Carb Flu

Be aware and ready but don’t be concerned!

You may have heard of ‘Carb Flu’. This is a combination of symptoms that you may or may not suffer on the first few days of embarking on a low carb eating plan:

  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Bad breath
  • Lack of energy or fatigue

To avoid or at least minimise these symptoms:

Drink plenty of water

  • As you reduce carbohydrate intake and eliminate carbs from your system, you will lose water. A lot of initial weight loss is due to this loss of water, but it is important that you keep hydrated. Water will also help you feel full in these first few days.

Don’t be afraid to eat more salt than usual

  • Processed foods are notoriously high in salt, so when you eliminate these foods (bread, cereal, tinned and bottled and packaged foods) from your diet you are also reducing your salt intake considerably. This can contribute to those headaches and fatigue, so add little salt to meals


  • If you are eating plenty of fresh vegetables and drinking plenty of water this should not be a problem

Remember that you are making some major modifications to your diet, so some side effects are to be expected. It is a small price to pay for some major health and lifestyle benefits. Please use the forum to share your experiences; it may help other participants understand their own experiences.