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Day 1
I woke up feeling great! Yesterday, I stocked up on carbs. My dinner was pizza and beer. You can’t get more American than that. I got up, worked out, and got ready for work. My morning wasn’t too bad. I brought a breakfast frittata made out of eggs, heavy whipping cream, hamburger, and feta cheese, which I had for lunch. I added MCT Oil to my coffee (called Bulletproof coffee) and ate lunch, which was a chicken casserole containing chicken, broccoli, onion, a few eggs, some heavy whipping cream, feta cheese and a little sprinkle of cheddar cheese. The morning wasn’t bad, I was eating fairly often and my body didn’t have enough time to run out of energy. The afternoon is where it got tough. I usually go on a two or so mile walk as my lunch break and when I got back, boy was my blood sugar low. I drank some salt water to get my electrolytes flowing and that helped a little. By the time the work day ended and I was headed home, I was irritable. I didn’t want to go anywhere, talk to anyone, much less cook. My low mood continued even after I ate dinner. I felt nauseous, tired, fatigued, and irritable. I didn’t feel better and full of energy until about an hour later.
 
Day 2
I woke up today feeling a little hungrier than I had in the past. It was a little more difficult to get up and go to the gym, but I muscled through (pun intended). I could tell my brain was a little foggier today. I felt better after I had eaten my breakfast frittata and my bulletproof coffee. I did not, however, get super sleepy after lunch like I did yesterday. My good mood lasted until three o’clock, about twenty minutes after my afternoon walk. I ate some almonds and a stick of cheddar cheese for a snack and waited for the effects to kick in. They didn’t. My mood was low, I was hungry and nauseous at the same time, I had a headache all day and I was sweating. I decided to Google my symptoms. It turns out that there is this thing called the Induction Flu, or the Ketosis Flu and it is characterized by a headache, nausea, tiredness, fatigue, leg cramps, and brain fog. It is caused by the body realizing that it no longer has glucose to use for energy and instead turning to fat for energy. Your body is basically going through carbohydrate withdrawal. I went from having carbs consume 50% of my daily diet to 15%. A big shift like that is going to cause some waves. Dehydration could also be a cause of it as you urinate frequently on this diet. So, drink, drink, drink! My energy levels rose after I ate dinner, unlike yesterday after dinner. I also went to bed at 7, which could be because I slept terribly on Monday night.
 
Day 3
I decided to change things up today. I decided to have my MCT Oil in the afternoon instead of the morning to help get away from the midday slouch. My head fog was still very present, but the rest of my symptoms of the “flu” had passed. I was less hungry this morning than I had been the other previous mornings and I had more energy before my coffee than I had previously. My mood and energy levels stayed stable throughout the afternoon until it was time to go home. The almonds and the cheese definitely helped.
 
Day 4
Every day I have felt better than the last. My body is adjusting to the low carb diet. While I don’t have nausea or cramps, I am still experiencing slightly more fatigue, headaches, and brain fog than normal, but all of these symptoms are fading as well. Each day gets easier and easier. What is interesting, is that I haven’t had any constipation. Constipation is something I usually deal with on an almost every day basis, but with this diet, it seems to be disappearing. It could be the lack of processed foods, which I haven’t had since Sunday. My energy level today has been pretty good. I had plenty of energy until 3:30 PM after my afternoon walk. Then, my tiredness, headache, and brain fog kicked in. Tonight I went out to eat for one of my friend’s birthday. It was an unusual experience. I had to worry about what I was going to eat and whether or not it fit with my diet and whether or not it would help me to reach my end of day total percentages. Luckily, the restaurant we went to had some good options and I didn’t have a hard time following the diet.
 
Day 5
This morning I woke up with a huge headache. I don’t know if it was allergies, mold is extremely high in Austin, or my neck pain, which happens a lot, or the diet. Either way, I felt terrible. I didn’t have the energy to get up and workout before work. I used the extra hour to catch up on some snoozes before getting up and heading to work. The bulletproof coffee definitely came in handy today. As soon as I drank my smoothie, I felt the immediate effect and felt focused. Today was Friday, and usually on Friday’s after work I come home and have a much-needed high carb meal, such as pizza (yummy!), and some alcohol. But, today, I couldn’t do that. This was the first time that I explicitly felt cravings for a high carb food. I ate my normal dinner of a hamburger and broccoli and headed to the gym to complete my workout that I didn’t do in the morning. When I got back, my craving for high carb food was gone, but I still wanted that glass of wine. So, I partook in it. Alcohol has detrimental effects on losing weight, but only if it is drunk in excess. When you drink alcohol, your body puts a stop to normal fat breakdown to breakdown the alcohol. Since it is essentially poison, your body seeks to get it out of you as soon as possible. My advice would be to eat dinner, wait a little bit for your body to breakdown that fat, and then indulge in a beverage. That way your body has a chance to break it down the fat and use it as fuel instead of putting it into storage, which you don’t want to do.
 
Day 6
Today was my first weekend day to be on the low carb diet. I was a little wary as the weekends are usually my days to relax and to not worry about my diet. Luckily, today wasn’t that hard. I had lunch with one of my friends at a local barbecue joint which allowed me to eat pretty cleanly. We had a quick ice cream cone after, which wasn’t on the diet plan (shh). I had some leftovers for dinner and everything went smoothly!
 
Day 7
My symptoms of the induction flu have vanished! My cravings aren’t too bad and I’m feeling absolutely awesome! I went out to lunch with some church friends, kept it clean, and then was able to go to a baseball game where I definitely carbed up. When your confronted with mac n’ cheese, you eat it, no questions asked.
 
In conclusion, (I feel like I’m writing an academic paper), the first week of the low carb diet was tough. My body had to get used to using fat as fuel instead of glucose, I had headaches everyday without fail, and my energy level was not what it used to be.
 
Now a week in, I feel pretty darn good. When I started I was hungry ALL the time. Like, eat a meat, hungry an hour later. Now the food I eat satisfies my hunger, I eat when I know I should, but I’m not “starving” (not ever really starving). The only time it gets a little rough is right at the end of the work day and I’m ready for dinner.
 
Results:
I lost 4.8 pounds, lost a percent of body fat, lost a half-inch on my waist, and a 3/4 inch on my thighs. During this experience, I worked out five times, ate the diet 80% of the time and “cheated” the remaining 20%.
 
Although it is difficult to get through the first week, it is so worth it. It’s rewarding and eventually you’ll feel a lot better. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth it.

Published by Mackenzie Winterowd