1

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Issues with high fat

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 21, 2012 at 5:56 AM

Hi-I asked a question a few days ago regarding my diet and cravings. The responses I got all pretty unanimously said I needed to add more fat. I did that and for the past week have felt pretty sluggish and terrible. And my cravings (and ability to control cravings) have been the worst since starting paleo almost two months ago. All the great effects I was feeling are completely gone. And I packed back on the weight I had lost. Here's what I was eating with the changes I made:

Breakfast--2 Eggs with fish oil and lots of water---I added 3 strips of bacon to that.

Mid-Day (at varying times and in varying order)--chicken breast cooked in olive oil, avocado, celery with almond butter---I swapped the celery/almond butter for asparagus cooked in that morning's bacon fat. Also started eating the avocado later in the day and having smoked salmon with it.

Dinner--Protein shake with whey, berries, spinach, almond milk---swapped out for either more bacon and eggs or on most days was too full from the salmon and avocado to even think about dinner.

I do crossfit 3-4 times a week and run occasionally. The first diet left me feeling hungry which caused cravings that I was able to either ignore or snack on blueberries and nuts and the craving would subside. Adding the fat left me with gas, heartburn (both of which I experienced daily prior to paleo and was free of both for the first 6 weeks, before adding the fat), and feeling terrible during my workouts. And my cravings for something sweet intensified. Each morning I've woken up thinking CHOCOLATE. CHOCOLATE NOW. This was not the norm for me prior to adding the extra fat. Not sure if it's relevant, but I was a vegetarian for 10 years prior to starting paleo almost two months ago. I had no problem adjusting to lean meats. Am I just not able to handle the fattier stuff? Any suggestions for other meats to try? I'm clearly pretty new to meat-eating in general.

Added info: I'm 32 female, 5'2 142 looking to drop about 20 pounds. Thanks!

5c94900002a867dfa2a8fcd91a576c5e

(456)

on April 22, 2012
at 12:08 AM

I don't think the almond milk is the problem. I drink Blue Diamond unsweetened and have been drinking it for awhile now (long before going paleo)...I've been dairy free for a long time and it's my go-to. Also, the bacon I get is nitrate and nitrite free. I pay really close attention to the quality of my food.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on April 21, 2012
at 11:02 PM

i guess there may be some okay almond milks then, tho i was never able to find any where i live. i now stick to a 'clean' organic coconut milk which i can get okay. The almond milks i was seeing must have been sweetened with ingredients lists like; Cane Sugar, Almonds (2%), Mineral Salts (Tricalcium Phosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate), rice syrup, sunflower oil, Evaporated Cane Juice, Locust Bean Gum, Sunflower Lecithin, Gellan Gum,

D234fb481bab6f51f5f2c23e1d21a500

(0)

on April 21, 2012
at 08:28 PM

Low-fat, low-carbohydrate diets are necessarily high in protein. And that can be hard on your kidneys. It's definitely worth looking into your reactions to your change in diet, but it may not be the extra fat you've added, but something else, instead: perhaps the nitrites in the bacon, for example. Or (I'm just guessing here, perhaps you have a low-level allergy/intolerance to eggs, and the additional eggs you've added have pushed you over some threshhold). Your diet was pretty high-fat before, (eggs, avocados, olive oil, almond butter, etc.). Don't jump to conclusions...

Medium avatar

(1029)

on April 21, 2012
at 06:59 PM

agreed, nothing much to cause harm in unsweetened almond milk

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on April 21, 2012
at 01:03 PM

@daz, never seen much detrimental stuff in almond milks myself: maybe a little emulsifier (how bad is this really?) and added vitamins/minerals.

Ba09704971e33481f5716c4790648966

(1794)

on April 21, 2012
at 11:51 AM

Same, whenever I crave chocolate, I know. That's just me. I also agree with the Omega-6 comment.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on April 21, 2012
at 09:53 AM

yeah I just go with it now. I find I am definitely a lot more tired and could probably use the extra protein, and to be honest, usually the following week I am fine and end up eating considerably less, so it doesn't phase me too much :)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 21, 2012
at 09:45 AM

Yes, I wondered about magnesium too. http://heartofwisdom.com/blog/are-you-getting-enough-magnesium/

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on April 21, 2012
at 09:00 AM

Bingo! Yup, I used to wrestle with that week of suddenly being unsatisfied and extra hungry, now I just roll with it, and let the cravings lead (within reason), often shifting from fewer large meals, to more frequent snacks. Hormones are wacky things, and I have learned to respect them, and trust that they know more about what I need at that particular moment than any diet book.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on April 21, 2012
at 08:47 AM

Just got mine this morning...completely explains my week that's just past...EVERYTHING looked edible and hunger was insatiable...it all makes sense now

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on April 21, 2012
at 08:44 AM

do you make the Almond Milk yourself? if its shop bought, check the ingredients list, its most likely full of bad stuff & should be avoided. all 'alternative' shop bought processed milks (nut milks, rice milks etc) are usually full of rubbish

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on April 21, 2012
at 08:34 AM

here's the link to Jill's previous question http://paleohacks.com/questions/112392/daily-diet-help (at least i think it is)

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on April 21, 2012
at 06:34 AM

I ain't pimpin', this just fits. Check out Perfect Health Diet, the blog and maybe the book http://perfecthealthdiet.com/

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9 Answers

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0
Bece741db5f5fed6bafa12e3548f973f

(715)

on April 21, 2012
at 04:11 PM

Maybe experiment and see what works for you. Personally I eat a more varied diet, although I often have eggs for breakfast. I also make veggie cheese omlets (some paleo don't do dairy but I do organic dairy) I use butter, I eat the bacon but I don't cook in the bacon fat. I don't like it and it doesn't like me. :-) I only eat half an avacado at a time. I don't drink water with the meal, I always drink in between. During PMS I up the carbs a little and will sneak in a couple squares dark chocolate. I didn't for the first couple months, because I wanted to get past the cravings. I've never been vegan, but I've dealt with gas, bloating and reflux. Generally not any more. At my daughter's house my son in law cooked my eggs in canola and I felt like garbage all day.

When I did weight watchers I did all this low fat/no fat stuff and the loss was very slow and I craved. I feel so much better this time around.

This may take time and adjustment for you, as some have said. Read and study the info but maybe take it a step at a time. Adjust the exercise, adjust the diet, learn to listen to your body's signals. The evidence is that it works, but don't be the slave, let it serve you.

The Schwarzbein Principle is a good book if you want to read up on the good fat thing. I thought it was really helpful for me.

12
Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on April 21, 2012
at 06:24 AM

Well, when people eat low carb and feel really bad for a long time I usually say to start eating carbs again. Make sure to get all of the micronutrients you need. I think you may just need to focus on being healthy in every way and getting comfortable and feeling good. Since low carb isn't helping, maybe it's not right for you.

As we will see from this study, in controlled settings with little variability between a moderate carb and a very low carb diet in caloric intake, there was no difference in weight loss until the low carb group started feeling bad, was less vital, and decreased their activity levels, and lost less weight than the higher carb group http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16685046 Sound familiar?*

And as I always say, relax and enjoy the new experience. Enjoy learning about nutrition, all of the little tidbits and pieces that help you out. There are so many things you could try. Go find them. There is no one-shot panacea.

*I'm not saying that "low carb is really bad for everyone, totally kills you..." It could just be that their micronutrient intake was poorer, but that can be a problem for many. I guarantee that a large percentage of people on a high fat paleo diet are deficient in nutrients because they don't plan it right. And micronutrients have been demonstrated to be useful in losing fat, likely due their role as cofactors in metabolic reactions http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20142823 I don't see why not just eat more carbs and focus on health so people have good appetite regulation and vitality. Macronutrient manipulation just scratches the surface of vitality, after all. I wouldn't go too low in any of them, that can hinder vitality.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on April 21, 2012
at 06:34 AM

I ain't pimpin', this just fits. Check out Perfect Health Diet, the blog and maybe the book http://perfecthealthdiet.com/

6
1c1d30cb9db5a4572864676044466c6e

on April 21, 2012
at 06:29 AM

Hello Jill, I am only at the beginning of a Paleo journey myself too, so cannot comment with any authority, however....I have certainly found that this way of eating is not immune to monthly cravings! In fact I now feel that the monthly menstrual cycle is much more pronounced and chocolate cravings hit me hard in the week prior to menstruation. Around ovulation I actually find that I crave more fat :). All of the "weight" that I put on pre-menstrually disappears again the next week without any extra effort on my part. As you are a young, fit female, I would guess that cravings might also be linked to hormones, and is your body's way of asking for more carbs at that time of the month. I found relief in eating more root vegetables like sweet potato, carrots, parsnips and having the odd banana at breakfast too. As for being an ex vegetarian, then again I would guess that yes, your body (liver and gall bladder especially) need time to get up to speed with dealing with animal fats? but then I hope someone more knowledgeable can comment. Have you tried consuming coconut oil? Best of Luck Sarah

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on April 21, 2012
at 09:00 AM

Bingo! Yup, I used to wrestle with that week of suddenly being unsatisfied and extra hungry, now I just roll with it, and let the cravings lead (within reason), often shifting from fewer large meals, to more frequent snacks. Hormones are wacky things, and I have learned to respect them, and trust that they know more about what I need at that particular moment than any diet book.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on April 21, 2012
at 09:53 AM

yeah I just go with it now. I find I am definitely a lot more tired and could probably use the extra protein, and to be honest, usually the following week I am fine and end up eating considerably less, so it doesn't phase me too much :)

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on April 21, 2012
at 08:47 AM

Just got mine this morning...completely explains my week that's just past...EVERYTHING looked edible and hunger was insatiable...it all makes sense now

3
217233ef0af8dd0b0d6cdcab4f4b57a1

on April 21, 2012
at 07:13 AM

You had mentioned that you were feeling sluggish and craving sweets. Both of those can be a sign of magnesium deficiency and can be caused from overtraining. The other problem that I have run into with weight gain has been relying to heavily on nuts for fat intake which are high in omega-6 fatty acids. Keep up the good work!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 21, 2012
at 09:45 AM

Yes, I wondered about magnesium too. http://heartofwisdom.com/blog/are-you-getting-enough-magnesium/

Ba09704971e33481f5716c4790648966

(1794)

on April 21, 2012
at 11:51 AM

Same, whenever I crave chocolate, I know. That's just me. I also agree with the Omega-6 comment.

2
2a00b9a42e4cb6e489a0e69d20714576

on April 22, 2012
at 12:52 AM

I don't understand, where's all the meat, fish, etc.... Your diet seems mainly composed of chicken, eggs, veggies and some salmon thrown in. Where's the beef, lamb, pork, mussels, scallops, bison, buffalo, elk and llama? Too much bacon and industrially made shakes. I'd be exhausted too if I was subsiding mainly on pure protein and carb sources. Fat from whole foods is far better in addition to coconut oil for cooking. Try something like this; Breakfast; 2-4 whole eggs, 3 pieces of bacon or uncured pork belly lunch; salmon cooked in butter with veggies, pork chops cooked in curry coconut milk sauce, lamb chops, mussels with beef tenderloin Dinner; minimum of 6 oz of a variety of meats, such as a nice ribeye, t bone, pork roast, stew with sirloin beef etc.. Cook with coconut oil, take a tablespoon yourself. Flourish your body with nutrients, eventually when your body is replenished with vitamins it will retrain your satiety meter. Eat slowly, savour every bite and put the plate in the fridge when your 50-75 percent full. Also a smaller plate is always helpful. Maybe even slow down on the workouts. Focus on walking and body weights.

1
3e0c2c2885a0ba30b474045ba086adaa

(110)

on April 21, 2012
at 07:24 AM

I would say Sarah is on the right track. Being vegetarian for years will be a contributer. Your liver/ gallbladder may need help. Find a Doctor of chiropractic in your area that carries standard process products. You will likely benefit from a few months of af betafood (thins your bile and cleans out that system) and livaplex to support your liver. You may also benefit from zypan (digestive enzymes), but ask the doctor you go to...

1
28202d79242c133e8a408682b575e5bc

on April 21, 2012
at 06:24 AM

On the days you work out I would add some carbs like a sweet potatoe. Since you are doing crossfit and running it sounds like you might be over training also. So maybe up your protein and like I said add some potatoes in on your crossfit days.

0
5249df0c1098a8ea4607cc305f0cbdcf

on April 21, 2012
at 12:56 PM

try fasting a bit

0
99aca1e07394135ea1e040582ce54b4d

on April 21, 2012
at 08:03 AM

I've suddenly started having sweet cravings out of nowhere too - and being hungrier than usual. It could be hormonal as I'm perimenopausal and my hormones are pretty much all over the place but it definitely isn't magnesium deficiency as I'm supplementing pretty heavily to try and improve my sleep (which is working a little).

I've been eating pretty low carb for a while now, but am becoming more active (as my energy levels have improved greatly) - so my experiment for this week is to find out whether the sweet cravings are actually my body saying it needs some more sugar in the form of carbohydrates. I reckon it could be that the cravings are just looking for the quickest way to get sugar into my body.

For me it's all about finding what works for the individual. It sounds as though you're pretty active so if the extra fat didn't work, what will? More carbs perhaps?

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