Yep! This was my exact experience. I was able to keep it up about 4 months, but the **intense** craving for carbs finally overcame my will power.
I used a normal Weight Watchers, count-the-portions diet and lost the 80 lbs doing that.
After Atkins, though, if I eat anything very sweet I get crippling camps in my legs and fingers about 20 minutes later. After all these years that side effect has never gone away. Potassium tablets relieves the symptoms.
As I posted, I have tried everything anyone will suggest. And...people who are normally thin aren't doing special diets or unusual exercise.
Low-carb obsessions are crazy. It is normal for humans to consume 40-50% of their daily calories from carbs. Just avoid processed carbs and you'll be fine.
A couple of thing that make me think on your post...
While I didn’t really “Crave” carbs at all when I finally went off - I fell off that wagon because of events in my life that made it VERY difficult to stay on it (my first daughter born 2 months early). The daily hospital trips, plus my insane work schedule at the time added up to make it unbelievably difficult to stay on. I tried very hard - but eventually - enough carbs crept in that I was fighting a losing battle.
Since that time, I have packed on to a record weight for me. I am quite disgusted. But getting motivated to do SOMETHING has been harder this time around. I can’t help but wonder if it was from my time doing the low-carb thing.
But I really WANT to do something - while medical staff still get a surprised look on my face when they check my BP, especially if they check my weight first, I want to be around to see my daughters grow up. One is 5, the other 3. I have a lot of years to stick around if I am going to see them grow up and start their own families. I will be 40 this year - so dieting (as you know) just gets harder. I have considered trying to do the low-carb thing. But again - with two children in the house, and a spouse who is a minimalist when it comes to meat... Not the most conducive environment for that path.
And your statement about the leg cramps - I too don’t recall every really having any issues with leg cramps before I did the low-carb thing. But after - I too sometimes get odd leg cramps - very painful, and often after having a carb-bump. Doesn’t happen every time, but it does happen. Hmmmm...
And yes - people who have never battled obesity don’t understand. My Father-In-law is about my height, but less than 1/2 my weight. He is a skinny as a bean pole! He can out eat most everyone (including me) most of the time... yet he rarely gains much of any weight. Yes, he has a physical job, but even in his off time - his eating never slows down, and he never puts on any weight. Further - he isn’t afraid of sugar or fat...
Frustrating. About the only thing I have ever found that in any way helps with feeling hungry - if I keep a bottle or cup of water around all the time and drink it all the time. If I stay full on water, I tend to not feel much hunger pangs. But that has the obvious side-effect that you can hardly get any work done as I am always in the bathroom.