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Meal Planning

Signs You Are Not Eating Enough Carbs

June 08, 2022

Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend 45-65% of our daily calories from carbs, so opting for 40% or less can significantly impact the way your body functions. Carbs are our body's fuel for metabolism, energy, digestion, and other essential activities. Eating too few can be problematic. If you watch your carb intake, here are some signs to look out for.

You are always tired.

Carbohydrates are the primary fuel source for our body; avoiding carbs can significantly reduce the impact on your energy level. Carbs are converted to energy more efficiently than protein or fat, so you may start feeling a little sluggish, weak, or tired on a low-carb diet throughout the day.

Low carb intake can also impact your workouts. When you do not have the energy to give it your all, you will most likely not get the results you are after.

The Bloat is Real

Carbs often get a bad rap for causing bloat; however, it's the type of carbs such as white flour and processed sugars, not 'carbohydrates' as a whole food group. Reducing your carbohydrate intake often means reducing the amount of fibre, which is most concentrated in carbohydrate-rich foods such as whole grains and fruit.

It's Becoming Difficult to Concentrate at Work

Following a low-carb diet can reduce your energy levels and impair your concentration levels. Low GI carbs like sweet potatoes, whole-wheat bread, berries, and quinoa are essential for giving you the energy you need to get through your workday. Also, their protein/fibre combo helps lower blood sugar spikes and prevents you from crashing. High-quality afternoon snacking is a total game changer!

The Scale is Starting to Creep Up

In the case of low-carb dieters, your body may react to this decreased carb intake by trying to produce its usable glucose from protein or fat. Your body may also start to store this sugar as fat to prevent starvation...when you're just reducing your carb intake...sounds like a crash dieter's nightmare!

Not only that, but any restrictive behaviour will likely lead to intensified cravings. By having a slice of wholegrain bread with lunch every day on repeat, you normalise this cycle, where the food and the intense need/cravings will subside. Normalising foods your inner critic has blacklisted is a huge step in reducing binge-like behaviour and supporting healthy weight control

You Don't Feel Satisfied for Long After a Meal

Carbs regulate your hunger and fullness cues. Our bodies need fiber to help slow down the digestion process.

Going low-carb can also put you at risk for nutritional deficiencies, throwing your hunger and fullness cues. Those who follow a higher fibre diet are more likely to eat fewer calories each day because of improved long-term fullness and satisfaction cues.

You're Experiencing Some Irregular Digestion

When our bodies are missing out on fibrous, hydrating foods essential for digestion, we can experience bloating, diarrhea, and other GI issues in the long term.

You Have Bad Breath

Say you are following a Keto diet, you may experience bad breath. When your body goes into ketosis and stops using carbohydrates as fuel, it produces acetone, which starts to build up in the body and is responsible for the change in your breath.

your menstrual cycle is irregular

This deserves its own blog post (and I will do one) so I won't go into detail here. Basically, if you aren't eating enough carbs to support your physical activity, and/or your weight has significantly dropped, your body is going into protective mode and will not support healthy ovulation. The bottom line, carbohydrates are imperative for female health, especially for those who are physically active.

The Bottom Line

When you cut out carbs, you're not just cutting out chocolate and cake; You lose fruits, whole grains, and vegetables. These foods are our primary source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

A balanced diet with all food groups is a must for optimal health. To protect your health, instead of valuing health by the numbers on the scales or the (little) calories you eat, value your health on the way your body and mind truly feels.

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