I was in a Paleo VLC keto diet for 7 weeks. It didn???t worked. After each meal I would feel lethargic. ironically I felt great while fasting. One day I did fasting for 24 hours and I had a lot of energy, but after eating 6oz of beef liver meat and 1\2 cup of broccoli and butter I started feeling lethargic.
I even tried to rise a bit my carbs with safe starches . I noticed some improvements in my sleep and mood (just before eating), but the lethargic feeling still persisted after meals. I thought it was because of too many protein, so I lowered them and increased fats, but it still persisted. I tried digestive enzymes, it didn???t worked either. After 10 weeks I gave up, and now I started a high-carbs and low protein diet, but just with safe starches. After eating I don???t have sleepiness anymore, but my mood is dysphoric and am unmotivated, I feel hungry just after 2 hours of eating, right now I am in a deep depression.
I took all my blood tests, everything is alright. Thyroid, glucose, insulin, etc. I just have my eosinophils high. My doctor says its an allergy or a parasite. I think its an allergy to some vegetables, but even when removing vegetables, I would feel lethargic after eating any kind of fatty meats. My blood tests say that I dont have any infections, and fungi don???t cause high eosinophils.
After reading the metabolic typing diet (Dr. George Watson) I think I am a slow oxidizer, I don???t understand the scientific explanation but its the only explanation about my lethargic feelings after eating protein and fats, its so sad for me after reading the books grain brain, Perfect health diet, potato not Prozac and a lot of articles about Palo diet, I have depression since my teen years, dysphoric depression, apathy, just dysphoric, unmotivated and low energy.
I can???t understand why not paleo works, fats make me feel lethargic, I have 27 years, I weight 118 lbs, 168 cm, very skinny, its hard for me to me wake up in the mornings, I tried a lot of psychiatric meds and none of them worked, only desvenlafaxine, just after suspending it my depression lifted for 3 days. I think an ultra low dose was in my blood, surprisingly the days when my depression was lifted my sleep was perfect, easy to fall asleep and easy to wake up in the morning, with the paleo diet just for 2 days I woke up easily in the morning with good mood, my depression lifted but after eating breakfast the lethargic feeling brought my depression back.
Since two days ago I am in a high carb diet 70% carbs, 25% protein, 5% fats, I don???t get the lethargic feeling after eating but my mood is very, very dysphoric, even I have a deep depression right now, I don???t feel a lot of energy like when I was fasting in the paleo diet, right now i am using paleo safe starches to make the slow oxidizer diet.
This one example of my breakfast that lifted my depression:
1 tbspoon of coconut oil 37g of fried plantains 3 boiled eggs 85g of cabbage 85g of cucumbers
I feel a lot of energy with this breakfast and my depression lifted but after 2 hours I ate 45g of walnuts and the lethargic feeling brings my depression back, I tried to reproduce my breakfast other days and it didn???t work.
What do you think about slow oxidizer hypothesis? Why do I get lethargy after eating fats? I have tried everything. I have searched and investigated a lot but nothing seems to help, I am taking probiotics , supplements, I research a lot, slow oxidizer is the only answer for now.
UPDATE (august 30): i am still eating paleo with safe starches (high carb, moderate protein, low fat), i am still tired or lethargic after eating my low fat meals (then fatty meats or fats wasnt the issue?) , i have been trying since a lot of days eating with 3 capsules of digestive enzymes plus ox bile in each meal without improvements (then low stomach acid or underactive gallbladder wasnt the issue?), right now I am with paleo carb diet. I am the same old guy like in my teenyears, i am lazy, unmotivated, poor appetite, dysphoric, and i am lethargic after eating but its too hard for me to eat right now, i force myself to eat, its hard to me wake up in the mornings, i have poor apetite since i was a child, doctors said to my parents that i dont have any disease, all my exams are ok, i will take a glucose tolerance test next monday but i know i will be ok, i am frustrated, Undermethylation can cause my symptoms? i am reading right now about MTHFR gene, thanks for your help.
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OK i know it's an old thread, but it deserves my take on it, I think.
The problem is that you're too thin to have meals of fat+protein only, or carbs with lots of fat. You have a low BMI which means you probably can't easily up the circulating FFA/glucose when needed.
I used to feel horrible after eating high fat or high protein meals and like you, only felt energetic and well in a fasted state. What fixed my problem is this:
Try eating 3 regular sized meals with a balance of carbs (include some starchy and sugary plant foods at each meal) protein and some fat (some people don't do well on high fat), with no snacks or calories between meals. Even caffeine between meals seems to be problematic for me. I've also found having a small breakfast after rising is important as I just don't feel great for the rest of the day if I don't.
Also, make sure you eat enough at eat meal - don't let yourself go hungry as its hard enough going 4-6 hours between meals and 12 hours or more overnight.
I feel good if I stick to this, as soon as I start snacking I feel worse the next day and it takes me a few days to start feeling good again. Some people do better with snacks though, it's all personal.
I had the same dietary issues as you...tried everything under the sun for 9 years...finally did genetic testing and was found to have double mutation of COMT under MTHFR. Get tested.
As everyone's said, you're undereating. This causes several problems including that your thyroid will produce more rT3, rT4 than T3 and T4 which will screw up your metabolism and energy levels further.
This in turn will cause adrenal signalling to release cortisol, in order to create more glucose via glucogenesis. It also raises your stress. Cortisol and insulin are related and dysfunction in cortisol may cause insulin reactivity issue.
Generally fatigue after eating is either a sign of too low blood sugar due to insulin spikes or adrenal fatigue.
Since you're not eating enough, you may also not be creating enough stomach acid - especially if you find that eating meat causes it to just sit there in your stomach. Since stomach acid is also a trigger for bile, this may prevent enough bile release, so fats don't get digested (you might see floating poops). If you don't have enough stomach acid, and enough bile, this can look to you as a "slow oxidizer". You can get around this issue by using digestive enzymes that contain oxbile and Betaine HCL until you produce enough acid and bile.
tl;dr if you choose to do a diet that includes Intermittent Fasting, or VLC, you'll need to eat the same amount of food as you would normally if you ate 3 meals a day for a person your size and your activity levels. If you decide to remove calories from carbs, you need to add them back into fats a little more to proteins.
It's very easy to feel full on a VLC or IF diet to the point of eating far less than what your Basal Metabolic Rate requires, in which case, you'll start catabolizing muscle and causing all sorts of unwanted problems.
I've been doing IF for too long myself and it's very easy to miss the signs. Just took a blood test recently and I find I have very high cortisol in the morning (time of the test), as well as high fasting blood glucose (caused by the cortisol), and higher rT3, rT4 than T3 and T4. That's a classic pattern caused by eating too little food. Though I'm not used to it, I started adding in breakfast and raising carbs.
I can see a couple of problems right away.
1.) You are on the low end for BMI and it sounds like you may be chronically under eating. If you can't get more calories into regular meals or snacks then you're going to have to find ways to get them in liquid. Smoothies, protein shakes.
2.) Less cardio, heavier weights. VLC and under eating is not going to do you any favors with your daily hour on the elliptical. Chronic cardio is unhealthy to begin with. High fat/moderate protein/moderate to low carb is great for some heavy weights though and you might feel hungrier. If you can't give up the cardio, you're going to want more carbs and calories. Here is a good article: Paleo For The Active Person
3.) Just because someone throws out some science-y words and some half done studies, doesn't make them right. Always do your research. Metabolic Typing isn't Good Science
I could tell you that you should swallow a tapeworm because studies show it will make you thinner. And, I would be right but, that doesn't mean it's good for you or that you shouldn't research more before going out and buying a tapeworm.
Other things can cause what you describe like having your gall bladder removed, having low stomach acid, not enough good gut bacteria.
I wish you much luck on your journey and hope the articles help you. Feel better
I feel quite lethargic after eating much of anything early during the day so tend to have most of my calories in the late afternoon/evening, even if i snack at work during the day I feel like my energy dips while i'm digesting the food so usually fast right through til dinner, at most i'll have some nuts or fish to stop my belly rumbling.
I'd suggest trying out intermittent fasting, eating all your calories in an 8 or 6 hour window towards the end of the day, just make sure you're getting all your calories in that window.
I also find if I workout before my evening meal I can actually feel quite energized after eating and often feel like going for a stroll, even if I've just eaten 3,000kcal in one meal.
118 pounds, 168 cm… you've got a BMI of 19, which is the very low end of normal, and for a guy, it's particularly low. Your lack of energy probably stems from chronic undereating. Eat 30-40% carbohydrate… eat about 3000 calories a day. See where that gets you.
I feel lethargic too after eating a lot of anything, specially fatty meat, it's what makes thanksgiving dinner so great. Nothing like eating a whole bunch of turkey and then falling asleep on the couch while watching the game.
"My doctor says it's an allergy or a parasite." - that's ridiculous! You get sleepy and tired after eating a heavy meal, this is perfectly normal! What allergy? You'd be breaking out in rashes or be nearly dead if it was an allergy. Just take a nap after you eat a heavy meal or drink some coffee if you need to stay awake. Problem solved.