Why is my paleo experience so inconsistent? ..energy, macros, and digestion

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 20, 2013 at 4:44 AM

Okay, straight up, I'm new to this. I'm coming from 80/10/10 high carb raw vegan (yeah I know what you're thinking), so I'm about 1 month into Paleo now. I'm doing a ton of research daily, but I don't know if I'm really getting the whole picture, so was thinking maybe you guys would see something I'm not seeing. Here's what I've experienced so far:

-My skin and hormone issues are totally gone on Paleo as long as I keep carbs between 50-100g/day

-My energy is in the toilet, even though I sleep better. I think this might have to do with protein being too high (I was eating anywhere from 90g-120g/day).

-I end up constipated (sorry if TMI), possibly also protein being too high?

-If I get my fats from oils (even coconut), I'm just hungry all day, so I think I need to go the whole food route here.

-If I eat macadamias, I feel great mentally (I'm normally really anxiety prone) and have tons of energy, so I think high fat is good (aside from it also being high calorie)

-If I eat dairy (full fat yogurt mainly, I'm fine with it digestively), I feel great mentally and have tons of energy, but my skin starts breaking out (which also happens with other high carb foods, so I'm guessing that's the effect of an insulin spike)

Other details: I'm 22, female, 5'2", and somewhere between 102-107lbs (I definitely gained a few pounds going Paleo..probably overeating.. which is ok, but I'd like to stop now)

What I've gathered from the above info is that I have to do Low Carb (50-100g), Low Protein (50-70g or so), and the rest from fat (but no dairy).

Am I misinterpreting the data? Anyone got personal experience/anecdotes?

Or if you totally can't relate to this post at all, please feel free to look at it objectively and tell me what you would hypothetically do in my situation.

Thanks everyone for your time!

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4 Answers



on July 04, 2013
at 03:37 PM

I think your body is just transitioning. when I switched to Paleo from a crappy SAD 5 month binge last Nov. I went through the "low carb flu" for a good month fatigue, brain fog, sore muscles, maliase. I still didn't feel my best until March at least. Give it a couple of months.



on June 20, 2013
at 02:17 PM

[EDIT: hater / troll]



on June 20, 2013
at 01:37 PM

  • a month of transition from major dietary changes is not abnormal. Energy levels should get better after another week or so.

  • Yes get fat from whole foods, use oils as dressings.

  • Skip out on the yogurt. You may digest it fine, but skin rashes and acne are reactions.

  • For the constipation, eat whole food fiber sources like avocados, coconut, leafy greens, onions, cauliflowers, squash, broccoli, sweet potatoes, pears, apples, figs, etc.

  • Macadamia Nuts are high in Thiamin, Copper, Magnesium, and Manganese (deficiencies linked to energy problems and "brain fog" symptoms) -- Whole food sources are best, but you may consider supplementing with a good multi-vitamin


on June 20, 2013
at 01:26 PM

What exactly is your long-term goal? If you're aiming for weight-loss, most people experience better results on a lower-carb version of Paleo. If you're looking to maintain your weight and just feel good, you vary it really widely in terms of macronutrient ratios depending on what feels best.

Some clarifications also: -You said your energy is in the toilet. Does that mean you're tired all the time? Or tired after meals? Just need more sleep? If it's all the time, you might still be suffering the effects of the "low-carb flu" that people experience when switching over to a low carb diet. It shouldn't be much longer until your body adapts to using fat for energy in that case. If it's after meals, there's presumably something you're eating (or not eating) that's doing it, unless it's just your body shunting energy to the digestive process (which, if your digestion was messed up on the previous diet, is a possibility.) If you just need more sleep, how much more? And what were you getting before? It's possible your body is still adjusting to the new diet and is making you sleep more as part of the healing process.

I've never really heard of a high protein diet making people feel less energetic; any reason you feel that way specifically?

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