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LOW Energy and sick on Intermittent Fasting? Here's MY STORY

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 24, 2011 at 7:23 PM

Hi guys. My story is a sad one.

I went Paleo/Primal around October 2010. I went from 5 meals a day to 3 meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Then I discovered Intermittent Fasting and I just ate lunch and dinner.

I became obsessed with calories and ended up losing too much weight, from 85 to 67kgs. I got entry in the hospital with low pulse rate, extremely LOW energy and swollen feet.

I got out of the hospital and haven't recovered fully. I'm still intermittent fasting 16/8, but now I have 3 meals setup like this:

Meal 1 - 1PM - low carb (fatty meat/fish with olive/coconut oil and yogurt/salads) Meal 2 - 5.30PM - medium carb (1 liter of milk + coconut oil) Meal 3 - PM - high carb (lean meat + potatoes + bit of fruit)

No grains and no legumes, just potatoes and the likes for around 200g daily. The reason for the meat is because I'm just not hungry to chew food, so I just swallow 1 to 1.5 liters of milk in the afternoon with or without coconut oil). Carbs help a bit with my poor sleep that's why I leave them for the end of the day.

Concerning sleep, I SLEEP like HELL: go to bed at 22.30PM, and wake up at 3-4AM, although I stay in bed until 6.30AM (most times). Some days are worse: today I couldn't sleep past 2.30AM after getting up to go to the bathroom (I get up 2-3 times to piss every night).

Now I'm on vacation and I'm very ANNOYED, anxious and a bit depressed because I don't know what the hell is wrong with me. Doctors haven't done SHIT, I just know that I have slight anemia.

During the day my right buttock and a bit of the right leg (and sometimes right arm/forearm up to pinky finger) are numb and a bit weak.

Blood sugar levels are probably not the issue either I guess. In the morning I went to give blood for a recent blood test I asked a nurse to check my blood sugar levels and it was 89 - fine according to her.

I don't know what's going on... everyday... my right buttock is a bit numb and weak. When it's worse, my energy levels are also worse... could be related somehow (could it be weights? - I haven't lifted weights in several days now).

I've read about hypothyroidism as it relates to some of the syptoms i have, although I don't have weight gain, I have WEIGHT loss.

Things I've done that I thought were/are helping me are:

1.raising my calories

2.having one more meal (from 2 to 3)

You guys think I should start having breakfast, lunch and dinner and just stop IF? The swollen feet I used to have were probably due to an infection, and if that's the case IF should help with that (as well as with hypothiroidism - although I'm not sure I have this).

I just feel tired of sometimes during the day having some shortness of breath, low energy and a slighty weak right buttock (and sometimes right forearm to pinky).

I'm not even enjoying my vacation with my girlfriend. I know I'm having enough calories, but the weight I'm gaining is very slow - and that is assuming my problem is fixed with a weight gain. Maybe IF is too "efficient" for my body when it comes to losing weight.

The last thing I'd want to do is to go back to grains and legumes... I just don't feel hunger enough to eat a LOT, but I do know I have lots of calories (2400 calories for my +150lbs - 70kgs). I'm not even active or anything, I just walk in the beach during the day while I'm on vacation.

I'm also a bit sensitive to cold.

I don't know what else to do, doctors have done nothing to improve my condition...just know I have a slight anemia so far (from the blood tests), the rest they say "it's ok" mostly.

In either case... would i be better off with the usual 3 SQUARES a day, or even 4 meals (breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner)?

D89511137c1849427593b3ef172578cb

(395)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Youre right, I did give myself this...

7eba3d743671649c1e06cacce0ba4e77

(1423)

on July 27, 2012
at 06:28 AM

Folate-deficiency Anemia perhaps?

D89511137c1849427593b3ef172578cb

(395)

on October 28, 2011
at 05:19 PM

I'm done with IF. Even though some sources say it doesn't, like Martin Berkhan, it can and will screw up your cortisol on a number of people. It's sad some people try to force their way through fasting like it's something they got to make work for themselves. I know it doesn't work for me. I went back to 3 squares a day and I'm considering going to 4 meals instead.

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on October 28, 2011
at 02:58 PM

I have been able to lose a lot of weight this year but I have THO thyroid antibodies so you never really know - I think you should definitely get the full thyroid panel done.

D89511137c1849427593b3ef172578cb

(395)

on August 09, 2011
at 07:23 PM

Thanks for the tip Amanda

B58511bcd1ecc0dd4ad8130859513c81

(430)

on August 08, 2011
at 02:36 PM

I have the same thing happen with the numbness, etc. You probably have muscle adhesions like I do. I use a foam roller to work out the knots, hurts real bad to do it, but then I feel so much better. Also, go to a good Massage therapist and see if that helps!

Ef4c5b09fdccf73be575d3a0c267fdd9

(2539)

on August 02, 2011
at 03:38 PM

I would like to add that potatoes are not bad and are just as nutritious as sweet potatoes.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on July 29, 2011
at 04:08 PM

And now you're going to heal your body. But deprivation (which fasting is) isn't the way to help. I think the most helpful thing first will be to create some joy in eating, and restore your appetite. Cook yourself your favorite things when you get home. Lots of flavor and variety. There's nothing wrong with drinking calories when your body is undernourished but load smoothies with whey protein, berries, bananas, greens, cream - more nutrients should be your goal, forget about calories for now.

D89511137c1849427593b3ef172578cb

(395)

on July 29, 2011
at 06:03 AM

Yeah, I'm having 200g of carbs per day. The numbness on my right buttock (slight numbness) is still worrying me.

D89511137c1849427593b3ef172578cb

(395)

on July 28, 2011
at 07:05 PM

Great idea Elizabeth... when I get my hands on whey I'll do a smoothie like this... liquid stuff makes it easier to swallow when I'm not feeling any hunger.

D89511137c1849427593b3ef172578cb

(395)

on July 28, 2011
at 07:04 PM

Is the 6 hour limit without food really important to follow? By the way I added a new whole comment on the thread below.

Dec2b5814c850b2b2510bd0a87bb4642

(163)

on July 25, 2011
at 09:40 PM

and I still add fresh organic Spinach and a scope of super food to the almond butter and cocoa smoothie ;)

Dec2b5814c850b2b2510bd0a87bb4642

(163)

on July 25, 2011
at 09:37 PM

You can make good smoothies with almost anything, just want to mix your fruits and veggies for a good flavor. I've seen some recipes with avocado but havent tried it yet myself. We got a 2 gallon of good whey for $22 online, think it was $30 at Whole Foods. Made a yummy smoothie with almond butter and cocoa too. Coconut oil is hard to put into a smoothie because it's hard when cold, have used coconut butter though and the chunks were tasty. Coconut and Almond milk will add in some good calories, Almond has a better Omega 6 blend and is a better antiinflamatory. We make our own Almond Milk.

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on July 25, 2011
at 07:45 PM

HYPERthyroid is more often associated with weight LOSS, and HYPOthyroid is more often associated with weight GAIN. If I were you, I would get my thyroid levels checked by an experienced naturopath immediately.

755d3a18737359da49c5e2167e5f2f63

on July 25, 2011
at 08:44 AM

Yeah, I eat breakfast upon waking, have a snack around 10am, lunch around 2 or 3 and then dinner before bed. I would also include some carbs with each meal instead of lumping them all at the end of your day. You may eventually be able to go back to intermittent fasting, but I wouldn't consider it for a long time, and I wouldn't skip more than 1 meal, 1 or 2 times a week. Make it truly intermittent. I know some people seem to do the 16 hour thing with apparent success, but I don't think it combines very well with low carb.

D89511137c1849427593b3ef172578cb

(395)

on July 25, 2011
at 06:33 AM

White, I gess you're right. I may have to go back to smaller meals. To go no more than 6 hours without eating I'd have to have something like this: Meal 1 - 7-8AM Meal 2 - 1-2PM Meal 3 - 5.30PM (something liquid) Meal 4 - 9PM Let's suppose I get better after some time. Is it possible to go back to IF (I do 16 hours max currently), or would my body would be so used to the smaller meals that it would make it harder to go back?

D89511137c1849427593b3ef172578cb

(395)

on July 25, 2011
at 06:28 AM

Rogue, I thought about hypo and hyper thyroid, the problem is I haven't gained weight, I lost a lot of it. I do have a lot of symptoms related: WEAK fingernails, shortness of breath, fatigue, stuff like that.

D89511137c1849427593b3ef172578cb

(395)

on July 25, 2011
at 06:26 AM

Yes, great idea, I could make a drink with vegetables right? What kind of food could I make into a smoothie that is high in calories? Water with coconut oil and avocados? Other vegetables? It's going to end up low on carbs the smoothie if I don't add more stuff to it? How about a sweet potato into the mix (probably it will suck?)? Mm,m yabe fruit will do... the problem is I'm on vacation, I don't have Whey Protein and it's expensive to buy in stores (I buy in bulk).

D89511137c1849427593b3ef172578cb

(395)

on July 25, 2011
at 06:23 AM

Turkey, the funny thing is, my DOC says I have a slight anemia but that my iron levels and B12 are alright. She doesn't know where this is coming from.

Cc93847bfa820f0f2da654060b401fa5

(746)

on July 25, 2011
at 06:13 AM

Why are you fasting? This makes no sense. Eat more carbs. Eat everything you see. Did you feel better before paleo? Maybe do what you were doing before. Low-carb & IF can be like a disease.

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on July 25, 2011
at 05:28 AM

Fifteen minutes of meditation (or you can call them breathing exercises if that makes you feel better) makes my energy shoot through the roof for the next few hours. So do it because you want to regulate your cortisol but also because you want to have energy.

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11 Answers

7
755d3a18737359da49c5e2167e5f2f63

on July 24, 2011
at 08:28 PM

YES, you should STOP IF and start eating more often. It sounds to me like your cortisol is through the roof. Make sure you are getting enough calories, stick with 200g carbs per day, and make sure you go no more than 6 hours between meals (except when sleeping). You might also try meditation, either in the morning or before bed. No cardio. You can walk and lift a little, but not high rep.

You might also supplement vitamin C, and B complex, and magnesium, to help support your body in coping. For me, 50mg of zinc or 200mcg of Chromium would make me feel absolutely incredible for one day only. After that, it didn't help. I've not tried other suggested remedies like Holy Basil, Ashwagandha, or Phosphatidylserine. But none of them is going to help much in the long run if you don't take care of the underlying issues, which in this case sound likes your extended fasting (every day is not really intermittent, is it?), and possibly any other stressors you have going.

This is my guess, anyway, based on what I've experienced. Too much fasting will crank your cortisol and cause all kinds of problems.

D89511137c1849427593b3ef172578cb

(395)

on July 25, 2011
at 06:33 AM

White, I gess you're right. I may have to go back to smaller meals. To go no more than 6 hours without eating I'd have to have something like this: Meal 1 - 7-8AM Meal 2 - 1-2PM Meal 3 - 5.30PM (something liquid) Meal 4 - 9PM Let's suppose I get better after some time. Is it possible to go back to IF (I do 16 hours max currently), or would my body would be so used to the smaller meals that it would make it harder to go back?

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on July 25, 2011
at 05:28 AM

Fifteen minutes of meditation (or you can call them breathing exercises if that makes you feel better) makes my energy shoot through the roof for the next few hours. So do it because you want to regulate your cortisol but also because you want to have energy.

755d3a18737359da49c5e2167e5f2f63

on July 25, 2011
at 08:44 AM

Yeah, I eat breakfast upon waking, have a snack around 10am, lunch around 2 or 3 and then dinner before bed. I would also include some carbs with each meal instead of lumping them all at the end of your day. You may eventually be able to go back to intermittent fasting, but I wouldn't consider it for a long time, and I wouldn't skip more than 1 meal, 1 or 2 times a week. Make it truly intermittent. I know some people seem to do the 16 hour thing with apparent success, but I don't think it combines very well with low carb.

D89511137c1849427593b3ef172578cb

(395)

on July 28, 2011
at 07:04 PM

Is the 6 hour limit without food really important to follow? By the way I added a new whole comment on the thread below.

4
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on July 28, 2011
at 11:38 PM

I think you gave yourself an eating disorder and really messed your body up with the massive starvation weight loss. Cure is eating more food, more often, lots of calories, plenty of protein, fat and carbs, tons of nutrients - eat your fish and veggies, coconut oil and milk is not a meal. Weight be damned until you get your health sorted.

Couldn't hurt to get more thorough/detailed thyroid testing of course.

And really work on your sleep. There is lots of good info here.

D89511137c1849427593b3ef172578cb

(395)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Youre right, I did give myself this...

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on July 29, 2011
at 04:08 PM

And now you're going to heal your body. But deprivation (which fasting is) isn't the way to help. I think the most helpful thing first will be to create some joy in eating, and restore your appetite. Cook yourself your favorite things when you get home. Lots of flavor and variety. There's nothing wrong with drinking calories when your body is undernourished but load smoothies with whey protein, berries, bananas, greens, cream - more nutrients should be your goal, forget about calories for now.

2
Dec2b5814c850b2b2510bd0a87bb4642

on July 24, 2011
at 10:08 PM

Where are you getting your nutrition? Doesnt sound like you're eating any vegetables at all. Milk is bad, unless it's Raw and then should still be in lower quantities, potatoes are bad and have little nutrition. If u want the carbs, go for a sweet potato and add in some veggies for dinner. Have you thought about doing a green smoothie as a meal substitute? We use Whey protein (no fillers), kale, spinach, apple, blueberries, coconut milk or almond milk and a couple dates or raw honey for sweetness.

D89511137c1849427593b3ef172578cb

(395)

on July 25, 2011
at 06:26 AM

Yes, great idea, I could make a drink with vegetables right? What kind of food could I make into a smoothie that is high in calories? Water with coconut oil and avocados? Other vegetables? It's going to end up low on carbs the smoothie if I don't add more stuff to it? How about a sweet potato into the mix (probably it will suck?)? Mm,m yabe fruit will do... the problem is I'm on vacation, I don't have Whey Protein and it's expensive to buy in stores (I buy in bulk).

Dec2b5814c850b2b2510bd0a87bb4642

(163)

on July 25, 2011
at 09:40 PM

and I still add fresh organic Spinach and a scope of super food to the almond butter and cocoa smoothie ;)

Dec2b5814c850b2b2510bd0a87bb4642

(163)

on July 25, 2011
at 09:37 PM

You can make good smoothies with almost anything, just want to mix your fruits and veggies for a good flavor. I've seen some recipes with avocado but havent tried it yet myself. We got a 2 gallon of good whey for $22 online, think it was $30 at Whole Foods. Made a yummy smoothie with almond butter and cocoa too. Coconut oil is hard to put into a smoothie because it's hard when cold, have used coconut butter though and the chunks were tasty. Coconut and Almond milk will add in some good calories, Almond has a better Omega 6 blend and is a better antiinflamatory. We make our own Almond Milk.

D89511137c1849427593b3ef172578cb

(395)

on July 28, 2011
at 07:05 PM

Great idea Elizabeth... when I get my hands on whey I'll do a smoothie like this... liquid stuff makes it easier to swallow when I'm not feeling any hunger.

Ef4c5b09fdccf73be575d3a0c267fdd9

(2539)

on August 02, 2011
at 03:38 PM

I would like to add that potatoes are not bad and are just as nutritious as sweet potatoes.

2
Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on July 24, 2011
at 08:40 PM

Your symptoms sound a lot like hyperthyroid to me...I would find a good naturopath who is knowledgeable in proper testing of thyroid levels and get checked right away. My grandmother is currently suffering from the effects of extreme hyperthyroidism, and it's horrible...hers went unchecked for years and she's lucky to be alive.

D89511137c1849427593b3ef172578cb

(395)

on July 25, 2011
at 06:28 AM

Rogue, I thought about hypo and hyper thyroid, the problem is I haven't gained weight, I lost a lot of it. I do have a lot of symptoms related: WEAK fingernails, shortness of breath, fatigue, stuff like that.

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on July 25, 2011
at 07:45 PM

HYPERthyroid is more often associated with weight LOSS, and HYPOthyroid is more often associated with weight GAIN. If I were you, I would get my thyroid levels checked by an experienced naturopath immediately.

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on October 28, 2011
at 02:58 PM

I have been able to lose a lot of weight this year but I have THO thyroid antibodies so you never really know - I think you should definitely get the full thyroid panel done.

1
3b44c2fd8f0fa3fd838580d9ce5f100a

on November 22, 2012
at 09:54 AM

Not sure it this conversation is still alive or not, i been IF a long time on and off, i got a window of 5-8 hours to eat, and make sure to eat good foods, i train 5 times per week fasted most of the time and i got high energy all the time. The first week is hard because the body adapts, but after that its very easy, you lose weight, crush the sugar cravings, are less hungry and feel your life less controlled by food. I also cook everything in coconut oil its great, i eat lean red meat, drink green tea, eat whole eggs with some turmeric, sea salt, take EFA, BCAA and some whey isolate, avoid milk and process foods. Carbs are bad but i eat some not to fall into ketosis most of my carbs will come from berries and greek yogourt.

1
113f8cec227ef6cddc0c12c59772653f

(10)

on July 23, 2012
at 06:22 AM

Dude, go get a burger. With fries.

1
B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

on July 25, 2011
at 04:52 AM

Just reading what you've written it sounds like you are a bit malnourished and need to build yourself back up. It sounds like your electrolytes were messed up when you went in the hospital and you mention being low on iron. Numbness in your leg and shortness of breath could be related to deficiency in vitamin B12. This is all just speculation though based upon your symptoms. What testing did your doctor do? If you were eating good foods, but not enough of them - hence the rapid weight loss - then you really need to concentrate of building yourself back up. Can you get some testing done to see if you have any deficiencies besides iron?

D89511137c1849427593b3ef172578cb

(395)

on July 25, 2011
at 06:23 AM

Turkey, the funny thing is, my DOC says I have a slight anemia but that my iron levels and B12 are alright. She doesn't know where this is coming from.

7eba3d743671649c1e06cacce0ba4e77

(1423)

on July 27, 2012
at 06:28 AM

Folate-deficiency Anemia perhaps?

0
F07276ece82e97a3e3238515d370c6de

on July 27, 2012
at 04:54 AM

I am week 5 into If and felt like shit in week 2. I started to make sure my first meal is all fruit. I didn't have energy or the will to chew after my first meal after fasting. Lots of fruit did the trick for m, getting full on it actually.

0
Efa62a3a7369aad4041f5953e2d0b6cf

on October 28, 2011
at 02:49 PM

Why don't you try and change your fasting regiment to one or two days a week, instead of 16/8 hours?

Have you checked yourself for ms? There is a correlation between this disease and high fat/ red meat intake, which can trigger symptoms..

D89511137c1849427593b3ef172578cb

(395)

on October 28, 2011
at 05:19 PM

I'm done with IF. Even though some sources say it doesn't, like Martin Berkhan, it can and will screw up your cortisol on a number of people. It's sad some people try to force their way through fasting like it's something they got to make work for themselves. I know it doesn't work for me. I went back to 3 squares a day and I'm considering going to 4 meals instead.

0
D89511137c1849427593b3ef172578cb

(395)

on August 02, 2011
at 02:20 PM

I had royal jelly, bee pollen and Siberian Ginsensg yesterday, and today I feel kind of better. My numbness is still there (maybe neurology related?) but I feel better overall.

Also, today I had my breakfast after a 12 hour fast because I just wasn't hungry. Dinner yesterday was at 9.30 pm and breakfast was around 10 am. Then lunch at 1.45pm and dinner will be at around 9pm with a green smoothie in the afternoon so I have something running on my body. So 3 meals and a snack seem fine so far.

B58511bcd1ecc0dd4ad8130859513c81

(430)

on August 08, 2011
at 02:36 PM

I have the same thing happen with the numbness, etc. You probably have muscle adhesions like I do. I use a foam roller to work out the knots, hurts real bad to do it, but then I feel so much better. Also, go to a good Massage therapist and see if that helps!

D89511137c1849427593b3ef172578cb

(395)

on August 09, 2011
at 07:23 PM

Thanks for the tip Amanda

0
D89511137c1849427593b3ef172578cb

(395)

on July 28, 2011
at 07:02 PM

Guys, this is Jonas, the OP. I'm still pondering doing 3 or 4 meals a day. Either:

Meal 1 - 8AM

Meal 2 - 2PM

Meal 3 - 9PM

OR

Meal 1 - 8AM

Meal 2 - 1PM

Meal 3 - 6PM (milk or something liquid)

Meal 4 - 9PM

I did 3 meals the other day and didn't notice much difference between 3 or 4 meals. Is the 6 hour limit without food really important? And actually, today I ate a small breakfast at 10AM, having eaten dinner at 10PM the previous day... so basically I had a 12 hour fast in there. I didn't felt low energy or anything, maybe my limit is 12 hours (I notice when I start getting goosebumps/cold, that's probably when I'm going too far).

Perhaps I should stick with a regular breakfast in the morning instead of skipping it to mid morning?

I have the problem of not feeling any hunger, that's why I'm insisting in having something liquid in the mid-afternoon in the 4 meal plan.

Also... I still have a slight weakness/numbness on my right buttock and right scapulae. I don't lift weights in over a week, I'm not sure if it's related or not. I notice that when I don't feel the slight numbness my energy levels are good, when I feel it, I tend to go down a bit. Weird...

By the way, according to my docs, my thyroid levels are ok/so-so... however I've read on the web that the "acceptable" thyroid levels are not really acceptable or optimal to judge a good healthy thyroid, so again I'm uncertain on this.

What are your views on what I wrote?

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