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Is it normal for the thought of paleo food to make you feel nauseous in the beginning?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 16, 2012 at 1:39 AM

I started the Paleo diet yesterday and I know that it is normal to feel less than great when first starting the diet, but I guess I wasn't anticipating feeling so awful so fast. I've had a headache, no energy, weakness, and nausea. Just the thought of paleo food(veggies, meat, eggs, etc.) literally makes me gag and feel like I could vomit. I have to force myself to eat. Is this normal? I've never been a big meat or egg eater so I don't know if that has anything to do with it? I want to continue with this but I also don't want to gag everytime I try to eat.

963322f175cdd4c5f7d52cc372b3a167

(646)

on August 20, 2012
at 06:34 AM

Stay away from fruits? Says who? Don't listen to the low-carbers who are trying to take over paleo...

1133603ea602c6824da56e8b596c9754

(614)

on May 20, 2012
at 07:27 PM

I can't say for sure, but I think most of you issues can be helped by paleo. As you can tell on this site, no one diet works for everyone. It may also help you to look into healing your gut. Check out www.chriskresser.com. He has a bunch of podcasts on his site about gut health that are really informative. How are you feeling now?

Cac880811b5e9655336b5e323dc2a93f

(0)

on May 16, 2012
at 07:22 PM

Maybe it would have been better to transition a little at a time, i don't know. My thinking was that I wanting to get all the detoxing over at once. I knew it was going to suck but I didn't think that I was going to be so sick that I had to force myself to eat. Hopefully, this will pass in a few days...

Cac880811b5e9655336b5e323dc2a93f

(0)

on May 16, 2012
at 07:20 PM

I really do want to continue with paleo so I'm just praying all this passes SOON!

Cac880811b5e9655336b5e323dc2a93f

(0)

on May 16, 2012
at 07:17 PM

That's my problem as well. I constantly feel nauseous which makes me not want to eat but at the same time I feel hungry all the time. I can eat and feel full and then just a little bit later I feel hungry again. I'm also looking for snack options since everything I've read says to try not to consume too many fruits and nuts. But sometimes that is the only thing that sounds appetizing to me. Another problem, everyone keeps suggesting to eat avocados and sweet potatoes, but I don't care for either or them.

Cac880811b5e9655336b5e323dc2a93f

(0)

on May 16, 2012
at 07:13 PM

There aren't a whole lot of meats that I just love. I can tolerate poultry and like beef okay. Can't stand seafood. As for veggies I really like cucumbers, zucchini, carrots and I tolerate broccoli okay. Of course I love most fruits and nuts but everything I've read says to try to stay away from those as much as possible...

Cac880811b5e9655336b5e323dc2a93f

(0)

on May 16, 2012
at 07:09 PM

My typical diet before paleo was pretty much the SAD diet. Cereals, oatmeal, fast food, frozen meals, pasta, breads, etc. My health is what has motivated me to give paleo a try. I am 29 years old and already have high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, stomach ulcer, sinus issues, and possibly arthritis. I'm hoping that the diet will cure or at least suppress some of my issues.

Cac880811b5e9655336b5e323dc2a93f

(0)

on May 16, 2012
at 07:04 PM

My typical diet before paleo: Breakfast-cereal w/2% milk or oatmeal, Lunch- something like a frozen meal, sandwich w/chips, salad, etc. , Dinner-burger w/fries, spahetti,cereal, etc. My diets since starting paleo: Breakfast-egg and veggie scramble, egg muffins, etc. Lunch-chicken fajitas, paleo sloppy joes Dinner-leftovers from lunch. Snacks-I've had a few nuts, banana, apple, strawberries, blackberries, sliced ham.

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

(1646)

on May 16, 2012
at 03:48 AM

Fat is your friend! Especially during the beginning of the diet, you'll hit times of generally feeling like you're starving but hungry. Try to keep some avocados or pork rinds on hand; the quick fat boost really helped me through the worst of it.

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

(1646)

on May 16, 2012
at 02:46 AM

Seconded for the diet ideas. What was typical prior to paleo, as well as what you've been having since starting. My wife, for example, was having horrible problems early on until we really looked at her diet and realized she was eating half the calories she was used to, and almost zero fat.

5cd8441bd01fc10816085bfc092477c4

(925)

on May 16, 2012
at 01:58 AM

What did you eat before? Not trying to be difficult here, but doesn't everyone eat veggies/meat/eggs?? I admit, I've even after I quit being a vegetarian (was one for 13 years) meat has never been a big hit with me, so I understand where you are coming from there.

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12 Answers

3
5662d1262516ccbd70249e7aeaf58901

(681)

on May 16, 2012
at 03:43 AM

You don't have to change everything at once. You can transition step by step. You can wait until you've adapted to one step before moving on to the next.

I sort of gradually drifted into paleo myself. I never got any low carb flu or anything like that.

2
B04787f664abf9bebc28f71bf7825a3c

on May 16, 2012
at 04:12 AM

It's because you are craving carbs. Your body is used to carbs.

I think the biggest mistake newbies to the "diet" think it is a low-carb only diet. Not so! Many paleo or primal people use it to eat low-carb, but you don't personally have to.

What has worked for me is primal smoothies. Just blend together a frozen banana, a ripe banana, and other berries or fruit with a handful of spinach. Yum! This has stopped cravings for anything bad (for me personally) and my stalled weight loss is no more.

The key is to experiment with food.

2
1133603ea602c6824da56e8b596c9754

on May 16, 2012
at 02:24 AM

I think it is important to know what your diet was like before paleo. Can you share what motivated you to eat paleo? Do you have any health issues?

Cac880811b5e9655336b5e323dc2a93f

(0)

on May 16, 2012
at 07:09 PM

My typical diet before paleo was pretty much the SAD diet. Cereals, oatmeal, fast food, frozen meals, pasta, breads, etc. My health is what has motivated me to give paleo a try. I am 29 years old and already have high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, stomach ulcer, sinus issues, and possibly arthritis. I'm hoping that the diet will cure or at least suppress some of my issues.

1133603ea602c6824da56e8b596c9754

(614)

on May 20, 2012
at 07:27 PM

I can't say for sure, but I think most of you issues can be helped by paleo. As you can tell on this site, no one diet works for everyone. It may also help you to look into healing your gut. Check out www.chriskresser.com. He has a bunch of podcasts on his site about gut health that are really informative. How are you feeling now?

1
B514acafd0a6cc251279b6cb21b48941

on May 16, 2012
at 04:37 AM

I think a lot of it is psychological. Giving up carbs sucks and when you want them and can't have them, you mentally rebel. The dizziness and hunger is because you aren't eating enough. Since you don't really care for meat or eggs, you're probably eating a lot of salads/veggies/fruit which is never going to fill you up. You'd have to graze all day, like a cow, to not be hungry.

My suggestion is to slowly transition into paleo. Start with one meal a day, and when that's not a challenge, bump it up to two and so on and so forth. In the meantime, get used to adding more healthy fats to your diet. The hardest part of starting with paleo for most people is actually mentally swearing off the theory that fats are evil. If you don't get used to eating them, you'll always feel bad.

My other suggestion is to spice it up a little. Get some really good paleo recipes that you can get excited about. I have plenty of recommendations for some great paleo cookbooks.

1
73c6ef35da25ee2c0e3a26ea8a363cc8

on May 16, 2012
at 03:25 AM

I am about 6 days in, and had that same exact feeling up until today. Now I am just dizzy as hell, and constantly hungry.

At least the pain in my stomach that has been eating away at me for the past 6 weeks has basically disappeared.

Just hoping this pays off. - Def. looking for snack food options. I have been frying the crap out of everything (Steak, Chicken Breast, Vegetables etc.) and having fruit for desert, yet never full. Def. looking for some snack ideas as well.

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

(1646)

on May 16, 2012
at 03:48 AM

Fat is your friend! Especially during the beginning of the diet, you'll hit times of generally feeling like you're starving but hungry. Try to keep some avocados or pork rinds on hand; the quick fat boost really helped me through the worst of it.

Cac880811b5e9655336b5e323dc2a93f

(0)

on May 16, 2012
at 07:17 PM

That's my problem as well. I constantly feel nauseous which makes me not want to eat but at the same time I feel hungry all the time. I can eat and feel full and then just a little bit later I feel hungry again. I'm also looking for snack options since everything I've read says to try not to consume too many fruits and nuts. But sometimes that is the only thing that sounds appetizing to me. Another problem, everyone keeps suggesting to eat avocados and sweet potatoes, but I don't care for either or them.

1
C43a1e6bca95eb41057b09ff1cfc13dc

on May 16, 2012
at 02:23 AM

Stick with it for a few days. I felt absolutely terrible at first. I had flu-type symptoms, headaches, nausea. It took about a week to feel better. After a few days of your body adjusting, you will slowing start to feel better!

Cac880811b5e9655336b5e323dc2a93f

(0)

on May 16, 2012
at 07:20 PM

I really do want to continue with paleo so I'm just praying all this passes SOON!

1
45ace03a0eff1219943d746cfb1c4197

(3661)

on May 16, 2012
at 02:11 AM

I can't really answer your question about how normal it is to feel so bad in the beginning with any certainty. I would think not, however.

Are there any foods that fit in this plan simply real food, that you really like? I mean like a whole lot. Do you like chicken or shrimp or fish? Are there any vegetables that you eat for pleasure? I would not worry a whole lot at this point about how much or how little or how balanced. Find food you love and eat it. As long as it's whole, real food, you should be fine.

If you'd like to name a few foods you like, I'd be happy to make suggestions.

Cac880811b5e9655336b5e323dc2a93f

(0)

on May 16, 2012
at 07:13 PM

There aren't a whole lot of meats that I just love. I can tolerate poultry and like beef okay. Can't stand seafood. As for veggies I really like cucumbers, zucchini, carrots and I tolerate broccoli okay. Of course I love most fruits and nuts but everything I've read says to try to stay away from those as much as possible...

963322f175cdd4c5f7d52cc372b3a167

(646)

on August 20, 2012
at 06:34 AM

Stay away from fruits? Says who? Don't listen to the low-carbers who are trying to take over paleo...

0
114e5b3ca39ed8d6879f4880d0f23ae9

on August 20, 2012
at 06:26 AM

Good to know I'm not alone!

I've had the same symptoms: nausea, dizziness, headaches and a complete lack of energy. I completely lost it when I tried coconut milk for the first time-I left work early and spent the day vomiting at home with less than a quarter cup serving. I started cheating on the diet then because I could not eat anything paleo. I think it was just hard on my body to increase workouts and to take away sweets, breads and dairy completely.

I lost 5lbs the first week (with workouts) despite eating a ton more food. My husband did the diet with me and we just went through so much food the first week. I'm going to try back and transition into the diet, doing only some meals paleo and maybe keeping some dairy and some grains in.

My goal will be that when I wont feel guilty if I'm continuing to workout.

Some of my favorite paleo-snacks are: watermelon grapes apples with almond butter tuna with lemon kale salad with almond butter dressing

I think the key's to change it up and add a ton more veggies!

Good luck!

0
E1bb4f1904ddd4bb044bdd79af62ab5a

on May 30, 2012
at 06:20 PM

I'm having the exact same thing... Yes of course I ate meat and vegetables before, but they weren't the staple of my diet. The large bowl of cereal, the toast with butter, the muffins, cakes, grilled cheese, oh the cheese! I could have lived (however temporarily) happily on breads/cakes/cheese. I ate meat at dinner, and a little bit at lunch. For breakfast it was cereals, french toast, pancakes, for dinner some nights it was cereal. So I can understand why my body is nauseous, it is probably in shock, like WTF, where is my BREAD and MILK and CHEESE! ;) I am eating eggs, tuna, steak, veges, salads, etc. Yes I had thes things before, but they were the minority. The difference with me though is that I do feel full, or maybe the fact that eating this makes me want to puke makes my body not want food. Who knows, either way I will get through it. And if I cheat and have a bowl of cereal, or a bag of chips once in a while I am not going to feel guilty about it. I am doing what I can do and if I totally make myself miserable that certainly won't work in the long term and I'd end up quitting. Good luck to all of you!

0
A5a835105e726e61d61077e84522a045

(130)

on May 16, 2012
at 03:08 PM

I just went from semi-primal to strict LC primal, and this is happening to me too but not as severe. My personal trainer recently looked at my food log and told me I should be eating way more. I knew this of course, but it's hard to eat meat and veggies when all I want is carbs.

I'm sure it'll pass, eventually. My personal trainer had told me that the first two weeks especially suck, but I'm determined to stick with it even if it goes past two weeks. In the meantime, I'm making sure to get lots of fat in my diet. Don't forget to eat fat!

0
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on May 16, 2012
at 04:43 AM

I think it is fairly normal. It should pass...

0
D8c04730b5d016a839b3c5b932bf59dd

on May 16, 2012
at 04:25 AM

My first time dropping crappy food, I felt like that. First few days, a lot of folks feel that awful. Some people can ease into with a transition, rather than cold turkey (one day, you're eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) and then next you're eating organic freshly prepared meat and veggies with no chemicals).

One good way to transition is start eating more veggies. Just whatever your typical diet was before but another serving of veggies to every meal. A week later add more, and start dropping the bad stuff out of one meal a day. And so on.

Cac880811b5e9655336b5e323dc2a93f

(0)

on May 16, 2012
at 07:22 PM

Maybe it would have been better to transition a little at a time, i don't know. My thinking was that I wanting to get all the detoxing over at once. I knew it was going to suck but I didn't think that I was going to be so sick that I had to force myself to eat. Hopefully, this will pass in a few days...

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