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talk to me about carb flu?


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My first 30, I had intense sugar/carb cravings for the first week to ten days. Rivaled the feeling of quitting smoking. Had to really white-knuckle through it.


Second 30, no real withdrawal cravings (cravings kicked up after day 23, but that's another story), but around the two week mark I had classic carb flu. I honestly thought I was coming down with something - achy, sore throat, some congestion -  and after a few days it passed.


I'm a week into cutting out the junk food (and, thus, many of the carbs), although I'm not full Whole30 right now. But this is now seven days of eating drastically differently than in the six or so weeks preceding.


And wow, I feel awful. Like, headachy sore throat sniffly awful. It's gotten progressively worse over the last three days. 


Is it possible that even though I haven't been super-strict about things, that a severe and sudden reduction in processed foods is causing carb flu-like symptoms? I honestly don't think I have any sort of virus - the trajectory of how I feel just doesn't seem to match.


Are there any guidelines or rules of thumb for avoiding carb flu? I was kind of thinking that if I cut out the junk food and did a few weeks of mostly-paleo then when I got back on a 30 I would hopefully avoid it. But if I'm getting it now...I'm confused.


Does anyone have any insight on this? 


(I tried searching, but "carb flu" brings back anything with carb in it, and "flu" isn't searchable because it's too short of a word. I miss the days of Boolean searches, I was a master at those).

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Maybe this article will help.


When I did a ketogenic diet which is very low carb (<50 grams net) I found the suggestions to increase my sodium, electrolyte, and water intake to be very helpful. When your body depletes its stores of glycogen, it also releases the water stored to use that energy (3 grams of water per 1 gram of glycogen) thus you lose a lot of fluid and electrolytes in the process. This explains the initial weight loss of those switching to low carb diets. :)

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Instead of using the forum search, just google whole30 plus whatever you're looking for. It works better.

Sore throat and sniffling is not usually a carb flu thing. It's more about achy-ness and fatigue and headaches. Could you have gotten some kind of virus? Or maybe seasonal allergy stuff?

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Good advice, thanks much. Google, of course, duh.


And that was an interesting article. 


For some strange reason, when I'm run down I get a sore throat and stuffy nose. It's like clockwork - especially if I stay out late at night. For years I would think I was coming down with something if I went to, say, a concert on a weeknight and had to get up for work. But it's so reliable: I always feel the same degree of kind-of-sick, and also always feel better after the next night's rest, so I see the pattern enough to believe they're related.


And last go-round, this was definitely part of it. Headaches and body aches...and that telltale "stayed out too late" sore throat and sniffles.

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