LowCarb diet and bad mood – solution of the problem

Low-carb diets, although they are very controversial, may be an efficient way of reducing excessive amount of fatty tissue. The problem is that such diets are not good for everybody. Some people, after decreasing the amount of carbohydrates, experience such symptoms, as: the feeling of tiredness, worse effort abilities or problems with concentration, as well as many others. Therefore, there's the question: what can be done in such situations?

First solution: increase the calorific content of your diet

Despite the fact that the unpleasant feelings connected with introducing low-carb diet are, most often, connected with the change in macro nutrients proportion, it sometimes happens that they are caused by too strict limitation of the total energy supply. Such situation happens when you suddenly go into very deep energy balance from the diet, which covers the energy demand. It is possible, because in some cases low-carb diet efficiently lowers hunger, which may give impression that the supply of energy is higher than it really is. The suppression of hunger is very frequent in case of deep carbohydrate restrictions, which strengthen the process of ketogenesis. Therefore, it's good to count the calorific content of diet scrupulously and think if it is not too low, and, if necessary, add some fat or... carbohydrates (contrary to appearances, there is usually enough protein in low-carb diet).

Second solution: increase the intake of carbohydrates

As long as bad mood and unpleasant symptoms are sometimes caused by too low energy supply in total, it may also happen that they are the result of carbohydrate “insufficiency”, not too low energy deficit. Such situation may happen in people who are used to high intake of carbohydrate products, and suddenly lower their content in diet. The dynamic and efficient adaptation to using fatty acids and ketones is not in everybody, it also happens that it requires time and that it will never result in total comfort noticed during high intake of carbohydrates. Remembering that, it's good to think if the daily supply of that macro nutrient wasn't decreased too drastically. Going from 400 – 500g of carbohydrates to 50-60g day by day may be a big shock for the body, especially, if it is accompanied by the following factors:

  • high physical activity (including high-intensity training),

  • decrease of energy intake at the same time (i.e. what I mantioned in the previous paragraph),

  • low intake of sodium (you will read more in the next paragraphs).

Third solution: increase the intake of fat and decrease proteins

For many people low-carb diet is the way of nutrition, which assumes decreasing the amount of carbohydrate products and increasing the content of... protein products. Such way of thinking may have disastrous consequences and lead to the situation when e.g. the participation of energy from proteins in diet is higher than 30-40% and reaches 3 – 4g per 1kg of body mass, or even more. Unfortunately, such diet is not good for health or sports form, because it may have negative influence on physical efficiency. Too high intake of protein causes too big load of the enzymatic system, which neutralises toxic ammonia (which is created during the amino acids metabolism) into urea. Decreasing the supply of proteins to the level of 2 – 2.5g per 1 kg of body mass and increasing the intake of fat may be a good way.

Fourth solution: add some salt

Although salt has been presented as being poisonous nowadays, it's good to know that it provides a very important ingredient, i.e. sodium. Physically active people may lose a lot of sodium during physicaleffort, and the insufficiency of this element lowers effort abilities, influences mood and may be harmful for health! The factor, which additionally increases the demand for sodium is low-carb diet. People who base their diets only on low-processed food products and who don't use salt, are exposed to experiencing sad symptoms, such as weakening and dizziness. The characteristic symptom, which points at such reason of the observed indicants is so-called orthostatic hypotension, i.e. dizziness occurring after sudden change of position. Such state may be experienced when you kneel and stand up very quickly. You can do this test at home and if you feel dizziness, you should add some salt to your food and do the test again.


Poor tolerance of low-carb diet may have various causes. However, if the symptoms are burdensome, it is a direct indication to revise the assumptions of your strategies, and if necessary – to stop its realisation. It's also good to know that limiting the intake of carbohydrates is not the only efficient way of reducing body fat. Diets, which include calorific advantage of that ingredient may also support the process of fat reduction, provided they are properly balanced and include energy deficit.