Help! Eating carbs on non-training days cause insomnia!

by (0)
Answered on August 24, 2014
Created August 14, 2014 at 10:05 AM

Hello everyone. I have a few questions about training, rest days, metabolism, and my paleo dieting habits and how they all work together to affect my quality of sleep everyday.

Here's my stats:

Male ; 28 years old ; height: 5'11" / 180 cm ; weight: 165 lbs / 75kg

I'm pretty athletic and keep my body fat close to 12-15% and sometimes lower depending if fasting feels appropriate. I train jiujitsu about 4/5 times per week for about 2/3 hours, sparring for 30-45 minutes non-stop each day. I maintain a gluten-free, somewhat ketogenic paleo diet. I eat carbs on training days (1 cup of oat meal and a sweet potato), and usually I'll skip the carbs if I don't feel hungry enough on non-training days.

I eat the following meals everyday almost (with variation in animal protein; fish, chicken thigh, beef, etc.). After training the night before I'll start the day with lightly salted oatmeal cooked in milk, with 2 tablespoons of grassfed butter and mct oil, a half a liter of milk, and a cup of black coffee. Lunch is a 250gm lamb thigh steak, a sweet potato, some greens and sometimes fermented veggies (kimchi or kraut). After that it's a modest piece cheese and a handful of nuts, macadamia or almond. I train and then have a whey isolate protein shake w/ a banana because I have to sleep rather within 2 hours or so after training. I haven't had any problems with digestion or fatigue on this diet. It works pretty well for the most.

However, problems arise when I can't train for a few days or more. The key issue seems to be whether or not to trust my appetite on non-training days. Yesterday my breakfast consisted of a bunch of mustard greens, sausage, three eggs, plus 2 tablespoons of butter and mct oil. The meal sustained me for the entire day. It seems that I should have left it alone there. BUT because similar meals have not sustained me in the past, I've followed through with another meal with carbs in the evening where I ate to perceived satiety (I over ate) and experienced significant GI-tract discomfort, headaches and brain fog, and difficulty sleeping. It's almost like a diabetic coma. It's terrible. I made the same mistake the other day, and I'm concerned that I'm not taking appropriate care of my body with this sort of eating behavior.

PaleoHacks, could you recommend a diet protocol for non-training days? Should I run any diagnostics with my doctor to check for blood-sugar problems? Keep in mind, I have no access to Paleo friendly physicians, as I live in Japan. Besides perhaps basic testing at a local clinic, I'm not sure what more I can do. I welcome any answers. Thank you for reading such a lengthy post. I hope people dealing with similar problems might find this post and its responses helpful.

Domo arigatou gozaimasu!!

0 · August 14, 2014 at 1:38 PM

Then would you also advocate eliminating white rice from my diet?

0 · August 14, 2014 at 1:37 PM

Thanks for that!

18977 · August 14, 2014 at 10:31 AM

No problem, the dupe has been deleted.

0 · August 14, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Hey everybody. My browser crashed when I first posted this question. I couldn't find it, so I thought the upload failed. Sorry for double-posting!

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3 Answers

18977 · August 14, 2014 at 10:31 AM

If you're worried about blood glucose levels, it's cheap enough to buy a glucometer and a pack of 50 strips. Test yourself before you eat, an hour after, and two hours after. Also test yourself right after you wake up and right before you sleep.

You shouldn't have GI issues when you eat carbs, if you do, you might have the wrong gut bacteria. At least don't eat close to sleeping.

Certainly oatmeal is a grain and such should be avoided. Maybe replace it with something else.

0 · August 14, 2014 at 1:38 PM

Then would you also advocate eliminating white rice from my diet?

Medium avatar
167 · August 24, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Carbs in the morning are probably fine on non-training days, since you'll have about 16 hours to burn through them. But if you have a high protein low carb breakfast, and you think it will sustain you for the day, I'd say just stick with that.

There are two reasons people don't eat grain on paleo. The first is the blood sugar spike and the following adrenal fatigue - if you're exercising as much as you are, you're fine to eat starchy foods on training days. The second reason is a theory that grains contain phytic acid and anti-nutrients that interfere with digestion, and would also contribute to things like brain fog and intestinal discomfort. Traditionally, most grains are either fermented or soaked in a lactic acid solution. Lots of people will tell you not to eat them unless they're traditionally prepared for optimal digestion, and other people will tell you not to eat them at all. For that one, you'll have to decide for yourself.

0 · August 25, 2014 at 7:18 AM

Interesting that you bring up the Lactic Acid solution. Would soaking my oats in milk the night before count? I don't seem to have any problems with the oats this way as long as I don't over eat. However, considering the vitamins and minerals present in sweet potatoes, they're probably the better choice. And also, I avoid all wheat based carbs. The only gluten I get is from extremely small doses in things like salad dressings. Gluten-free has yet to catch on in Japan... and probably will never...

Medium avatar
43 · August 24, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Minimal Carbohydrate Diet regime


When it comes to the lowest carbs diet regime, about to catch related to calorie limits. As a substitute, you should lessen the amount of glucose as well as sugars a person ingest. The dietary plan plan basically applies your body straight into ketoacidosis which assists you to burn up more unhealthy calories quicker.


Uncomfortable side effects


Unfortunately, that diet brings about negative effects you have to be conscious of just before adopting this approach.


These kind of negative effects include sensation weary, encountering a growth as part of your blood strain, getting pressure on your own kidneys, adding to excessive cholesterol, serious problems, diarrhea, and even lowering your thought alertness.

495 · August 24, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Ketoacidosis? Dafuq you talking about. Do you even know what that means???


This post was so stupid, it almost gave me brain damage....

0 · August 25, 2014 at 7:19 AM

Chill dawg. Marina probably doesn't understand English that well. No big deal. She's just trying to help.

0 · August 25, 2014 at 7:20 AM

I mean Karina, my bad.

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