I began the diet 2 1/2 weeks ago. Although super lethargic and experiencing headaches, my stomach was flat, I felt thinner, empty, clean and had news desires for real food! Now I still have the fatigue, light headless and headaches (note: I AM a chronic headache suffere anyway - was hoping diet would help), yet belly feeling bloated, don't feel light and clean and high functions. The amazing, regular bowel movements I had at first have stopped. All was GREAT until 4 days ago. I thought I traced it back to having too many almonds and cashews. I have since cut out all nuts as well as ZERO fruit (was eating low to moderate amounts of fruit in the paleo diet initially). Now I feel deprived. At first I felt unrestricted. It was easy to go paleo. Since 100% cutting out nuts and fruit it feels, well, not like as much fun as before. I'm an all or nothing kind of person, do I thought I'd do NO nuts rather than"some" nuts. I figured seeds would be great for me! No? There is SO much conflicting information out there. Can you guys help me? Should I just eat fruits and nuts? For goodness sake- no bowel movement yet today despite the one cup of strong coffee, spinach and broccoli! Maybe I should go back to what was working for me? Why the sudden change of results???? That's my main wonder. Notes: I have 3 children under age 4. The youngest is 9 months and 99.999% soley Breastfed (I mention because this means he is almost solely nourished by what my body produces for him), lastly, I get 6 hours of interrupted sleep a night. I have a baby! Can't really do anything about the sleep deprivation..just have to wait until he is older, eating more solids and sleeping through the night. - I had heard that nursing burns 500 calories a day - that is what inspires me to solely nurse my baby's for longer than most - that and nothing else in the world I can offer them would be better for them. Any and all feedback that might help guide me and not confuse me further would be a big support to this newbie, and a big help! Can't wait for some replies!
asked byMia_2 (60)
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on July 11, 2012
at 08:21 PM
Paleo's not a diet--not in the "easy weight loss" sense, at any rate. If you're treating it as such, and have big expectations for weight loss, do yourself a huge favor--stop.
You're breastfeeding, you're not getting enough sleep, and you have three kids under the age of four. That's a LOT to deal with. Instead of adding more stress over whether you're doing a diet correctly, try sticking to the very basics of paleo--eat meat, fish, eggs, green veg, the occasional tuber, a little bit of fruit, and the occasional handful of nuts. Make sure you get enough fat, as well as protein (adequate fat also solves the bathroom issues you've had). Avoid grains, sugars, and seed oils.
Within those parameters, eat what you feel like eating, and as much of it as you need to feel satisfied. Focus on your overall sense of well-being, not weight loss. Eventually, you'll start to find a balance of what works for you. But don't go to extremes and eat nothing but fruit and nuts--that's not paleo, it's desperation, and it will only add another layer of stress you don't need. And don't flail around, cutting good foods from your diet when it makes you feel deprived--because anyone who has ever been on a diet knows that feeling deprived and unhappy spells doom.
And another thing to consider--you say you're an "all or nothing" sort of person. From observing other "all or nothing" people, I know that can be a source of tremendous stress. When everything is all/nothing, black/white, right/wrong, you're spending your life whipping yourself back and forth between success and failure, with very little time to relax and renew yourself in between. So try learning to recognize when you're in "all or nothing" mode, and notice the amount of stress it's creating for you. If you can reduce the amount of self-inflicted stress you create for yourself, that will have a tremendous effect on your overall health. The folks here will give you all kinds of good dietary recommendations, but I think stress management and learning to go easier on yourself would really help a lot.
on July 11, 2012
at 07:03 PM
It would be helpful for people answering if you could provide some details of what you've been eating for the past 2 weeks - not a food diary or anything, just which Paleo variety you're following.
But based on what you've said so far, the lethargy might have to do with low-carb flu, if you've cut carbs down. The constipation might be too little fat - or, at least, increasing the fat you eat may help with it.
Make sure you're staying well-hydrated - after all, milk is fluid, so you're losing a lot of fluid each day with breastfeeding. That could help with both headaches and constipation.
I wouldn't get hung up on calories - make sure you're getting good nutrition based on real food and avoiding sugar and food from seeds that don't include shells (and therefore defend themselves chemically), and give yourself some time to adapt - sometimes, it takes longer than a couple of weeks.
on July 11, 2012
at 06:54 PM
I think that you should try to be more lenient with yourself. You are breastfeeding, and adding too much additional stress is not easy for your body. I do think you should eat a bit of fruit and some nuts, but stick to macadamias, they're very good.
Your current feeling may not have anything to do with the diet, or it could just be an adjustment period, but in either case, treat yourself kindly. Your question felt very tense. This is not necessarily a black and white scenario, just a series of steps that you can try, and discard the approaches that don't work for you.
on July 11, 2012
at 06:41 PM
Have you tried eating more probiotic foods? Probiotics are foods like yogurt that contain good bacteria that can help your gut. If you don't react well to dairy, you can eat traditional kimchi or sauerkraut (as long as it isn't pasteurized - you'll probably have to get it at a farmer's market or organic grocery), probiotic coconut milk or goat's milk kefir. Also, make sure you're drinking plenty of water.
There is a lot of conflicting information - the only real way to go about it is to use common sense, and do a lot of self-experimentation. I'm not sure why you felt you needed to cut out fruit: if you had too many nuts, it might be a good idea to cut those out, but that doesn't mean you need to start limiting your fruit intake...is there a reason you stopped with the fruit?
Also, it's perfectly normal to occasionally go for a day without a BM. I wouldn't freak out about it unless it becomes something more unusual.