1

votes

VLC, LC or moderate carb appropriate?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 30, 2012 at 11:27 PM

I have been eating 100 percent Paleo for about the past two months and have lost a total of around 15 lbs.

Currently: I am a 20 year old female, 5'2 and l12 lbs, about 21% bodyfat. For the past 2 months I tried a variation of eating LC and VLC in order to lose the weight, I have lost the weight I wanted but in the process I have found that I have absolutely zero energy. I constantly feel tired and lethargic.

I never have any dairy, grains, or potatos and I try to watch my consumption of fruit as well. I always make sure I have some kind of fat with my meals (usually avacado). I bike for about an hour 2-3 times a week, usually walk about an hour and a half every day. I do a little bit of resistance training, but not much. Maybe once a week.

Why am I feeling so tired all the time*strong text*? I often find that I have a difficult time sleeping through the night as well. Additionally, I got off the birth control pill about 6 months ago and have yet to get my period, did thyroid testing and PCOS and everything seems normal. I just don't understand why I feel so exhausted. Anyone help? Your feedback would be greatly appreciated!

A typical day...

Breakfast: 2hardboiled eggs,3 slices of bacon, lots of raw veggies (mushrooms,zuchinni, spinach, peppers) and half an avacado, glass of unsweetened almond milk (calcium supplements, vitamin d, and fish oil)

Lunch: steak or can of tuna with homemade mayo, or cold cuts. Usually I have this with olives and again, lots of veggies. Sometimes I will accompany this with a few berries or half a small serving of fruit, like a peach or half a banana.

Dinner: Large chicken breast with skin on, lots of vegetables cooked in coconut oil. Usually I will have 3 pieces of 85% dark chocolate as well.

Snacks: coldcuts, hardboiled eggs, veggies, sometimes I will have a treat like a slice of coconut bread toasted with almond butter, or a coconut macaroon cookie.

I know I am definitely getting enough calories, but I don't understand why I am feeling tired ALL THE TIME. The big question is, should I up my carb intake in order to have more energy? I obviously don't want to put any weight on, so I have become a bit of a carb-a-phob, but i can't handle feeling tired all the time

7f8bc7ce5c34aae50408d31812c839b0

(2698)

on July 31, 2012
at 01:31 PM

Based on answers below, I should add, I am sedentary. I do not exercise. So needing some starch intake for glucose is not always just for those who crossfit or are very active. It's really a simple experiment to try. Have 50 grams of white rice or potato for a week. You'll know almost immediately if this is your issue or not.

Medium avatar

(1029)

on July 31, 2012
at 12:01 PM

particularly lots of protein for breakfast

Medium avatar

(1029)

on July 31, 2012
at 12:00 PM

breakfast helps with quenching appetite throughout the day

A7925ab8ea44e6d4d5d7c6f202632c6c

(404)

on July 31, 2012
at 12:59 AM

how come you eat a breakfast - that's not paleo - that's for peasants

Af939911afa817f79a4625d4f503c735

(552)

on July 31, 2012
at 12:48 AM

I would add in some starchy carbs (sweet potato and butternut squash are my favorites). It sounds like you're not eating enough carbohydrate to fuel your activity level.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 30, 2012
at 11:52 PM

You sound like you don't need to lose anymore weight anyway, so just focus on finding the balance that gives you the most energy.

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7 Answers

4
7f8bc7ce5c34aae50408d31812c839b0

(2698)

on July 30, 2012
at 11:45 PM

You may want to read this: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2011/08/carbohydrates-and-the-thyroid/

There is evidence that in some people lack of glucose can cause reduced T3 (thyroid hormone) production and the symptoms you are describing. Your body reduces T3 production in order to spare the use of glucose so your brain will have enough.

This proved to be true for me. I am hypothyroid and I've found I need about 80 gms of starch carbohydrates /day to feel proper. Otherwise my T3 falls and my TSH rises even with T4 supplementation. Vegetable based carbs do not seem to help much for me. According to the same website I referenced, veggie carbs are largely digested by gut flora and provide very little actual glucose. Starches such as white rice or potato are recommended.

Perhaps you are sensitive to the same thing. I added starch to my diet and not only felt better, but continued to lose weight as well.

Good luck finding your solution.

7f8bc7ce5c34aae50408d31812c839b0

(2698)

on July 31, 2012
at 01:31 PM

Based on answers below, I should add, I am sedentary. I do not exercise. So needing some starch intake for glucose is not always just for those who crossfit or are very active. It's really a simple experiment to try. Have 50 grams of white rice or potato for a week. You'll know almost immediately if this is your issue or not.

3
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 31, 2012
at 03:08 AM

I'd be incline to try super VLC. Almost ZC but making sure you are at 80% fat. Not long-term, but as an experiment. Are you able to get into Ketosis, are you able to mobilize fat well? 12lbs from High-carb to low-carb could be over half water weight and a bit of muscle. You aren't really working hard enough to make VLC/ZC hard on you. The tuber thing really is for people hitting the glycolytic pathway ala crossfit. I'd just try hitting ketosis and see if your body can, if it can you can hold it there for a week or two and you should be good to go as a fat burner. If you are tired while LC you are either out of fat stores or unable to access fat stores.

1
D7e55c2ee6ac83f7d2f9e22bf8e15ac6

on July 31, 2012
at 02:45 AM

Being VLC makes you pee out a lot of your electrolytes so you need supplement more than you are probably used to. Try increasing your intake of sodium quite a bit (4-5grams) during the day and magnesium before you sleep.

Since going VLC I've had issues with lethargy and then the odd insomnia symptoms as well. I'm telling ya, the sodium really helped....as did the mag for sleeping.

Get some good quality kosher salt or Himalayan and use it liberally when you can and also get some bullion cubes and have a couple of those a day (about 900mg of sodium each).

I also use trace mineral drops that are low in sodium to make sure I'm getting enough mag and potassium etc.

1
C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 30, 2012
at 11:51 PM

Paleo is not LC or VLC, it is eating real, whole foods. I probably consume an average of 150g per day of carbs. I also found that if I got too low, I felt more lethargic, and my sex drive, which has always been high, began to drop. Throw in some sweet potato, butternut squash, or some fruit. Weight loss is about controlling your appetite by eating whole foods that leave you satisfied, and give you the energy to function. Experiment a little to find the right balance.

0
3ab5e1b9eba22a071f653330b7fc9579

on July 31, 2012
at 11:49 AM

Congrats on the weight loss! The simple answer is this: you need more of something in your diet, either carbs or fat, or both. You could try adding some coconut oil to your coffee, or maybe start having 1/2 of a small sweet potato at dinner and see how you feel. If you don't have enough energy then something is missing from your diet

0
43f469552cfd3be73fc88a9821b14986

on July 31, 2012
at 01:47 AM

If I picked one option, the other two would get jealous.

Anything from 20-150 is fine every day. Try to go over only once in a while.

Eat real food.

Try low carb in the beginning for the fastest fat loss then play around with them to see how you feel.

0
C23148e16a4dd05351d1902a69097d65

(748)

on July 31, 2012
at 01:06 AM

I was in the EXACT same position as you a few weeks ago after being strict paleo with no fruit, >50 carbs per day, etc for six months. During that time I also lost 15 pounds at 5"1 (haha it's funny how similar our experiences have been) but had ZERO energy. I was weary of adding carbs because of all the negative comments about them from different sources, but adding some literally saved my life. Remember you don't have to eat 5 lbs of them to experience the benefits! Try just adding in one sweet potato, or in my case I eat some garbanzo beans (not paleo and some people can't tolerate them, it's an individual thing) but anyways I almost IMMEDIATELY felt like a million bucks after reintroducing those things. And my weight is still steady. The energy increase was AMAZING though. I felt like I could run a marathon after (a feeling I hadn't felt in MONTHS). I think I had actually FORGOTTEN what it was like to have energy, I tried just accepting that my low energy levels were normal or something. But seriously. Adding in just one starch a day (not from fruit.. which doesn't give me the same effect) but from starchy vegetables or beans, CHANGED MY LIFE.

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