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Beginner Paleo Foginess

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 06, 2012 at 11:40 PM

I just started Paleo last week and now just feel so dead it's ridiculous.

I see a post about a "Low Carb Flu", but I have been low carb for quite some time. I ate very healthy with lots of veggies, protein and some fats. The biggest change for me is now I am up to about 60% fat and am feeling dead at work past noon.

I know people say it's part of the process (it's only been a week), but are there any remedies? I have to speak with people on the phone about software engineering (recruiting) and I can't just say "Oh I'm trying Paleo and not feeling well, sorry".

I easily get my protein at around 200g already (6', 180lbs, great shape, exercise often)...would it be bad to go higher than that? I basically just feel the need/want to eat a bunch right now, but I don't want to eat straight fat all the time. Thanks in advance for any help!

EDIT: I was eating a lot of beans before (mainly lentils) for my protein and I suppose that gave me some carbs as well. I would have a serving for bfast and lunch...maybe that has something to do with it?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 07, 2012
at 11:51 PM

mM: if it were only genetic ancestry that we needed to know to prescribe optimal diet. :) It's only a hypothetical guideline - one of many that could be used to build a picture as to the type of genes one is carrying (as well as their epigenetic status) and how they may interact with environment.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 07, 2012
at 11:50 PM

mM: if only we needed to know genetic ancestry to prescribe optimal diet. It's only a hypothetical guideline - one of many that could be used to build a picture as to the type of genes one is carrying (as well as their epigenetic status) and how they may interact with environment. :)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 07, 2012
at 11:47 PM

mM: the association between ancestral origin latitude and calorie type is a hypothetical guideline - there are many other factors that could come into play, including being a statistical outlier :)

86c97b2779feab3c330f5e1c5fea7e25

(2312)

on November 07, 2012
at 04:17 PM

I started going low carb just to drop some extra weight...I have never been overweight but wanted to get into better shape. I always felt fine, but now I've cut down to less than 100g carbs (tracking carbs with an app to start off and noticing all the small things that have carbs) and NOW I feel the fatigue. I might sneak some 5 Hour Energies in at work to make it through this tough into phase

86c97b2779feab3c330f5e1c5fea7e25

(2312)

on November 07, 2012
at 04:15 PM

Great response, thanks...and congrats on the susses so far! I do not need to lose a lot of weight, just hoping to get from 12% bf down to maybe 8%. I DO, however, want to become keto-adapted though because I like to do long runs, half marathons, etc and I want my body to be able to use fat as fuel for those (would be a cool feeling to go for a 10 mile run and not need to have carbs before). Seems like I will just need to suck it up for now.

86c97b2779feab3c330f5e1c5fea7e25

(2312)

on November 07, 2012
at 04:02 PM

This is very interesting and definitely seems suitable for me. I kind of started Paleo at a bad time...half marathon this weekend so am cutting carbs for that before my carb up starts today (I have researched all about this so I don't need anyone telling me it's useless, etc). My question to this is...I am hoping to get into that "fat burning stage" where my body primarily burns fat for fuel...will this deter that from happening? Thanks!

75b3b900d09e555fc57b74ca24f7a76a

on November 07, 2012
at 12:39 PM

It sounds like you have been becoming increasingly low carb over time. Was there a point at which decreasing your carbs was giving you benefits? At what point did the excessive fatigue set in?

153c4e4a22734ded15bf4eb35b448e85

(762)

on November 07, 2012
at 12:03 PM

I don't know about his, my ancestry is from lapland, and I am part sami, that's pretty north, and I don't do well without carbs, and I get lots of inflammation, and health problem with a lot of meat, and fat, although my genetics say that this would be ideal to me :)

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on November 07, 2012
at 11:27 AM

There are many ways to do things and different people are suited by different macro ratios. I suggest that just as totalising low carb presciptions are counter productive, so too are those concerning eating carbs so as to avoid 'not being able to function'. You subjectively thrive on fruits, others may or cannot.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 07, 2012
at 05:39 AM

MG, one way is to look at genetic ancestry. Individuals who can trace their ancestry to tropical and Mediterranean zones are more likely to be less low-carb adapted than individuals that come from more Northern zones where there would have been greater dependance on animal fat for calories. As you move further from the equator and there is greater seasonality, there are differences in the flora and fauna that would have been available for food. The closer to the poles you can trace your ancestry to, the easier it would be to become low-carb adapted.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on November 07, 2012
at 04:21 AM

Well, perhaps from the business in Harry's profile that he is continually and subtly touting on here...

7bab99c303f1e83d3d9722a414dd7b45

(524)

on November 07, 2012
at 12:53 AM

"It's worthwhile considering if one is suited to extreme low carb before embarking on it".... <--- just curious how one would know if one is suited for it or not? I'm new to low carb and the more I read, the more I come across similar cautions, but I've yet to figure out how to know if it's suitable for me, without just trying it 100% and seeing what happens

86c97b2779feab3c330f5e1c5fea7e25

(2312)

on November 06, 2012
at 11:52 PM

Thanks Mike, but I really haven't had much carbs in my diet for about a year now. So it's not like my body is used to using carbs for energy in the first place

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4 Answers

4
Af40b5ddd709269dddd832a676e5e111

(78)

on November 07, 2012
at 09:43 AM

I will get murdered for this but real Paleo ain't low carb, When I did Mark's Daily Apple "diet" I felt kike absolute crap. Weight loss was not that great and I was losing muscle. On 100 grams of carbs.

I didn't give up on Paleo. I read Cordain's book and some other old school palo guys who basically have this motto: If you can pick it or kill it- eat.

So drastically increased my fruits and kept vegetables high. I eat about 8 servings of fruit along. I try to stick to low gylcemic fruits like granny smith apples, oranges, berries, etc. I try keeping them to the kind diabetics eat but I eat a lot of fruits and love pine apple, etc,

I don't count carbs on this diet but start every single day with a protein shake, cod liver oil and apple. Adding fruits improved my energy levels ten fold, increased (yes INCREASED fat loss) and increased muscle gain. I love more muscular and lean since adding fruits and fell 1000x better.

I honestly think "low carb" is crap and counter productive. I suggest you stay away from any paleo diet that tells you to count carbs. You won't be able to function with 50-100 grams of carbs per day,

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on November 07, 2012
at 11:27 AM

There are many ways to do things and different people are suited by different macro ratios. I suggest that just as totalising low carb presciptions are counter productive, so too are those concerning eating carbs so as to avoid 'not being able to function'. You subjectively thrive on fruits, others may or cannot.

86c97b2779feab3c330f5e1c5fea7e25

(2312)

on November 07, 2012
at 04:02 PM

This is very interesting and definitely seems suitable for me. I kind of started Paleo at a bad time...half marathon this weekend so am cutting carbs for that before my carb up starts today (I have researched all about this so I don't need anyone telling me it's useless, etc). My question to this is...I am hoping to get into that "fat burning stage" where my body primarily burns fat for fuel...will this deter that from happening? Thanks!

2
E5755de8920dec1ce553316c823798e8

on November 07, 2012
at 11:26 AM

It's important to make a distinction between paleo and ketogenic. Which one you follow depends on your goals. If you're going for weight-loss first and foremost then you should focus on becoming keto-adapted (fat burning with 50-100 g of carbs daily) so that you train your cells to run on fat primarily. As you begin ketone production and the adaption to burning them you will probably feel suboptimal.

However, if you're not trying to get leaner and just want to address auto-immune, digestive, or general health issues then you should pick up your carb levels using complex carb starches and green veggies. Add in more fruit and berries if you enjoy it too. This will give you a pick me up since you'll be processing glucose again and your mitochondria won't feel starved.

Check out a new blog I'm starting that is written from a beginner's perspective Paleo Novice. I aim to try and leave the complex science and tweaking out for now and just write about getting the diet clean and the activity levels up to a minimum. I'm brand new at blogging so any feedback is welcome.

86c97b2779feab3c330f5e1c5fea7e25

(2312)

on November 07, 2012
at 04:15 PM

Great response, thanks...and congrats on the susses so far! I do not need to lose a lot of weight, just hoping to get from 12% bf down to maybe 8%. I DO, however, want to become keto-adapted though because I like to do long runs, half marathons, etc and I want my body to be able to use fat as fuel for those (would be a cool feeling to go for a 10 mile run and not need to have carbs before). Seems like I will just need to suck it up for now.

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 07, 2012
at 12:41 AM

Not everyone should expect to have the ability to successfully adapt to low carb.

In fact, for certain people, low carb may not be in alignment with their metabolism and genetics. It's worthwhile considering if one is suited to extreme low carb before embarking on it (but everyone should expect to benefit from low processed carb).

However, to answer your question, you should consider your micronutrient intake and ensure that the flu symptoms you're experiencing are not as a result of some deficiency there.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on November 07, 2012
at 04:21 AM

Well, perhaps from the business in Harry's profile that he is continually and subtly touting on here...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 07, 2012
at 05:39 AM

MG, one way is to look at genetic ancestry. Individuals who can trace their ancestry to tropical and Mediterranean zones are more likely to be less low-carb adapted than individuals that come from more Northern zones where there would have been greater dependance on animal fat for calories. As you move further from the equator and there is greater seasonality, there are differences in the flora and fauna that would have been available for food. The closer to the poles you can trace your ancestry to, the easier it would be to become low-carb adapted.

7bab99c303f1e83d3d9722a414dd7b45

(524)

on November 07, 2012
at 12:53 AM

"It's worthwhile considering if one is suited to extreme low carb before embarking on it".... <--- just curious how one would know if one is suited for it or not? I'm new to low carb and the more I read, the more I come across similar cautions, but I've yet to figure out how to know if it's suitable for me, without just trying it 100% and seeing what happens

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 07, 2012
at 11:51 PM

mM: if it were only genetic ancestry that we needed to know to prescribe optimal diet. :) It's only a hypothetical guideline - one of many that could be used to build a picture as to the type of genes one is carrying (as well as their epigenetic status) and how they may interact with environment.

153c4e4a22734ded15bf4eb35b448e85

(762)

on November 07, 2012
at 12:03 PM

I don't know about his, my ancestry is from lapland, and I am part sami, that's pretty north, and I don't do well without carbs, and I get lots of inflammation, and health problem with a lot of meat, and fat, although my genetics say that this would be ideal to me :)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 07, 2012
at 11:47 PM

mM: the association between ancestral origin latitude and calorie type is a hypothetical guideline - there are many other factors that could come into play, including being a statistical outlier :)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 07, 2012
at 11:50 PM

mM: if only we needed to know genetic ancestry to prescribe optimal diet. It's only a hypothetical guideline - one of many that could be used to build a picture as to the type of genes one is carrying (as well as their epigenetic status) and how they may interact with environment. :)

1
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on November 06, 2012
at 11:44 PM

Unfortunately this is one of the times you'll just have to suck it up and deal with it. The low carb flu is basically your mitochondria adjusting to burn more fat than carbs. So right now you're out of fuel because you're trying to burn the wrong stuff. That adaptation takes some time. It took me nearly 3 weeks. Sometimes, things like coconut oil can help because that's a much easier to burn fat, but adding in carbs will just delay the transition.

Here's a good post about the low carb flu: http://www.gnolls.org/1984/the-science-behind-the-low-carb-flu-and-how-to-regain-your-metabolic-flexibility/

86c97b2779feab3c330f5e1c5fea7e25

(2312)

on November 06, 2012
at 11:52 PM

Thanks Mike, but I really haven't had much carbs in my diet for about a year now. So it's not like my body is used to using carbs for energy in the first place

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