookies, I’m filing this incident away in my mind so that next time, I’ll remember the crash the resulted from my sugar binge and I’ll make the better decision of a snack of some nuts, or a hard-boiled egg. Things will get better – I just gotta get through this first.
I’m pretty sure that I’m addicted to sugar. But for some reason, I still let myself eat it, knowing full well that my addiction will quickly spiral out of control. What started out as a single slice of cake quickly turns into a slice of cake a day, or a quarter of that cake in a single sitting.