HELP! crashing /sleepy after meals. Trouble adapting 8 weeks in

(Michael - Don't expect miracles and you won't be disappointed.) #7

I think this is your problem: 30-35 grams of net carbs(7%).

You’re suffering from carb withdrawal. 8 weeks is longer than most, but it’s not unusual either. I recommend you cut back on carbs to sub-20 grams per day. You may even have to cut back to sub-15 grams if your symptoms don’t improve after a week or so at sub-20.

If you don’t cut carbs sufficiently you will not stay consistently (or at all) in ketosis. If you don’t keep your glucose and insulin low enough they interfere with both lipolysis and ketogenesis. So you end up with insufficient fat/ketones and glucose to sustain energy. Being tired and weak is your body’s response to inadequate fuel. You’re eating enough fat/protein but you’re not using it efficiently. You’re still using mostly glucose, but not eating enough carbs to sustain it. Double bind.


(Sungl1025) #8

Thanks for the feedback. This is what I suspected. It’s incredibly tough for me to cut down the veggies even more cause I’d be starving (I’m a big eater) but I guess this is my only option at this point :frowning_face:

I will try it out for a week and hopefully not quit


If you’re hungry you should eat more fat & you may be able to get away with more protein - I eat at least 100gms a day & I’m only 5ft4/115 pounds. Some people need to limit protein but many of us don’t - it’s all trial & error :slightly_smiling_face:

(Sungl1025) #10

Great tips. I will up protein and fat and limit carbs further and update in a week. Many thanks!


If you do continue to feel unwell you should see a doctor but here’s hoping things improve :crossed_fingers::slightly_smiling_face:

(Michael - Don't expect miracles and you won't be disappointed.) #12

I suggest bok choy. You can eat a lot of bok choy without paying a substantial carb tax. There are less than 2 grams of carbs per 100 grams of it. Bok choy is a ‘super food’, micro-nutrient dense. It tastes good, too.

That said, keep in mind that there is no ‘essential carbohydrate’ and there are no essential nutrients that you can not obtain from fats and proteins. Check out the link I added to your quote above.

Realistic about carbs - inspiration
(Sungl1025) #13

Thanks for the bokchoy tip. Quick question: is the 20 g of net carbs forever or is it temporary rule until I get fat adapted? Will I be able to increase my carbs to, let’s say 30-40g in the future after being fat adapted without getting kicked out of Ketosis. And if I do get kicked out of Ketosis(when fat adapted) how long does it take to get back into Ketosis? Thanks again

(Bunny) #14

[1] ”…Dr. Berg explains why people get tired after eating. It has to do with either insulin resistance or low stomach acids. If you have a digestive problem add Apple Cider Vinegar Plus, which has a combination of apple cider vinegar and betaine hydrochloride…”

[2] “…In this video, Dr. Berg talks about the 7 reasons why you are tired on Ketogenic Diet. He also talks about the ways to improve energy:

  1. You need more B Vitamins (especially B1 and B5) – these 2 vitamins are crucial in the metabolism and the ability to make energy.
  2. Increase Potassium (Large Quantities of Vegetables)
  3. Deficiency of Stomach Acids (Apple Cider Vinegar, Sea Salt, Betaine Hydrochloride )
  4. Hidden Carbohydrate
  5. Decreased Blood Sugars (Feeling Tired)
  6. High Blood Sugar (Tired After Eating)
  7. Needs More Sleep …”

(Joey) #15

@Sungl1025 Welcome to the forum. So sorry to hear your diligent efforts haven’t quite yet paid off for you. Hang in there and things will most likely come around with some minor adjustments (I’d put re-evaluating the potassium and backing off on exercise top on the list).

As @amwassil notes, you may not be staying in ketosis very consistently. Many healthy veggies (green leafy, above-ground growing) have only trace amounts of carbs and they’re superb to include in a well-balanced keto diet once you’re fat-adapted. But those carbs can add up quickly if you’re overdoing it.

Question: do you do any blood glucose and ketone testing? You might gain some insights as to what’s happening by checking your levels, both to confirm that you are in fact in ketosis and perhaps to explore whether you may be spiking your glucose from any particular menu item(s).

The 20 g/day carb ceiling is offered as a cap that will push virtually anyone into ketosis if maintained for a while. As for how high you can increase that figure down the road, everyone is different and it depends on your own unique situation (e.g., insulin sensitivity, general health, how long you’ve been fat-adapted, exercise habits, etc…)

And again, as for exercise, many folks going through the fat-adaptation process report that their normal workouts become miserably tough for some period of time (see: Phinney/Volek’s “Art and Science of Low Carb Performance”).

So, given that you’re not approaching any of this from a weight loss perspective (BTW, same with me), if these workouts feel awful, simply stop for a week or two and then try again. It will NOT hurt you to back off on the cardio and/or resistance training while you adapt. You don’t have to be superman with everything at once. For now, just focus on getting the carbs down - and eat only until you’re satisfied.

The fact that you’re sleepy after meals strongly suggests that (1) you are getting more carbs than you think and/or (2) you’re really eating more than would be required to satisfy your true hunger level. Are you feeling stuffed after you eat? If so, try to s-l-o-w down your eating and allow the satiety signals to work. Eating carbs is actually a different experience than not eating carbs… the hormonal signals from our digestive system are different than what we’ve grown accustomed to and you might be missing your sense of being full and satisfied if you’re rushing through to eat everything in front of you … like we do when eating carbs!

Hang in there and keep us posted on developments!

(Bunny) #16

And that’s not going to happen by eating ONLY steak, hamburger and bacon continually for years on end?

Depends on what type of proteins we are talking about, does that include marine life (e.g. iodine), dairy, eggs, lightly cooked glandulars like thyroids (iodine; hard to get that even if you supplement with it) and adrenals (vitamin C), organ meats like liver (vitamin C), only then you are getting all the essential nutrients from protein through carbohydrates and fiber?

Carbohydrates are definitely essential or we would not be alive, animals we eat, eat grass, grains, fiber, bugs and dirt (vitamin B-12; soil based gut flora; plants do contain it depending on the quality of the soil it’s grown in?) etc. and they ferment it into other vitamins through the rumen[1], reticulum and omasum etc.

So technically and realistically back in the world of reality carbohydrates and fiber are essential to life and anyone making such statements or parroting them as such needs to understand what’s wrong with that logic and needs to gain insight that it does not matter whether carbohydrates or fiber go through you[1] or through the animal[1], you are still technically eating carbohydrates and fiber? (soil based gut flora is what is lacking in most humans?)

Again: Important distinctions need to be made between highly refined and processed carbohydrates and Whole Foods (natural carbohydrates that include vitamins, minerals and trace elements)?


[1] “…The human rumen: The cow is a ruminant, and cow’s milk has evolved to promote bacterial growth in the upper small bowel; whereas human milk has evolved to discourage bacterial growth. Examination of the constituents of the two milks shows that their differences can be accounted for in terms of this difference in function. Children who are fed a calf’s diet tend to develop a rumen? …” …More

[2] Soluble fiber and Non-soluble fiber?

Realistic about carbs - inspiration
(Monique) #17

When keto folk say carbs aren’t essential they aren’t saying they aren’t essential to the animals we eat.

They do the hard digesting work for us, and then we eat them :cut_of_meat: :crab:. It’s fun being top of the food chain!

(Michael - Don't expect miracles and you won't be disappointed.) #18

Hey Bunny! Go to my carb thread and name one essential carb that humans must eat to survive.

(Bunny) #19

Just to survive? I think I would be more concerned about the quality of my nutrition and life than being under survival mode conditions?

(Michael - Don't expect miracles and you won't be disappointed.) #20

To add to what @SomeGuy said above in his response. My opinion is that concern about carbs is primarily, although not exclusively, a newcomer issue. For some it remains an issue. Because we all ate a high carb diet prior to keto we initially feel like we’ve sacrificed something worthwhile to adopt keto. Eventually, most of us come to realize that was not so. We gained something far better in the exchange and eventually lose interest in carbs. They contain no necessary nutrients. In view of that fact and all the nutritious and varied foods we eventually discover on keto, the concern for how many carbs you can get away with eating fades away.

(Sungl1025) #21

Thanks so much for the reply. I actually stayed away from the gym after week 1 because it was obvious how bad my strength was. Nowadays I just walk for 1 to 1.5 hrs which is not taxing at all. However I feel the lack of strength in my legs especially when exerting even small but if strength going down stairs.

I will lay off potassium, get some ACV and eat slower.

Strangely enough, there was one day a few weeks back where my hunger was surprisingly low! However this lack of appetite went away completely the following day. I assume it was my body adapting then getting kicked out of Ketosis. Personally this is my least favorite side effect as i can’t afford to lose weight :frowning:

As far as blood glucose monitoring, I thought about buying it but didn’t want to possibly “waste” money on a diet that wasn’t “working” for me. If 20 g of carbs doesn’t work for me, I will reconsider

(Joey) #22

@Sungl1025 To ping pong off of what @amwassil said above, this is so true for so many, but it can take time. The idea of not eating my “go to” sandwich breads, chips, potatoes, rice… would have been impossible for me to fathom pre-keto. Now, I simply have no interest nor appetite for these food items.

They’ve been likened to the shipping plastic and cardboard fillers on which real tasty delicious foods are delivered. When you think about it, they’re not the actual flavorful stuff itself. Ever crave a piece of dry bread? Or a plain dry baked potato?

Instead, I now savor all the toppings and fillings (meat, egg, cheese, fats) - not the tasteless packaging they used to arrive in (the bread, potato, etc.).

But this took some time before it finally struck me. And it doesn’t hit everyone the same way. Staying away from artificial sweeteners and not trying to fabricate “keo-friendly” breads and mimick foods as such will probably facilitate this switchover in taste buds, menu habits, and potential cravings.

But especially because you’re so lean (and losing weight is the last thing you are trying to accomplish), I’d simply encourage you to confirm carefully that you’re REALLY not eating too many stealth carbs to keep yourself out of ketosis - ideally measuring, in case you need to begin identifying which are the offending menu items. And of course eating as much healthy saturated animal fats as you can muster to stay well nourished. It’s likely - given your lean physique - you’ve had a fear of fats thus far. Many of us have been raised this way. Sounds like you can certainly afford the calories :wink:

Yeah, and give yourself an exercise vacation for a spell - won’t hurt one bit to let your muscles recharge while you focus on switching your metabolism from gas over to diesel.

(Michael - Don't expect miracles and you won't be disappointed.) #23

@Sungl1025 In case you missed this (warning graphic images):

(Sungl1025) #24

Thanks for sharing. To be completely honest, the more research I do on this diet the more restrictive it feels. Based on what you shared and videos of other YouTube experts, it seems like the keto diet only works if you can stick to it 100%. One cheat meal or day is like pouring gasoline on a fire. Steph Keto Person on YT says one cheat can throw you out of Ketosis for 5 days and make you miserable. This does concern me as I’m a musician who travels a lot and completely avoiding carbs 100% of the time on the road may be difficult for me. Luckily at the moment I have some time off and could afford to do keto for 8 weeks.

What do you guys think about a low carb high fat diet (100g of carbs) as an alternative for those who can’t commit fully to a ketogenic lifestyle? Is it going to lower insulin enough and be enough to fuel workouts and performance?

I’m not saying I’m going to throw in the towel yet, but if I don’t start to improve within the next 2-3 weeks at 15 g, I may start eating some carbs.

(Michael - Don't expect miracles and you won't be disappointed.) #25

Lower carb is better than higher carb.


If you’re metabolically healthy then I think that’s entirely doable & possibly even best in your particular situation. It might be worth going full keto for a few months to ensure you’re fully fat adapted & then slowly adding in some healthy carbs to find your sweet spot.

EDIT TO ADD: As luck would have it, Amy Berger has a new post about keto/low carb & skin issues - there might be something in it for you