I had two close, long time friends who have been vegan for years visit me yesterday. Both are intelligent and one is in the fitness field. They both tried to explain to me the unhealthiness of animal fat as well as the impossibility of being able to train really rigorously without carbs. What do I know; I am new to paleo and only know what I have read. I don't train. I guess I am writing this today because sadly I feel bloated and like all that weight I thought I lost (I don't weigh myself) seems to me to be imaginary today- or at best to have only been water weight. Also, I wonder if the improvements I've experienced have been simply due to giving up sugar 100%. Maybe even potentially from a gluten sensitivity? But maybe NOT from the from the increased quantities of "good fats" and eating paleo. Bottom line; I feel sluggish and bloated today, constipated, and so my faith in my eating paleo is easy to shake right now. I had so much faith in it, so disappointment will be huge if the diet fails to deliver on what it has promised.
- oh, btw I write this entire post while being distracted by my kids so I HOPE it's coherent!
asked byMia_2 (60)
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on July 19, 2012
at 12:18 PM
Mia, last week you had a similar question and you were at 2.5 weeks. so I am guessing you are getting close to the 1 month range.
First, Paleo is NOT Low carb. It is, lower carb, although I would said it is appropriate carbs. Your other posts state that this is not a weight loss thing for you, it's a general health process. So you should be eating in the 100-150g carb range. Which will require you to eat lots of veggies and fruit. This will help with the energy. Not necessarily the bloating.
Everyone gets bloated, your cycle could be messing with that. Sometimes it's what you ate, sometimes is reflux, sometimes we never know what it is. It will pass. and you will likely see less of it once you are done with your SAD detox.
In terms of animal fat. You should read: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/saturated-fat-healthy/#axzz214MtFr2I http://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/07/magazine/what-if-it-s-all-been-a-big-fat-lie.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm http://www.zoeharcombe.com/2011/09/make-friends-with-fats/ http://www.zoeharcombe.com/2012/03/five-a-day-the-truth/ http://healthcorrelator.blogspot.com/search/label/vegetarian http://healthcorrelator.blogspot.com/2010/03/more-on-harvard-study-on-saturated.html http://chriskresser.com/the-saturated-fat-myth-debunked-in-two-minutes-and-thirty-five-seconds
on July 19, 2012
at 01:23 PM
Paleo is not a miracle.
Even on the best, cleanest diet, people will still have days where they feel tired, sluggish, bloated, what-have-you. I think that's called being human.
You said your faith is wavering. Have you read any good books that lay out the whys and wherefores of eating this way? If not, I suggest you get yourself to a library, or get 'em used on Amazon nice n'cheap. Such an overused phrase, but it's true: knowledge is power. Read Robb Wolf's book, or Mark Sisson's. Read Cordain's new book. Read books by Uffe Ravnskov, or Deep Nutrition by Cate Shanahan. Arm yourself with information.
If you don't know why you're eating this way, it'll be easy for someone to convince you some other way is better. (And who knows...maybe it is. The truth is, it does seem like there are a fair number of healthy vegetarians out there. Not vegans--vegetarians. People who would at least include some eggs, butter, fermented dairy, etc. I think there is a lot to be said for just cutting out the primary offenders: sugar, gluten, rancid seed oils. I think those moves alone would probably improve anyone's health by leaps and bounds, provided they're not merely substituting with gluten-free crackers, pasta, bread, agave-sweetened candy, etc.) For optimal health, however, you need to dig in and get a little more specific. But overall, lots of people have much better health by just ditching processed foods and adding in a lot more fresh veg. They might feel/look even better if they added proper animal muscle meats and organs, but I do think there's a lot to be said for just eating real food, even if those real foods don't include some of the things that seem to be standard staples in a "Paleo" framework.
And believe me, it takes a lot for me to admit this! I am a firm believer that everyone -- yes, everyone -- would benefit from eating closer to Paleo. (Not low carb or high carb or any specific breakdown. They'd have to find that sweet spot for themselves. I'm just saying a wide variety of plant and animal foods, and good natural fats.) But I've learned a lot in the past year or so (one of my profs was a vegetarian), and I think you can get most of the way there by just not eating sh**, know what I mean?
I'm NOT saying your friends are right. No no no. But I do agree you can do pretty well for yourself by just eliminating the modern "edible foodlike substances" that pass for food but are nowhere close to anything our digestive and endocrine systems are designed to handle.
P.S. I'm sorry your friends staged that little "intervention." I'm sure they did it out of love and concern because they're worried about you. But you should remind them that you haven't been preaching to them and you would appreciate if they would show you the same respect. You can agree to disagree and still be friends.
on July 19, 2012
at 12:27 PM
Did your friends explain to you that because they do not eat meat they do not consume a 'complete' protein. They have to consume several types of substitutes every day to get protein into a usable source for the human body.
As Mike T has already stated, low carb is not synonymous with paleo diets. I think that began as a blow back with the 'grains = bad' in the early days of paleo. Fortunately, many foods that were considered non-paleo are now back in the mix. I consume potatoes (particularly sweet), eggs, and whole milk everyday! Most discussions center around getting the right mix of macronutrients each day.
As far as not training...you HAVE to train. Specifically, you have to strength train. More and more studies show strength training reduce injuries, increase longevity, significantly lower risk to disease and mental decline in later years. Start lifting heavy weights and walking now! When you are 80, still mobile and alert you will know why.
The symptoms that you have describe come from someone who lives a sedentary lifestyle. Feeling tired, bloated...Your body was designed to be used. If you don't use it, it will crap out on you.
You mention weight loss but do not state it as a goal. If weight loss is your goal, then you will need to be active and mindful of the quantity of food (as in total calories) you consume. I recognize that BW is not the end all be all of total health. It is a tool. Studies show that people who regularly weight themselves are much more likely to lose and maintain a healthy body weight. Also find out what your BF% is and work on reducing that.
on July 19, 2012
at 11:53 AM
Paleo does not have to be low carb. Eat some fruit, vegetables, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc. Also, I'd argue paleo is much more than just a list of foods to eat. I would argue it includes doing some "training" whether it's lifting heavy weights and/or interval sprints and/or walking. If you want help with bloating, you'll probably have to post what you eat and for how long you've been eating that way.
Also, you might find the repsonses on this thread helpful/relevant:
on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM
In addition to what others have said about Paleo NOT being low carb unless you make it low carb, your body doesn't need to ingest one single carb. It is able to make as many as it needs. And once your body isn't dependent on carbs and switches to fat for fuel you will have a ton of energy.
on July 19, 2012
at 01:25 PM
Tell your friends that the body's energy level comes from healthy fats and protein WAYYYY more than it does from carbs. If they don't believe you, tell them to eat a handful of almonds or a couple of Omega-3 eggs an hour before working out and compare their energy level to a workout session where they ate bread or oatmeal beforehand. I would bet my bottom dollar that they feel way more energized after eating the almonds/eggs.
I am relatively new to Paleo too, but I could feel the difference almost immediately after making the switch. Once I started consuming foods more dense in proteins and healthy fats and stopped eating breads/grains/legumes/etc, my overall energy level skyrocketed, I stopped getting hungry between meals, and my digestive system became very consistent and regulated. Everyones results will be different and they may not be immediate, but I can only speak for myself, and for me the change has been a godsend.
Do some experimenting with your diet to find out what works best, and START TRAINING. It doesn't have to be super-intense Olympic level stuff, but something as simple as doing push-ups/crunches when you wake up and before bed would be a good place to start. Anywho, I'll stop rambling, good luck with everything!
on July 20, 2012
at 11:56 AM
Mia, formatting in those comments stinks, here's the workout. Find a way to get it in, it's not a huge time commitment, and it will help you with your stress levels. BTW, stress could be the reason you are having so many struggles:
A.1 Burpees: 4 sets of 10 repetitions
A.1 Pull ups:??3 sets of 10 repetitions
A.2 Plank Pushups to Superman: 4 sets of 2 by 10 repetitions
A.2 Inverted Rows: 4 sets of max repetitions
A.3 Wall Climbs: 4 sets of 5 repetitions
A.3 Dips: 3 sets of 10 repetitions
A.1 One Legged Up-Downs: 3 sets of 2 by 10 repetitions
A.1 Plyo Push ups:??3 sets of max repetitions
A.2 Hanging Leg Raises: 3 sets of max repetitions
A.2 Pass Throughs: 3 sets of 2 by 10 repetitions
A.3 Chin ups:??3 sets of max repetitions
A.3 Bench Step Ups:??3 sets of 10 repetitions
on July 19, 2012
at 06:05 PM
I want to respond to all of you. Is there a way to do that? Or do I just comment on someone's reply and hope you all see it? What I am realizing is that although I may have given more info on myself in previous questions, most of you know nothing about my situation, or I may have even been unclear in previous posts.
Here is my story :) I have 3 very young children. A 4yo, a 2 yo, and a 9 month old. After feeling unsatisfied with the rate at which I was losing the baby weight, I posted a question to a natural moms group I belong to. The question was asking any mothers of three if they had ever lost the weight after child number 3. I also shared with the mothers that I had a. Urging desire to excessive but really and truly, no excuses, complete honesty here: it is not possible for me right now. I promise you that I have made the effort, don't doubt me here - it is NOT becUse i am lazy and/or do t like to ove my body! I am VERY busy with 3 kids, I do t have money for hired help, I do not have tv in my house, I "homeschool". I feel good about my parenting and my devotion there is no room for seriouse training right now. My time will come though.
So, one mother comments on paleo diet and how she lost 25lbs in 4 weeks through diet alone. Then another mother, then another mother and so on. I get really excited and pretty much begin immediately by choosing the cod liver for breakfast over the buckwheat. I've been 100% sugar of any kind I am soon happy to say! No dairy (was even passing on our home-made kefir), no grains, no legumes, and very, very limited fruit. I very, very much want to lose weight! Sorry if I had been unclear about that ion a previous question. Okay, so from the moment I start I am super psyched because I feel an immediate affect - IMMEDIATE! That really excited me! It was clearly working. I felt really sick! But I was still pysched because I could tell this diet was no joke. I am passed the low carb flu finally. I thought I had been losing, but every once in a while I feel like I'm not and it's all been some kind of trick in my mind. Does that sound really bizarre? Well, he is some more info; I haven't weighed myself in years, even during the pregnancies, because there was a time in my life where I lived for the number on the scale. I also can't trust what I see in the mirror. I avoid measuring food or over thinking it TOO much because that leads me into an unhealthy direction that I am all too familiar with. P.S. that's why I like this way of eating: clear guidelines of what to avoid, and after that, if it feels good to your body to eat- go for it! Nice and simple and I'm finding it very easy to stick to. Not one cheat. Not one desire to cheat. Actually, a cheat for me has been eating watermelon or grapes.
I do also suffer from chronic, headaches. Was hoping diet could help with this, but I do have TMJD, so maybe that is why it has not helped me as of yet. I do not get a full night of sleep as I am still nursing my baby at night. I am breast feeding my 9 month old baby as 99.999% of his diet ( I start my kids on solids later than most). From what I have noticed, nuts and seeds seem to be a beneficial part of my diet while nursing. Most of the time I feel waaaay more energy than I did prior to changing to paleo. Oh btw- my diet was healthy before paleo. Not a SAD diet at all. No processed foods, veggies, little meat, fruit, grains. Yes, it is very different now, but my point is, in terms of my history, it's not like I was eating very poorly prior to paleo. Although I did have sugar in the evenings when I felt so tired that I could not go on yet I absolutely had to go on. I no longer ever feel that way. So, paleo has helped my energy. It has also given me this clean, light, energetic feeling. I've only ever felt that way in the past when hardly eating anything, or fasting. The fact that I am caring for myself, feeding myself well and enough AND feeling clean and like my body is working efficiently is thrilling. Although I have spent every day reading more information on the paleo way of eating for almost a month now, every chance I got, it is my own personal experience that means way more to me than what anyone says about it. The thing is that every so often I have a day without a bowel movement, bloating (my belly just shoots out and does not feel that nice, clean feeling) and I FEEL as though I've lost no weight. Then I get bummed, because feeling physically well is usually so enjoyable for me that it's enough to make me like extatic. I finally did just have a bowel movement, but still feel bloated and not thin. Am I just a nut? Because I feel like I sound a little nutty. Should I just be patient? Will the weight come off?
Also, someone suggested just squeezing in push ups or crunches. That I can do. If I can only work out at home, what are my best options. I really, really love how yoga makes me feel. Can I do that? It has really toned my body and strengthened as well in the past and I so enjoy doing it.
And lastly, my friends were not at all being jerks. I never meant to give that impression. They were both pretty cool, very cool and open I should say. I really didn't have a leg to stand on when it came to carbs and hard core training because I have not experienced that first hand. You understand. Also, I was by no means trying to convince them to change their ethical beliefs regarding animals. Respectively they were not trying to deter me either. The real thing that knocked my faith is how bloated and non-lean I feel today. I have this fear I am. It going to continue to lose weight, or even worse, that I have not actually lost any weight. Should I just let go of the fear, carry on and be patient?
-One more thing! It was all of yesterday that I did not have a bowel movement. I finally did today. The bloating began towards the second half of yesterday and continues now. I ate 2 bananas one after the other the evening before yesterday. I f*%ked up and didn't bring enough food with me when I took my kids swimming, then when I got home I was famished and no time to eat because I had to get the overtired kids to sleep, so I quickly scarfed down two bananas. Do you think that could possibly be the culprit? I usually have been having one banana every other day I'd say.
Thank you all for hearing me out. I'd love to hear everything you have to say. Once again, I hope this is coherent. I don't have the time to go back and reread and edit this - my son just woke from his nap!
on July 19, 2012
at 05:04 PM
Regarding the bloating...some people have said that eggs make them feel bloated. Keep a food diary and see what may be causing you to feel this way.
on July 19, 2012
at 04:22 PM
Everyone is different---maybe you will decide this is not for you. Less than a month in though is not a very good time to make that decision. It's taken me months to get my ratios right and even though I am eating less carbs than I ever have I am performing/recovering from the gym so much better! I felt kind of crappy for the first few months and if you haven't given up sugar 100% I would say that is a huge part of it. I would kind of binge on dried fruit and I just kept knocking myself back into the low carb flu. Also look at sleep---are you getting enough? That is a huge factor too.
I was surprised I continued to stick to this lifestyle when I felt like it was sucking for me for a long time---I think I was at month 5 when I started to see the awesomeness I am experiencing now. I stuck with it because this MAKES SENSE TO ME. Also, I do a lot of my own research. It's taken a lot of effort but I feel I have figured out the personal Paleo formula that my body loves. Give it time, be HONEST with yourself and give it a real chance. Maybe a Whole30 is a good way to do this. Google Whole30 or type into Paleo hacks if you don't know what that is.
When making big changes to diet, it sometimes gets worse before it gets better. The better that does find it's way to you though, is worth it!
If you find at the end of your honest experimentation that you feel better with another diet, go for it and don't let anyone tell you what's BEST for YOU. Good luck!
on July 19, 2012
at 12:55 PM
Try this for low carb training questions...
on July 19, 2012
at 12:31 PM
I agree with pp. the big things with paleo are to eat meat, don't eat grain, limit beans, and get your carbs from fruits and veggies. I eat carbs. I sometimes even sneak gluten free grain items. I stay clear of gluten and I make sure the meat I eat is rich in omega 3 fats. That means pasture finished beef and poultry and fatty fish. I'd guess vegans are eating way healthier than most Americans but grass fed or pasture raised meat would be a nutritious and satisfying addition to that diet. And taking wheat out would be a healthy discretion. No refined sugar is great too. No fried foods. Anyway, this is an ongoing debate in our house especially in regard to our children. I think it really revolves around the kind of meat you eat. If its not grass fed mostly then youre doing it wrong.