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How To Treat and Prevent Low Carb Diet Headaches

Strict "no carb" phases of low carb diets have developed a reputation for giving dieters severe headaches. Dietitians have identified a number of different factors that could cause these headaches. They vary from person to person.

One of the factors is caffeine. Most low carb diets prohibit caffeinated drinks because they cause fluctuationsin blood sugar, which can potentiallyjeopardize the efficacy of the diet.The Atkins diet suggests that dietersbegin scaling-down caffeine consumptionbefore they start the induction phase of thediet to minimize unpleasant withdrawals.

Another factor is wheat and sugar addictions, which can be the byproduct of reliance on refined carbohydrate products fora quick boost in blood sugar levels.If you snack to increase your bloodsugar level, you may be addictedto carbohydrates, according toDr. Atkins. Again, you may want tobegin scaling down your snacksbefore you start the inductionphase to minimize withdrawal symptoms.

The last factor is dehydration. If youare losing weight rapidly on a "nocarb" initial phase, you are alsolosing a lot of water that is bound upin your carbohydrate reserves.In fact, you are actually losing four-timesas many grams of water as you are grams ofglycogen (or stored carbohydrates).

In addition to preventing dehydration,your body needs to replenish all of thewater it loses daily to simply maintainorgan functionality, flush out toxins, replace electrolytes, and promotegood skin health.

Most low carb dietitians suggest thatyou consume 8 eight-ounce glassesof water each day. This is especiallyimportant if you are losing more thanthe average amount of water each day, so make sure you are sticking to the "8 x 8"--or whatever amount you candrink comfortably each day--so you don't become dehydrated during the first phaseof your low carb diet.

The key to preventing low carb dietheadaches is to make sure you are consumingenough water and to scale-down yourpotential "addictions" before youstart.

If you have already started your low carbdiet, there is nothing you can do about theseheadaches. Most experts suggest that yousimply wait it out. If they don't go awayafter four days, then you may have food allergies,in which case you should halt the diet and consultyour physician.

Benji Paras runs, specializing in the benefits of the low-carb lifestyle. The site contains a treasure trove of information for losing weight, and includes a list of low carb foods along with informative articles and the latest low-carb headlines.


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