Originally Posted by rightnow
... the need for carbs, and literally hallucinations of batteries and gauges on empty and the feeling I would DIE if I didn't consume some kind of energy to support my organs immediately. ...
I have had that same exact feeling before on LC diets gone by. I'd have months and months under my belt sticking as best I could to my program and making progress with weight loss. But I'd reach a point where I just felt like I was dying inside - literally. I was feeling a desperate NEED for carbs and I truly felt that I just could not continue on like this. In my case, the low carb food was so unappetizing at that point and eating it did not do anything to remove this specter of dread that I was feeling. Several of my LC diet attempts just stopped at this point. It wasn't the need for sweets or any particular food I was missing. It was carbs in general that I wanted and I felt I just had to take a break from the diet. I could not go on.
15 or 20 years ago, someone had given me a printout of a the lowcarb diet that they were on. It was pretty much the Atkins induction diet - but it had a feature that really appealed to me... it had built in diet breaks. This plan called for 12 days on and 2 days off. I'd do the weekend off every 2nd week. It seemed like a sustainable way to go since you'd always have a break to look forward to every 2 weeks. Between 1998 and 2010 every LC diet I did was based on this 3 page diet I'd received. It worked, but not very well. I would often binge or at least overeat on my 2 days off and then struggle to resume the diet. It would take nearly a week to lose the weight gained over the break and then I'd have 3 or 4 days where weight loss might or might not happen. Then it was time for my 2 day break. I made progress, but it was a struggle and the struggle only got worse the more I did it. The longer I went, the more trouble I had sticking to the 12 days on 2 days off plan. It would take 3 days, then 4 days, etc. to get back on. I'd reach a point of no progress and I just could not go on. It would end with those feelings of misery and doom that you described. I NEEDED carbs. My LC diet had run its course. I just couldn't do this forever. The best I ever did on this was losing 90 pounds over a period of 7 or 8 months. Once off the diet, it would take months for me to even consider trying it again.
That didn't happen to me this time -- at least it never reached the same level of intensity as it did before. I can only speculate as to the reason why. I was doing LC the dumbest possible way. I was totally ignorant about what was going on under the hood with this WOE. This version of a LC diet had me constantly switching in and out of ketosis. It also had me constantly dabbling in foods that I had problems eating in moderation. Cheating regularly does the same thing, but this wasn't cheating. The diet called for it. I think I had a permanent case of induction flu. What I was doing was very hard on my body and eventually my body would just couldn't take it anymore. This time, I've stayed in ketosis 98% of the time. I knocked myself out of it a couple of times eating a few too many carbs (found my carb limit for ketosis) but got right back on plan. No binge weekends - no days off. It probably took 4 to 6 months to fully adapt, but eventually this became very easy to stick to; enjoyable even. I have plenty of energy and have lost weight every month for the past 15 months. With all the LC disasters of the past, this was totally unexpected.
I often wonder about people who settle in on a daily carb limit that is right around their break-point for staying in ketosis. Do they find themselves flipping in and out of ketosis all the time? If what happened to me is any indication, it is best to always be over or always be under this ketosis limit. Craving carbs and trying to break free from the addiction is hard enough - but jumping in and out of ketosis frequently makes it an even rougher ride.
I am VLCHF these days and I've become what most people here would think of as an extremist. I found that being extreme works for me and so does VLCHF. I feel great and have no intention of changing back into a carb eater. I'm sure that lower a carb/non-ketogenic diet will work fine for some people. It may even work for me - provided I avoid high GI foods that I know would give me problems. I'm just not sure that I want to risk it.
I did like the video, BTW. I have several diabetic friends that have tried LC and have not been able to make it stick. VLCHF as a permanent lifestyle is a really hard sell. But for some people - and I think I count myself in this group - it is the only workable solution to have a long and healthy life.