5

votes

Day 4 and I feel AWFUL

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 13, 2012 at 7:24 PM

I am on my 4th day of the Paleo Diet. I haven't cheated once and this is a big deal for me...especially considering how much I love bread and cheese. Since I am allergic to wheat and corn, though, and have always ignored it (and feel shittier and shittier the older I get), I really wanted to make a drastic diet change.

I am disappointed at how crappy I feel, though, and want to make sure it's normal. I have horrible headaches, feel very dizzy and lightheaded, and I just feel like I have no strength.

A typical day of food for me has been: Breakfast: Omega-3 egg omelet with various veggies (onions, bell peppers, mushrooms) and turkey breast - cooked in virgin olive oil OR a smoothie (unsweetened shredded coconut, almond milk, strawberries, blueberries and raspberies.

Lunch: BIG salads with tons of various veggies, topped with either chicken breast or flank steak.

Dinner: Usually fish, grilled in olive oil (salmon, mahi mahi, halibut) and a huge amount of veggies (usually broccoli or asparagus) and cherry tomatoes.

Snacks: Almonds, walnuts, etc.

I don't add salt, spice, or sugar to anything. I am drinking water.

Please help...I really want to stick to this to feel better. :(

79850813c5cfc0a089e1060ef9b6ed27

(785)

on January 29, 2013
at 10:21 PM

now, now, let's try a little empathy....

193b7fb0fec8913d5ebb3b99a04d21c6

(2918)

on February 15, 2012
at 02:51 PM

Yay! I think a little salt is fine, obviously don't overdo it. Some people do have salt sensitivities, though, and I don't want to discard that if you do.

778b36f4f699f202de135ef176fe9ab7

(1123)

on February 15, 2012
at 12:40 PM

Good for you :) I'm glad you're feeling better!

Ef40e29cee3d4f7b6d60e3473824f1dc

(272)

on February 15, 2012
at 01:07 AM

I'm a fan of uncured bacon. I just fry it in the pan with nothing added, and it tastes great! AFAIK there should be much less salt/sugar content to it.

D63a9a7789b948a1e88647f6c0e504ca

(1453)

on February 14, 2012
at 10:44 PM

Lots of evidence for health benefits of coffee -- no need to give it up if you don't want to. Plenty of paleo people drink coffee. You can even, gasp, have it with heavy cream now.

Ff551acca848e7f98f34c4b8638bb9fc

(168)

on February 14, 2012
at 05:22 PM

well, I am trying to lose at least 30 pounds and from past diets, know that salt is a big culprit. I assumed (I know, bad word) salt was a basic no-no. I ate some bacon last night, though, and I am amazed at how much better I feel today!

Ff551acca848e7f98f34c4b8638bb9fc

(168)

on February 14, 2012
at 05:21 PM

Thank you for the link...I'm learning all sorts of things I'm doing wrong! I feel much better today...I ate bacon!!! :)

Ff551acca848e7f98f34c4b8638bb9fc

(168)

on February 14, 2012
at 05:19 PM

I ate bacon last night and I absolutely feel like a new person today...I feel kind of great actually! AND, the sun is out. :)

Ff551acca848e7f98f34c4b8638bb9fc

(168)

on February 14, 2012
at 05:18 PM

I could never give up coffee!!! I'm with you there. I don't like it with almond milk, though, so I've taken a liking to basic black. I feel so much better today, btw. I actually ate bacon last night and feel like a new person!!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on February 14, 2012
at 04:53 PM

That is a great link.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on February 14, 2012
at 04:52 PM

Yes, yes, yes! You are experiencing "rabbit starvation" - lean protein and very little fat or carbs. Start by upping the fat a bit and add some carbs like sweet potato if the fat doesn't do the trick. What you are eating is Cordain's "Faileo" diet. Google "rabbit starvation" and "paleo faileo diet" for more info.

F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on February 14, 2012
at 01:35 AM

Megan, I can tell you must be new to this site if you thought bacon wasn't allowed. This is a heavily baconated crowd. Welcome!

Eea48ea8a2d50ac3ed486958dc7d9456

(190)

on February 14, 2012
at 12:46 AM

Yes, that's it! Caffeine, wheat, and sugar all at once!! I wouldn't be able to cope! It's okay to have your coffee if you want to, and wait til later to slowly phase it out...and eat I find a hot ginger tea or hot water with lemon and honey helps with headaches.

403a53c045ac5cda63f5b576d44e9710

on February 13, 2012
at 09:23 PM

try salt water every 4 hours - you might need magnesium try L-glutamine and P-5-P for sugar cravings. you'll get through it!

0df0b1c6ae16bbb75b4a5efa3d876765

(2240)

on February 13, 2012
at 08:42 PM

Also try to avoid the really cheap supermarket bacon.

C4a0c9f9a748f1d3354055bc6d020c7e

(298)

on February 13, 2012
at 07:48 PM

If you've quit coffee at the same time I would not be surprised if this has a lot to do with caffeine withdrawal. I always get a headache without my morning coffee. You don't need to drop coffee completely. I just reduced how much I drank and switched to green tea in the afternoon which still has some caffeine in it.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on February 13, 2012
at 07:45 PM

If someone gets a headache after restriction wheat when they have an allergy to it, it is to be assumed first and foremost that it is due to a withdrawal of wheat exorphins. Just google it, it has nothing to do with the paleo diet, celiacs eliminating wheat have the experience. Try some strong tea and don't restrict salt.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on February 13, 2012
at 07:41 PM

bacon is perfectly acceptable within reason, don't build yourself a bacon-cabin and eat your way out - but I would suggest you have a ribeye with dinner instead of fish, some bacon or leftover steak with breakfast, and maybe a bunless hamburger with salad for dinner. It won't cure the initial sugar-detox blues, but it will increase satiety which will help you much more.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on February 13, 2012
at 07:39 PM

I'm with you on the fat....and let me just throw in that a half a teaspoon of salt to your meals throughout the day may also help.

Ff551acca848e7f98f34c4b8638bb9fc

(168)

on February 13, 2012
at 07:38 PM

Thank you so much for the reply. I feel especially awful today, but refuse to give up.

Ff551acca848e7f98f34c4b8638bb9fc

(168)

on February 13, 2012
at 07:37 PM

Stopping everything cold turkey. I drank a 4-shot espresso drink every morning, usually on an empty stomach. I ate a lot of carbs and I love baking, so evenings were spent with delicious cookies, cakes, etc.

Ff551acca848e7f98f34c4b8638bb9fc

(168)

on February 13, 2012
at 07:36 PM

Bacon sounds heavenly...I didn't think it was acceptable because of the sodium content. Thanks for your answer!

D3f3b91d1dd9ce60865654faeb2ec809

on February 13, 2012
at 07:34 PM

Don't go overboard though. I remember having awful steatorrhoea in my early paleo days

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20 Answers

9
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on February 13, 2012
at 07:30 PM

Fat will help your transition.
You eat eating:
Breakfast:
Eggs - some fat and lower protein
Turkey - low fat and high protein

Lunch:
Chicken breast - low fat and high protein
or
Flank Steak - low fat (just not as low as fowl) and high protein

Dinner:
Fish - low fat and high protein

Everyone here will probably tell you "more fat".

I would agree. Eat some bacon!

How are the other aspects of your life? Sleeping enough? Too much training? These will factor in as well...

Ff551acca848e7f98f34c4b8638bb9fc

(168)

on February 13, 2012
at 07:36 PM

Bacon sounds heavenly...I didn't think it was acceptable because of the sodium content. Thanks for your answer!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on February 14, 2012
at 04:52 PM

Yes, yes, yes! You are experiencing "rabbit starvation" - lean protein and very little fat or carbs. Start by upping the fat a bit and add some carbs like sweet potato if the fat doesn't do the trick. What you are eating is Cordain's "Faileo" diet. Google "rabbit starvation" and "paleo faileo diet" for more info.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on February 13, 2012
at 07:39 PM

I'm with you on the fat....and let me just throw in that a half a teaspoon of salt to your meals throughout the day may also help.

0df0b1c6ae16bbb75b4a5efa3d876765

(2240)

on February 13, 2012
at 08:42 PM

Also try to avoid the really cheap supermarket bacon.

Ef40e29cee3d4f7b6d60e3473824f1dc

(272)

on February 15, 2012
at 01:07 AM

I'm a fan of uncured bacon. I just fry it in the pan with nothing added, and it tastes great! AFAIK there should be much less salt/sugar content to it.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on February 13, 2012
at 07:41 PM

bacon is perfectly acceptable within reason, don't build yourself a bacon-cabin and eat your way out - but I would suggest you have a ribeye with dinner instead of fish, some bacon or leftover steak with breakfast, and maybe a bunless hamburger with salad for dinner. It won't cure the initial sugar-detox blues, but it will increase satiety which will help you much more.

F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on February 14, 2012
at 01:35 AM

Megan, I can tell you must be new to this site if you thought bacon wasn't allowed. This is a heavily baconated crowd. Welcome!

D3f3b91d1dd9ce60865654faeb2ec809

on February 13, 2012
at 07:34 PM

Don't go overboard though. I remember having awful steatorrhoea in my early paleo days

Ff551acca848e7f98f34c4b8638bb9fc

(168)

on February 14, 2012
at 05:19 PM

I ate bacon last night and I absolutely feel like a new person today...I feel kind of great actually! AND, the sun is out. :)

6
F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on February 13, 2012
at 07:38 PM

I like this post from Melissa McEwan on feeling crappy when you start out - are you eating Paleo or Faileo? http://huntgatherlove.com/content/are-you-faileo-diet

Also, I felt dizzy and weak the first few days as well. Then it went away.

Ff551acca848e7f98f34c4b8638bb9fc

(168)

on February 14, 2012
at 05:21 PM

Thank you for the link...I'm learning all sorts of things I'm doing wrong! I feel much better today...I ate bacon!!! :)

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on February 14, 2012
at 04:53 PM

That is a great link.

2
56f585aeed92954cf45b94d3f5b3df98

on February 14, 2012
at 06:01 AM

I know it sounds simple, but try drinking more water, and don't reduce your salt!

2
0df0b1c6ae16bbb75b4a5efa3d876765

(2240)

on February 13, 2012
at 08:35 PM

Fat wants to be your new best friend.

I agree with those suggesting to add more of it, especially Joshua's break-down of your meals.

When I started Paleo in November (following the Archevore Diet specifically) I immediately swapped my carb intake with fat intake and I didn't have the "low-carb flu" everyone talks about. I also rarely feel the need for snacks.

Search the forum a bit for other similar questions, but here are some I found that might be helpful to start with:

For the sake of people new to paleo do we need to raise awareness of "rabbit starvation"?

Do you still fear fat?

2
Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on February 13, 2012
at 07:43 PM

Many people will get a massive headache after eliminating wheat, just google "celiac wheat withdrawal headache" people talk about how terrible it is for a while. Sorry, nothing I can do there.

You don't have to restrict salt, by the way. You would ruin your food before you got too much from a salt shaker.

2
1586db0f16b2cef51ee4e71ab08ad1a2

(965)

on February 13, 2012
at 07:41 PM

Like the other posters asked, what was your diet before?

How many carbs were you eating? How many now? If less than 100-150g, try upping your starch intake (sweet potatoes for starters) and see if that makes you feel better. Your body may be shocked by the quick macronutrient switch, so including some starch initially will help you adapt.

Also, MORE FAT. Saturated fat. Go get some ghee, make some tallow, and get some coconut oil and pastured butter. Start making sure you're meeting your initial calorie needs.

Switching your diet is one thing, but go into a calorie deficit while doing so can be really stressful.

Little steps at a time. :)

2
Eea48ea8a2d50ac3ed486958dc7d9456

(190)

on February 13, 2012
at 07:28 PM

What was your diet like before you started 4 days ago? Are you stopping sugars cold-turkey? It could be the sugar detox...can cause those symptoms.

Ff551acca848e7f98f34c4b8638bb9fc

(168)

on February 13, 2012
at 07:37 PM

Stopping everything cold turkey. I drank a 4-shot espresso drink every morning, usually on an empty stomach. I ate a lot of carbs and I love baking, so evenings were spent with delicious cookies, cakes, etc.

D63a9a7789b948a1e88647f6c0e504ca

(1453)

on February 14, 2012
at 10:44 PM

Lots of evidence for health benefits of coffee -- no need to give it up if you don't want to. Plenty of paleo people drink coffee. You can even, gasp, have it with heavy cream now.

C4a0c9f9a748f1d3354055bc6d020c7e

(298)

on February 13, 2012
at 07:48 PM

If you've quit coffee at the same time I would not be surprised if this has a lot to do with caffeine withdrawal. I always get a headache without my morning coffee. You don't need to drop coffee completely. I just reduced how much I drank and switched to green tea in the afternoon which still has some caffeine in it.

Eea48ea8a2d50ac3ed486958dc7d9456

(190)

on February 14, 2012
at 12:46 AM

Yes, that's it! Caffeine, wheat, and sugar all at once!! I wouldn't be able to cope! It's okay to have your coffee if you want to, and wait til later to slowly phase it out...and eat I find a hot ginger tea or hot water with lemon and honey helps with headaches.

1
Fc6593b8fa14fcbbba15b162f363a521

on February 14, 2012
at 07:02 PM

Your headaches might be caused by a lack of electrolytes. Maybe try salting your food a bit more and taking some supplements.

1
D7cc4049bef85d1979efbd853dc07c8e

(4029)

on February 14, 2012
at 03:57 AM

I had a mild low-carb flu. Came on about 2 days in, lasted about 2 weeks. It was mild, and felt no different than the normal blahs I used to get mid-winter in Minnesota. But this was late-spring. I soldiered through it, Gary Taubes books and Robert Lustig's YouTube video scared the sugar and carbs out of me and I was determined.

About a few weeks later I entered a euphoric phase of a couple months that I hadn't experienced since high school athletic events. I haven't had that sky-high since, but most days I feel outright awesome. When sugar-burning turns to fat-burning . . . I don't want to ever go back to being a sugar-burner.

1
193b7fb0fec8913d5ebb3b99a04d21c6

(2918)

on February 13, 2012
at 09:15 PM

I noticed you mentioned no salt or spices. Why not? Obviously don't overdo the salt, but a little can make things a lot more palatable and make your meals a bit more exciting.

Bacon does a good job of adding salt and fat. I agree with everyone else and adding more fat! I could eat all of my meals as greens, bacon and eggs and be happy the rest of my life, because I'm getting my fat and flavor.

Ff551acca848e7f98f34c4b8638bb9fc

(168)

on February 14, 2012
at 05:22 PM

well, I am trying to lose at least 30 pounds and from past diets, know that salt is a big culprit. I assumed (I know, bad word) salt was a basic no-no. I ate some bacon last night, though, and I am amazed at how much better I feel today!

193b7fb0fec8913d5ebb3b99a04d21c6

(2918)

on February 15, 2012
at 02:51 PM

Yay! I think a little salt is fine, obviously don't overdo it. Some people do have salt sensitivities, though, and I don't want to discard that if you do.

1
05bb50ce77cd473e6534716a504e8a66

on February 13, 2012
at 08:35 PM

Don't give up today or tomorrow or next week! Stick it out Megan! I am on day 29 of my 30 day challenge. And I was feeling just like you the first 8 days. I gave up 5-8 sodas a day as well, so you can imagine my headaches. You can do it! Bacon, eggs, and veggies for breakfast. Salad with some chicken for lunch. Rib eye with green beans or aspargus. It gets easier, I swear!

1
Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

on February 13, 2012
at 07:57 PM

As people have said, plenty of things coming together to make you feel bad. But it really shouldn't last long. Get plenty of sleep, and see if things aren't better in the next day or two. You'll probably still feel 'off' for a while, but shouldn't be in pain.

1
966da443ced20be2c4181fc8ce35290c

(35)

on February 13, 2012
at 07:34 PM

Hi Megan,

I started Friday so I'm on day 4, as well, and I've been getting very bad dizzy spells and headaches. As we know, it's definitely a combination of our bodies in withdrawal of sugar and let's not forget our bodies are addicted to carbs, so that takes about a week before our body starts to burn stored fat efficiently. The best thing you can do is allow yourself some fruit like blueberries, keep up your water intake, rest plenty, and avoid cheating. If you are strict during your first 30 days, your body will very efficiently begin to adjust and it allows for cheating after the first month. Remember to get lots of direct protein at every meal- this will curb the dizzy feeling and headaches. I skipped breakfast this morning because I was in a rush and now I'm facing some very rough dizzy spells at my desk! Learn from my mistake!

Ff551acca848e7f98f34c4b8638bb9fc

(168)

on February 13, 2012
at 07:38 PM

Thank you so much for the reply. I feel especially awful today, but refuse to give up.

0
949d4d02ea7d1abd714cc3347c2c6854

on January 29, 2013
at 07:28 PM

A bunch of friends and I bullied someone we know into eliminating processed foods from her diet, and she had the same exact experience. She was about to give up when she said she had a major craving for salt. She ate some salt on vegetables and said almost immediately she felt better. Eliminating all processed foods and assuming salt was bad for your apparently took her over the edge on the electrolytes.

0
9bf0cd801ab042614fe6c9a3adbedd2d

on January 29, 2013
at 05:55 PM

I felt awful for about 14 days. Really awful. Every day I'd wake up thinking "this is the day I finally turn the corner physically" but nope. It lasted for awhile but I was seriously detoxing from sugar overload from Christmas. I feel fantastic now but it was rough going there for awhile. Don't give up. Take it easy during this time and your body will thank you for it....eventually. :)

0
B5cdf00101a796674e6cbf8353be99f8

on February 14, 2012
at 05:34 PM

Keep it up! You'll turn the corner soon.

I recommend ramping up your fat intake. Coconut oil, grass fed butter, and plain full fat yogurt are excellent choices (that is, if you're not in the "dairy is evil" camp.) Remember that fats should be providing the majority of your calories!

0
778b36f4f699f202de135ef176fe9ab7

on February 14, 2012
at 05:11 PM

You are okay! Hang in there! It will all be over soon and you will feel SO much better :) I would take up a little coffee again, unless you don't want to. You are on day four, so you may be about over the hump. I adore coffee, so that's not something I was willing to give up. Keep it up, you're doing great so far :)

778b36f4f699f202de135ef176fe9ab7

(1123)

on February 15, 2012
at 12:40 PM

Good for you :) I'm glad you're feeling better!

Ff551acca848e7f98f34c4b8638bb9fc

(168)

on February 14, 2012
at 05:18 PM

I could never give up coffee!!! I'm with you there. I don't like it with almond milk, though, so I've taken a liking to basic black. I feel so much better today, btw. I actually ate bacon last night and feel like a new person!!

0
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on February 14, 2012
at 04:59 PM

I must not fear saturated fat.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

[with apologies to Frank Herbert]

0
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on February 14, 2012
at 06:41 AM

You might do better with 1 TBSP butter or coconut added to each meal. However the most likely suspect is that your body is now detoxing and flushing out things and doing housekeeping that could not happen when you were eating poorly. So likely a good sign that you are on a path to improved health.

-2
9b0a4701e373d4dd13831cfb9b13f42d

(1677)

on February 14, 2012
at 05:00 AM

Suck it up!!!!!!!

79850813c5cfc0a089e1060ef9b6ed27

(785)

on January 29, 2013
at 10:21 PM

now, now, let's try a little empathy....

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