energy levels (during exercise) during initial transition to Paleo/Primal eating

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 10, 2011 at 3:23 AM

This is my first question, so if this has been asked and answered, my apologies. First, a bit of background. Today is day 9 since I've transitioned to a paleo/primal eating plan. No grains, no dairy...a few legumes have snuck in, but otherwise I've been pretty clean. Lots of veggies, fruit (mostly apples, bananas, berries and a few oranges) and of course lots of animal protein. Incidentally, I've lost 9 lbs. Down from 209 to 200 as of this morning.

My question has to do with energy levels during exercise. My energy thoughout the day has been excellent during normal activity, but I have noticed that when I'm doing a longer workout session, I am getting tired about 30 minutes in, much more than when I was eating lots of carbs.

I am presuming (hoping) that this is a transitional thing as my body learns to start burning fat for energy...but am curious about other's experience in this area.




on March 16, 2011
at 08:40 PM

Tom - Good question. I have a background as an endurance athlete (I know, chronic cardio!). Competitive distance runner, long course triathlete (ironman and half-ironmans). I am actually coming off an injury...current activity is 4-5x/wk of running/cycling/rowing for 45-90 min. strength training 2-3x/wk 30-45 min per session.



on March 10, 2011
at 07:18 AM

Definitely make sure you're getting enough calories and enough fat. You might need to eat more than you think you do.



on March 10, 2011
at 03:43 AM

It would probably be helpful to describe the type of exercise you do a little. It is natural to have a "transition period," but the great thing about tinkering with your diet and exercise is that I find it to be a constant transition period. I have found through exerimenation that my workouts and gut feel better when I have more carbs in the form of squash and some sweet potatoes. Fruit can be tough on my stomach and many on here will tell you that there are better carb options if you choose to keep carbs in your diet.

  • Af43d11d60547c868ccf1e4daccb76ad

    asked by

  • Views
  • Last Activity
    1704D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

3 Answers



on March 10, 2011
at 03:48 AM

It took me almost a month and a half to have the same energy levels I had before Paleo - now my energy levels are way higher (it's been about 3 months). Give your body time to adjust.

And eat more fat!!!


on March 10, 2011
at 04:48 AM

I think the type of workout does make a difference. But I do know a bunch of people have had energy issues when first making the transition to paleo. This is fairly normal. I did not notice it personally but I would suggest to take in some carbs pre workout. I like a piece of fruit an hour before exercise (I do crossfit). For the past few weeks I have been taking in one piece of fruit pre workout and some carb post workout with protein. That's my day worth of carbs. But it does provide enough energy for intense training. Good luck.



on March 10, 2011
at 03:31 AM

I always felt like I needed to eat a couple hours before a workout. Now I can workout fasted with no problem. I feel stronger and quicker when I work out fasted (could all be mental). Give yourself time to adjust to the paleo lifestyle and soon you'll be doing the same.

Answer Question

Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!