1

votes

Did you feel extra tired when you started Paleo?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created January 21, 2012 at 11:39 PM

I've been doing the Paleo thing for about a week. My exercise level has stayed the same (3 days of CrossFit), but my meat consumption has gone from a few times a week tops to several times a day. The past few days I've felt absolutely exhausted, very little energy and kind of spacey. Is this just my body detoxing the dairy, grains and legumes (which I ate tons of before Paleo)?

And kind of TMI, but has anyone else had digestive system issues since starting Paleo? Even though I got plenty of fiber and water before Paleo, my system seems to be in overdrive now.

Edited 1/23 I'm now over a week in and I think my body is adjusting! My skin already looks a lot better than it did a week ago. I'm not 100% yet, but I don't feel really sleepy anymore and my digestive system has settled down. I actually don't think it was the increase in meat that was causing problems as much as going from low-fat to high-fat without doing it gradually.

095ef76482234d3db444b77d7ed01c29

(2755)

on January 23, 2012
at 06:09 PM

I don't copy and paste studies, I speak from experience as one who's been eating like this since long before the term paleo or primal was coined. Also, from experience with my training clients. Those who have eaten SAD for many years often have digestive problems when they change to a healthier way of eating until the body adapts. Also, the water need is very well documented...google is your friend if you care to look. If one can get enough through eating greens, then that's best. But if they do not, psyllium husks are a must.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on January 22, 2012
at 09:05 PM

I was extra tired for months (started in July). I went protein powder-free at the beginning of January, which included casein and artificial flavorings, and tiredness is gone. Unfortunately I started biphasic sleeping (6 hours at night, 1.5 hour nap in the evening, same total hours as earlier) which is a confounding factor. I'll reintroduce protein powders in a week or two to see if that was the cause.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on January 22, 2012
at 01:55 PM

lol Nance about digestion. I only realized how bad things were before when I ate some "normal" foods during Christmas break and my gut went crazy. I quickly realized that this was how it used to be ALL THE TIME. Now it's back to being quiet.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on January 22, 2012
at 01:54 PM

-1, dogmatic belief in a strict water requirements without any data to back such claims, and pushing supplements when paleo diet has plenty fiber.

0c875e97044bf838a074470caa5d630d

on January 22, 2012
at 04:47 AM

I'm not really a fan of supplements. I'd rather get my fiber through my diet like I always have. Definitely NOT having problems with constipation!

0c875e97044bf838a074470caa5d630d

on January 22, 2012
at 04:46 AM

I had more energy the first few days after I cut dairy, grains and legumes too. But I think that was just a placebo effect since they weren't actually out of my system yet.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 22, 2012
at 02:38 AM

Sorry, I didn't do either thing and never had a problem. Now, if a problem developed I'm sure this would be a great response. I eat enough greens and fruit that I only drink a quart or so of liquid per day.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 22, 2012
at 01:33 AM

I have this too, Laura. I wake up in the morning alert and there's no afternoon drowsy period, etc. I do feel a little kick when I drink my daily water kefir, but nothing major. I actually found the quiet calm of my gut spooky after so many years of turbulence--I worried about whether something was wrong until I realized it was how my gut should have behaved all along.

0c875e97044bf838a074470caa5d630d

on January 22, 2012
at 12:28 AM

Definitely I'll eat one serving of meat a day! I just went from usually none to 2-3 times a day.

0c875e97044bf838a074470caa5d630d

on January 22, 2012
at 12:25 AM

I'm not having a problem getting my digestive system moving...it's moving too much!

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 22, 2012
at 12:23 AM

And I don't mean you need to eat massive quantities of meat, either. That's why I like stews because I can eat a large bowl that's at least half vegetables by volume yet I'm also getting a cup or more of bone broth and 4-6 ounces of meat chunks.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 22, 2012
at 12:19 AM

Veggies and fruit are great but I'd have at least one good-sized serving of meat per day. I like many kinds but the one that seems to be my super-meat in health results is beef. If you don't like to eat a large piece of meat you could make bone broth stews that have lots of vegetables with nice meat chunks. Fatigue can be a symptom of anemia, too, although I don't know why it would strike when you're now eating meat. You may just need to find the type or mix of meat that boosts your energy level--as I said, I can enjoy other types but beef is the only one that sends my energy way up.

0c875e97044bf838a074470caa5d630d

on January 22, 2012
at 12:14 AM

Hahaha, I'm having the exact opposite problem as you did! Possibly because I'm eating a lot more fat now? That makes sense that my body is reacting to the dramatically increased amounts of meat (and fat). I think I'll slowly increase the amount of meat I'm eating and not worry too much about the protein at first. I don't want to add the dairy/legumes back in at this point.

0c875e97044bf838a074470caa5d630d

on January 22, 2012
at 12:11 AM

Ok, that's good to know that I'm not sick! I haven't changed my veggie consumption. I always ate a lot of fresh veggies. I just switched from getting my protein from mostly low-fat dairy and legumes to meat. Maybe I should cut back on the meat and focus more on veggies and fruit? I've just felt really tired the past few days and took a nap today despite getting 8+ hours of sleep last night.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on January 22, 2012
at 12:04 AM

3 tips, get some salt, some fiber, and some extra water. And if your not trying to go very low carb, but have been eating very low carb, eat some carbs.

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6 Answers

1
931d78cfa5c1490abc0a0f2c4a82eede

on January 22, 2012
at 01:28 AM

I am on my first week as well, but I am coming from being almost sedentary - no CrossFit or major regular physical activity except for a few hours working with horses during the week. Adding more activity in, but nowhere near your level. And I only eat fish, so I have no idea what adding lots of red meat in will do to you.

I don't feel tired (actually stronger and more energetic) but I started with cutting out all dairy except butter (and am on grass-fed only now - Kerrygold is amazing!) and today is my first day with no wheat, legumes or soy. I don't think I am as low carb as many people yet.

However, at first I even though I would say I am more energetic, it's a different kind of energy - no sugar rush, sudden change - more evenly dispersed, and if I wake up in the middle of the night, no grogginess - I feel the same as any other time of day. In a way it feels a bit like being tired in that there is no major energy swing throughout the day and it is dialed down.

0c875e97044bf838a074470caa5d630d

on January 22, 2012
at 04:46 AM

I had more energy the first few days after I cut dairy, grains and legumes too. But I think that was just a placebo effect since they weren't actually out of my system yet.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on January 22, 2012
at 01:55 PM

lol Nance about digestion. I only realized how bad things were before when I ate some "normal" foods during Christmas break and my gut went crazy. I quickly realized that this was how it used to be ALL THE TIME. Now it's back to being quiet.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 22, 2012
at 01:33 AM

I have this too, Laura. I wake up in the morning alert and there's no afternoon drowsy period, etc. I do feel a little kick when I drink my daily water kefir, but nothing major. I actually found the quiet calm of my gut spooky after so many years of turbulence--I worried about whether something was wrong until I realized it was how my gut should have behaved all along.

1
218f4d92627e4289cc81178fce5b4d00

on January 21, 2012
at 11:55 PM

Digestive? when I cut out all the wheat at the very beginning I became constipated, if I ate some wheat it got things moving which was odd, after a while that resolved itself. I think my system was just resetting and finding it's new equilibrium. Energy levels were fine.

If you go from sea level to the top of Mt Everest instantly you'd be dead in minutes. If you acclimatise - build up gradually it is possible to summit without oxygen. If you go from little meat to eating like t-rex you body will be somewhat shocked. Ease into a paleo life, going cold turkey is not for everyone.

0c875e97044bf838a074470caa5d630d

on January 22, 2012
at 12:14 AM

Hahaha, I'm having the exact opposite problem as you did! Possibly because I'm eating a lot more fat now? That makes sense that my body is reacting to the dramatically increased amounts of meat (and fat). I think I'll slowly increase the amount of meat I'm eating and not worry too much about the protein at first. I don't want to add the dairy/legumes back in at this point.

1
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 21, 2012
at 11:52 PM

In general, yes. Many people including me who switch from SHAD (supposedly healthy American diet) to ancestral foods have at least 2 types of symptoms: withdrawal from grains/sugars/caffeine if applicable, etc. plus changing to very different foods can result in replacement of some gut flora by other, more desirable, ones which can cause symptoms referred to as the "low carb flu."

If you're about a week in, with luck you should be through the worst. In my case, the 2nd week was a little better and the 3rd week I noticed I was feeling great--no more GERD, joint inflammation went away, stuffy nose cleared up, etc.

It's probably fair to say that the worse symptoms you have, the more messed up your gut was and the more you will benefit in energy/health improvements once you are acclimated to more ancestral foods.

Are you having any sleep problems? If so, that would be as important to address as food. You might also consider a slight increase in your daily carbs if you continue to feel tired--not everyone thrives on VLC. A little starch after exercise and some greens or non-starchy vegetables can help a lot if that's the problem.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 22, 2012
at 12:23 AM

And I don't mean you need to eat massive quantities of meat, either. That's why I like stews because I can eat a large bowl that's at least half vegetables by volume yet I'm also getting a cup or more of bone broth and 4-6 ounces of meat chunks.

0c875e97044bf838a074470caa5d630d

on January 22, 2012
at 12:28 AM

Definitely I'll eat one serving of meat a day! I just went from usually none to 2-3 times a day.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 22, 2012
at 12:19 AM

Veggies and fruit are great but I'd have at least one good-sized serving of meat per day. I like many kinds but the one that seems to be my super-meat in health results is beef. If you don't like to eat a large piece of meat you could make bone broth stews that have lots of vegetables with nice meat chunks. Fatigue can be a symptom of anemia, too, although I don't know why it would strike when you're now eating meat. You may just need to find the type or mix of meat that boosts your energy level--as I said, I can enjoy other types but beef is the only one that sends my energy way up.

0c875e97044bf838a074470caa5d630d

on January 22, 2012
at 12:11 AM

Ok, that's good to know that I'm not sick! I haven't changed my veggie consumption. I always ate a lot of fresh veggies. I just switched from getting my protein from mostly low-fat dairy and legumes to meat. Maybe I should cut back on the meat and focus more on veggies and fruit? I've just felt really tired the past few days and took a nap today despite getting 8+ hours of sleep last night.

0
03de0e457c7b925ebaf093273addbb86

on February 08, 2014
at 04:25 AM

... was wondering whether anyone else was experiencing this extreme drowsy sensation ... My body seems to respond positively when eating meat and immediately thereafter. However, within ohh 13 minutes, I begin to get excessively exhausted. It's as if my energy has been stripped out of me, and I'm completely knocked out, and hardly able to move. Getting my body to a bed from this collapsed state seems more than I can muster. It is that extreme of a sensation. Subsequently, all I want to do is sleep. So. Hard. Getting. Out. Of. Bed.

Granted, I haven't been eating meat for the greater part of the past several years. Perhaps y'all are right in suggesting the need for *gradually* reintroducing meat in order to allow the necessary mocroflora populations (that are more effective with digesting meat) to re-populate the gut. Also can see how perhaps, given more formerly vegetarian diet, my stomach hasn't needed to produce as much acid, but now with the sudden reintroduction of meat, it will need to become more acidic.

This is definitely a big shift, and I must say, it's tempting to cut meat out again, given the intensity of my drowsiness. Though, feel like I'll continue a bit longer, and see how my digestive system adapts, and also whether my overall strength, skin, and energy improve. Thanks y'all! :):)

0
Dec7cad0f1e63f84af5c1f746972c006

on February 03, 2014
at 09:14 PM

I've also been super-sluggish during my first week on the Paleo reset. I workout 4-5 times per week and ate mostly Paleo before except I ate dairy, more coffee, alcohol and on weekends I had cheat meals. I have been constipated and have had really low energy all week. I've also had a chesty cough and runny nose that comes and goes.

On the positive side, my acne has completely cleared up and I've lost 2 pounds. I'm going to stick with it and see how the next 3 weeks go.

-3
095ef76482234d3db444b77d7ed01c29

(2755)

on January 22, 2012
at 02:28 AM

It's your body changing from a sugar burning metabolism to a fat burning metabolism. You can expect to feel bad for a little while at some point in the first two or three weeks. When it passes, your energy level should take off like you are eating rocket fuel.

One thing though...you MUST drink at least .66 ounces of water per pound and you MUST take fiber supplements or you will be very constipated. This is a big change for your body and it will need to adapt. Psyllium husks (the cheap store brand) seems to be the best fiber that I've found so far.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 22, 2012
at 02:38 AM

Sorry, I didn't do either thing and never had a problem. Now, if a problem developed I'm sure this would be a great response. I eat enough greens and fruit that I only drink a quart or so of liquid per day.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on January 22, 2012
at 01:54 PM

-1, dogmatic belief in a strict water requirements without any data to back such claims, and pushing supplements when paleo diet has plenty fiber.

0c875e97044bf838a074470caa5d630d

on January 22, 2012
at 04:47 AM

I'm not really a fan of supplements. I'd rather get my fiber through my diet like I always have. Definitely NOT having problems with constipation!

095ef76482234d3db444b77d7ed01c29

(2755)

on January 23, 2012
at 06:09 PM

I don't copy and paste studies, I speak from experience as one who's been eating like this since long before the term paleo or primal was coined. Also, from experience with my training clients. Those who have eaten SAD for many years often have digestive problems when they change to a healthier way of eating until the body adapts. Also, the water need is very well documented...google is your friend if you care to look. If one can get enough through eating greens, then that's best. But if they do not, psyllium husks are a must.

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