Ep. 58 10 Signs Your Body Needs More CarbsJul 27, 2022
Not sure if it’s the right time to eat more carbs or carb up after following a low-carb, ketogenic protocol?
Here are 10 signs that your body is screaming for more carbs and you need to listen to it!
I love keto and I absolutely believe that it’s an excellent tool for women who want to lose weight, reduce inflammation, reverse diabetes, and improve mental clarity.
However, recent research has shown that long-term keto is unhealthy for MOST women.
I say most because inevitably, I’ll get an email from someone saying they have been doing keto for 5 years and feel great, and while that’s possible (I was on keto for 6 years straight), I see MORE women struggling with doing keto for that long without issues coming up.
Speaking of issues, what are they?
While there are many, these are the most common ones I see when I coach women. If you experience any of these, please consider bringing back carbs, even if it’s just once a week:
10 Signs Your Body Needs More Carbs
1. Your weight loss has stalled
When it comes to weight loss stalls, most women get confused by what a stall actually is.
Not losing weight in a week is not a stall. Not losing weight but losing body fat or inches is not a stall.
How I define a stall and teach my clients about when to honestly know they’ve hit a stall is that for 3 weeks straight, there are zero changes.
I’m talking no weight loss, body fat loss, inches lost, inflammation, clothes fitting, none of it.
If this sounds like you, cycling back some carbs can rev up your metabolism to start burning fat again.
2. You are losing way too much hair
It’s not new news that keto can cause hair loss, and while it’s usually temporary for most women, it’s not and gets pretty bad for some.
I had a client who had to stop keto because her hair loss was only getting worse and while that might be related to other hormonal issues such as low-thyroid, bringing back some carbs completely stopped her hair loss.
You have to listen to your body and if you are pulling out clumps of hair for months on end, being keto is just not worth it, IMO.
3. You have high cortisol levels or have been told you have Adrenal Fatigue and Burnout
This is what happened to me and I completely ignored it and kept on “keto-ing” harder. I cut my carbs, even more, fasted longer, and ended up putting on 50lbs within 2 years.
If your body is already in flight-or-fight and your cortisol levels are high or you have adrenal issues, keto only makes it worse because keto IS a stressor on the body.
The same goes for fasting.
So the answer to this is not to try harder or keto harder, the answer is to again, listen to the cues your body is giving you and introduce healthy carbs back in, strategically to help lower that cortisol and heal your adrenals which carbs are proven to do.
4. You restrict carbs during the week but find yourself binging on them on weekends (if you ever found yourself reading my famous post “How to get back into ketosis fast after cheating, this is you)
You know who you are. If you keep cheating on keto every weekend, it’s a sign that either your body isn’t ready for that much deprivation or you aren’t mentally ready for keto.
Keto is great and it works amazing, but it’s hard for someone to go from a SAD directly to keto and expect to adhere to the diet 100%. I talk about this a lot inside my program, BSB Tribe but your brain doesn’t like drastic changes. It’s not safe and your brain's job is to keep you safe at all times so it will try to sabotage your efforts when you start full-blown keto which is why so many women end up cheating.
It's much easier for women in this situation to start incorporating 1-2 days of keto, with days of moderate healthy carbs, and then work their way up to full-blown keto to allow their bodies to adjust.
BTW, did you know I have free training that teaches you how to bring back carbs without gaining weight and burning even more fat in the process? You can watch it for free, HERE.
5. You feel deprived on keto
This is different than #4 because, with this one, you aren’t necessarily cheating every weekend but you find yourself feeling deprived or when people offer you to eat something that is not “keto”, you say things like “I can’t have that.”
You also find yourself saying things like “that’s not part of my diet.” “I’m not allowed to have that,” “that will kick me out of ketosis.”
The statements above are red flags to me and when I hear clients tell me these things, I know that they feel deprived on keto.
When someone isn’t deprived, they don’t use words like “can’t” “not allowed” or even “diet.”
Rather, they say, “I choose not to eat those foods because they don’t help me get to my goals” or “This is not my lifestyle.”
My client Alla told me this story of when people ask her what “diet” she is on because she’s lost almost 70lbs working with me, she tells them, “I’m not on a diet, I’m on a lifestyle.”
Boom. That’s the difference.
6. Your sleep is poor, you wake up often or have trouble falling asleep
While it’s normal to have sleep issues when you initially transition to keto, especially when you are in ketosis and your brain is thriving on ketones. One of the benefits of being in ketosis is that “endless energy” that everyone talks about but it can become problematic when it starts interfering with your sleep and recovery cycles.
When my clients have trouble sleeping on keto, I have them eat carbs before bed which raises serotonin levels and decreases cortisol, and helps them fall and stay asleep throughout the night.
7. You have low thyroid or hypothyroidism
I’ve talked about this before but being in ketosis too long can reduce thyroid function and lead to hypothyroidism.
You need insulin for thyroid conversions to happen. Insulin helps T4 to T3 so if your insulin is too low for too long, the conversion won’t happen which will lead to low-thyroid-related symptoms and slow metabolism.
8. You feel weak when you workout or find yourself running out of breath easily
If you are a fitness babe and struggle with your workouts and performance while doing keto, your body is basically telling you that it needs more glucose to perform better.
Even carbing up right before your workouts are going to improve your performance and you'll burn through those carbs pretty easily.
Although it is possible to lift heavy and run long distances on keto (I ran a half marathon while in ketosis) it might not be ideal for most women, especially if you aren't fat adapted yet.
9. You fear eating ALL carbs (even the healthy ones) even though you binge on the worst carbs you could eat
This is a HUGE red flag for me. Carbophobia. Many of the clients who join CKCC which is my carb cycling coaching program fear eating carbs and it’s a huge sign of disordered eating.
You should NEVER be afraid to eat whole, real, foods. NEVER. It’s funny to me that women will fear eating apples and sweet potatoes but will gladly pound down keto protein bars with inflammatory oils and gut-disrupting sweeteners.
I'm telling you from experience, that this only gets worse so if you even slightly fear eating carbs right now, you need to bring them back and learn how to eat them without fear of weight gain before you hit full-blown Carbohphobia.
We switched out our fear of fat to fear of carbs and it’s not healthy in any way shape or form.
10. You overeat keto foods because you don’t feel satisfied (cheese, nuts, keto junk foods)
If you find yourself really hungry at the end of the day and end up overeating keto snack foods and junk foods, eating healthy, fiber-rich carbs might prevent you from eating thousands of calories in keto snacks.
While it’s not ALL about the calories, if you are trying to burn fat, your body will be too busy burning those nuts and cheese sticks to get that fat off your stomach.
By all means, make sure you are eating enough protein first, but if you are still struggling with this, it’s time to bring back carbs.
So, be honest, did you say yes to any of these? If none of these relate to you, then, by all means, continue doing what you are doing because it’s obviously working.
If you did say yes to even one of these, I invite you to watch my Free Training video on How to Bring Back Carbs Without Gaining Weight (and burning even more fat in the process) so you can resolve any current issues you’re struggling with.
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