No carbs/sugar triggering depression?

xxzenabxx
xxzenabxx Posts: 877 Member
For the past 2 weeks I’ve been feeling extremely depressed and at first I thought it was because I stopped exercising but I’ve been exercising for 2 days now. Today I started crying in the middle of the day and I started feeling extremely depressed again. Is it because I’ve gone low carb and low sugar? I’ve got my carbs at 100g-160g. I used to eat between 200-350g before. I’m so scared of this low mood and severe depression. Should I increase my carbs again. What’s going on?? 😔😔😔
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Replies

  • Angelaabickford
    Angelaabickford Posts: 5 Member
    I was going to suggest it could be low electrolytes which can be a keto symptom, but I don't think your carbs are low enough for it to be that. Make sure you're staying hydrated and getting enough sodium, magnesium, and potassium. Good luck!! I know that's not fun. I hope you get to the bottom of it.
  • xxzenabxx
    xxzenabxx Posts: 877 Member
    I was going to suggest it could be low electrolytes which can be a keto symptom, but I don't think your carbs are low enough for it to be that. Make sure you're staying hydrated and getting enough sodium, magnesium, and potassium. Good luck!! I know that's not fun. I hope you get to the bottom of it.

    Well I just ate half a bar of chocolate so around 70-80g of chocolate and I feel better…still not sure what’s going on but thank you 🙏🏻
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,289 Member
    Very common. You can research the connection, but yeah - cutting carbs affects mood for many people.
  • xxzenabxx
    xxzenabxx Posts: 877 Member
    Very common. You can research the connection, but yeah - cutting carbs affects mood for many people.

    Should I persevere and hope this feeling will go away or just go back to my old way of eating?
  • ReenieHJ
    ReenieHJ Posts: 9,511 Member
    edited May 13
    Is there a medical reason you cut carbs/sugar? If not, this might not be the right approach for you.

    Yeh, that was my thinking as well. As long as you're within your calorie goals, carbs don't matter that much. Is this the 1st time you've felt depressed? If so, it might very well be connected to your diet or not exercising as much, even though you've been back at it for 2 days. Could it be weather related?
  • GigiAgape1981
    GigiAgape1981 Posts: 46 Member
    xxzenabxx wrote: »
    For the past 2 weeks I’ve been feeling extremely depressed and at first I thought it was because I stopped exercising but I’ve been exercising for 2 days now. Today I started crying in the middle of the day and I started feeling extremely depressed again. Is it because I’ve gone low carb and low sugar? I’ve got my carbs at 100g-160g. I used to eat between 200-350g before. I’m so scared of this low mood and severe depression. Should I increase my carbs again. What’s going on?? 😔😔😔

    I had a similar experience years ago when I dabbled in low carb. We are all unique individuals, for me carbs are essential in production of serotonin-"a feel good/happy hormone"!
  • sarabushby
    sarabushby Posts: 651 Member
    Since you can always re start in a few weeks, why not up your carbs (from healthy complex sources) and see how you feel? If you feel no better then maybe you need to look for some outside help.
    If you do feel better then you know the cause and can decide if it’s something you want to do again or not.
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,626 Member
    Why are you trying to limit carbs?
    If it's just an experiment then it's a very reversible experiment.

    Restrictions affect my mood which is why I try to minimise them to only the really valuable ones.

    Funny enough I massively increased my carbs today, 413g of carbs during a long bike ride (plus quite a lot before and after). Made a very positive impact on fatigue levels.


  • WailingDusk
    WailingDusk Posts: 58 Member
    edited May 15
    I am a big opponent of the keto diet, though some people will swear by it. I've worked with so many people who did keto. They lost weight and gained it all back.

    Carbs are not your enemy, it's the types of carbs you're eating. I seriously lost 183 pounds eating rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, legumes, and barley. Anyone who says that all carbs are bad are full of rubbish and should not be listened to. Added sugars, processed food, processed and preserved meats (bacon, deli meats, hotdogs), most breads, dairy (this one is complicated, but for the most part I avoid dairy), this stuff is what's going to wreck you in the long run.

    Now, to get to you. I'll say first and foremost, your depression isn't from cutting carbs. If you are eating 100-160 carbs a day, you're not in ketosis. What you're going through is withdrawal from sugar, hence why you felt better after eating a chocolate bar. Sugar is highly addictive, like a drug. Hell, it is a drug. It took me 3 MONTHS of eating NOTHING with added sugar in it for the withdrawal symptoms to go away. That's how bad this stuff is. I would be sitting in my car in the middle of the night craving a blizzard from Dairy Queen but talking myself down until I eventually had an apple and went back to bed.

    You need to cut out the sugary foods, not the complex carbs. If you're eating healthy, high-fiber, whole-foods, carbs don't matter. Cut out all the sugar and simple carbs (highly processed, calorie dense foods) for three months (do NOT cheat on this, you will reset any progress you've made), and it will go away. You'll feel a heck of a lot better too. It's the hardest thing to give up, and it's why most people fail to lose weight, much less keep it off. Most people do not want to give up their sugar, but over 40% of the people in this country are obese, and are either prediabetic or diabetic. This is a serious problem.
  • suzij27
    suzij27 Posts: 199 Member
    Low carbs definitely effects my mood. But so does not enough quality sleep. Just thought I’d mention it in case it would help you. ❤️
  • emmamcgarity
    emmamcgarity Posts: 1,577 Member
    xxzenabxx wrote: »
    Hey everyone so the reason I wanted to go lower carb and no sugar is because I have PCOS and IR so I thought I was doing a good thing!

    It definitely worsened my mood so now I’m eating a little more carbs (250g), smaller more frequent meals throughout the day and focusing on balancing blood sugars instead. I think I have some sort of hypoglycaemia too.

    I’m still trying to keep added sugars low but not complex carbs. Still scared about what happened though!

    And yeah I do suffer from anxiety and depression but this was a severe depressive episode.

    Thanks for coming back to clarify. Now that you added some carbs back, are you feeling better?
  • Walkywalkerson
    Walkywalkerson Posts: 447 Member
    Lower carb affects my moods too.
    When I started my weight loss journey I experimented with lower carb and I lost weight but I was miserable and obsessing over food.
    Finding a way that you can be at a deficit that's comfortable for you takes time with a lot of trial and error.
    I'm a firm believer of not eliminating any food groups and not being at an aggressive deficit / crash diet or fad diet etc ..
    I'm trying to have everything in moderation.
    I hope you feel better 😊
  • corinasue1143
    corinasue1143 Posts: 6,361 Member
    So glad to see this thread today! I had surgery 2.5 weeks ago. I lowered my carbs temporarily because the Dr./hospital recommended it. They said because of the surgery/pain meds/anesthesia my system would be messed up for a little while. They prescribed a laxative with stool softener and said lower fiber intake—for my own comfort, so as much as I wanted/needed.
    This means I’ve eaten very low carb for 2.5 weeks, almost no fruits and vegetables. I don’t like bread and grains much.
    Yesterday and the day before I laid around and cried all day for no reason. I thought it was an after affect of the surgery, and I couldn’t do anything about it and didn’t know how long it would last. I’m so glad to hear it may be as easy as eating veggies—which I really, really miss.
    Thanks so much for the info!! I’m off to find some veggies to snack on right now!
  • CasiGal
    CasiGal Posts: 18 Member
    Your carbs are not low enough to trigger what you're describing. Low carb is well under 100g. It sounds to me that your eating is heavily connected to emotion and mood. You would benefit from following a program that directly helps you work on the psychological symptoms of eating. You need to understand the connection between eating and mood and your relationship to food. There is a connection between sugar and serotonin and dopamine, for sure. But, I suspect that the greater issue at this point is psychological (sadness for having to restrict comfort, control, etc.) than from a physiological effect of reducing carbs a bit. Perhaps a program like Zoom or find a book and diet journal that focuses on getting you to truly understand the connection between food and your emotions. I wish you the best.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,289 Member
    CasiGal wrote: »
    Your carbs are not low enough to trigger what you're describing. Low carb is well under 100g. It sounds to me that your eating is heavily connected to emotion and mood. You would benefit from following a program that directly helps you work on the psychological symptoms of eating. You need to understand the connection between eating and mood and your relationship to food. There is a connection between sugar and serotonin and dopamine, for sure. But, I suspect that the greater issue at this point is psychological (sadness for having to restrict comfort, control, etc.) than from a physiological effect of reducing carbs a bit. Perhaps a program like Zoom or find a book and diet journal that focuses on getting you to truly understand the connection between food and your emotions. I wish you the best.

    There's no magical "under 100g carbs" for mood disturbances. If I cut carbs, I have mood issues. Anything below 150g a day for more than a couple days will do it to me...and I've tracked food/nutrition and moods for over 15 years.

    YMMV
  • CasiGal
    CasiGal Posts: 18 Member
    That is your experience, and I respect that. Tracking food/nutrition and moods, however, may not be enough for some. Processing those recordings with an experienced mental health professional might be helpful.