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New to paleo......how long until I feel great and full of energy?

Answered on April 18, 2014
Created April 09, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Hi everyone, I am new to paleo and just wondered how long it takes to feel "normal" and have increased energy? I think I made a mistake in getting over-excited by the paleo treats (I began making paleo cakes, truffles etc. in the first week). I decided to leave the treats as I realized they contained honey (which has the same effect as sugar right?) and just stabilize on vegetables, meat, fish, fats etc. I have not eaten any carbs for 2 and a half weeks (bread, rice, pasta, potatoes etc)

I'm on day 3 of my no-treat paleo diet but I am still feeling pretty tired, irritable and weak, as well as a bit absent minded. Any tips on how to get through this period would be greatly appreciated!

Info about me: female, 34 years old, Mum of one, living in Germany, have about 7 kilos to lose and aim to lose this excess weight as well as improve my brain function, energy and start a home exercise routine.

Medium avatar

on April 10, 2014
at 11:57 AM

Hi Caveman :) thanks for your kind words.....I just wondered if you could recommend supplements? I will start taking Omega 3 but not sure what else suits the paleo lifestyle......

Thanks!

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8 Answers

0
8f9b34d3b38370c98831c2e6f80cf198

on April 18, 2014
at 07:55 PM

I am also new to this. I felt like crap the first week. Started getting really bad headaches after the second day and could not focus. (Yes I was a carb junkie) But I have to say I can tell a difference everyday. I do not feel as bloated any longer and my energy levels are getting better each day.

0
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on April 10, 2014
at 12:10 PM

You say you haven't eaten "any" carbs, but surely you are eating some, as there are carbs in fruits and vegetables? There are "paleo-friendly" carbs such as starchy vegetables (sweet potatoes, root vegetables, plantains, etc) and fruit, and non-paleo carbs such as anything based on bread, pasta, etc. How you feel can also depend on how much in carbs you were eating beforehand. If you were eating lots of carbs in every meal, especially breakfast, you might find it difficult to adapt to a lower carb diet. This can take 2-3 weeks. Think of it as a kind of cleansing and your body will adjust to getting its energy from other sources, including stored fat.

This also depends on your exercise, if you are pretty active and exercise a lot you might need more carbs. I went very low carb initially but was also working out quite a bit (Crossfit 3-4x per week plus running and long walks) and found that I just needed more carbs, especially after workouts.

Some people it seems just never fully adapt to a low carb diet and just need some level of carbs to maintain energy. If you do find that you need to add back carbs (though again I'd give the low carb thing at least 2-3 weeks), I would do it in meals besides breakfast, and primarily before and after exercise. I think the most important dietary change that I made was to make my breakfast low- or no-carb which allowed me to start every day with even energy.

I personally have a problem with too much carbs but if I go really low carb (25g or so per day) I don't have enough energy. Anything above about 100g per day usually puts me on an energy and mood roller coaster and I gain weight, so for me I need to stay in the middle. A banana or moderate sized sweet potato has about 20-25g, for example.

0
Medium avatar

on April 10, 2014
at 11:55 AM

Hey, thanks everyone for your comments, it's really great to have support on this! I will keep going and keep the paleo treats to an absolute minimum while I drop the pounds......I'm hoping in a few weeks I will be feeling good and know exactly what I am doing re: paleo foods.......

0
Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on April 09, 2014
at 08:25 PM

It's interesting when you see "I want to lose weight" combined with "I want more energy." To lose weight, you have to consume less dietary energy, and the fact that there is excess body fat almost suggests inefficiencies in being able to make up the energy difference from body fats. Combined with lower activity levels, there's a path toward hypoglycemia / hypothyroidism.

While eating less carbs is fairly straight forward, getting over a lipid phobia and eating 1,500+ calories of fat every day and keeping insulin low is not an easy task for the average overweight person trying out a low carb diet.

The lack of sustainability comes from the prolonged restriction of all the fun treats / desserts / carby staple foods. Eventually there comes a point where you realize "I can't eat that... ever" and there's a tendency to rebound. I like the idea of a seasonal fluctuation in carbs and some small rare cheats as needed to stay sane.

I like the idea of a slow transition into low carb over the course of months without much dietary caloric restriction, with a weight loss goal into the 1-2yr range once you've fully detoxed / insulin is in good shape, and you have the energy to introduce a caloric deficit through exercise. A lot of these diet guides seem to push a cold turkey drop into 20g of carbs (atkins) with a pinch of starvation. That sounds pretty intense.

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Medium avatar

on April 09, 2014
at 08:08 PM

@missdarwin Great Question!!! I am 34 also and I can say I have never felt full of energy like this before in my life. If you keep following a clean Paleo Diet and limit the Sweets or Treats, you will see a change in your energy levels within a couple of weeks. At that point it will be very easy to maintain. Remeber supplement well, get good rest and sleep and incorporate some sort of excerscise.

Hope this helps, please let us know how it goes for you. Good Luck!!!!!!

Medium avatar

on April 10, 2014
at 11:57 AM

Hi Caveman :) thanks for your kind words.....I just wondered if you could recommend supplements? I will start taking Omega 3 but not sure what else suits the paleo lifestyle......

Thanks!

0
8fc1d7a8dc2318f960450a0de632bfe6

on April 09, 2014
at 02:32 PM

I'm female, 31 when I started paleo (about a year ago) and I was the worldest biggest carb junkie. The first week was pure hell because I was used to giant bowls of oatmeal for breakfast lunch and dinner plus two snacks a day. I had the low carb flu. After the first week I felt somewhat better and after two weeks I was doing pretty well.

That said, I stay away from paleo treats as much as possible. I firmly believe they should be used for birthdays and other special occasions especially if you need to drop pounds. They tend to be very high calorie and just feed your sugar cravings. I think the best is to stick primarily to veggies, protein and healthy fat at each meal with fruit sprinkled in.

0
Medium avatar

(238)

on April 09, 2014
at 01:41 PM

Really depends on how bad you were to begin with. It doesn't change overnight. I found that it took months of good eating before I finally started to notice that I was feeling better.

0
Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on April 09, 2014
at 12:36 PM

If you're low carbing it then it might be a while before you feel great and full of energy. Low carbers remind me slightly of vegans, they say they feel great all the time until they crash and try something different.

I'm not saying that low carb doesn't work for anyone, but from what I've seen you'll start feeling full of energy just as soon as you re-introduce carbs, the source of carbs is up to you. If you just want to lose weight I'd recommend HIIT before I'd recommend low carb, but there are those who will disagree with me on that point.

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