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Back on the Wagon -- Step by Step or Feet First?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 30, 2012 at 5:39 PM

So I've been on-and-off the paleo/primal wagon multiple times. I want to get back on now -- not because of the new year (although the break from school is making it a good start point) but because my health is deteriorating too darn fast for someone my age.

Basics: 1. 32 years old, 5'7", 225lbs. 2. Double diabetic (Type 1 -- lacking insulin -- complicated by the type 2 insulin insensitivity) 3. Apparently undiagnosable intestinal problems, likely related to poor pancreatic enzymes 4. Hiatal hernia

The rest of my issues don't really have anything to do with what I eat, although they tend to get better when I'm on the wagon.

My main question is opinion-based -- do you think it would be better for me to jump back into primal with both feet and deal with the inevitable consequences? (ie, low carb flu and HORRIBLE gastrointestinal distress, since a huge jump in fat intake would kinda kill my intestines for a week or more.) Or, given my issues, would it be better to take it slowly and change a little at a time -- use January to eliminate wheat and add some daily coconut, February to eliminate sugar and add more protien, etc?

I know that eliminating wheat is the most important for me, because it aggravates inflammation in my body, which makes my joints stiff AND increases the insulin sensitivity problem AND causes gastro issues. So I'm leaning towards going slowly, but I don't know if I'll wind up doing myself more harm than good that way.

Opinions?

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on January 13, 2013
at 11:47 PM

I was thinking VLC due to the low carb flu comment. No need to go VLC. For sure limit sugar and carbs though.

5f3e1f803d7a9b8704bb11cda26bcf9a

(658)

on January 13, 2013
at 11:03 PM

Double diabetic is a MAJOR reason to go low carb. High blood sugar is a killer--literally.

Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

(3452)

on January 13, 2013
at 10:50 PM

5'7" 225 lbs is a pretty good reason to go low carb.

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5 Answers

1
363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on December 30, 2012
at 09:55 PM

I think it depends on your personality. I am not very good at gradually getting into anything, I almost always have to jump in feet first or cut something cold turkey to be successful. What has worked for you in the past?

If you do want to go the gradual route though, I would suggest getting the gluten out immediately, and then work on cutting out other things as you wish, non-gluten grains (oats or what have you), legumes, dairy (if this is a goal), etc.

I also agree that there is no need to go low carb. I find that once the grains are out, there really isn't much left unless you tend to eat lots of legumes. If your goal is to go low carb for faster weight loss, then I would say go paleo first, keep in potatoes and starches (which make the transition pretty easy for me) and then cut the carbs when you feel better.

I had a hiatal hernia and losing weight helped me to get rid of it (diagnosed with upper endoscopy and later it appeared to be gone when doing a barium swallow), and I also think cutting out gluten helped a ton because it reduced bloating and swelling.

1
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on December 30, 2012
at 09:24 PM

It can help to cut wheat consumption over a two week period..

Unrelated note: There is no reson to go low carb..

5f3e1f803d7a9b8704bb11cda26bcf9a

(658)

on January 13, 2013
at 11:03 PM

Double diabetic is a MAJOR reason to go low carb. High blood sugar is a killer--literally.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on January 13, 2013
at 11:47 PM

I was thinking VLC due to the low carb flu comment. No need to go VLC. For sure limit sugar and carbs though.

Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

(3452)

on January 13, 2013
at 10:50 PM

5'7" 225 lbs is a pretty good reason to go low carb.

1
366c23d69eadce094a2b22299c58a424

(2988)

on December 30, 2012
at 06:43 PM

I'm assuming you're currently eating something like the standard American diet?

If so, and if it were me, and given the rest of your health problems, I'd cut out wheat and any processed and/or unhealthy foods now, and certainly cut back on sugars but not try to make any drastic changes to your macronutrient ratios until you get your digestive issues ironed out -- I'd focus more on eating healthy, nutrient dense foods.

You can eat a healthy primal/paleo diet without increasing fat or lowering carb all that much.

0
9d142ffae34c518722ea67d4cfb89a19

on December 30, 2012
at 09:47 PM

I think I'd go 2-pronged: - immediate: break the sugar habit and start eating unprocessed whole foods - mid: drop dairy (if you're going to) - longer-term: amp-up the healthy fats

This will quickly get you past the sugar dependency stages and "carb flu" (2-3 days in my experience) without the extra challenges of increased fat intake.

I'm also a little biased with this answer as I don't do well with high fat intake in my diet so I'm hesitant to say "go full bore".

Generally, we are really good at rationalization, so if you can cope with it "all in" is probably mentally easier than a slow approach ("yes" and "no" being easier to handle than "maybe").

0
06ca9c524c28bc3fba95d4d90f8f43c6

on December 30, 2012
at 06:17 PM

If you can tough it out, make the commitment and dive in. The end result of better health is what is important. It would be preferable to go feet first, but if you don't see it through and regress, than what good have you done? If you find the need to go slowly (ie: eliminate Wheat, start eating real foods), you are taking steps in the right direction.

Matt
PhysiqueRescue.com

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