While removing refined carbohydrates from the diet, like candy, pastries, white flour products, and added sugars, will have only positive health benefits, too severely restricting complex carbohydrates, like whole grains, vegetables, and fruits, can have some unwelcome side effects and actually prevent weight loss. Are you eating too few carbohydrates? Check out these seven signs.
1.) You Have Frequent Headaches
Carbohydrates help your body to maintain stable blood sugar levels. Without enough of them, you may experience dramatic blood sugar dips that can translate into headaches. If you’re experiencing a couple of headaches per day with no known explanations, try snacking on an apple, banana, or slice of whole wheat toast.
2.) Your Workouts Are Getting Harder
Your body requires fuel from carbohydrates to be able to push through a high intensity workout. If you feel sluggish and unable to get through a tough workout, try a small pre-workout snack that includes carbohydrates. This is particularly true if you used to have no trouble getting through an intense exercise routine, but recently cut back on carbs and now find yourself winded halfway through your workout. Try a pre-workout snack like a banana or apple with peanut butter.
3.) You Have Bad Breath
When your body turns to stored fat for energy in a process called ketosis, bad breath can result. Drinking more water and adding some more fresh fruit to the diet can cure this unwelcome side effect.
4.) You’re Constipated
Most of the dietary fiber we consume comes from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Low carb diets that restrict these items too severely can lead to constipation. Get back on track by aiming for at least 25 grams of dietary fiber per day. As a bonus, you’ll actually feel full longer between meals and lose weight more successfully on a high fiber diet. Dietary fiber reduces blood sugar levels and increases insulin sensitivity in the body. The opposite condition, called insulin resistance, is a condition in which the body produces high levels of insulin, but does not use it properly. Insulin resistance results in a heightened risk for type 2 diabetes and obesity. In fact, the more insulin resistant the body becomes, the more weight you will gain. Eating more fiber (and less added sugars) is essential to reversing this condition.
5.) You’re Always Hungry
Related to the point above, when we skimp on fiber-rich carbs, constant hunger may be the result. Keep cravings at bay with some of these carbohydrates that contain high amounts of dietary fiber:
A lack of protein can also trigger frequent hunger pangs. If you find yourself constantly snacking and experiencing strong cravings between meals, try my Smoothie Base for Weight Loss. It combines two protein sources that digest slowly, over the course of several hours, to keep you feeling full longer.
6.) You’re Having Trouble Focusing
Just like the rest of your body, your brain relies on a steady stream of carbohydrates for energy. When it is deprived of this vital source of energy, a faulty memory and trouble concentrating may be the result. Ingesting too many refined carbs (such as candy, baked goods, or soda) too quickly can also result in this problem. Your brain needs a steady supply of glucose from complex carbohydrates like fruit, vegetables, and whole grains for optimal function.
Check out my top 5 food recommendations for productivity and mental focus.
7.) You Catch Every Cold That Comes Along
Your body requires a certain amount of carbohydrates to produce antibodies. If you’ve recently switched to a low carb diet and are catching every cold that comes along, increase your carbohydrate intake, especially of items that are high in vitamin C.
Try my Immune-Boosting Smoothie that provides 336% DV for vitamin C, along with a serving of healthy carbs!