1

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Sweet potatoes and lethargy

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 22, 2013 at 7:32 PM

Ate a locally grown organic sweet potato, 1/2 gal of water and a piece of chicken for lunch two hours ago and I'm feeling more tired than I've ever felt while eating paleo. Also the first starch I've had in two weeks, what gives?

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on May 23, 2013
at 03:47 AM

'Yoga if can stomach it', indeed! Can be quite testing all round, for many people regradless of how they fit into gender constructs... Great answer more broadly imho +!

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on May 23, 2013
at 03:44 AM

@harnessesinslums pretty sure that's bunkum

23b7df6ba6e426214078a41c3290ae44

(15)

on May 23, 2013
at 01:39 AM

Basically follow the general eating principles that your thrown out there, 40% protein or as close as I can get to it, healthy fats, starch post workout, take a multivitamin. This isn't too complicated. And essentially, I restricted carbs too much to where my body, in spite of feeling great, ran out of fuel and burned itself out? Wonder what the effects would've been if I'd continued that.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 22, 2013
at 11:08 PM

many essential minerals (like magnesium, an important one), and it's just hard to eat a perfect diet. Take a multi-vitamin/mineral as an insurance policy. Also, i saw in your other questions about macro/ratios. 50% protein is high. I know "beachbody/p90x/insanity" programs recommend 50% protein for cutting, but even I, as someone who eats high protein, thinks that's a little high to do for anything but a short period of time. 40% protein is excellent though. I don't think counting macros is hugely beneficial though as long as you have solid eating principles down, like the one's I mentioned.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 22, 2013
at 11:03 PM

That sounds like depleted muscle glycogen stores (probably from you eating JUST meat/non-starchy vegetables) for days/weeks or weeks on end. Do whatever you have to do to get in the gym and lift some weights. The first couple of workouts when depleted will tough. Get a large sweet potato in ONLY post workout, and it should go to refilling stores (if you trained the muscle properly). Then you should have the drive to get in the gym again. Also, despite what I've heard said on here, I think a multi vitamin/mineral supplement is hugely beneficial. Our soils today are largely depleted in...

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 22, 2013
at 10:59 PM

^^ drinking water to feel full can be dangerous. If you want to feel full, eating fibrous vegetables is a much safer option (broccoli, asparagus, courgette, etc).

23b7df6ba6e426214078a41c3290ae44

(15)

on May 22, 2013
at 10:59 PM

Thank you, this is one of the best answers I've gotten on this website. I only lift (weight train) on days that I'm feeling up to it. In spite of feeling relatively energetic, I'm less strong than before, my muscles more tired and my ability to lift only truly back to normal if I'm pissed off, as strange as that may be. I work as a GNA (geriatric nursing assistant) so I'm moving more often not, and I do a lot of lifting/pulling and my muscles are as sore as they could be in spite of my protein intake, and my lactic acid (I'm assuming here) is building up and noticeable in my legs constantly.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 22, 2013
at 10:46 PM

@ harness- if that were the case that starch shouldn't be consumed with protein, then neither should green vegetables, as both these foods require an alkaline PH and protein considers an acid.

C6032b723b12cf0073ec6d22c5f4e7ae

on May 22, 2013
at 09:54 PM

Starch and protein apparently require opposing pH ranges for optimal digestion, so I wouldn't eat them in the same meal. Also, drinking water with meals will dilute digestive juices, so I'd waiy at least 15 minutes before or after meals to drink anything.

23b7df6ba6e426214078a41c3290ae44

(15)

on May 22, 2013
at 09:43 PM

Starch and protien is a bad idea? Also, when I eat carbs I always get wildly tired but i refuse to get tested for diabetes, because I'd rather just eat healthy and eat around what works for me. With that being said, I kept carbs low in part because rice and potatoes are to be seldom consumed and I don't like what carbs and sugar both do to me.

23b7df6ba6e426214078a41c3290ae44

(15)

on May 22, 2013
at 09:40 PM

I drink a gallon a day but never a half gallon at meals. Was more to keep myself full.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on May 22, 2013
at 09:09 PM

It sounds like you were probably on a low-carb diet for a couple of weeks, which for some people is just long enough for your body to get used to not having carbohydrates. If you up your carbs slowly over a few days it should pass. Also, do you usually drink half a gallon of water with meals? That's quite a lot, but if it's something you usually do then it's probably not the cause in this case.

23b7df6ba6e426214078a41c3290ae44

(15)

on May 22, 2013
at 08:22 PM

The last week I made the switch to paleo, albeit drinking milk but besides that it was a week of veggies and meat only. Pre that, it was i was eating the usual SAD and am quite overweight (6'1" 290). I woke up feeling like I could conquer the world, ate that sweet potato, and its been all down hill from there

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on May 22, 2013
at 08:17 PM

Were you previously on an extremely low-carb version of paleo / in ketosis? If so, it's not unusual for that much carbohydrate to make you feel lethargic until your body adapts to the carbs again.

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3 Answers

3
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on May 22, 2013
at 10:30 PM

Your muscles are probably somewhat insulin resistant (you say you're overweight). I would recommend only eating starchy foods (i.e. potatoes/sweet potatoes) post-workout until you reach a healthier body composition. Post workout your muscles will more insulin sensitive and better able to handle the carbs, and will use them for glycogen replenishment. You have to be consistent with your workouts though for your body to become efficient at depleting and replenishing glycogen stores.

I'd recommend walking briskly (or using a stairmill) every single day for 1 hour in the morning before you eat your first meal. Weight train 3-4x per week. On your days off, if you can stomach it, try yoga or do some "active recovery" (hiking, sports, whatever). Eat your starch post workout. Limit your fruit consumption (not necessary to eliminate it entirely though if you're staying active). The remainder of your meals should be meat and produce, with portioned (you don't literally have to measure) amounts of "healthy fats" which DO help your body burn fat by creating a more suitable hormonal environment. These healthy fats are found in things like mixed nuts, real eggs, avocado, olive oils, and fatty fish (fish oil). As you get closer to your goal body compostion, you can start incorporating more "advanced" strategies like carbohydrate (calorie) cycling and strategic "refeeds"... possibly IF if that puts wind your sails. But that's a little ways down the road. for now, stick to paleo with strategic starch only post (weight training/glycolytic) workout.

do that for 1 year and you'll be looking and feeling like a brand new person. the carbs will not make you tired anymore because they'll just fill your glycogen for later use. they won't be burned immediately for energy only to make you crash shortly after.

I hope that sheds some light. Best of luck to you my friend.

23b7df6ba6e426214078a41c3290ae44

(15)

on May 23, 2013
at 01:39 AM

Basically follow the general eating principles that your thrown out there, 40% protein or as close as I can get to it, healthy fats, starch post workout, take a multivitamin. This isn't too complicated. And essentially, I restricted carbs too much to where my body, in spite of feeling great, ran out of fuel and burned itself out? Wonder what the effects would've been if I'd continued that.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 22, 2013
at 11:03 PM

That sounds like depleted muscle glycogen stores (probably from you eating JUST meat/non-starchy vegetables) for days/weeks or weeks on end. Do whatever you have to do to get in the gym and lift some weights. The first couple of workouts when depleted will tough. Get a large sweet potato in ONLY post workout, and it should go to refilling stores (if you trained the muscle properly). Then you should have the drive to get in the gym again. Also, despite what I've heard said on here, I think a multi vitamin/mineral supplement is hugely beneficial. Our soils today are largely depleted in...

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 22, 2013
at 11:08 PM

many essential minerals (like magnesium, an important one), and it's just hard to eat a perfect diet. Take a multi-vitamin/mineral as an insurance policy. Also, i saw in your other questions about macro/ratios. 50% protein is high. I know "beachbody/p90x/insanity" programs recommend 50% protein for cutting, but even I, as someone who eats high protein, thinks that's a little high to do for anything but a short period of time. 40% protein is excellent though. I don't think counting macros is hugely beneficial though as long as you have solid eating principles down, like the one's I mentioned.

23b7df6ba6e426214078a41c3290ae44

(15)

on May 22, 2013
at 10:59 PM

Thank you, this is one of the best answers I've gotten on this website. I only lift (weight train) on days that I'm feeling up to it. In spite of feeling relatively energetic, I'm less strong than before, my muscles more tired and my ability to lift only truly back to normal if I'm pissed off, as strange as that may be. I work as a GNA (geriatric nursing assistant) so I'm moving more often not, and I do a lot of lifting/pulling and my muscles are as sore as they could be in spite of my protein intake, and my lactic acid (I'm assuming here) is building up and noticeable in my legs constantly.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on May 23, 2013
at 03:47 AM

'Yoga if can stomach it', indeed! Can be quite testing all round, for many people regradless of how they fit into gender constructs... Great answer more broadly imho +!

1
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on May 22, 2013
at 09:30 PM

We get somewhat insulin resistant on a low carb diet, because the brain wants to sequester all the glucose for itself. So, when you start eating carbs again, the initial insulin spike is higher than usual, to overcome the insulin resistance. Eventually, insulin wins, and overshoots the mark, which leads to lower blood sugar. Low blood sugar makes you feel lethargic, irritable, and even hungry, depending on how low it goes.

The insulin resistance developed on a low carb diet is transient and harmless, beneficial actually because it is keeping the brain fueled. It should become calibrated to whatever level of carbohydrates you eat, so the lethargy won't keep happening if you decide to keep eating carbs.

1
C6032b723b12cf0073ec6d22c5f4e7ae

on May 22, 2013
at 09:11 PM

If you have issues with insulin, a ton of carbs can spike your blood sugar and lead to a release of ammonia which could make you feel horribly tired. Also, starches and proteins are generally considered a bad food combination, so your lethargy could be related to indigestion.

C6032b723b12cf0073ec6d22c5f4e7ae

on May 22, 2013
at 09:54 PM

Starch and protein apparently require opposing pH ranges for optimal digestion, so I wouldn't eat them in the same meal. Also, drinking water with meals will dilute digestive juices, so I'd waiy at least 15 minutes before or after meals to drink anything.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 22, 2013
at 10:46 PM

@ harness- if that were the case that starch shouldn't be consumed with protein, then neither should green vegetables, as both these foods require an alkaline PH and protein considers an acid.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on May 23, 2013
at 03:44 AM

@harnessesinslums pretty sure that's bunkum

23b7df6ba6e426214078a41c3290ae44

(15)

on May 22, 2013
at 09:43 PM

Starch and protien is a bad idea? Also, when I eat carbs I always get wildly tired but i refuse to get tested for diabetes, because I'd rather just eat healthy and eat around what works for me. With that being said, I kept carbs low in part because rice and potatoes are to be seldom consumed and I don't like what carbs and sugar both do to me.

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