Need advice from paleo experts!

Asked on February 29, 2016
Created October 10, 2014 at 9:07 PM

My wife and I will be going on vacation next month and wanted to look slimmer. We researched, and decided we'd like to try Paleo for 30 days. We're about 9 days in and still in the "detox" phase. I seem to be taking longer to clean my body out than my wife, as I've been experiencing lots of brain fog, sleep problems, and fatigue. The brain fog is what bothers me the most. We're both vegetarian, and I'm hypoglycemic, so from the start it's been a challenge. We've stuck to it, though!

At any rate, since we are venturing out of the country for our trip, we wanted to try the local cuisine. One quick google search, though, yields all kinds of stories from people who go through a really hard time when stopping Paleo and re-introducing processed foods. Nausea, headaches, diarrhea, etc.

My question is this....how long does that "sick" phase last, after re-introducing non-paleo foods? Our plan was to go off the paleo diet on 11/1, and we leave on 11/4. Somehow I doubt that's long enough to reacquaint our body's with modern foods. I fear that we will be sick on what may very well be the trip of our lifetime. However, at the same time, I am reluctant to stop the diet sooner than 30 days (we started on 10/1) since I committed myself to a month on it, and would feel as if I failed.

Any experiences, answers, or advice on what to expect, and how long to expect it for, would be fantastic. I thank you all for reading!

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1 Answers


on October 12, 2014
at 06:13 PM

I had epic brain fog in the first week of paleo. I realized I was going too low carb, and have been making sure to have some startchy veg and/or fruit every day (sweet potato, winter squash, banana). That really helped with the brain fog. If you're not eating meat, I can also imagine you're having a hard time getting enough fat and protein. Tracking your macronutrients could help you identify what you're missing.

I haven't tried going off paleo, but based on my research, it doesn't work well as a short-term weight loss approach. People who lose weight on paleo tend to put it back on when they go off paleo. In any case, the readjustment period to non-paleo is going to be highly individual - just the like the adjustment to paleo. If I were in your shoes (brain fog, going on the trip of a lifetime in a few weeks), I would probably just re-introduce some high-quality versions of some of the things you've cut out (raw or organic dairy? organic legumes in small amounts with lots of veg?). Reducing or eliminating processed foods is always a good idea, but rapidly cycling in and out of paleo right before traveling internationally sounds like a not-great idea to me.

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