Too skinny on PAleo

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 05, 2013 at 9:52 PM

Hello, I went Paleo about 3 months ago. I have IBS and I wanted to cure it so I heard about the paleo diet. First I just gave up wheat/gluten and dairy because I already have problems with constipation on those. Then I gave up corn syrup, corn,rice,oats,millet,quinoa,potatoes,peanut butter, then sugar,honey,agave nectar. I dropped gradually since June 5th 2013 until now Sept. 5th 2013.from 92 lbs to 84 lbs. I am only 5 feet tall and petite as it is. Tell me what I should do? I have added oatmeal and quinoa, and agave nectar back, but only since 3 days ago. I need to gain at least 7 pounds back. I don't think I can go strict paleo,but I don't want IBS left side ab pain and constipation. Any suggestions? Also, the only thing that gives me a reaction is the paeanut butter.

THank you, Selena McPhail


on September 05, 2013
at 10:13 PM

What are you eating and how much? All you have mentioned is what you are not eating.

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3 Answers

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on September 05, 2013
at 10:31 PM

I feel for ya. I, too, went Paleo largely to deal with my IBS and constipation issues. It's working well and I have actually managed to gain some weight. Frankly, my whole life has turned around now that I'm more regular and comfortable most of the time.


-Eat potatoes, carrots, and a bit of rice.

-Don't eat too much raw veggies.

-Stop with the agave nectar.

-Stop with the oats.

-Eat lots and lots of fat, especially from coconut, olive, and dairy sources.

-Eat lots of fat. Cheese, butter, coconut cream, coconut oil, olive oil, bacon, etc...

-If a packaged food has a long ingredient list, think twice.

First of all, it's okay to have a bit of starch from potatoes, carrots, and a bit of rice here and there, among other safe sources. These shouldn't bother your digestion much and a bit of starch is needed by most to maintain or gain weight. Just don't go overboard.

Also, if you're not already eating seemingly excessive quantities of butter, olive oil, and coconut oil now is the time to start. Coconut anything really: coconut cream, coconut butter, coconut chips, coconut oil, etc... And I second the macadamia nuts as a good calories source but pretty much all other nuts and nut butters seem to aggravate my IBS. Macadamias are expensive so keep your eye out for deals.

Oat meal seems to help at times but in the long run it, too, will lead to bad constipation (for me at least) so I suggest you avoid it, along with the agave nectar. Use honey or even plain table sugar in place of agave nectar. That stuff is just as bad as high fructose corn syrup.

Don't get too carried away with raw veggies either and keep raw and cooked fruits in moderation. As you may have learned already, more fiber is not always helpful and can actually be harmful. Cook your veggies and keep them in moderation. The occational carrot salad is good and green salad sparingly.

Let's see... I have so much more to say as my life has completely changed since I've all but cured my IBS and constipation. I rarely miss a day and on some days I have two healthy bowel movements. I can eat much more than I used to without getting an upset stomach.

Paleo is a big umbrella term and it's up to you to experiment and find the mix that works best for you. I strongly suggest avoiding all grains (including oats) with the exception of a little rice here and there. Don't overindulge on sweeteners, but they're okay as long as it's NOT agave nectar. OH! and you know to avoid processed foods right?

Best of luck to you and I hope you enjoy your new digestive system! Mine is almost completely healed and my whole life has changed from it! I've also gained about 9 lbs over my pre-paleo weight and I look better than ever!



on September 05, 2013
at 11:23 PM

Is dietary intervention the only thing you have looked into for your IBS? Often there can be issues like an infection or a bacterial imbalance. Have you had a stool analysis done? No matter what you eat, if the underlying condition isn't treated things can continue to get worse, or at least not get better.


on September 05, 2013
at 10:08 PM

The easiest way to get more calories for me, is to eat nuts. But in order to get enough calories without a ridiculous amount of omega 6 is macadamia nuts, also make sure you rarely eat anything raw, as it fills people up quicker and alot of the calories in raw food are unabsorbable, hence why raw vegans eat 5000 calories a day and don't gain an ounce of fat. Also, replace your agave nectar with some quality buckwheat honey, because agave is just hippie HFCS(93% fructose). Raw, hard cheeses are also calorie dense and are tolerated by some people who are sensitive to dairy since its lactose free

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