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Symptoms of Cutting Carbs

author image Lexa W. Lee
Lexa W. Lee is a New Orleans-based writer with more than 20 years of experience. She has contributed to "Central Nervous System News" and the "Journal of Naturopathic Medicine," as well as several online publications. Lee holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Reed College, a naturopathic medical degree from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine and served as a postdoctoral researcher in immunology.
Symptoms of Cutting Carbs
A selection of high carbohydrate foods. Photo Credit: egal/iStock/Getty Images

Although cutting carbohydrates out of your diet can help you lose weight, doing so can lead to imbalances and undesirable side effects. The main source of energy from food for human beings is carbohydrate, and it's hard to completely avoid it. According to "The Low-Down on Low-Carbohydrate Diets," carbohydrate is present in almost everything you eat.

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Low-Carbohydrate Diets

Low-carbohydrate diets are a common method of eating to lose weight. Proponents of these programs believe avoiding carbohydrate will stop you from craving it and result in lowering the total amount of food you eat. This should ultimately cause you to lose weight. This does in fact occur, but like other extreme diets, cutting carbs is an approach that is difficult to maintain in the long run.


The symptoms that occur with cutting carbohydrates from your diet have to do with your body's being forced to use fat rather than carbohydrate for energy. When you start to burn fat, your liver produces compounds called ketones, leading to a condition called ketosis. This can result in symptoms like low energy, gas and frequent urination, according to "The Low-Down on Low-Carbohydrate Diets." You may also experience weakness, dizziness and nausea.

Other Effects

You may experience constipation if you are not getting enough fiber, according to Constipation and headache are among the most common effects of a low-carb diet. In addition, your cholesterol levels may increase If you are eating foods high in saturated fat. Your body needs a minimum of about 150 g or 5.3 oz. of carbohydrate a day, according to CBS News.

Additional Information

The symptoms of ketosis go away when you start to eat carbohydrate again, but your lost weight tends to return. For long-term maintenance of weight loss through lowering carbohydrate intake, the most effective strategy may be to do it in moderation and include a regular exercise program you can more easily make a part of your life. Temporary programs do not have a good record of maintaining weight loss.

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