When many people think about food, the first thing that comes to mind is carbohydrates. Most people think of carbs like bread, pasta, potatoes, and grains; however, some carbs are better for the body and mind than others. Healthy carbs include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These types of carbohydrates are dense in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Carbs that are bad include simple sugars (like those found in soda) and added sugars (like those found in ketchup).
Carbs are not the devil—they are just misunderstood. For most people, when the body starts burning carbs for energy, it releases feel-good hormones like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These hormones help make us feel relaxed, happy, and hungry. But, for people with diabetes or prediabetes, carbs are not an option.
Carbs are the ultimate treat food for many of us: a visible sign we are doing something right and a reason to eat a cheat meal. But have you ever wondered how much carbs actually contribute to your weight? And what happens when you cut out carbs? Understanding how much carbs you eat is a good place to start since it can help you understand whether you may be overdoing it on the carbs. And as for what happens when you cut carbs… well, let us just say that after one week of eating no carbs, you will have some serious questions for your body.
Here’s What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Eating Carbs:
- Breath Might Smell Weird
When you eat foods with carbs, your digestive system breaks them down into sugars. The sugars travel through the bloodstream and into cells, where they provide energy. When you stop eating carbs, your body has to start using something else to provide energy. This is known as ketosis, and your breath might smell weird because of this.
- Blood Sugar Levels Might Dip
While we are all familiar with carbs from bread, pasta, and cereals, we are not all aware that carbs also fall into a number of different categories. For example, the body uses simple carbs from foods such as sugar, fructose, and corn syrup. The body also uses complex carbs from foods such as rice and pasta. Not eating enough carbohydrates can cause blood sugar levels to drop as it is not providing the energy it needs to keep alert.
- Might Get the “Keto Flu.”
Going “keto” is a big decision, and a lot of people are curious about what “going keto” means and how they will feel when they switch over. So, what do keto followers do when they stop eating carbs? Typically, your body goes into a ketogenic state when you stop eating carbs. The keto diet is all about reducing your intake of carbs and upping your intake of protein and fat, and your body burns the stored carbs for energy. When you stop eating carbs, your body “suddenly” has to find more energy, so it will begin to process fat for energy.
- May Have Brain Fog
When you stop eating carbs, your body has to get by on its own energy. Without carbs, your body turns to fat for fuel. If your body is forced to turn to fat for fuel, your body ends up with less energy. This lowers your energy levels and makes you tired. Carbs give you quick energy, but carbs are also easily converted to energy. When you stop eating carbs, your body must create new energy by breaking down other tissue in the body for fuel. This can make you feel fatigued, light-headed, weak, and listless.
- Lose Water Weight
When you stop eating carbs, your body goes through a transition period. Your body may initially experience low blood sugar and headaches. If you have cut carbs out of your diet to lose weight, you may initially lose weight, especially initially during the first three to four months. This weight is often water weight since your body rids itself of the excess glucose.
- No carbs mean no energy
Clean eating (diet) You probably know what I am talking about. If you have been unable to lose weight despite following every diet trend out there, maybe it is time to try a new approach. Fat loss is a hot topic right now, and with good reason—losing fat is not easy. But many people turn to fad diets like keto, which rely on drastically lowering carbs to attain your goals. Cutting out carbs is not for everyone, as your body uses the sugar it stores for fuel. If you stop eating carbs, your body will start burning fat for its energy instead. While you will lose weight quickly, your body may compensate and swell, and you may experience fatigue causing you to find everyday activities hard.
Your diet might naturally encourage you to include more carbs and fat in your diet, but what does the absence of these foods do to your body? It can affect everything from your energy levels to your body’s response to insulin to how your body uses the energy it provides through food. Learning about what happens to your body when you eliminate carbs can help you understand whether carbs are right for you or not.