Digestion problems when cheating

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 26, 2013 at 7:03 AM

Hi all, I've been eating Paleo for around 5 months now, but I do cheat maybe once a month with a doghnut or an ice-cream when I have a sugar craving.

The thing is that I get quite sick after I cheat, my stomach is all bloated and I can feel that it's really hard for it to digest the food that I wasn't supposed to eat.

I know it's normal to have a reaction when your stomach is used to Paleo and then you shock it with grains or dairy, but my question is why does this happen? Is it just because you're no longer used to digesting those foods? I was just amazed to see how my body reacted to these foods that I've been eating my whole life before I started Paleo dieting.

I have a good metabolism as I am a very active person and eat every 4-5 hours. I absolutely do not want to stop eating Paleo as I think it's a great diet and I feel a lot healthier, but I was just wondering about what goes on in my stomach.

Thank you!

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3 Answers


on May 10, 2013
at 11:42 AM

It's my understanding that when you eat donuts and other cheats all the time, you build up a sort of tolerance to them. So when you eliminate them from your diet, the tolerance goes away and your reaction is magnified.

I always hear people say "well why would you eat like this if it makes your stomach more sensitive?" and I think, well just because you don't feel the negative reactions, dosen't mean they aren't happening. Eliminating those foods on a regular basis makes you more in tune with what they are actually doing to you!


on April 26, 2013
at 08:22 AM

I have the same problem. I think the key here is not to eat badly, or if you are going to eat 'badly' per se, make sure it won't be something that will make you suffer for days after.

I never eat gluten and I had a hamburger bun over the weekend and it took 4+ days for my digestive system to recover. One time I had a few slices of pizza and felt like complete crap for a week. Hard lessons to learn. I find having a few probiotic pills over the next few days helps get things back to normal a bit sooner, but I can't say for sure.



on April 26, 2013
at 07:52 AM

What you experience is common. Most people around here found that they were gluten intolerant all their life and they didn't know about it. They have similar experience when they cheat with gluten after they've been off of it for a while, which is why it's suggested to cheat with white rice, a white potato, more fruits, or a yogurt if you feel like cheating, but no glutenous grains.

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