I have been eating paleo for almost 4 weeks now and I still don't feel great. The first few days were AMAZING. I had a ton of energy and all I wanted to do was work and get stuff done. Unfortunately after a few days I started to feel weak and constantly hungry. Back then I was eating lean meat and salads and I have increased my fat intake and even though it is better now, I am still not great.
Male, 24 years old, 172cm (5'6), 59kg (130 pound). I am not very active and working from home on the computer. Shortly after starting paleo, I also started a strength training program (stronglifts 5x5 compound exercises), which I am doing 3 times a week.
- Have more energy
- Be healthy
- Gain muscle
- Low energy and tired
- Lightheaded or mind fogged. I feel a constant pressure on my brain at the sides of my head
- Cant think clearly (better now, it was really bad the past 2 weeks, especially end of last week)
- No motivation to get stuff done and work
- Emotional (right now I am ok, but had a day where I got suuper depressed because of a small thing)
- Get hungry quickly (about 3h after a meal mostly)
- Feel unsatisfied after eating. I feel full, but like something is missing and want to munch on something.
- Extremely smelly gas (frequent, but it got better, it was really bad the past few weeks)
- Lower sex drive compared to before I started the diet
Most of those symptoms were extreme in the past 2 weeks, peaking last week and got better now since I started eating more and to start cooking when I am starting to get hungry instead of waiting until I am reaaally hungry.
But I feel like all I am doing is cooking. I cook, I eat, then I do stuff for a little while and woosh time went by and I feel hungry again and have to get back to going to the super market, cooking and eating again. I feel like all day is going to that, cos I have such a small window between meals.
What I ate yesterday:
Breakfast (after lifting weights, at around 12:00): About 150g of pan fried bacon and 3 boiled eggs. I do not drain the fat off, in fact I usually pour it over the bacon thats done and if I fry my eggs I do it in the bacon grease. I have this for breakfast every day.
Lunch (at around 4 or 5 I think): 250g of Pork loin chops, about 100g of zucchini, 100g of broccoli and about 75g of mashed sweet potato (I try to have a little more carbs on days when I train)
Dinner (at 9 or 10): Another 250g of Pork loin chops, 100g of zucchini and 100g of baby bok choi and onions.
Snacks during the day: Probably around 30g of 85% dark chocolate in small pieces spread throughout the day (contains 20g of carbs per 100g), baked sweet potato chips (probably another 75g, but as I said I only eat sweet potato on days when I train). I do not eat much fruit, but a kiwi or pear or banana from time to time.
It was just that day that I ate so much pork. I am trying to eat more beef than chicken, because of the fat. During lunch and dinner I usually have about 250-330g of meat (beef, pork, chicken, kangaroo) and some stir fried vegies. Mostly onions, zucchini and something else.
I do not eat organic or grass-fed stuff. Buying it in the supermarket is very expensive and I have not gotten around ordering in bulk yet, but it is planned.
I also do not eat fish often except for canned tuna, because I am quite new to cooking and havent figured out how to cook fish, where to get it and what kind of pans and so on I need.
I do not know how much fat I am eating, since I find that to be hard to measure. For the past week I have cooked only with coconut oil and used up my 250g jar in about 6 or 7 days.
I think I am being generous with it and I make sure the pan and the veggies are always nicely covered in fat.
I also make sure to eat all the fat on the meat!
I am eating quite low carb, but just by accident. I am just not a big fan of a lot of fruit, but I love sweet potato, which I usually eat on my training days as I said.
Other things I have tried / planning to try:
After searching around I decided to drink more water and take magnesium supplement pills. I am also considering potassium, but could not find it in the supermarket here in Australia.
I have also read this article, which says:
Too much protein will prevent the shift into ketoses because the liver will convert some of the protein into glucose ??? this glucose will then be used first and slow down the ketogenic process.
I am currently having around 130-220g of protein a day (according to the my fitness pal tracking).
Should I try going slower on the protein and try 150-200g of meat for the big meals instead of 250-300?
I do realize I wrote a lot here and I hope someone takes the time to read all of it answer. I honestly appreciate it if you made it this far :)
I have been reading all the other threads here and everything I could find on low carb flu around the internet.
I am obsessed with fixing what is wrong and I can't figure it out by myself. All I do is google paleo stuff all day at the moment. Every morning I wake up hoping I will feel the way I felt the first few days when I started paleo, but I have been disappointed every time so far :(
Thanks and greetings, Kim
asked byKim_14 (15)
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on April 14, 2012
at 11:32 AM
I agree with the first reply. You may need a few more carbs. Maybe a piece of lower sugar fruits, or squash or root veggies. Paleo isn't meant to be low carb just for low carb sake unless you are trying to lean out. Listen to your body, there are variations within Paleo so it can work for everbody. There are also supplements you can take that help your brain make that conversion to a a fat burning brain. They can help with energy too. Alpha GPC for mental acuity. GPLC GlycoCarn helps the body burn fat for energy. So does L-Carnitine. I went through something similar. I've been on Paleo a year now and those supplemts really helped get me over the hump. I found mine at The Fruitful Yield. Hope it helps!
on April 14, 2012
at 07:08 PM
I have the answer for you! Thanks for posting your daily meals!
- Compare your diet with Terry Wahls. Where are your leafy greens - kale, collard, spinach?
- Where are your mushrooms?
- Blue/purple vegetables? I don't see beets and red cabbage!
- Berries? Especially blueberries/blackberries?
- Skip the eggs - you might be allergic to them.
- Skip the bacon - the fat in bacon is not that beneficial.
- You should have some fish or at least fish oil.
- You don't get enough Omega 3.
on April 14, 2012
at 10:27 AM
Maybe your one of those people that needs a bit more carbs. I had all your symptoms. I train nearly everyday, crossfit four times a week, other sports on other days and one rest day. I felt terrible after a month of strict paleo. I train at 6am and now introduced a small portion of gluten free porridge after a work out and feel loads better.
on June 13, 2013
at 05:06 PM
I would think you are quite mineral deficient.
You should introduce leafy greens and some magnesium citrate. Also you need to have more salt (sea salt)
on April 15, 2012
at 02:56 AM
I felt the same way. What helped me... 1. Sweet potatoes, early afternoon at crash time, cut into fry shapes and baked with butter and salt. I think it's not only the carbs but also startch? 2. More water, I think I was dehydrated. 3. Eating either salmon or halibut once a day pan fried in butter. (I can't have berries - fruit intolerance)
on April 14, 2012
at 07:32 PM
Maybe focus on changing either diet OR training until things settle down - it sounds like your body's asking for rest.
Check out suggestions for GAPS Intro re detox baths etc, in case they give you some relief (or at least company!). Consider AIP for 2-4 weeks. Headaches could be as simple as dehydration, especially as your body gets used to this new metabolism, but keep an eye on them. A broader diet would help with minor deficiencies. That means figuring out veg, organ meats and fish - get thee to a (not super) market and ask! Get yourself some raw salt - try Murray - and use to taste. If you're not trying to lose, you'll need more carbs; ketosis is a tool you may not want to apply right now. Alternatively have you considered food/protein cycling, or LeanGains?
Fish = oiled pan preheated to medium, filet in until the white is 1/3 up from the bottom, season and flip, wait 3 minutes. Check out epicurious, or taste.com.au or any of the 10 000 ancestral health cooking blogs.
I did see your note about pork, but have a look at the WAPF article on proper preparation and see if it changes anything for you.
on April 14, 2012
at 12:56 PM
Kim, I'm in the same boat as you. When I started Paleo I had an enormous energy spurt. Now 3 weeks later I'm moody, cranky and my energy level is at an all time low. I also get one too many food cravings and I'm always hungry.
I'm battling through it just like you, but I've read enough about this lifestyle that everyone goes through this stage. So earlier than others, and some longer than others. The key is to hang in there and make small adjustments to see what is working for you.
I think eventually I'm going to be one of those Paleo eaters that just needs a lil more carbs during my day.
So glad to hear I'm not alone! Hang in there.
on April 14, 2012
at 12:00 PM
"30g of 85% dark chocolate in small pieces spread throughout the day (contains 20g of carbs per 100g),baked sweet potato chips (probably another 75g, but as I said I only eat sweet potato on days when I train)"
You also said you train three times a week, so it sounds like you're kicking yourself out of ketosis three times a week.
You might want to look up targeted ketogenic diets and cyclic ketogenic diets.
on April 14, 2012
at 10:52 AM
You may find you simply need to eat more. Particularly since that is likely to help with more energy, health, and muscle gain! The difficulty is that there is a wide range of meat cuts in terms of the fat involved. I get great local pork chops, and visually I'd say at least a third of it is fat. And I eat the fat first, so it's not unusual for my 'meal' to be as much fat as lean meat if I don't finish the chop (they're pretty big). But I can go shopping and get chops with virtually no fat on them at all.
Of course, it's possible that you're in no-man's land with your carbs - not eating enough to live off but eating too many to allow your body to efficiently use what fat is available. If the body's confused about its environment then it might shut down a bit. I wouldn't be surprised to find that you actually functioned better by not eating anything at all - for a few days at least.
Or as Becky says, there's lots of people who seem to need lots of carbs every day to cope with their schedule.
Or there may be some micronutrient you're low on, maybe you need a bit more salt and your water regulation is off kilter.
There's lots of things you can try, to an extent you need to consider what's important to you. I much prefer eating infrequently but eating a lot when I do. So long as I stick with proper foods (and mainly animal products) this works out - if I eat too much then it's going to be that much longer until I feel like eating again. Things seem a lot easier when I'm not trying to self-medicate hour by hour to adjust my energy/mood/health etc. with food.