2

votes

Crashed out after two months!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 20, 2011 at 1:56 PM

I made myself ill on the paleo diet, basically I lost too much weight (16lbs) and had awful energy crashes throughout the second month. My wife and others were concerned about my appearance. I stopped after two months shocked by some particularly gaunt malnourished looking photos. I actually felt great the first month, really enjoyed the food and was initially impressed with my body fat / definition levels!

It took way more than a few days to recover, maybe 7-10 days of high carb eating before I felt well. It's now two months since stopping, (I only regained 4lbs), and I think I'd like to resume. I reckon my carb intake was too low but I probably took a month to really deplete my stores. As I don't need to lose any weight how many carb grams could I consume each day and still be paleo.

Where did I go wrong?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on June 05, 2012
at 12:39 AM

I just realized that I didn't fully answer your question a year ago, technically nearly all of your calories could come from carbohydrate sources and still be considered within the paleo template.

7f8bc7ce5c34aae50408d31812c839b0

(2698)

on June 04, 2012
at 11:20 PM

PHD does recommend 600 calories from protein + carbs combined. With a minimum of 200 from carbs if a ketone production is desired.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 04, 2012
at 09:34 PM

Yes, sounds like inappropriate low carb without the standard low carb precautions - making sure enough calories taken in from fat to balance out calories lost in cutting carbs, likely need for extra salt, likely ignoring actual energy needs. A good program you can use to check your daily diet while switching over is at www.cronometer.com

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 04, 2012
at 09:22 PM

Ben, the voice of reason.

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on June 04, 2012
at 08:25 PM

PHD recommends a minimum of 200 calories from safe starches if you need to lose weight. That's on ly 50 grams.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on June 04, 2012
at 08:21 PM

Thank you for such a reasonable answer. I agree - paleo isn't necessarily "low carb" as we here would define it, but COMPARED TO the SAD, even someone who's eating plenty of fruit and tubers is probably lowER carb than someone who's eating pasta, crackers, bread, cereal, etc. So you can be at ketogenic levels on Paleo or you can be eating 100-175g of carbs a day and BOTH are still significantly lowER in carbs overall than someone eating lots of grain and sugar.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 21, 2011
at 02:04 AM

I've been touting this for a while on this site now. From the get go paleo was never about macros. Knowing that fat is something that is good for us does not mean you have to gorge on fat at the expense of carbohydrate-intake.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 21, 2011
at 02:01 AM

+1 - Great response, Meredith. And I think Perfect Health Diet is the perfect rec., especially for those coming to paleo with high activity levels, or those who greatly increase and are not substantially metabolically deranged. And thank you for this:"I think this kind of question is valid - it is valid for newcomers to ask frequently ..." It is also important to remember that fully 50+% of those replying to the paleo survey this year cited *weight loss* as the reason they were going paleo. Weight loss isn't an issue for all, but appears to be for 50+% of paleos...

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 21, 2011
at 01:27 AM

Good point. I likejimmy's podcast but it does irk me how he very often uses "paleo" and "LC" interchangeably. Doesn't do our way of eating justice.

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on July 21, 2011
at 01:15 AM

Well put, it was what I was going to add. There is only so much protein you can eat, so the rest of calories need to come from carbs and fats. If you drop massive weight, so you're under weight, you're not eating enough. I'm not advocating that people should be low carb, but that may not be the only problem here. If your going to be low carb and low fat, you're going to have serious problems.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on July 20, 2011
at 10:34 PM

I'm the mirror image of LV--I need fruit and many veggies give me indigestion. I'm wondering if Stefan was eating too much protein for the amount of fat he was ingesting. I'm lucky, because I can't swallow protein unless it's well lubricated.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on July 20, 2011
at 04:51 PM

What's rude, IMO, is joining a forum, and immediately asking a question whose answer can be found in a matter of minutes by reading that forum.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 20, 2011
at 03:43 PM

Thanks for not downvoting me anonymously. I am a HUGE fan of Rosedale. I think he is brilliant. His program doesn't work for me in its entirety. I just cannot operate on the high fat low carb - and I did that program for six months - so adaptation was not an issue. I do recommend Rosedale's book, his website and even better the podcasts on Me and My Diabetes site.

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on July 20, 2011
at 03:35 PM

The Dr.s Eades have cited the diet of the ancestors ever since their first ground-breaking book in 1996. Right there in the intro chapter. So, it is hardly a new-fangled adoption. Dr. Rosedale's book came out in 2003, and it is more paleo than ever.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 20, 2011
at 03:30 PM

I had to edit my math 2 times - it's too early here :)

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on July 20, 2011
at 03:28 PM

A +1 to you, good sir!

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on July 20, 2011
at 03:20 PM

Got it. Yeah, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and maybe even rice could give you that energy back!

50a5a2f25b4d8b3a9c486498a8a736d4

(30)

on July 20, 2011
at 03:17 PM

I feel better as far as energy levels when I eat potatos, carrots, etc. Fruit doesn't always sit well with me so I have to go easy. I was like Stefan. When I first started out I lost weight VERY quickly. 12 lbs on small frame. I was beginning to hear many comments regarding my health and if I was sick. UGH. I felt better than I ever had felt with wheat gone from my diet but eventually I added in carrots and potatos because I really felt I needed more energy. I gained back 4 lbs but that's ok.

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on July 20, 2011
at 03:01 PM

Ah! A CrossFitter! If you don't need to lose weight, I'd definitely say that you need to up the carbs. VLC and CrossFit is a tough combo unless you get plenty of rest days and really want to lean out.

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on July 20, 2011
at 02:52 PM

me too.........

215d3126214343a5760316f195a06b97

on July 20, 2011
at 02:47 PM

There's also a ton of threads about how awesome ketosis is, so I can see how some would be confused.

50a5a2f25b4d8b3a9c486498a8a736d4

(30)

on July 20, 2011
at 02:44 PM

I have problems with energy levels during WODs as well on some days. I describe it as having no internal energy. It's weird. I'm going to begin keeping a log so I can track my food and my energy during workouts. See where I need to tweak my intake.

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on July 20, 2011
at 02:43 PM

Yes! You're so right, Cara. Also, +1 for "fruiting it up"! Haha!

7ad3ba26a79b1582b16a0bd453527b36

(60)

on July 20, 2011
at 02:36 PM

Yay Ben! Many people do think Paleo automatically means low-carb, and for some people like me, and probably the dude above, it doesn't. I've been fruiting it up big-time lately as I was feeling pretty low-energy during my CrossFit workouts and having to take naps after....all better now.

50a5a2f25b4d8b3a9c486498a8a736d4

(30)

on July 20, 2011
at 02:36 PM

Well, that is kind of rude.

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on July 20, 2011
at 02:22 PM

+1!!!! I totally agree, Jules.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on July 20, 2011
at 02:10 PM

Maybe we need a banner at the top of the page that says "Paleoness and Carb Intake are Independent Variables." This has been addressed in how many questions this week alone?

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7 Answers

18
24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on July 20, 2011
at 02:12 PM

Consume however many carbs make you feel the best- eating paleo doesn't require any particular macronutrient ratio; it just matters what you are/ aren't eating. If you need more carbs, have more veggies, tubers & fruit. There's going to be some trial and error, good luck! :)

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on July 20, 2011
at 02:52 PM

me too.........

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on July 20, 2011
at 02:22 PM

+1!!!! I totally agree, Jules.

9
A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on July 20, 2011
at 02:24 PM

I feel like I've written this answer on PH several times: Paleo is highly individualized; you don't have to eat low carb to be paleo. If you thrive on higher carbs, then eat higher carbs.

Also, how much were you eating generally? How many kCal/day?

7ad3ba26a79b1582b16a0bd453527b36

(60)

on July 20, 2011
at 02:36 PM

Yay Ben! Many people do think Paleo automatically means low-carb, and for some people like me, and probably the dude above, it doesn't. I've been fruiting it up big-time lately as I was feeling pretty low-energy during my CrossFit workouts and having to take naps after....all better now.

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on July 20, 2011
at 02:43 PM

Yes! You're so right, Cara. Also, +1 for "fruiting it up"! Haha!

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on July 20, 2011
at 03:28 PM

A +1 to you, good sir!

50a5a2f25b4d8b3a9c486498a8a736d4

(30)

on July 20, 2011
at 03:17 PM

I feel better as far as energy levels when I eat potatos, carrots, etc. Fruit doesn't always sit well with me so I have to go easy. I was like Stefan. When I first started out I lost weight VERY quickly. 12 lbs on small frame. I was beginning to hear many comments regarding my health and if I was sick. UGH. I felt better than I ever had felt with wheat gone from my diet but eventually I added in carrots and potatos because I really felt I needed more energy. I gained back 4 lbs but that's ok.

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on July 20, 2011
at 03:01 PM

Ah! A CrossFitter! If you don't need to lose weight, I'd definitely say that you need to up the carbs. VLC and CrossFit is a tough combo unless you get plenty of rest days and really want to lean out.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 21, 2011
at 02:04 AM

I've been touting this for a while on this site now. From the get go paleo was never about macros. Knowing that fat is something that is good for us does not mean you have to gorge on fat at the expense of carbohydrate-intake.

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on July 20, 2011
at 03:20 PM

Got it. Yeah, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and maybe even rice could give you that energy back!

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on July 20, 2011
at 10:34 PM

I'm the mirror image of LV--I need fruit and many veggies give me indigestion. I'm wondering if Stefan was eating too much protein for the amount of fat he was ingesting. I'm lucky, because I can't swallow protein unless it's well lubricated.

50a5a2f25b4d8b3a9c486498a8a736d4

(30)

on July 20, 2011
at 02:44 PM

I have problems with energy levels during WODs as well on some days. I describe it as having no internal energy. It's weird. I'm going to begin keeping a log so I can track my food and my energy during workouts. See where I need to tweak my intake.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 04, 2012
at 09:22 PM

Ben, the voice of reason.

7
0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 20, 2011
at 03:17 PM

I think this kind of question is valid - it is valid for newcomers to ask frequently - it is valid because if y'all haven't noticed, Living La Vida Low Carb-esque gurus have adopted the Paleo diet as a bit of a new fangled low carb regimen.

Even those of us who've been at this type of thing for a while continue to "evolve" our own intakes of macros as activity, seasons, stresses and fashion changes.

So, Stefan, the Perfect Health Diet recommends something to the effect of about 600 calories of carbs to feed your brain - that's like 150 grams or so? Many here are adhering to those recommendations. Tinker.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 21, 2011
at 02:01 AM

+1 - Great response, Meredith. And I think Perfect Health Diet is the perfect rec., especially for those coming to paleo with high activity levels, or those who greatly increase and are not substantially metabolically deranged. And thank you for this:"I think this kind of question is valid - it is valid for newcomers to ask frequently ..." It is also important to remember that fully 50+% of those replying to the paleo survey this year cited *weight loss* as the reason they were going paleo. Weight loss isn't an issue for all, but appears to be for 50+% of paleos...

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 20, 2011
at 03:43 PM

Thanks for not downvoting me anonymously. I am a HUGE fan of Rosedale. I think he is brilliant. His program doesn't work for me in its entirety. I just cannot operate on the high fat low carb - and I did that program for six months - so adaptation was not an issue. I do recommend Rosedale's book, his website and even better the podcasts on Me and My Diabetes site.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 20, 2011
at 03:30 PM

I had to edit my math 2 times - it's too early here :)

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on July 20, 2011
at 03:35 PM

The Dr.s Eades have cited the diet of the ancestors ever since their first ground-breaking book in 1996. Right there in the intro chapter. So, it is hardly a new-fangled adoption. Dr. Rosedale's book came out in 2003, and it is more paleo than ever.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 21, 2011
at 01:27 AM

Good point. I likejimmy's podcast but it does irk me how he very often uses "paleo" and "LC" interchangeably. Doesn't do our way of eating justice.

7f8bc7ce5c34aae50408d31812c839b0

(2698)

on June 04, 2012
at 11:20 PM

PHD does recommend 600 calories from protein + carbs combined. With a minimum of 200 from carbs if a ketone production is desired.

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on June 04, 2012
at 08:25 PM

PHD recommends a minimum of 200 calories from safe starches if you need to lose weight. That's on ly 50 grams.

6
Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 21, 2011
at 01:51 AM

Here's a general carbohydrate calculator from an excellent and in many ways, progressive medical center. So, calculate and see what you come up with and compare it to recommendations from the "paleo fathers" as previously mentioned.

I think that you will find that any way you cut it, paleo is a substantially lower carb way of eating than the recommendations for a GOOD (not frankenfood) SAD diet.

It seems obvious that for those who not only do not have weight issues, but are also very active and into demanding fitness regimens, there needs to be careful attention given to an adequate amount of daily starchy carb sources, starchy fruit like bananas, other fruit and nuts, which are dense calorically.

As a real life comparison for the "what is high carb/low carb and what is not" issue, I will use myself with the calculator. I am a truly large boned, 5'6", 58 year old female who weighs 140lbs and who exercises very intensely for 30min 3X week doing circuit strength/resistance training. Two days a week I teach two 30min classes of very intense, sweat soaking dancercise, for a total of four sets of 30min. And for two other days per week I do 20-30min combos of sprinting, dancing, lifing heavy objects in yard/gardening and instense walking.

This calculator tells me I should eat about 310gms of carbs per day. Even if I fudge and say I am a medium frame woman, which I'm not, it still tells me I could eat like 281gms CHO/day. I labeled the above described level of activity asmoderate, inspite of the fact that it is pretty high, especially for an adult my age.

If I ate this much carbohydrate, I'd bee pulling the blubber behind me. There is no way that I could maintain an appropriate weight. Even if I shaved off 100 grams from each estimate, I'd still be in trouble.

These are generalized recommendations for people at an appopriate weight. But, they give a pretty good idea of what is considered appropriate and average carbohydate intake for any given person, at estimated activity rates, at any age.

Any way you cut it, except for what I'd call real outliers, a paleo diet falls substantially below the recommendations for the majority of persons. Is it inherently VLC? No. Is it inherently LC? Not necessarily. But is it high or even typical carb given average, medically based, healthy (not frankenfood) SAD recommendations? NO. And I'd say, decidedly NOT.

Can any individual eat whatever level of macronutirent that works for them and still "be paleo?" Yes, I think so. But I do believe that eventually, a substantial number will get in trouble with very high,pretty typical, paleo fat intakes combined with very high starchy carb/high glycemic load food intakes. Again, high is defined relative to the recommendations for a healthy SAD diet.

http://www.healthcalculators.org/calculators/carbohydrate.asp?Submit=Close

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on June 04, 2012
at 08:21 PM

Thank you for such a reasonable answer. I agree - paleo isn't necessarily "low carb" as we here would define it, but COMPARED TO the SAD, even someone who's eating plenty of fruit and tubers is probably lowER carb than someone who's eating pasta, crackers, bread, cereal, etc. So you can be at ketogenic levels on Paleo or you can be eating 100-175g of carbs a day and BOTH are still significantly lowER in carbs overall than someone eating lots of grain and sugar.

4
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 21, 2011
at 12:21 AM

If you list what you were eating, there are a bunch of smart and friendly people here who could help you tweak your intake for better results.

I don't know if this applies to what happened to you, but I think a lot of people have let the old common wisdom of "fat is bad" blend with the new common wisdom of "carbs are bad" and the only macronutrient they are left with is protein. If all you eat is lean protein and veggies I would wager you'll feel better for a little while because you are likely avoiding things you have sensitivities to but that long term your health would start to erode as you used up your fat stores.

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on July 21, 2011
at 01:15 AM

Well put, it was what I was going to add. There is only so much protein you can eat, so the rest of calories need to come from carbs and fats. If you drop massive weight, so you're under weight, you're not eating enough. I'm not advocating that people should be low carb, but that may not be the only problem here. If your going to be low carb and low fat, you're going to have serious problems.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 04, 2012
at 09:34 PM

Yes, sounds like inappropriate low carb without the standard low carb precautions - making sure enough calories taken in from fat to balance out calories lost in cutting carbs, likely need for extra salt, likely ignoring actual energy needs. A good program you can use to check your daily diet while switching over is at www.cronometer.com

2
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on July 20, 2011
at 04:02 PM

sounds like a super un-balanced eating style if you went to such a malnourished state. If you were loosing weight too quickly, its never a good thing and you should have been adjusting along the way.

I completely understand about taking things to an extreme, as I've done it many times in the past and I have the messed up digestive track to prove it. For me, doing this program slowly and gradually has allowed me to understand my body better and eat healthier and not take things to such extremes.

Its a shame, perhaps you'll go back to SAD eating because you didn't find a healthy balance. Have you done this before on other programs?? Sometimes it a personality defect that sends us off to an extreme, understanding that is the first step to fixing it and getting healthy again!!

good luck!!

0
D4c89ca3737e028dfa9021c977abb5e2

(26)

on June 04, 2012
at 07:47 PM

If you don't mind me asking, what were you eating? I know it's paleo, but I've seen different versions of it.

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