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fatigue / feel terrible after 3 weeks of paleo

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 10, 2012 at 7:52 PM

I started Paleo 3 weeks ago to be more healthy. Generally I had a pretty good diet and lift 4 days a week. I've been having real bad sleep issues for 6-12 months and for last 6 weeks or so have not been able to maintain sleep for longer than what seems like 45 minutes. I estimate i get about 10 hours of sleep and week and its getting ridiculous. This was the reason for my switch to paleo. But after 3 weeks i feel even worse. I feel terribly depressed, have low libido and so run down i can't operate like a normal human. Im finishing college in a few weeks but im having such a hard time even focusing my eyes on a page or even driving for that matter. I'd been feeling terrible after workouts for a while and after a really bad one last week i haven't been back. I did chest only and have never been that sore in my tris and shouldrs and didn't go any harder than normal. I've been sore for 5 days in my triceps which never happens. I dont know if im just having a really hard go adjusting to protein / fats or has my new amount carbs maybe exposed an underlying problem?? I did have a sleep study done yesterday but won't hear results for another week. I'm 24 years old. 5'9 165 lbs (was). I was eating 3300-3900 cals a day with a heavy emphasis on milk (4-5 gallons a week). Now on Paleo i'm eating way less cals with about 40-60 g carbs mostly from a banana, nuts, and veggies (not as much as i should), about 150 grams protein and 200 g fat. i've dropped to about 156 lbs as well, seemingly some muscle loss, but noticeable fat loss.

Should I just press on through workouts and life and just hope ill be adjusted soon? Are there some different supplements or vitimens i should be taking on Paleo? I take a multi, fish oil, creatine

Any suggestions will be appreciated. Thx

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 10, 2012
at 10:33 PM

Contrary to Melissa, I do not believe you are over training. It is very hard to do. if you're eating protein and losing muscle mass, it's not cause you're not eating enough fat- it is because you are not eating enough carbs. You can overtrain if you don't refill your glycogen, so then your body is going to create it endogenously at the expense of the protein you eat and/or your muscles.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 10, 2012
at 10:32 PM

No, he says even worse, but the problem has existed for up to a year. If he's had extreme sleep deprivation for six weeks, the fact that the last three weeks have been particularly bad would seem to have little relation to paleo. The problems of sleep deprivation are cumulative.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 10, 2012
at 10:29 PM

Train smart too. Don't just train for endless hours. Train stategically. And, contrary to Melissa, I believe overtraining is one the least of anyone's worries. Overtraining is only possible if your under eating and particularly under eating on carbohydrates and protein.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 10, 2012
at 10:26 PM

No no no. YOu misread. He feels WORSE after 3 weeks paleo. Not the same bad, but WORSE.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 10, 2012
at 10:25 PM

Carbs are definitely the answer if you're doing high volume bodybuilding-type training. 200 grams of fat is WAY excessive. Drop the fat. Opt for lean meats, healthy fats (avocado, some eggs, mixed nuts, olive oil) and unprocessed carbs. Your libido, muscle mass, and abs will thank you.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 10, 2012
at 10:20 PM

Are you eating enough calories total? You say you are eating "way less cals" - if you are exercising without taking in enough food, you are going to feel terrible.

8634d4988ced45a68e2a79e69cc01835

(1617)

on April 10, 2012
at 08:16 PM

It's either overtraining, not enough carbs, carb flu from the not-enough-carbs thing, you're not eating enough, all of the above, or the sleep deprivation is pounding you into the ground.

264668936171a6375bb2cbb337d3b634

(15)

on April 10, 2012
at 08:08 PM

appreciate the response. I guess the reason i haven't tried eating more carbs again is because of how sick i felt at the gym last week. I had a banana right before lifting and about 35 g complex carb supplement in my protein shake. In terms of my previous SAD diet i guess i was but it didn't seem that bad. Breakfast was usually eggs, banana, english muffin. Lunch was usually on the go so much of it was bear naked trail mix, protein bars (both bad i know) and usually i'd have a late lunch cheeseburger (from home) and for dinner i'd eat beef / fish with veggies and avocado.

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on April 10, 2012
at 07:59 PM

probably someone can give you some better advice, but my first impression is you should add more carbs through sweet potatoe perhaps. Make sure your fat ratio stays around 60+% of what you take in, and balance the carbs and proteins around that. I wonder if you have a bit of carb flu (assuming you were eating a SAD diet before with processed carbs), this would account for that foggy feeling and lack of concentration. Has to be rough if finishing school and trying to stay focused....my suggestion, back off the exercise and focus on the diet, when you get that right, start back up and adjust

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5 Answers

3
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on April 10, 2012
at 08:20 PM

I assume you are under treatment by a doctor if you are getting a sleep study done? Remember, not everything is caused by diet. You should make sure your doctor checks your thyroid too. Also, you might want to try seeing a therapist. There is an underlying anxiety here that could drive a lot of this. You sound a lot like the guy in the Colpo post. You could also be overtraining.

Until your doctor rules out medical conditions, I would stop your training program, stay active by walking around, and try eating a normal diet without unnecessary gallons of milk/protein powders/etc. Just eat a diet that allows you to get enough calories and has foods that you like. When you go back to discuss the results of your sleep study with your doctor, you can discuss whether you should experiment with a low-carb paleo diet.

3
870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 10, 2012
at 08:12 PM

Dude. You've had sleep problems for 6-12 months. They've been really bad for six weeks. You've been doing paleo for three weeks.

Why would you think any of this has anything to do with paleo? Wouldn't a more accurate title be: "Felt terrible for 6 months. 3 weeks of paleo hasn't helped"?

Wait for the results of your sleep study. Please.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 10, 2012
at 10:32 PM

No, he says even worse, but the problem has existed for up to a year. If he's had extreme sleep deprivation for six weeks, the fact that the last three weeks have been particularly bad would seem to have little relation to paleo. The problems of sleep deprivation are cumulative.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 10, 2012
at 10:26 PM

No no no. YOu misread. He feels WORSE after 3 weeks paleo. Not the same bad, but WORSE.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 10, 2012
at 08:16 PM

Call me crazy but have you tried relaxing? Drop the milk, drop the hyper-caloric stuff and just eat clean and do like 1 full body lift session a week and not to failure. See what happens to sleep.

It's worth noting that food allergies cause adrenaline releases and can leave you wired 'n' tired.

Also, with sleep deprivation you probably have the testosterone levels of a 10 year old girl. Bulking while exhausted is called getting fat.

0
264668936171a6375bb2cbb337d3b634

on April 10, 2012
at 11:21 PM

appreciate the responses again... i have done research. Any recommendations for readings would be great though, always looking to to learn. As far as salt, i have not cut it out of my diet at all. I'm not sure if you're talking about sea salt, but i eat a lot of lean bacon thats pretty high in sodium and i add kosher salt to most meals. Should i be doing more than that?

0
43087bd93da75e3e3ea8699a03fd00ef

on April 10, 2012
at 09:14 PM

You have suddenly gone low carb. You will feel terrible unless you add some salt. Any modern responsible low carb diet tells you that you need salt when you switch from carbs for energy to low carb or you will terrible. Do some research.

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