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How much is attitude?

Answered on July 29, 2014
Created July 28, 2014 at 6:45 PM

I've been banging away with paleo for 6 months now, with stellar success in the first few months, but stuck in a slump these last few months. My main objective is overcoming 12 years of chronic debilitating fatigue, which it did in the early days. I continue to experiment and adjust but can't seem to get back to that clean clear burning energy state. Feeling tired, lethargic, unmotivated, and generally blah. But the good thing is I'm not 100% exhausted as before, but slipping back to 50% doesn't feel like a big score anymore. The few months of complete recovery was teasing. Is it possible attitude and emotion could be at play influencing the physical symptoms? Any thoughts?

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on July 29, 2014
at 12:51 AM

quick BMR Calculator puts your BMR at 2000 calories. so if you do anything other than sleep you are under eating.

Sprints 5x per week would dominate the most fit athletes. try walking a few miles per day and adding 6 sprints one day a week.

Carbs look low even with the rice. Add some potatoes and some fruit.

Re: Adrenals -- have you been on steriods? What is your Testosterone?

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5 Answers

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on July 29, 2014
at 09:18 AM

@CDone

Good idea re less workouts and more walking, and adding more calories. I was on hydrocortisone and made a few adjustments in dose but no change. My T is normal depending on who you ask, but I tried some cream anyway, again adjusted dose but no resolution of exhaustion symptoms. Natural thyroid too. I consulted with a hormone GP so think I exhausted that ave. So far only thing that worked was early days on LCHF diet which included back to the gym, track, pool. But perhaps that led me to overtrain and under eat. My history displays some boarder line pre diabetes blood results, plus high BP, high chol, fat waist, etc. When I feel good I'm on top of the world, brain is on fire, energy is great, able to recover. But when I'm exhausted my life energy is completely drained. Discouragement becomes a factor, which gets back to my original question, but I guess it's most likely all tied together.

Will work on your suggestions. I'd been considering those already, so good confirmation.

0
Medium avatar

on July 28, 2014
at 11:53 PM

Humm, good feedback all. Thank you all so much.

They diagnosed me with CFS 12 years ago, but it seems nebulous, no known cause or cure, so I've been N=1 ever since. Unassisted, no medical or community support around here. A dozen books and google keeps me going.

Not enough kcals could be an issue, I feel 2,000 kcals is an overly large day, can't imagine eating 3,000, though have done several purposeful 2,500 days, but may need months, and I'm 6' 210 lbs, still 30 lbs overweight. I was probably over training a bit in the beginning. I used to be an ultra runner and all around active guy, and unable to ex these 12 yrs, or unable to recover to be exact. So when I could train again, it just felt sooooo good. Probably over did it. But I did switch to short intense workouts, sprints, weights, 5-6x/week. Less now. I'm just now cycling in some parboiled rice to increase carbs, only carbs before were veg, probably not enough, <50 g. I'm completely off all grains, dairy, processed foods, sugar, just started going off FODMAPS and night shades on suggestion of Naturopath.

Thyroid has been checked numerous times, adrenals are low low on 2 different saliva tests. Adrenal support and even hormone therapy didn't do much. Naturopath has me on a new weekly injection voodoo juice now. To early to tell.

Wake feeling very non-restored has always been a problem, even when I was feeling great for a few months, lots of joint pain at wake too, it's wired. No apnea, checked several times. Started wearing a sleep mask, helps a tiny bit. Average 6-7 hrs, no way I can sleep in, to uncomfortable, once awake I need to get up. Can shake most of the discomfort in a few minutes, walking, stretching, knee bends, etc. It feels like a strange cortisol awakening response thing, almost feels toxic like I've been poisoned in my sleep. One of my cortisol saliva tests showed me very high first thing in the morning then low out of range the rest of the day.

The quest continues ....

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on July 29, 2014
at 12:51 AM

quick BMR Calculator puts your BMR at 2000 calories. so if you do anything other than sleep you are under eating.

Sprints 5x per week would dominate the most fit athletes. try walking a few miles per day and adding 6 sprints one day a week.

Carbs look low even with the rice. Add some potatoes and some fruit.

Re: Adrenals -- have you been on steriods? What is your Testosterone?

0
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on July 28, 2014
at 09:28 PM

All the attitude in the world won't save you from the harmful effects of gluten, or soy. But at least you'll feel more positive about it. :)

I'd suggest getting checked for CFS, or at least check your thyroid and adrenals out.

There is an effect I've noticed where if I'm at home and feel lazy I could watch TV the whole day and I'd feel awful by the end of the day, but if I force myself to do a workout, I feel energized and can get through the day... But beyond that, diet, sleep matter a lot more.

Figure out if your blah is from your brain/central nervous system, or your muscles. You might find that your brain might need sleep/rest (or even the opposite: stimulation), but your body can do quite a lot anyway. Maybe you're overtraining and/or under resting.... If you're overtraining and try to work out, you won't be able to complete it, that's ok, try anyway, just know when to stop.

0
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on July 28, 2014
at 07:01 PM

It matters a lot - mind over matter! Diet can only fix so much.

Do you hate your job? Or is your job your life? If yes to either, fix that. Do you have a support network (e.g. church, family, close friends)? Those is the keys to longevity and health, those are the factors in the so-called 'blue zones,' as their diets are radically different.

In fact, that's probably the only reason you felt 100% before, positive attitude about change was the last 50%. Now that the novelty has worn off, you're back to where diet alone gets you.

0
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on July 28, 2014
at 07:00 PM

Your thesis is that Paleo is a placebo and that the initial changes are functionally a component of "mind-over-matter". Interesting, and could be accurate.

Personally, I think that both a hyper- and hypo- caloric diet causes the body to fatigue. And the prime culprit for people who feel fatigued on any diet. Here are some suggestions:

1. Get checked. there are several chronic fatigue syndromes out there (although rare). Other conditions (like low Vit D, etc) can also have fatigue as a symptom.

2. Monitor your caloric intake. You need to eat enough calories -- but not too many. Paleo helps given that high level of satiety that people get from eating nutrient dense foods. But it also can hurt. I know for my personal N=1, when I am good about my diet (i.e. not too many beers and mexi-paleo nights) I have to be cognizant that I eat enough. I feel like I am stuffing my face @ 1600 calories. After 3-4 months you will get run down.

3. Monitor or tweak your carb intake. I went from 50g to 75g to 100g and am currently between 100-150g per day. Every increase was met with a hammer of energy. If you are active, ketosis may not be your friend. Yes there are many active people who do well -- I was not one of them.

4. Monitor your sleeping. Most people can do with more sleep. But just as important as the 7-8 hours -- make sure you are getting them at the right times. fighting your circadian rhythm isn't going to work out well for you.

5. Exercise more (or less). Not sure how much you exercise, but the body is a machine. The more you push it, the more it will respond -- until it breaks. Be active constantly and exercise. But if you are already a 7 workouts per week person, try remaining active but dropping down to 3 weeks.

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