Can anyone comment on how to start a Paleo diet/low carb with hyperglycemic issues?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 13, 2013 at 6:34 PM

I'm not diabetic but when I don't something with carbs every few hours or so I can get lightheaded and shaky. I'm trying to figure out how I can go no carbs if I can't cut them out of my diet because I get shaky and lightheaded. Can someone that has had hyperglycemia respond? Macronutrient %s would help too. I've scoured the web and I can't find an article on paleo and hyperglycemia.




on March 13, 2013
at 10:13 PM

The reason you're feeling shaky and lightheaded is because you're addicted to carbs. You don't stop an alcoholic from drinking by feeding them more alcohol. You need to go close-to-zero carb for a while and your hyperglycemic issues will sort themselves out.

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2 Answers



on March 13, 2013
at 06:56 PM

Whether or not you're hyPERglycemic is questionable, but you are most likely hyPERinsulemic, which is why your blood sugar drops, making you feel shaky and lightheaded (hyPOglycemic) a few hours after eating. It's terrible, and it was my life for too many years.

There are two ways to do this: 1. Cold turkey, plan for a couple of days of misery. Do it on a weekend, so you can stay in and take it easy. Don't try to drive or do anything of consequence. Stock your home with plenty of protein and fat foods, lots of bone broth well salted for sipping. And just get through it. You WILL get through it and feel so much better on the other side.

  1. Or, you can try gradually stepping down your carbs. That's what I did and it wasn't too bad at all. You can reduce the carbs at each meal, or choose one meal to make carb-free, then add a second meal, and a third. The trick is to have a goal in mind (i.e. no more than 30 net grams of carbs/day within 4 weeks) and work toward it every day.

Either way, NEVER let yourself get hungry. Have plenty of low carb snacks, full of fat and protein. Try to stay away from artificial sweeteners and fake foods. Eat real, whole foods. Don't worry about ratios just yet, just get the carbs down, with your goal eventually being under 30 grams net carbs/day (some people feel better with more, but I suggest targeting 30 and then going up only if you have to). You may still feel awful for a day or so as you are cutting carbs, but soon you will get through it and start feeling markedly better.

Now, there will be people who come along and tell you that you NEED carbs and you should eat carbs in the form of "safe starches" like tubers, fruit, and even some quasi grains like rice and quinoa. But these are people who are NOT insulin resistant, and who are not carb intolerant, and probably never rode the "carb roller coaster" you are trapped on. That's not you. As long as you keep the carbs coming, you're going to continue to spike your insulin levels, and suffer the consequences.

I can't tell you how freeing it is in my life to no longer ride the carb roller coaster. Yesterday I was terribly busy and didn't stop for "lunch" until close to 4 p.m. I was mildly hungry, but still functioning 100% and going full steam since my breakfast at 7:30 a.m.



on March 13, 2013
at 06:45 PM

I had the same problem when I started paleo. I am a runner so I was eating around 250g of carbs before I learned about the paleo diet. If I did not get enough carbs and like you, I had to eat them every few hours, I would get so light headed that I had to lay down for fear of passing out.

I am now down to about 100g of carbs a day, which I feel perfect on. The biggest change I made was switching from a high carb to a high fat breakfast. After a couple weeks of doing this, my sugar seemed to stabilize. I seem to be able to eat moderate to high carb lunches and dinners if I want to, without problems. An example of a typical breakfast for me now is 1/4lb beef, 1 red potato, and 1 stalk of broccoli all topped with about 1/2 tbls of butter. This one change completely fixed my dizziness and I never struggle with it now.

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