Paleo diet lead to digestive intolerance of junk food?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created February 17, 2013 at 1:47 AM


I've been on a mostly paleo diet for about a year now. It's been great - I feel much better and have gone from 245 to 199 lbs.

Before going paleo, I ate horribly but never really had any stomach issues at all.

Now, after having been paleo for quite some time, whenever I have an occasional "cheat day", and eat the same crap foods that I used to, I get major stomach issues.

Is this a known/common thing?



on February 17, 2013
at 08:45 PM

A lot of people report what the OP experiences. Not me. No issue with a huge fast food feast including plentiful gluten, MSG and other nasties for me even after several months of strict paleo.



on February 17, 2013
at 03:26 AM

About 2 weeks ago I ate at Chilies. I shared an appetizer with friends and tried the smokehouse burger. Didn't finish the fries. 30 mins later it felt like I had ate rat poison. Almost didnt make it home in time.

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10 Answers

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on February 17, 2013
at 02:06 AM

Some nutritionists believe that you get used to feeling awful all of the time when you are constantly eating SAD foods, but then when you switch to real foods and feel great, the negative effects of bad foods are more obvious. Also your gut bacteria may have been changed up a bit.


on February 17, 2013
at 02:24 AM

It just brings the intolerance to the forefront... a more acute response of GI distress.

When your system is accustomed to it, the intolerance manifests as skin trouble, hormonal/psychological dysfunction, etc... I would say there are hundreds of possible side-effects a person could have to processed food.

Edit: Just my guesstimations based on n=1. No science.


on February 17, 2013
at 02:17 AM

exactly. I didnt "cheat" for 4 weeks, and then super bowl came and i ate junk, and good gawd, i felt like a bus hit me. I used to ear like a porker for many of my young years also, and never had issues



on February 17, 2013
at 10:55 PM

I just learned this the hard way... due to some family obligations, I went out to eat for a bday celebration and decided that I'd have some cake during the party. WHOA! I felt terrible afterwards, and I didn't even have that much (less than half of the slice that the pre-paleo me would have eaten).

I think like others have said, we don't realize exactly how jacked up we were before swapping over and our bodies adapted to feeling so junked out.



on February 17, 2013
at 07:09 PM

Sure, it's common sense.

Just remember this quote:

One problem with improvement is that we forget how messed up we were when we started

So of course if you you feel much better this way going back to being messed up will totally suck.


on February 18, 2013
at 12:29 AM

I experience this, too, ChawlyEdgar. A while back I shared a short stack of (delicious) gluten-free pancakes with a friend and was on my a** the rest of the day with a gurgling stomach and no energy. I went back to the same acclaimed vegan restaurant with friends yesterday and had a tofu scramble with a pear and arugula salad. Grain-free, right? A little tofu won't kill ya, right? Wrong! I found myself once again on my behind for several hours with a gurgling stomach, no energy, and a sense of almost overwhelming sadness. There was nothing to feel sad about, but I swear it was the tofu that did it. Strange, huh? Even non-junk cheats make me feel like s**t.

I find I can get a way with an occasional batch of popcorn, if it's popped at home in olive oil. I'll also have potato chips sometimes, which doesn't seem to bother me. Other than that, I've learned to be strict or face the consequences. After nearly a year of paleo/primal living, I don't even miss the pizza and burgers anymore.



on February 17, 2013
at 11:23 PM

I've only been eating paleo for about a month now (and not even close to doing it perfectly!) and the one Pazcki I had this past Tuesday hit me like a heavy-weight fighter.



on February 17, 2013
at 04:52 PM

I've recently started a Paleo type diet, was it difficult for you to make a transition by giving up 'different' types of food (exchanging them for healthier), etc?



on February 17, 2013
at 07:33 AM

Being on the SAD diet is like an addiction. The foods hurt you, but nontheless you feel the thrive to eat more.

What you experienced can be compared to an alcohol addict who overcame his urge for alcohol and after a couple of years he's very drunk from just 2 drinks, despite he drank much bigger amounts as an addict. Once the toxin is out of the system (I mean, almost completely out of the system) you're body starts to become more sensitive.

The problem with the SAD is sadly that people don't realize how addicted they are and how they hurt their bodies.



on February 17, 2013
at 06:57 AM

  1. Thank you for your question! I have always wondered why...

  2. I don't know. I cannot answer your question.

  3. I have noticed that it does not happen to people who eat safe grains. Like rice or occasionally beans.

If you re-introduce rice and lentils, I wonder what will be the outcome.

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