1

votes

Constant stomach gnawing and fatigue on the paleo diet?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 07, 2012 at 12:53 AM

I started the paleo diet about a week ago because im trying to help balance out my hormones from poly-cystic ovarian syndrome naturally. No matter how much I eat I have this constant gnawing pain in my stomach, from lack of grains. I used to have a bowel of oatmeal every morning and night, and it would keep me full, give me energy (that was about all the grains I'd eat), I ate a typical healthy diet, everything paleo apart from grains, legumes, milk, (i still have one cup a day, I haven't given up that yet) and the fact that it wasnt organic...so now the only thing Ive changed is not eating grains or legumes (which i didnt eat much of anyway), buying organic, and no more preservative 0 calorie crap drinks.

But now I constantly feel weak and tired, despite eating more calories than I did before this diet, I constantly have a gnawing feeling that comes 10 minutes after anything I eat, and nothing brings it down (unless I were to have grains)...whats going on??

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on December 08, 2012
at 10:12 PM

I was thinking more about this last night, and I was wondering if one of the things that might be happening is that oatmeal swells in your belly, stretching it out a bit and sending out those satiety cues. So maybe there might just be a bit of a transition while your stomach shrinks where you do feel quite hungry. Did you quit drinking diet soda at the same time? When I drank a lot of diet Coke I remember that would also make be feel full/bloaty beyond the way just sparkling water would. So if you removed both at the same time there would certainly be a hollow feeling for a while.

347e73289cc58648d2565b4197fa99be

on December 08, 2012
at 02:34 AM

I think I'm getting more used to it now. My energy levels are a bit higher, and I don't have that gnawing hunger as much. I haven't been bothering with counting calories now or watching my saturated fat intake, until my body gets used to the diet itself. I don't want to go back to eating oatmeal now because, like I said I needed a change in my diet, in order to see if i could get rid of some of the symptoms of PCOS, and getting rid of oatmeal is like changing 30% of my diet. But I do love oatmeal, so maybe on those days when I'm really craving it, I'll try soaking them. Thanks :)

347e73289cc58648d2565b4197fa99be

on December 08, 2012
at 02:18 AM

haha shush i meant bowl...

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on December 07, 2012
at 09:19 PM

No idea, Nasty. I'm talking about the number on the scale, not my BF%.

211d4075d68b24cd0aa7ebfa94262bb9

on December 07, 2012
at 07:54 PM

"I lost a fifth of my body weight following the more fat protocol. And I was not overweight to begin with" What, you went from 25% body fat down to 5%?

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on December 07, 2012
at 01:27 PM

Agreed, Happy, absolutely. Everyone's mileage does vary -- my husband does best on a low fat, high carb grain-based diet. But we have an OP who's given paleo all of one week, which is not very much time even if you're not eating anything at all. I prefer Cron-o-Meter to Fitday and yes, I do use it. Like you, I eschew plant fats. And I always feel the need to eat more often when I'm eating more carbs, likely the quicker cycle of blood sugar energy is the culprit. Getting my calories from fats and proteins gives me longer cycles of sustained energy -- I eat one meal per day.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on December 07, 2012
at 01:27 PM

Agreed, Happy, absolutely. Everyone's mileage does vary -- my husband does best on a low fat, high carb grain-based diet. But we have an OP who's given paleo all of one week, which is not very much time even if you're not eating anything at all. I prefer Cron-o-Meter to Fitday and yes, I do use it. Like you, I eschew plant fats. And I always feel the need to eat more often when I'm eating more carbs, likely the quicker cycle of blood sugar energy is the culprit. Getting my calories from fats and proteins gives me longer cycles of sustained energy I eat one meal per day.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on December 07, 2012
at 07:39 AM

ewwwwwwwwwwww a bowel of oatmeal???

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on December 07, 2012
at 06:05 AM

3-7 days in most people go through a phase of feeling like utter crappola, just par for the course. I personally felt relief from starting my day with some sort of broth and a good amount of salt in it, it is normal to lose a lot of electrolytes and be run down during trasitioning. Starchy foods can help too, like potatoes and bananas, so you don't go too low carb too fast if that was your goal.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on December 07, 2012
at 06:00 AM

Everyone is different, so I won't give in to the folly of thinking that what works for me will necessarily work for you, but just out of curiosity have you plugged your numbers into fitday or something to see what your macros are like? I've found that I'm most comfortable with a fat intake of 50-70%, as long as it is mostly from meat, not relying too much on avocado, coconut, or olive oils. I too felt gnawing hunger, and never felt full until I managed to cross that percentage. If a serving or less of oatmeal per day is your only grain, I also wouldn't stress too much.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on December 07, 2012
at 04:07 AM

Also, bluntly, one week is not enough time to adjust to paleo from a grains diet.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on December 07, 2012
at 03:58 AM

I lost a fifth of my body weight following the more fat protocol. And I was not overweight to begin with.

Medium avatar

(1087)

on December 07, 2012
at 01:29 AM

Well in that case, I'd see Jonas' answer.

347e73289cc58648d2565b4197fa99be

on December 07, 2012
at 01:14 AM

Im trying to watch my weight, and If i replace most of the carbs I eat with fat, I will be even more hungry (because fat isnt filling to me, in large quantities) and Ill be consuming even more calories, I really dont want to gain weight

347e73289cc58648d2565b4197fa99be

on December 07, 2012
at 01:10 AM

yes I replaced all the oatmeal I used to eat with sweet potatoes, it doesn't help

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9 Answers

best answer

0
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on December 07, 2012
at 07:34 PM

During this transition time it is first and foremost important to make sure you are eating enough. There will be time to back down on portions once you reach your cruising altitude, but first you need to not be hungry all the time or this isn't going to work for you. I crashed and burned hardcore on the Faileo Diet (lowfat paleo), seriously lost my mind, don't go there.

Secondly, if after say 3-4 weeks of eating to satiety and still feeling like you are missing something, I do think some people have a magical relationship with oatmeal. It is the only grain I can personally eat, and feel strong and stable on 4-6 hours later. I would recommend that if you keep it, to do an overnight soak first to avoid the most detrimental aspects of eating them. http://www.highonhealth.org/why-its-very-important-to-soak-oats-before-you-eat-them/

347e73289cc58648d2565b4197fa99be

on December 08, 2012
at 02:34 AM

I think I'm getting more used to it now. My energy levels are a bit higher, and I don't have that gnawing hunger as much. I haven't been bothering with counting calories now or watching my saturated fat intake, until my body gets used to the diet itself. I don't want to go back to eating oatmeal now because, like I said I needed a change in my diet, in order to see if i could get rid of some of the symptoms of PCOS, and getting rid of oatmeal is like changing 30% of my diet. But I do love oatmeal, so maybe on those days when I'm really craving it, I'll try soaking them. Thanks :)

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on December 08, 2012
at 10:12 PM

I was thinking more about this last night, and I was wondering if one of the things that might be happening is that oatmeal swells in your belly, stretching it out a bit and sending out those satiety cues. So maybe there might just be a bit of a transition while your stomach shrinks where you do feel quite hungry. Did you quit drinking diet soda at the same time? When I drank a lot of diet Coke I remember that would also make be feel full/bloaty beyond the way just sparkling water would. So if you removed both at the same time there would certainly be a hollow feeling for a while.

2
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on December 08, 2012
at 07:35 PM

If you are replacing your oatmeal with sweet potatoes and starchy carbs, NO WONDER you are still having that gnawing hunger feeling! PCOS is all about insulin resistance, and to lose weight and reduce other PCOS symptoms you have to cut carbs.

Even if you are not trying to get pregnant, you can learn a lot from this video: http://www.dietdoctor.com/how-to-eat-to-get-pregnant.

If you cut the carbs, you WILL lose weight--it's the carbs that keep you fat, fat DOES NOT make you fat. Do not fear good fats in your diet. A combo of paleo (clean, natural, organic, grain free foods, and healthy fats) plus low carb is the very best thing you can do for your PCOS.

I know whereof I speak. After a lifetime of not ever ovulating on my own, and severe PCOS symptoms from the very beginning even though I was thin (until fertility meds messed with my body even more)the only time I have ever ovulated on my own without drugs is on a low carb diet. Acne disappeared, skin tags stopped forming, and I've had a host of other major health benefits, not to mention weight loss by cutting the carbs. Oh, and as an added bonus--my now 12 year old daughter! ;o)

2
629b9895e282d0ef15b465b064100f83

on December 07, 2012
at 02:05 PM

It is normal to go through a withdrawal period when you first start the Paleo diet. It lasted at least a few weeks for me and then I found that I no longer craved grains and I no longer experienced hypoglycemic episodes. You probably need to increase your fat intake (and embrace the fact that fat in your diet is NOT bad for you). Get rid of all of the grains or else your body isn't going to make the adjustment.

2
383127951e2e17f23b584cd3842bb796

(835)

on December 07, 2012
at 01:13 AM

it's probably your body's way of adjusting to a new diet. if you're undergoing a significant metabolic shift then you'll probably experience what are essentially withdrawal symptoms.

2
0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

on December 07, 2012
at 01:08 AM

Ditch the grains once and for all, and eat more fat.

211d4075d68b24cd0aa7ebfa94262bb9

on December 07, 2012
at 07:54 PM

"I lost a fifth of my body weight following the more fat protocol. And I was not overweight to begin with" What, you went from 25% body fat down to 5%?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on December 07, 2012
at 06:00 AM

Everyone is different, so I won't give in to the folly of thinking that what works for me will necessarily work for you, but just out of curiosity have you plugged your numbers into fitday or something to see what your macros are like? I've found that I'm most comfortable with a fat intake of 50-70%, as long as it is mostly from meat, not relying too much on avocado, coconut, or olive oils. I too felt gnawing hunger, and never felt full until I managed to cross that percentage. If a serving or less of oatmeal per day is your only grain, I also wouldn't stress too much.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on December 07, 2012
at 03:58 AM

I lost a fifth of my body weight following the more fat protocol. And I was not overweight to begin with.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on December 07, 2012
at 01:27 PM

Agreed, Happy, absolutely. Everyone's mileage does vary -- my husband does best on a low fat, high carb grain-based diet. But we have an OP who's given paleo all of one week, which is not very much time even if you're not eating anything at all. I prefer Cron-o-Meter to Fitday and yes, I do use it. Like you, I eschew plant fats. And I always feel the need to eat more often when I'm eating more carbs, likely the quicker cycle of blood sugar energy is the culprit. Getting my calories from fats and proteins gives me longer cycles of sustained energy I eat one meal per day.

347e73289cc58648d2565b4197fa99be

on December 07, 2012
at 01:14 AM

Im trying to watch my weight, and If i replace most of the carbs I eat with fat, I will be even more hungry (because fat isnt filling to me, in large quantities) and Ill be consuming even more calories, I really dont want to gain weight

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on December 07, 2012
at 04:07 AM

Also, bluntly, one week is not enough time to adjust to paleo from a grains diet.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on December 07, 2012
at 01:27 PM

Agreed, Happy, absolutely. Everyone's mileage does vary -- my husband does best on a low fat, high carb grain-based diet. But we have an OP who's given paleo all of one week, which is not very much time even if you're not eating anything at all. I prefer Cron-o-Meter to Fitday and yes, I do use it. Like you, I eschew plant fats. And I always feel the need to eat more often when I'm eating more carbs, likely the quicker cycle of blood sugar energy is the culprit. Getting my calories from fats and proteins gives me longer cycles of sustained energy -- I eat one meal per day.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on December 07, 2012
at 09:19 PM

No idea, Nasty. I'm talking about the number on the scale, not my BF%.

1
71ef6fa9da502f1caa096f3047262f28

(130)

on December 07, 2012
at 04:31 PM

When I first started eating paleo I was hungry all the time. I found several things that contributed to that. These are super simple fixes, so this might not help. But I'll share regardless...As someone mentioned above, I wasn't including enough fat in my diet. I received most of my fat from diary so when I cut that out, I definitely got leaner but I was really hungry. So it was a change to try and figure out what fats to eat. Also I was not getting enough fruits and vegetables which have a lot of fiber and fill you up. Think about it like this, if you were to have a side of broccoli at home, how much would you have 1/2 cup to a 1 cup? Try eating 3+ cups of broccoli and you'll be very full. Basically, what I did when I first started eating paleo was cut out grains and diary. But I kept the proportions of meats, fruits and veggies the same as they had always been. So I was cutting a bunch of calories out of my diet and not making up for them. I mean if you look at your plate now, do you still have the same serving size of meat and same serving size of vegetables minus the diary and/or carbs you used to eat? Sounds simple enough but I think that happens to a lot of people.

1
35deaf0f101526bb113ea69f79934f2b

(436)

on December 07, 2012
at 01:29 AM

How long have you been doing this diet? I definitely had the same thing. I kind of did a gradual transition, since I went from eating lots of grains, to gluten free (so mainly just rice and oatmeal and other fresh grains), then paleo. I actually still eat white rice occasionally and i do eat oatmeal once-twice I week(i love it so it my cheat).

While transitioning with each step, I experienced this too. It lasted a week at most and then my hunger and stomach pains went back to normal. If you are pretty new to this don't give up. If you must, then start with eating half your normal oatmeal or something to make the transition more gradual.

1
Medium avatar

on December 07, 2012
at 01:09 AM

Have you tried sweet potatoes or squash? I eat that when I'm having a 'omggivemegrainsrightnow' day.

Medium avatar

(1087)

on December 07, 2012
at 01:29 AM

Well in that case, I'd see Jonas' answer.

347e73289cc58648d2565b4197fa99be

on December 07, 2012
at 01:10 AM

yes I replaced all the oatmeal I used to eat with sweet potatoes, it doesn't help

0
2c6eac36dc9da2db661efb9ba1210f4e

(-6)

on December 07, 2012
at 05:33 AM

I had the same feeling when I first started on this Paleo diet, but my body sort of got used to it after a couple of weeks. The other reason for having that persistant feeling is because of you not following the diet strictly. But , look at it in a positive way. As long as the as the symptom does not affect your lifestyle in a big way, it is still worth it to continue with this wonderful for the sake of its tremendous benefits which is very well outlined in the article below. I hope you will like it. I do and convinced that it will benefit me in the long run. http://tinyurl.com/ccxfa75

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