Low-carb breakfast

Ok, so I have this recuring problem; if I eat carbs for breakfast, I get too high and then too low. So I've been eating low carb and giving a tiny bolus, enough to cover for sausage, almond meal muffins, and eggs. Around 10 am, however, my brain stops working and I feel like I NEED sugar, like fruit or bread or pastries. I cave, and then I feel better but then have some blood sugar issues most of the time. What do you guys who eat low carb breakfast do when you crave carbs at some point in the morning?

You don't say how long ago you changed to eating low carbs. It's typical when someone first cuts carbs that they go through a period of carb craving. There's a good reason for this. You body is used to using crabs for fuel, in fact it is the preferred fuel source. Your body can turn protein into glucose for energy (it's called gluconeogenisis) but it is not used to doing this.

Your body will convert to more easily using protein and fat for its immediate need but it takes most people a few weeks to make this happen. The interim period is often marked by craving carbs. The carb-craving will diminish provided that you don't give in to feeding it. If you persist in resisting your old quantity of carbs (you don't need to eliminate all carbs, just most) you'll be surprised when this urge vanishes.

Congrats on trying to restrict carbs in your diet. Diabetes is a disease of carb-intolerance. We all know this truth. We each do vary, however, on what level of carbs triggers the inevitable glucose roller coaster.

When you restrict carbs and your body converts protein to glucose, you will need to learn to give some some amount of insulin to cover this process. Dosing insulin for protein is easier than dosing for carbs. The amounts are smaller, as are the mistakes. A typical protein/fat dose for me for a breakfast of bacon, 2 scrambled eggs made with cream, and salsa is 3.6 units delivered over 3 hours, an exended bolus.

Restricting carbs for me has been a huge treatment success. It's significance to me is on the same level as the pump, CGM. and the advent of rapid acting analog insulins.

Hi Terry,

I have been low-carbing on and off for a few years, but always give in to eating carbs. The reason for this is because I work at a farm and feel exhausted and work badly when I eat low carb. I'm scared because I feel like my brain can't think anymore. Did you have these issues?

What do you feel like say three hours after eating your breakfast? What is your next snack/meal? Thanks for the long and thourough reply :)

Our bodies can run on either carbs or fat but each fuel source has a different metabolic pathway. It takes time for this metabolic change to take place. When our bodies use fat as the predominate fuel we burn ketones and our bodies are said to be keto adapted.

Here is a very interesting video by Dr. Steve Phinney who has published articles in scientific journals concerning low carb diets.

One of the things he has discovered that may explain your situation is that it takes several weeks for this change in our metabolism to take place. Also he says if you flip flop between using carbs for your main fuel and fat burning you reset the clock on the metabolic change, and so may never reach the state of keto adaption. When our bodies metabolic preference is carbs and our blood sugar runs low we get a craving for carbs.

I am a T2 not on insulin, and have been low carbing for 4.5 years. Some people who low carb say their mental acuity is actually better because the brain has a steady supply of fuel instead of relying on a blood glucose roller coaster. This has certainly been my experience. When I used to eat a carby breakfast I would always get hungry about 10:30 or eleven and my brain would get foggy. Both of these things have disappeared since I started low carbing. Many people find that they need to increase their salt intake because when your body is burning fat your kidneys excrete more sodium. It is thought that the so called "Atkins Flu" many people experience when starting a low carb diet can me mitigated by upping your salt intake.

Here is a video by Peter Attia about the superiority of low carb for endurance athletes that might have some relevance to your experience concerning farm work.

Three hours after eating breakfast, I don't crave food and don't suffer the brain fog that you describe. BadMoonT2's answer fills in some of the points that I failed to make. Your on-again off-again intermittent low carbing has prevented your body from becoming keto-adapted. His suggestion to use salt to help mitigate the effects of the "Atkins flu" is a good one.

I have been having almond & hazel nut flour pancakes lately with chia seeds. I top them with tons of butter and fruit only spread/jam which is relatively lo carb. The fat seems to balance out the carbs/sugar for me and it works out ok most of the time. I have a nocturnal schedule and my bg fluctuates all over at times no matter what I do. I also have some green tea, stevia and heavy cream with them. There are eggs in the pancakes also and I fry them in grape seed oil.

Also want to add that my bolus is not tiny- it started out small after my first move to lo carb but soon rose a lot even with my eggs/veggies/cheese breakfast which was only 9 g. The bolus for the pancakes is only slightly higher due to the jam mostly.

Hi Badmoon,

thank you for the good reply and the videos. I am indeed "flip-flopping" between low carb and high carb. How was your transition to low carb? Did you crave carbs at first? How long was it until you started to feel good? How many carbs are you eating per day?

I eat carby breakfasts and definitely get hungry not long after. I work in a garden center and I eat, and then work and then start crashing, then I have to eat, and check my blood sugar multiple times. It is very annoying and exhausting, and plus the boss doesn't like me stopping so often. I tried low carb and around ten I felt so hungry I thought I was going to faint, but I checked and didn't have low blood sugar. That is usually when I break down and wolf down carbs. Presently I am not working and am looking to transition my diet so that I can work as hard as other people this spring. What would a normal day menu be for you?

Hey, that looks like a delicious breakfast! what happens three hours later, do you have to snack? What do you usually eat for lunch and supper? What is your nocturnal job?

I eat 30 to 50 g/day, no grain, no sugar, no legumes, no fruit beyond a few strawberries once in a while. I eat dairy but no milk. Yoghurt is iffy as is cottage cheese. As a T2 what I eat is determined by my meter readings. Unsweetened almond milk is a good milk substitute although I don't drink it straight.

I didn't feel too good at first. I'm a T2 and my first fingerstick was 392. Within a couple of weeks I was keeping my post meal spikes below 140, I think my feeling bad was more because it had been years since I had been that low( undiagnosed for 8 years at least). I also didn't know the salt trick at that time. My carb cravings disappeared very fast. Some people believe in cutting carbs slowly, but I'm glad I did it all at once. Once the carb cravings are gone they are truly gone for good (as long as you don't cheat:-) Once I started to reap the benefits I found it easy to stay with the program.

Breakfast is eggs with sausage or bacon sometimes some cheese on top. Almond meal waffles are good with melted butter and cinnamon on top. Another good breakfast is a veggie omelet. Lunch is a salad or coleslaw with meat and cheese on top or leftovers from the night before. Dinner is some combination or meat and low carb veggies and a salad, or a repeat of the lunch salad/coleslaw meat cheese combo.

Here's another resource The Low Carb Dietician website. The author has blood sugar issues of her own. Her blog articles are well researched and footnoted. I would recommend reading them all. She has some good recipe ideas from time to time too.

Your winter break sounds like a great time to transition your metabolism so you'll be ready for spring. Hope the advice you have gotten in this thread helps.

Hi Ali, I generally eat two meals per day.. this one is usually eaten around 12-3pm depending on my schedule( I teach and the schedule varies, this semester I teach nights so I'm even more nocturnal lately again) If I go hypo after the meal at some point I snack, eat candy etc. If I spike a lot I do a conservative correction, exercise etc. I tend to fluctuate a lot no matter what I eat due to various things. It is really delicious I have to say :) I think the fat keeps me going pretty well now for the days when I don't go hypo etc. because I can generally go till dinner, my larger meal without food otherwise.

I don't restrict fruit, yoghurt and things like that, I do restrict bread/wheat a lot but I still eat that sometimes, it often makes me spike but sometimes not so I'm not really sure if it is always the culprit but it's easier not to eat it. I found the Bernstein 30g per day was too low for me and since I have a lot of lows I need more carbs. Lowering insulin etc. doesn't help since then I just spike a lot at certain times. I figure if I'm going to spike and go hypo anyway there is no point following a diet which makes me feel completely deprived and weak all the time. I do still low carb though compared to what I used to eat of course.

I don't usually eat lunch- I eat a larger dinner with a meat protein, sometimes cheese, veggies/salad, peas now often too, red wine and yoghurt with berries, nuts, cacao nibs, vanilla, stevia, cognac. I have made some low carb pies now too, pumpkin and cheesecake. I recently got spaghetti squash and bean and soy bean pasta but I haven't tried them yet. I plan to make my own almond yoghurt soon too. For the pie I make a lo carb crust with almond and hazelnut flower and butter and sweeten the filling with stevia only, then add strawberries to the cheese cake, this one is really delicious. I have to bolus less for that because it is less carbs than the regular milk yoghurt. the filling is made with cream cheese and sour cream mostly.

This thread is definetely helping me. I didn't eat carbs yet today, I drank a green smoothie this morning and experienced that woozy feeling (without being low), but didn't cave! Then for lunch I ate turkey meat and salad and felt better afterwards... thanks again for the good information

The key to staying sated and fueling your body is to replace carbs with fat. Is there some fat in your green smoothie? If not perhaps that could explain the woozy feeling.