Carbohydrates provide energy fuel for the body, so it's common to experience decreased energy levels on a low-carb diet. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that carbohydrates make up 45 to 65 percent of your total daily calorie intake. If you consume 2000 calories daily, your carb intake should be 225 to 325 grams. The Atkins diet, a well-known low-carb regimen, is highly restrictive in its initial phase, with only 20 grams of carbs allowed daily; while the Zone diet allows carbs to comprise 40 percent of your daily caloric intake. Boost your energy levels by choosing nutrient-dense foods and engaging in moderate exercise. Low-carb diets have health risks, so see your doctor before attempting.
Limiting carb intake is designed to force your body to use stored fat instead of carbs as energy. Boost your energy levels by focusing on nutrient-rich food sources that keep you satiated while maintaining steady energy levels. Eggs are packed with protein and minerals. Pair fiber-rich raw spinach with energy-packed avocado slices that offer a hearty dose of healthy fats. Try low-fat cheese with high-fiber foods like apples and nuts as snacks. For smart carb consumption, Harvard School of Public Health recommends seeking out whole grains, like quinoa and brown rice, that have at least 1 gram of fiber for every 10 grams of carbs.
Maintaining proper levels of vitamins and minerals like B-12 and magnesium help keep your energy levels steady, so consider taking vitamins daily while on a low-carb diet. There are natural energy boosters, such as green tea (which contains fat-burning EGCG) and green coffee bean extract that, in moderation, can potentially be a healthy part of a low-carb diet. Take L-carnitine before exercising to help boost your body’s fat burning capabilities. Relieve a sluggish digestive system by boosting fiber consumption with flax seed or psyllium husk. Look for powder mixes containing natural caffeine sources like yerba mate and guarana that you mix with water to speed up your metabolism and burn fat efficiently. Don’t take supplements without checking with your doctor first.
Exercising may be the last thing you feel like doing when your energy levels are tanking on a low-carb diet. But moderate exercise, ideally performed outdoors, can boost your energy levels and your mood. Try low-impact exercise like walking or swimming. If you were used to pushing yourself at the gym, you'll need to reframe your workouts to match your lower energy levels. Two studies suggest resistance training paired with a lower carb diet offers the best results for weight loss. Make sure to drink enough water to stay properly hydrated, and always consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise regimen (or altering your existing one).
A low-carb diet is not safe for everyone. Your body needs a certain amount of carbs to function properly and provide you with sufficient energy. Taken to the extreme, a low-carb diet can lead to nutritional deficiencies and cause dangerous fluctuations in blood sugar. Low-carb diets can trigger ketosis, where toxic ketones are produced as a side effect of the body burning stored fat for energy. Talk to your doctor or dietitian before going on a low-carb diet or taking any energy supplements.