1

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New to paleo... night time hunger and blood sugar "crashes"

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 23, 2011 at 5:46 AM

I've been pretty much 100% paleo for about 1 full week now, experiencing a lot of improvements in health already (wasn't expecting that). Before this I was eating what I thought was "healthy"... lean meats, grains, dairy, wheat breads. It was pretty low-moderate fat, moderate protein, moderate to high carb.

For the past week though I've experienced quite a few blood sugar crashes, usually once or twice a day. Also, after eating a decent sized dinner around 7 pm, I'll wake up in the middle of the night extremely hungry, which makes it difficult to fall back to sleep (happened just about every night so far). I'm about 5'10 and 170 pounds pretty lean, decent build. I'm eating around 4 to 5 meals and figured out I'm averaging around 3,000 calories a day (141 grams of protein, 190 grams of carbs, 194 grams of fat) Ratios being 56% fat, 25% carbs, 19% protein. Protein and fat coming from fatty grass fed meats, whole eggs, butter, fish, macadamia nuts, olive oil, etc. Carbs coming from vegetables and a few bananas.

Sorry for the long winded question, just wanted to give some background info here. To me it seems like it should work but I am definitely new to this. I was hoping I could get some help on here because I do want to stick to this. Thanks a lot.

85382cd84288ed28c92cbfe7bfcaf226

(184)

on May 30, 2012
at 05:01 PM

Ryan -- more often, people react the other way -- satiety is improved on higher fat diets due to slower digestion, etc. Though presumably diet changes would affect people differently.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on November 23, 2011
at 10:41 AM

& on the other hand if you don’t have the pounding heart or sweating, then maybe it’s not a factor in your case......

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on November 23, 2011
at 10:39 AM

& on the other hand if you don’t have the pounding heart etc, then maybe it’s not a factor in your case......

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on November 23, 2011
at 10:38 AM

& on the other hand if you don’t have the pounding heart or sweating, then maybe it’s not a factor for you......

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on November 23, 2011
at 10:37 AM

It’s all tightly tied in. If your blood sugar falls too low in the night (hypoglycaemia), adrenaline (epinephrine), a hormone that raises blood sugar levels, is released into the bloodstream. High blood levels of adrenaline can make the skin become pale and sweaty, and a person can also have symptoms such as shakiness, anxiety, and heart palpitations (a fast, pounding heartbeat). So as well as being hungry when you wake up in the night, if your heart is pounding & you are possibly sweaty, then maybe a salt deficiency is a factor

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on November 23, 2011
at 10:34 AM

& on the other hand if you don’t have the pounding heart etc, then maybe it’s not a factor......

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on November 23, 2011
at 10:34 AM

It’s all tightly tied in. If you blood sugar falls too low in the night (hypoglycaemia), adrenaline (epinephrine), a hormone that raises blood sugar levels, is released into the bloodstream. High blood levels of adrenaline can make the skin become pale and sweaty, and a person can also have symptoms such as shakiness, anxiety, and heart palpitations (a fast, pounding heartbeat). So as well as being hungry when you wake up in the night, if your heart is pounding & you are possibly sweaty, then maybe a salt deficiency is a factor.

1f38fa615d2a0be1368ed982fad48fb5

(20)

on November 23, 2011
at 08:27 AM

Daz - sodium intake could have definitely decreased. The waking up in the middle of the night is due to just being hungry I think, despite eating the same/getting a bit more calories, on this diet. I will monitor sodium intake though, thanks.

1f38fa615d2a0be1368ed982fad48fb5

(20)

on November 23, 2011
at 08:25 AM

Maybe cutting out fruits for the time being is something I will have to try, thanks for the input.

1f38fa615d2a0be1368ed982fad48fb5

(20)

on November 23, 2011
at 08:19 AM

About 20-30 minutes in the weightroom 3 days a week, nothing too intense. No supplements though.

1321554fbe74ad09e97c6e8c354021cc

(524)

on November 23, 2011
at 08:11 AM

Iäve been paleo about 3 months. During my transition it helped to cut out carbs almost 100%. Other than fruits, I had none. This helps the withdrawal period go faster, in my opinion.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on November 23, 2011
at 06:40 AM

has your salt (sodium &/or potassium) intake reduced, do you think? this may affect your sleep. i have read that a low salt/sodium diet increases adrenalin production & worsens sleep. I think it has been discussed by Ray Peat (amongst others). & vice versa, why eating enough sodium lowers adrenalin and improves sleep.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on November 23, 2011
at 06:38 AM

has your salt (sodium &/or potassium) intake reduced, do you think? this may affect your sleep. i have read that a low salt/sodium diet increases adrenalin production & worsens sleep. I think it has been discussed by Ray Peat (amongst others). & vice versus, why eating enough sodium lowers adrenalin and improves sleep.

1f38fa615d2a0be1368ed982fad48fb5

(20)

on November 23, 2011
at 06:38 AM

I'll actually eat one or two when I do start to crash, usually with some macadamias, which seems to help. The crashes are at what seems to be odd times, in between meals, but only a couple hours after a meal. Could definitely be withdrawals though, thanks.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on November 23, 2011
at 06:07 AM

Sounds great Ryan!

1f38fa615d2a0be1368ed982fad48fb5

(20)

on November 23, 2011
at 06:07 AM

I'll give that a try, im averaging about 140 grams of protein (I'm around 170 pounds) Does that seem like a good number?

1f38fa615d2a0be1368ed982fad48fb5

(20)

on November 23, 2011
at 05:57 AM

I meant to mention that I was getting about the same amount of calories before and that I am in the weight room for about 20 minutes, 3 times a day. Nothing major as far as exercise.

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4 Answers

1
A141571ee2453db572c9d3222657bf6b

(756)

on November 23, 2011
at 06:18 AM

when are you eating the bananas? depending on a few variables they can carry a generous bump of sugar.

if the only truly significant difference you've made is the removal of grains with the increase of a few fats and you're only at one week out then it sounds like you're dealing with classic withdrawal. I'd say just give yourself time to adapt and don't worry so much about the details at this point. it's still very early.

1f38fa615d2a0be1368ed982fad48fb5

(20)

on November 23, 2011
at 06:38 AM

I'll actually eat one or two when I do start to crash, usually with some macadamias, which seems to help. The crashes are at what seems to be odd times, in between meals, but only a couple hours after a meal. Could definitely be withdrawals though, thanks.

1
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on November 23, 2011
at 06:02 AM

Try to get to three meals a day. Do it slowly over time.

Start with a breakfast high in protein and fat. Low in carbs. That should get you to lunch. Then maybe a snack between lunch and dinner (until you get use to it.) and then dinner.

I think if you really work on eating three nice meals it will take care of things. One day you may even go 2-3 meals a day.

How many grams of protein are you getting?

Also for the temporary snack. Keep that low carb.

1f38fa615d2a0be1368ed982fad48fb5

(20)

on November 23, 2011
at 06:07 AM

I'll give that a try, im averaging about 140 grams of protein (I'm around 170 pounds) Does that seem like a good number?

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on November 23, 2011
at 06:07 AM

Sounds great Ryan!

0
1f38fa615d2a0be1368ed982fad48fb5

on November 23, 2011
at 08:32 AM

I'm not sure if this makes any sense... but despite getting the same amount of calories after going paleo, could the hunger be due to the fact that food I'm eating now is more calorie dense? And the decent amount of carbohydrate I was eating before required more volume in the stomach, and this is my stomach adjusting?

85382cd84288ed28c92cbfe7bfcaf226

(184)

on May 30, 2012
at 05:01 PM

Ryan -- more often, people react the other way -- satiety is improved on higher fat diets due to slower digestion, etc. Though presumably diet changes would affect people differently.

0
1321554fbe74ad09e97c6e8c354021cc

on November 23, 2011
at 08:09 AM

How much are you exercising? I found that my energy boosted about 1 hr after exercising. Are you taking any supplements?

1f38fa615d2a0be1368ed982fad48fb5

(20)

on November 23, 2011
at 08:19 AM

About 20-30 minutes in the weightroom 3 days a week, nothing too intense. No supplements though.

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