Skip to main content
take the reality check diet analysis take the reality check diet analysis


Get excited about nutrition, and learn as you go with these information-packed resources on a wide variety of nutrition-centric topics! Our bistroMD experts review the importance of the macronutrients protein, fat, and carbohydrates, as well as how to make them work most efficiently for you.

7 Signs That You Need to Be Eating More Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates provide more than half of total daily calories for most Americans, supplying the body with usable energy and contributing to heart, digestive, and brain health. Limiting its consumption and following a low-carb diet can help facilitate weight loss, though the story is not solely glamorized to one side... Alas, reducing carb intake can lead to these seven unpleasant side effects.

7 Signs That You Need to Be Eating More Carbohydrates

What Happens If You Don't Eat Enough Carbs

1. Plummeted Energy
Like a car running on gasoline, the body is mostly driven by a constant flow of glucose, naturally found in carb products and stored as glycogen for backup. Lowering or cutting out carbs can deplete the glucose supply, put the breaks on, and plummet energy levels.

2. Moody
Giving up those beloved carbs can cause you to feel "hangry", particularly when first cutting down its intake. And considering all the sugar comprising an Americanized diet, forking up the comforts of chocolate chip cookies and pizza may cause individuals to feel moody and irritable.

3. Brain Fog
Glucose from carbohydrate sources is the brain's preferred source of energy. Especially when initially reducing its intake, the brain may feel the consequences and experience brain fog, or fatigue of the brain that may spark mental confusion and a lack of focus.

4. Headache
Since muscles, the heart and brain are reliant on glucose for energy, removing carbs forces the body to use fat as energy, also known as ketosis. When initiating a low-carb diet and transitioning over to a ketogenic state, headaches are a common complain.

5. Ketosis Breath
Ketosis produces ketones from body fat to supply the body with usable energy. Unfortunately, ketones may cause bad breath, which bares a sweet and "fruity" smelling odor.

6. Constipation
Not only do carb sources supply glucose, but that notorious fiber we hear about regarding digestive health. Lowering the intake of carb sources in the form of plants can naturally lower fiber and increase the risk of constipation.

7. Nutritional Deficiencies
Following a long-term, low-carb diet poses the risk of nutritional deficiencies. From vitamin A found in sweet potatoes to the B vitamins found in whole grains, carb sources are loaded with vitamins and minerals necessary for vital body processes.

Making Carbs Count

Ultimately, the general population should aim to reduce refined carbs and focus more attention on carbs in their whole form. Individuals are advised to limit white breads and pastas, pastries, and candies and select naturally-occurring carbs found in whole grains and legumes, fruits and veggies, and milk and dairy products that offer fiber and other valuable nutrients. Meals should be balanced with non-starchy veggies, lean protein, and a healthy fat, along with being accompanied by a portioned complex carb such as quinoa, rice, or a sweet potato.

Make carbs count with bistroMD! BistroMD delivers nutritionally adequate, flavorful meals straight to your doorstep. Each meal contains 1,100 to 1,400 calories daily with 40 to 50 percent of total caloric intake from lean, adequate protein, 20 to 25 percent of calories from healthy fats, and 30 to 35 percent from complex carbohydrates. From a bagel sandwich or pancakes for breakfast to Yukon gold potatoes or lasagna for dinner, balancing carb intake while losing or maintaining weight will be simple and delicious! For more information on bistroMD and the programs it offers, visit the official page here or call 866-401-3438.

Sydney Lappe's Photo
Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Published on December 20, 2017. Updated on June 09, 2020.


Follow @bistroMD

Theme picker

as seen on...
Dr Phil
Lifetime Network
The Biggest Loser
The Doctors