2

votes

Been on paleo for 3 months now & starting to feel very bad

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 06, 2012 at 11:37 PM

For the first 2 months of paleo I had a lot of energy and felt pretty good. My workouts were amazing & I was able to gain a lot of muscle without gaining weight. But recently (about the last 3 weeks I've been feeling tired and lethargic. About 3 weeks ago (when It was cool outside) I was very cold & kind of depressed. It was about 50 degrees out but my hands were as cold as ice & my nose was cold & red as well.

Now my workout recoveries don't seem to be as quick and I seem to be losing some of my thunder. I'm debating on maybe bringing rice, beans, lentils, and maybe oatmeal back into my diet to see if that helps?

I read on some guys online blog that the paleo diet often has a "honeymoon" period of 3-12 months and then it goes downhill from there. http://180degreehealth.com/tag/paleo-diet-dangers

"At first this can feel amazing ??? giving you tireless energy, blunting appetite, and burning up body fat. But over time the wear and tear on the adrenal glands to produce this increased demand for stress hormones catches up with you."-(180 degreehealth.com)...i feel like this explains how I'm feeling exactly...

any thoughts?

0b4326a4949718451a8571b82558dc10

(2349)

on May 17, 2012
at 10:04 PM

i think the positive response to the initial carb binge was thanks to the placebo effect

0b4326a4949718451a8571b82558dc10

(2349)

on May 17, 2012
at 10:02 PM

tweaking is continuing...I added a considerable amount of white rice and a sweet potato every day for about a week...next experiment- cut way down on kale and spinach. I just realized I'm eating about 12 cups per week.

0b4326a4949718451a8571b82558dc10

(2349)

on May 08, 2012
at 07:36 PM

thanks...I'm about to try white rice and sweet potatoes. I used to eat sweet potatoes..but only about once a week. Now i'm going to try at least every other day.

0b4326a4949718451a8571b82558dc10

(2349)

on May 08, 2012
at 07:34 PM

I only lost about 5 or 6 pounds...but I was already in great shape with low body fat before paleo...I'm about to go to the store. I'm gonna try to eat either a sweet potato or white rice every day now & see if that helps.

05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

on May 07, 2012
at 11:35 PM

Dude, its the digestion, period.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 07, 2012
at 04:20 PM

Carrots are more like a root vegetables. Good for you... in moderation, you don't want to eat it daily. Another thing to try - white rice. I prefer pumpkin (more nutritious), most people prefer sweet potatoes (Japanese variety).

0b4326a4949718451a8571b82558dc10

(2349)

on May 07, 2012
at 01:58 PM

1. no 2. no 3. agree 4. agree 5. agree 6. agree (unless carrots count) 7. agree 8. agree 9. no 10.no 11.agree 12.agree I'll try a couple of these things.

34cf7065a6c94062c711eb16c0f6adc3

on May 07, 2012
at 11:32 AM

Did you lose weight during your honeymoon period. You might be at a plateau, and your caloric input is too low. The other possibility is that you don't make enough glucose, and you need more carbs. Try first first and then add some safe starch, rice/potatoes.

0faecc3397025eab246241f4dcd81f5e

(2361)

on May 07, 2012
at 03:45 AM

I'd agree - you need carbs, try at least 150 grams per day, white rice is usually a safe addition as well as root veggies, fruit etc. www.perfecthelthdiet.com has lots on the problems of low carb.

0b4326a4949718451a8571b82558dc10

(2349)

on May 07, 2012
at 03:41 AM

Thanks!...its still to early to tell but I just went on a huge carb binge (3 oranges, an apple, & a 2 cups of blueberries, & 3 carrots) I already feel better...Hopefully that will fix it. My workouts are pretty intense so I'm gonna try to start eating a sweet potato every day and see if that helps.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 07, 2012
at 03:15 AM

^ Yeah. The underlying lesson was that prolonged VLC doesn't work for me.

Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

(4400)

on May 07, 2012
at 12:05 AM

Totally agree. You may well need more carbs, but adding in oatmeal and rice is inferior to adding in what Firestorm suggested, as well as the sweet potatos, yams, squash, etc others have mentioned above. There should be no adrenal issues that are resolvable by upping your carbs.

C79a5b43dfc5749200bd9dcaa6bb0858

on May 06, 2012
at 11:54 PM

Did you do a period of higher carbs from fruit and rice and then remove it again?

0b4326a4949718451a8571b82558dc10

(2349)

on May 06, 2012
at 11:51 PM

mostly sweet potatoes & carrots and carrots--i i feel like i eat around 75-100 grams of carbs per day. I also eat a couple servings of fruit per day..mostly blueberries, apples, and oranges.

0b4326a4949718451a8571b82558dc10

(2349)

on May 06, 2012
at 11:50 PM

sweet potatoes and carrots--i i feel like i eat around 75-100 grams of carbs per day.

0b4326a4949718451a8571b82558dc10

(2349)

on May 06, 2012
at 11:43 PM

forgot to mention-- my digestive system has been way out of wack.

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7 Answers

best answer

12
Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on May 06, 2012
at 11:51 PM

Ryan,

I've been doing this for nigh onto 3 years now. Had some ups and downs (which were expected, because I'm middle aged and dealing with a genetic disorder that has remissions and relapses)... however, I've made pretty steady improvement for all three years, including improvements in strength, endurance, and overall health.

One thing that isn't made very clear in some of the literature is the need to 'tweak' your diet. You might want to consider adding things like winter squash, sweet potatoes, bananas, and fruit to your diet. You might also want to consider adding yogurt, cheese, etc.,

You may need more calories than your getting -- or a different combination of foods. You may find that sprouted grains are a good thing for you (I wouldn't touch unsprouted grains now, period)... the point is, it's not Paleo that's the issue -- it's the reality that this ISN'T a diet -- it's a life-long journey towards health, that may need some fidgeting and fussing to get it suited to your individual composition, activity, and general nature.

Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

(4400)

on May 07, 2012
at 12:05 AM

Totally agree. You may well need more carbs, but adding in oatmeal and rice is inferior to adding in what Firestorm suggested, as well as the sweet potatos, yams, squash, etc others have mentioned above. There should be no adrenal issues that are resolvable by upping your carbs.

0faecc3397025eab246241f4dcd81f5e

(2361)

on May 07, 2012
at 03:45 AM

I'd agree - you need carbs, try at least 150 grams per day, white rice is usually a safe addition as well as root veggies, fruit etc. www.perfecthelthdiet.com has lots on the problems of low carb.

0b4326a4949718451a8571b82558dc10

(2349)

on May 07, 2012
at 03:41 AM

Thanks!...its still to early to tell but I just went on a huge carb binge (3 oranges, an apple, & a 2 cups of blueberries, & 3 carrots) I already feel better...Hopefully that will fix it. My workouts are pretty intense so I'm gonna try to start eating a sweet potato every day and see if that helps.

0b4326a4949718451a8571b82558dc10

(2349)

on May 17, 2012
at 10:04 PM

i think the positive response to the initial carb binge was thanks to the placebo effect

0b4326a4949718451a8571b82558dc10

(2349)

on May 17, 2012
at 10:02 PM

tweaking is continuing...I added a considerable amount of white rice and a sweet potato every day for about a week...next experiment- cut way down on kale and spinach. I just realized I'm eating about 12 cups per week.

3
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 07, 2012
at 08:01 AM

Ryan, that happened to me too and I know exactly what you are talking about. Before I did not know what was going on, but now - okay, I cannot say it is 100% true, but it is my scientifically based guess - I think I understand why. I also have a wide range of other autoimmune and digestive problems, so my situation is even more complicated.

I am going to make a list of statements, and if you agree with every one of them, it means that could be your issue. I would appreciate your feedback on it:

  1. You do not eat salmon (fatty parts) at least three times per week.

  2. You do not eat cooked (steamed) kale and other steamed leafy greens like beet greens, collard greens with every single meal (NOT LETTUCE!!!).

  3. You do not eat mushrooms, beets, purple onions, garlic, ginger, red cabbage every single day.

  4. You do not eat bitter vegetables (like chicory (not the root, the real plant), fennel).

  5. You do not eat a wide variety of cabbages and radishes every single day.

  6. You do not eat safe starches like squashes, pumpkins and sweet potatoes every single day.

  7. You do not vary your starches.

  8. You do not have bone broth at least three times per week.

  9. There is not enough a variety of fat in your diet (fatty fish, animal fat, Kerrygold butter) - whichever works for you.

  10. You do not eat enough berries (try a different berry with each meal). Fruits are optional in my experience.

  11. You do not eat a variety of seaweed/sea vegetables on a daily basis.

  12. You do not get enough organ meats in your diet.

Am I correct?

If you have answered "yes", this is your answer. Your micro nutritional needs are not being met.

Oh, and, of course, I highly recommend herbs (I am a proud herb addict).

Good luck!

0b4326a4949718451a8571b82558dc10

(2349)

on May 07, 2012
at 01:58 PM

1. no 2. no 3. agree 4. agree 5. agree 6. agree (unless carrots count) 7. agree 8. agree 9. no 10.no 11.agree 12.agree I'll try a couple of these things.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 07, 2012
at 04:20 PM

Carrots are more like a root vegetables. Good for you... in moderation, you don't want to eat it daily. Another thing to try - white rice. I prefer pumpkin (more nutritious), most people prefer sweet potatoes (Japanese variety).

3
2fd566cefde2de38e75e1bc13a966e16

on May 06, 2012
at 11:46 PM

How are you eating? VLC? VLC can eventually starve beneficial gut flora.

What are your starch sources?

3
5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 06, 2012
at 11:46 PM

Intuitively add some amount of carbs (for me, this is about 50g/day).

I have been through this cycle about 3-4 times in the past two years. I have experienced these exact symptoms. Every time, when I started eating some berries/rice, all of the symptoms resolved.

C79a5b43dfc5749200bd9dcaa6bb0858

on May 06, 2012
at 11:54 PM

Did you do a period of higher carbs from fruit and rice and then remove it again?

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 07, 2012
at 03:15 AM

^ Yeah. The underlying lesson was that prolonged VLC doesn't work for me.

2
Cf358f6462d62d9de8f3c373bc6d3357

on May 07, 2012
at 06:41 PM

Yeah, I'd say it's probably the lack of carbs. For me, very low carb translated into very bad insomnia (otherwise I felt fine, though). I've gone from about 20g of carbs a day to 150 - sweet potatoes, apples, banana, etc. I'm sleeping much, much better. My weight has stayed the same, as I kept my caloric intake about the same. Particularly if you work out a lot (as I do), I think more carbs would be helpful.

0b4326a4949718451a8571b82558dc10

(2349)

on May 08, 2012
at 07:36 PM

thanks...I'm about to try white rice and sweet potatoes. I used to eat sweet potatoes..but only about once a week. Now i'm going to try at least every other day.

2
48b3a3fac68ce4e0b80d8d29a584cc93

(242)

on May 07, 2012
at 01:47 AM

How many calories are you consuming? Can you describe your workout routine (including rest days and how much you sleep)?

1
Da6d66a09864174f9db3e8c7328bdacd

on June 24, 2012
at 09:01 PM

Try reducing carbs and eating a lot of grass fed beef steak. You may need iron (heme). Good luck

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