3

votes

Not satisfied with the results. What to do now?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 15, 2010 at 6:41 AM

I have finished 30 days of strict Paleo diet but didn't really see the changes I wanted to see.

  1. Sleep: Overall its better but I still keep waking up few times every night. I used to feel very drowsy during the day, now I do feel drowsy but not excessive. (I don't have sleep apnea). Possible cause could be high cortisol (I have lots of fat around my stomach too), but my libido is pretty good, so not sure whether thats the case. Some days I feel really drowsy after lunch even if I don't eat carbs. I don't handle Magnesium well..

  2. Lost a boatload of strength and some fat. I used to squat around 185lbs (PR was 205lbs) and after dropping about 12 lbs of BW, I had to struggle at 115lbs today.

  3. Bloating: I thought bloating will go away once I am gluten free. In the pm, my waist is like 2inches bigger than in the am.

I did Paleo to primarily fix my sleep and lose fat without losing strength but now I am stuck.

Paleo has also killed my appetite :( and made me extremely lactose intolerant. Earlier I could get away with some milk but today after the gym I tried half a scoop of whey protein and my stomach didn't like it.

I do consume nightshades like tomatoes and eggs in moderation but eat nuts daily. Should I cut that too? What other changes should I make? I eat 5000IU Vit D, my room is 98% dark and I sleep around 10-11pm and get about 8-9 hours of sleep. Few of the foods (like the nuts) have allergen information that they are packed in a facility that handles wheat. Should I be bothered with that? I didn't cheat even once.

Any help will be appreciated.

EDIT: I always had issues maintaining strength unless I overfed all the time. After switching to paleo I was mostly eating lean meats for sometime and then started adding fattier meats. Nowadays I just eat 80/20 ground beef. Also I have started with the eat grass-fed varities recently. Because I had many of the cortisol related symptoms I assumed I may have high cortisol and so didn't go very low carb. And I eat a bit of carbs in the evening (but it hasn't made much change to my sleep). My Squat form is pretty much good, I have had it evaluated many times before. I do starting strength but then recently I wanted to destress and so started taking things lightly and would go to gym may be 1-2 times a week. So definitely no overtraining. May be this contributed to loss of strength. Also as I said I wouldn't want to eat much so mostly have been going a bit low on calories which is another reason for the strength loss. But I am concerned nevertheless. And I forgot about DRY SKIN! It didn't change a bit (I don't take hot showers), my skin gets super dry and I have lots of dandruff. I thought it will get better but no luck with it..

4ab3b10d52010fcb0d00b1a893b3d9df

(194)

on November 16, 2010
at 07:39 PM

Yes, how did you fix your sleep? It is what is killing me right now. I keep waking up to pee, or just simply wake up and can't get back to sleep for a few hours.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on November 16, 2010
at 02:17 PM

i always eat the dark meat because its more delicious, nutritionally denser (calories!) than breast meat and it is usually way cheaper to boot.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 16, 2010
at 03:58 AM

I'm not sure, I do think we've underestimated the stressfulness of HG life. I would recommend watching The Fast Runner, life wasn't/isn't fun.

10034c23f65addc5735eb02a32448223

(361)

on November 16, 2010
at 03:21 AM

To begin with Inuit wouldn't have long lasting high cortisol levels. Robb advises eating some carbs to control high cortisol..

Ddb0e3a41f15d69d30677339ccf9c7b6

(513)

on November 15, 2010
at 09:48 PM

I eat closer to 2500-3000 calories a day with the snacks (and i figured my protein shakes at about 525 calories each). And i don't eat only chicken breast for dinner or only salad for lunch. Those are just things I eat often. I eat steak a lot, too.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 15, 2010
at 09:32 PM

If low-carb caused high cortisol all the Inuit would be screwed...

61852721b5ff3613f56f043fe890a679

(1172)

on November 15, 2010
at 07:29 PM

seems at first glance a cut-and-dried issue of too few calories, period. caloric restriction almost always --> strength loss, and quick.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on November 15, 2010
at 06:02 PM

Of those I'd only eat macadamias more than very rarely.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on November 15, 2010
at 03:52 PM

dry skin - try some fish oil. i take a tablespoon a day. you may want more.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on November 15, 2010
at 03:50 PM

also kids, lets remember pea-nuts. its more of a pea than a nut. not paleo. not that ivan is eating them but SnowDog--you'd do better to eat almonds, cashews, macadamias, walnuts, pecans which are all really nuts. peanuts are legumes and not eaten on paleo.

Bbd50c115fa066bea3ac23a4e82447ff

(558)

on November 15, 2010
at 03:44 PM

how about posting daily meals with amounts of food, and weekly workout schedule, so we can take a look. Also, what time of eating plan did you follow before paleo and how did you feel on it?

10034c23f65addc5735eb02a32448223

(361)

on November 15, 2010
at 03:34 PM

My form is pretty good, I have had it evaluated many times..

10034c23f65addc5735eb02a32448223

(361)

on November 15, 2010
at 03:33 PM

If you have told how you fixed your sleep, could you share it with us? (is there a link to another post you made on this?)

10034c23f65addc5735eb02a32448223

(361)

on November 15, 2010
at 03:32 PM

I mean I definitely cannot progress with 1500 calories per day..

10034c23f65addc5735eb02a32448223

(361)

on November 15, 2010
at 03:32 PM

What about dinner? Is that all you eat in a day? That might be less than 1500 calories per day..

10034c23f65addc5735eb02a32448223

(361)

on November 15, 2010
at 03:30 PM

I eat just 2 handful of nuts (no peanuts)

10034c23f65addc5735eb02a32448223

(361)

on November 15, 2010
at 03:29 PM

No I don't eat probiotics. Also I am afraid of going 0-carb because I probably have high cortisol.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on November 15, 2010
at 03:23 PM

Nuts are not loaded with carbs. A serving of peanuts has 4 net grams of carbs plus 2 grams of fiber. You'd have to eat around 7 servings of peanuts to get the same amount of carbs as you get in a banana. That being said, it's easy to overeat nuts and inadvertently load up on (omega 6) fat.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on November 15, 2010
at 02:29 PM

especially if you have no appetite.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on November 15, 2010
at 01:54 PM

Agreed, elimination is best to find what's irritating you. Drop the nuts, snacks are unnecessary

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 15, 2010
at 12:49 PM

It took me at least 6 months to fix my sleep. I never ever wake up at night now.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on November 15, 2010
at 11:08 AM

Your bloating issues worry me. IF I were you, I would try an elimiation diet, but perhaps starting with nothing but meat rather than the extremes of broth, and see how you fare for a week. Then add in eggs, then leafy veggies, etc. If you are bloating on just meat and eggs, then you might want to get checked out by a doctor. Otherwise, the reintroduction process may help you zero in on your culprit. Whatever is making you bloat could well be what is making you fatigued and weak.

Ddb0e3a41f15d69d30677339ccf9c7b6

(513)

on November 15, 2010
at 10:51 AM

Well, I guess you're 24, so maybe not age. lol.

B4aa2df25a6bf17d22556667ff896170

(851)

on November 15, 2010
at 07:00 AM

nuts are high in omega 6.. very inflammatory. I would cut out the nuts to see what happens. Sounds like you lost quite a bit of strength, particularly in only 30 days. How is your protein intake? That amount of strength loss seems high for someone who is getting alot of protein.. which I am assuming you are. Post more specifics about your diet though

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8 Answers

3
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on November 15, 2010
at 01:09 PM

If the switch to paleo involved going low carb then I'm not surprised that you lost strength within 30 days. When I went low carb I almost instantly lost the ability to do intense exercise. Even once I was fully fat adapted (which was a matter of months, not weeks) my ability to do endurance exercise improved substantially, but I couldn't do anything intense. I found that I needed to have had some glucose in the recent past (last week or so) so as to have glycogen in my muscles and be able to do anything intense (like squats notably). Otherwise I wouldn't be tired, but I would feel like I just had nothing in the tank when I came to push myself. I suspect that this is your problem, unless you've eaten sufficiently few calories that you've cannibalised all your muscle and so lost 1/3rd of your strength over 30 days (I hope not!). As I've suggested in other threads recently, it might be that you can't do any exercise because you're starving yourself through sheer lack of calories.

If you're bloated then it's posible that this is simply caused by eating too many plants and fibre, as switching to a paleo diet can substantially increase the amount of vegetables one's consuming. Eating a very bulky meal, whatever the macronutrient contents, can make you drowsy and bloated, even if it's exclusively paleo vegetables. Similarly, I often find myself drowsy after a meal if I've eaten a particular large amount even of just meat- it all requires digesting and thus can make you drowsy. If you're trying to lose weight, it might be that you're deliberately going for leaner meats, giving more protein and fewer calories, but also making it harder to digest. Fattier meals might leave you with more energy. If you're worried that paleo has "killed your appetite" then it sounds like you certainly need to include more fat in your meals.

Also I wouldn't complain that paleo has "made you lactose intolerant," presumably you didn't tolerate lactose well anyway and were merely somewhat adapted to/used to the symptoms; personally I think it's a good thing if you can no longer eat unhealthy foods without feeling the effects (c.f. alcohol tolerance).

If you want to get enough magnesium but can't supplement, you might want to try eating some spinach (not too fibrous a vegetable either).

If you want to sleep better then you might try introducing a small amount of paleo-carbs before bed. I did this to stop myself waking up in the early morning and it seems to have worked (should work via serotonin and reducing cortisol in theory). A small amount of carbs will also increase your appetite and perhaps speed up your digestion a bit (conversely, lots of people find that their digestion gets worse if they eat any plants/carbs).

You could try 30 more days of extreme exclusion, since it can't hurt (practicalities aside) to cut out nightshades and eggs (and definitely lose the nuts), my suspicion, however, is that your problem is probably just a matter of finding the right balance of macronutrients from within the same selection of paleo foods, rather than finding the one dietary impurity which is causing you problems.

3
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 15, 2010
at 12:55 PM

Definitely stop the nuts. Omega-6 in excess = inflammation and the phytic acid in nuts can rob your body of valuable minerals.

It took me 6 MONTHS to get rid of my chronic bloating. I'm glad I kept it up though so I can have washboard abs now. Are you taking a good probiotic? You don't give us that much info on your diet, so it's hard to eval.

But the basic strategy I recommend for bloating is a 0-carb/0-fiber diet for a few weeks with a probiotic, then add non-starchy vegetables in, then add starches. Or a GAPS/SCD protocol. There isn't much sci lit on bloating, but I believe it has to do with bacterial dysbiosis.

With strength loss I had someone complain to me once how they had the same problem. I asked them: "How much grass-fed meat are you really eating?" And they were only eating a small serving a day. Most of their diet was coconut milk, which isn't so great for muscle building.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 15, 2010
at 09:32 PM

If low-carb caused high cortisol all the Inuit would be screwed...

10034c23f65addc5735eb02a32448223

(361)

on November 16, 2010
at 03:21 AM

To begin with Inuit wouldn't have long lasting high cortisol levels. Robb advises eating some carbs to control high cortisol..

10034c23f65addc5735eb02a32448223

(361)

on November 15, 2010
at 03:29 PM

No I don't eat probiotics. Also I am afraid of going 0-carb because I probably have high cortisol.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 16, 2010
at 03:58 AM

I'm not sure, I do think we've underestimated the stressfulness of HG life. I would recommend watching The Fast Runner, life wasn't/isn't fun.

2
8ce2e69af79dcb1488f776efc1c54052

on November 15, 2010
at 01:52 PM

Make sure that you are not consuming peanuts. Peanuts are actually a legume and not a nut. I would look at your protein intake as well your daily calories. Undereating can cause the same problems as overeating. Evaluate your work out schedule - Over training caused cortisol problems. Are you training hard every day? Try training hard 3 days/ week and taking an hour walk on the others. Walking is wonderful for you, it burns fat and increases mobility. To echo what others said, cut out the nuts or limit them to 1/3cup per day.

2
Ddb0e3a41f15d69d30677339ccf9c7b6

(513)

on November 15, 2010
at 10:48 AM

I don't know that this is an answer, but for the first couple weeks I had really low energy and my strength went down a little bit (not as much as you), but then I had a massive amount of energy, fat loss and killer strength gains (I weigh 155 and rep squat 230 and 1rm bench 250, compared to a 210 1rm and 180 rep squat before paleo). I have actually been a little worried lately I have gotten so skinny; I've lost 15 pounds over the last 3 months, but my strength is maintaining or increasing and I am a lot more cut.

I supplement with a multivitamin in the morning, pre-workout supplement and creatine before workout, natural whey isolate after workout and ZMA before bed.

I eat eggs on occasion, but most mornings I drink a protein shake (almond milk, 2 scoops whey isolate, 1 banana, handful of blueberries, and a handful of frozen spinach leaves) for breakfast, because it is quick and delicious.

I usually eat a salad with chicken and avocado in the afternoons and in the evening I often eat chicken breast and some kind of steamed vegetable (like broccoli or brusselsprouts).

Between meals I have been known to snack on carrots, plantain chips, oranges, bananas, raw trail mix or cans of tuna.

Not sure if any of this is helpful. I just experienced the changes, fortunately. I don't know how old you are, but it could be difference in age? I'm 22. Hopefully, someone can give you something more to work off of.

10034c23f65addc5735eb02a32448223

(361)

on November 15, 2010
at 03:32 PM

I mean I definitely cannot progress with 1500 calories per day..

10034c23f65addc5735eb02a32448223

(361)

on November 15, 2010
at 03:32 PM

What about dinner? Is that all you eat in a day? That might be less than 1500 calories per day..

Ddb0e3a41f15d69d30677339ccf9c7b6

(513)

on November 15, 2010
at 10:51 AM

Well, I guess you're 24, so maybe not age. lol.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on November 16, 2010
at 02:17 PM

i always eat the dark meat because its more delicious, nutritionally denser (calories!) than breast meat and it is usually way cheaper to boot.

Ddb0e3a41f15d69d30677339ccf9c7b6

(513)

on November 15, 2010
at 09:48 PM

I eat closer to 2500-3000 calories a day with the snacks (and i figured my protein shakes at about 525 calories each). And i don't eat only chicken breast for dinner or only salad for lunch. Those are just things I eat often. I eat steak a lot, too.

1
6eb2812b40855ba64508cbf2dc48f1b6

(2119)

on November 16, 2010
at 04:59 PM

I'd be hopping mad if I lost that much from my squat!

I agree on the elimination diet, but I would try eating more starches, like yams. Others have mentioned it, but I wanted to stress it. My ass just drags in the afternoon if I eat low carb, and even after I'm keto-adapted, my performance on strength exercise stinks. I can and do exercise fasted (I got a PR on the shoulder press this morning while fasted), but I do need more carbs in my diet, generally.

Here's the thing about lactose: It's possible you had gluten intolerance masking the lactose intolerance. For me, gluten caused constipation and bloating (except for fancy-pants beer, which gave me diarrhea). Until I tried Lactaid and it didn't work, it didn't even occur to me that I could possible have a problem with gluten. It's called secondary lactose intolerance, and it's caused by a small intestine so damaged that it can't take up lactase.

After I had eliminated gluten for four months, I could eat dairy again. After six months, I could drink raw grass-fed milk with no problem. At 30 days with no gluten, I got diarrhea even from eating cheese, which has almost no lactose.

You could be bloated from eating a lot of vegetables, especially if your gut is damaged. I still can't eat a lot of fiber without bloating and constipation, and some of the perfectly paleo veggies cause me the same problem, no matter what the quantity.

1
B2157bdf4a217ac943c41125d1a67845

(258)

on November 15, 2010
at 10:50 AM

Nuts, especially peanuts, are loaded with carbs. I'll gain weight when I eat them. For me to lose weight, I have to stay in ketosys, which occurs when I bring my carbs below 50g per day. Generally, I'll shoot for 20g when I want to lose weight.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on November 15, 2010
at 03:50 PM

also kids, lets remember pea-nuts. its more of a pea than a nut. not paleo. not that ivan is eating them but SnowDog--you'd do better to eat almonds, cashews, macadamias, walnuts, pecans which are all really nuts. peanuts are legumes and not eaten on paleo.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on November 15, 2010
at 06:02 PM

Of those I'd only eat macadamias more than very rarely.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on November 15, 2010
at 03:23 PM

Nuts are not loaded with carbs. A serving of peanuts has 4 net grams of carbs plus 2 grams of fiber. You'd have to eat around 7 servings of peanuts to get the same amount of carbs as you get in a banana. That being said, it's easy to overeat nuts and inadvertently load up on (omega 6) fat.

10034c23f65addc5735eb02a32448223

(361)

on November 15, 2010
at 03:30 PM

I eat just 2 handful of nuts (no peanuts)

0
691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on November 15, 2010
at 02:44 PM

Have you changed (improved) your squat form?

That can seriously lower the amount of weight a person can squat. Going from 205lbs to 115lbs is a huge drop at the relatively beginner end of the squat spectrum (depending on your build i suppose). What is your height and weight too?

Other than that I am with everyone here, drop the nuts - especially if they are made in a tainted facility and you are sensitive to gluten.

Also if you are sensitive to dairy don't go there.

Instead eat 2x your weight in grams of protein and fill the rest of your calories out with lard to season that protein.

Be conscious of eggs and coconut stuff as well. They could cause bloat as well.

Once the bloat goes away start eating sweet potatoes. You could eat one before a work out to give you energy.

10034c23f65addc5735eb02a32448223

(361)

on November 15, 2010
at 03:34 PM

My form is pretty good, I have had it evaluated many times..

0
0c0c5c65612425e497b7231c21516943

(1354)

on November 15, 2010
at 12:20 PM

I am with you. Not getting good results, but eating clean. I think that mine is related to sleep. I wake up several times a night to use the bathroom. Sometimes I wake up really hot and then turn on the fan and wake up cold. I do use the Natural Calm. I guess I should post this as a question on what else to try. I am sure that my lack of progress is due to hormonal issues and lack of sleep.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 15, 2010
at 12:49 PM

It took me at least 6 months to fix my sleep. I never ever wake up at night now.

10034c23f65addc5735eb02a32448223

(361)

on November 15, 2010
at 03:33 PM

If you have told how you fixed your sleep, could you share it with us? (is there a link to another post you made on this?)

4ab3b10d52010fcb0d00b1a893b3d9df

(194)

on November 16, 2010
at 07:39 PM

Yes, how did you fix your sleep? It is what is killing me right now. I keep waking up to pee, or just simply wake up and can't get back to sleep for a few hours.

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