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Rough transition and doubts. Felt awesome for the first 2 days.. progessively worse now at day 9

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created September 13, 2011 at 8:28 AM

Wow I can't believe it has been 9 days. I switched cold turkey on the 4th to paleo vlc, moderate protien and high fat. My ratios ended up being around 70 fat 20 protein 10 carbs. The first few days I ate berries and grapefruit in small amounts along with coconut, tons of eggs, dark meat from roasted chicken, fish,avocado, bacon, fish oil pills, and small amounts of red meat.

First day I felt ok if a little wierd. The carb cravings had not hit yet and I just felt odd in general. Second day I felt awesome. My skin was unusually soft and I felt SO calm and content. Energy was even and I was sleeping better.

As I did more research my plan changed. I cut out the fruit (though I still crack sometimes and have 1/4 grapefruit).

Then.. I started cheating. NO grains or anything - but cheese and tomatos. Also some bad paleo food - overly salty beef jerky, organic hot dogs etc. I cracked completely once and downed an entire pint of coconut ice cream (organic and pretty low sugar and did not go over 50g of carbs for the day- but still). I was ill for 12 hours after that with stomach issues. I drank too much alcohol. This probably happened over 2 days. I have been better since. Low carb but I seem to need more veggies since I had the cheating incidents.

Now I suddenly feel horrible. I am bloated, my skin feels dry and has those tiny bumps on the back side of my arms (Ive always associated with too much meat/cheese/fat in others from the timing and evidence). Food nauseates me a bit and I no longer feel satisfied or good. Energy has not waned too badly but I just feel crappy. I feel unhealthy and like my body is hating this.

I just made my first fatty cut of beef and I literally gagged when I tried to eat the fat. I cooked it on coconut milk (full fat) and made a kind of Mexican dish with spices and salsa/sour cream/ iceburg lettuce. I figured if it was low carb...

I am NOT giving up. PERIOD. I will give this at the very least a month or longer before adding more paleo carbs. I am dedicated to the paleo lifestyle but I am really confused and scared at what my body is doing. I am not sure if it was the cheating.. or adding too many veggies...cutting out fruit... or eating incorrectly .. or low carb flu or what. I guess I just need some advice/support. Thank you.

*Update

First of all thank you all so much! I really appreciate the answers.

  • I forgot to mention that I am doing vlc in order to lose a fair amount of weight. I am a student and last year I really let my health falter as I focused entirely on school. My eating habits were horrible- sometimes I would not eat all day and others I would eat fast food and carby things. Most of my weight is around my middle. As a female this is especially bad. I have reason to believe that it is because of the carbs/gluten. A few weeks before making this change I suddenly just seemed to be able to stop digesting grains/bread etc. It did not matter if it was "healthy" grains. I always tried to get good organic breads from trader joes etc. I avoided hfs. So for now from what I can gather I should be eating vlc until I lose the excess and my body repairs its whole insulin process.

-Also I did drink but it was not binge drinking or anything. I had too much wine one night. I am going to cut out alcohol for awhile (at least until I am at a healthy weight).

-And wow it is really really good to know about the coconut thing. So does this mean I cannot use the canned full fat milk? Or juts not use it with another super fatty thing..

--thanks again!!

C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

(3225)

on September 16, 2011
at 10:39 AM

I can attest to betaine's helpfulness...

F6c1df7d5699661bd1f0d6d0a6c17fc6

on September 13, 2011
at 09:01 PM

The cheese in mac and cheese is emulsified a bit, and so would require less bile to digest. If you really think you need to add extra fat, you might want to consider emulsifying it. Like steak and bernaise.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 13, 2011
at 06:51 PM

It takes more stomach acid to digest a steak than mac and cheese. It might take more bile too. If you are low on either you can end up with nausea and stomach cramps. You might feel better with some betaine and digestive enzyme supplementation until your body adjusts.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on September 13, 2011
at 06:45 PM

Well said; I don't think that people need to dip below 100g of carbs a day, but if they do, they should step it down by 10g a day at a time.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on September 13, 2011
at 06:18 PM

Thank you I will look at that right now!

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on September 13, 2011
at 06:17 PM

I wonder why the body actually gets nauseous! I have certainly had fattier things in the past such as mac and cheese etc.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on September 13, 2011
at 06:16 PM

Yeah that was the first time I tried to truly add fat in particular. I think it was probably a bit excessive!

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on September 13, 2011
at 06:14 PM

Yeah ice cream is probably going to have to go forever=( After I get my body re sensitized to insulin I will no doubt go into a sugar coma if I ate it. *sad face* oh well.. though to be honest I will miss sourdough bread far more.

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on September 13, 2011
at 03:52 PM

thanks for the link!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 13, 2011
at 01:47 PM

Fat should be the body's preferred fuel source! But certainly, if you get a good fatty cut of beef, you DON"T need to add more fat, unless you really like the taste.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 13, 2011
at 12:40 PM

excellent answer. the recommendation to eat very large amounts of fat (north of 60-70% of calories) is made time and again here. The body simply does not need that much. Its not deleterious either but if one is feeling crappy then surely some of that large amount of fat can be replaced with carbohydrate like sweet potato, etc and the person will probably feel much better.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 13, 2011
at 12:38 PM

stop eating ice cream and obviously bad items. eat more carbohydrates. you feel crappy because your body is slowly getting used to using ketones for fuel rather than carbohydrate, which it probably has been up till this point. eat more carbohydrates.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on September 13, 2011
at 11:00 AM

Glad it helped! Nothing to be embarassed about anyway, I can never cook the fat on meat right, because I like my meat very rare and the fat very crisp and thoroughly cooked (if any-one knows the secret tell me how). My case of coconut poisoning is far more embarassing too- first day of a hike, after I've packed about 10kg of coconut because it's the 'perfect paleo food' and suddenly I'm too sick to walk and can hardly touch coconut for the rest of the trip! I blamed it on the unfamiliar water at first, couldn't imagine my staple foodstuff was to blame...

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on September 13, 2011
at 09:40 AM

---also the aversion to red meat is an interesting thought. I have never had a huge issue with it- just only used to eat it once a month for the iron boost. I just never craved/wanted to eat a lot of meat. I am not sure if it is due to a subconscious fear of fat or not (could very well be). I never ate bacon because I thought it was like eating candy health wise- same with real butter which I never used. Man what a mess I am! And my first cut of fatty meat trying to eat improperly cooked wobbly edges in coconut milk!! wow....I am kind of embarrassed.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on September 13, 2011
at 09:32 AM

First of all Thank you so VERY much for the detailed response. I never thought it could be the coconut as I have been eating it since and had no effects. Smallish pieces of the meat and a touch of the milk in my coffee seemed just fine. The full fat coconut milk out of the can that I cooked with tonight is far more intense than those things Of course. So we have two incidents of gross feeling (though no stomach issues this time) after eating something intensely coconut. Got it! I will have to watch that in the future. Im cutting out alcohol for now.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on September 13, 2011
at 09:25 AM

First of all wow thank you for such a wonderful and detailed response! -- just to clarify: *As for the coconut ice cream that was 6 days ago.. and my stomach upset was immediate and went away completely after I had.. er.. you know for 12 hours. I have been eating coconut since and been just fine. I put the milk in my coffee. Granted I eat a far more reasonable amount than the ice cream *the alcohol I had was not new consumption wise. I am going to cut it out completely for now- but it was not unusual. Thank you - and I WILL reread and take to heart what you have said.

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5 Answers

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7
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on September 13, 2011
at 09:02 AM

If I understand you correctly the series of events is this:

  • Downed lots of coconut (ice cream)
  • Felt sick
  • Got drunk
  • Felt sick and horrible.
  • Tried to eat fat from meat.
  • Feel sick

It sounds to me like you are probably sick. I don't think you need worry that your symptoms are caused by "too many veggies...cutting out fruit... or eating incorrectly .. or low carb flu." The worst symptoms you would probably get from those would be feeling a bit lethargic. The presence or absence of paleo carbs might be extremely important for weight loss and various medium-long term issues, but in the short term it's not going to cause you to feel violently ill.

It's quite possible that you are just standardly sick; perhaps with the non-high carb flu and perhaps due to a weakened immune system from the alcohol and ice cream and such like.

One possible alternative cause for your acute sickness is the coconut. Coconut, being largely medium chain triglycerides can make you extremely and violently sick very quickly. This is especially easy if you're not used to it, but even in my case- who'd been eating about 100g of coconut for breakfast for a year, got extremely ill when having an especially large bowl of coconut for breakfast while hiking. Suffice to say the very thought of coconut made me feel ill for a good week thereafter. If the 'fat' with your beef that made you sick was the coconut, then this seems a plausible explanation.

One final speculation which may be completely off, is that you might have an aversion to red meat/fat. Hence eating "eggs, dark meat from roasted chicken, fish... bacon, and small amounts of red meat" and then "made my first fatty cut of beef and... literally gagged." Obviously if you do still fear that your body will hate any fatty meat and that it will cause you to die of a heart attack, this may put you off your food. Suffice to say that there's no danger that can result from simply eating fatty meat. If you don't eat anything at all, then your body will simply run off your own animal meat and fat. It shouldn't cause bloating, tiny bumps in your arms, sickness etc. You might want to hold back on trying to eat huge lumps of fat on the side of your meat though. I'm all for animal fat, but I have no taste at all for the huge wobbly lumps of fat you typically get attached to meat, especially when it's not cooked properly (which is quite hard to achieve). I would just get some meat and cook it with some butter or tallow. This shouldn't cause any problems regardless of how much fruit and how many vegetables you consume.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on September 13, 2011
at 09:32 AM

First of all Thank you so VERY much for the detailed response. I never thought it could be the coconut as I have been eating it since and had no effects. Smallish pieces of the meat and a touch of the milk in my coffee seemed just fine. The full fat coconut milk out of the can that I cooked with tonight is far more intense than those things Of course. So we have two incidents of gross feeling (though no stomach issues this time) after eating something intensely coconut. Got it! I will have to watch that in the future. Im cutting out alcohol for now.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on September 13, 2011
at 11:00 AM

Glad it helped! Nothing to be embarassed about anyway, I can never cook the fat on meat right, because I like my meat very rare and the fat very crisp and thoroughly cooked (if any-one knows the secret tell me how). My case of coconut poisoning is far more embarassing too- first day of a hike, after I've packed about 10kg of coconut because it's the 'perfect paleo food' and suddenly I'm too sick to walk and can hardly touch coconut for the rest of the trip! I blamed it on the unfamiliar water at first, couldn't imagine my staple foodstuff was to blame...

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on September 13, 2011
at 09:25 AM

First of all wow thank you for such a wonderful and detailed response! -- just to clarify: *As for the coconut ice cream that was 6 days ago.. and my stomach upset was immediate and went away completely after I had.. er.. you know for 12 hours. I have been eating coconut since and been just fine. I put the milk in my coffee. Granted I eat a far more reasonable amount than the ice cream *the alcohol I had was not new consumption wise. I am going to cut it out completely for now- but it was not unusual. Thank you - and I WILL reread and take to heart what you have said.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on September 13, 2011
at 09:40 AM

---also the aversion to red meat is an interesting thought. I have never had a huge issue with it- just only used to eat it once a month for the iron boost. I just never craved/wanted to eat a lot of meat. I am not sure if it is due to a subconscious fear of fat or not (could very well be). I never ate bacon because I thought it was like eating candy health wise- same with real butter which I never used. Man what a mess I am! And my first cut of fatty meat trying to eat improperly cooked wobbly edges in coconut milk!! wow....I am kind of embarrassed.

3
7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on September 13, 2011
at 02:28 PM

Scroll down to the bottom of this post, and look for the section titled "The Difference Between Beta-Oxidation and Ketosis." Here's an excerpt:

I think going cold-turkey VLC (very low carb) or zero-carb makes the transition much harder, particularly for people who are already physically active. ...

If we eat zero carbs, or very few, over a period of time, our body enters a state called ketosis, in which some of our tissues that used to require glucose shift over to burning ketone bodies, which are alternative products of fat metabolism. And while it is true that our brains and hearts actually run more efficiently on ketones, it takes several weeks for our bodies to fully adapt. Meanwhile, we lack energy for high-effort activities, because our muscles are depleted of glycogen, which is made from glucose. ...

???so unless ketosis is your goal, you might be making your transition to a healthy diet much harder by keeping your carb intake too low.

My takeaway ... even if ketosis is your goal, you may be better off easing into it rather than going cold turkey!

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on September 13, 2011
at 03:52 PM

thanks for the link!

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on September 13, 2011
at 06:18 PM

Thank you I will look at that right now!

Medium avatar

(39831)

on September 13, 2011
at 06:45 PM

Well said; I don't think that people need to dip below 100g of carbs a day, but if they do, they should step it down by 10g a day at a time.

3
F1b82cc7e6d90384ad30007dd6c1b9e3

(1187)

on September 13, 2011
at 12:33 PM

ok, ignoring the drunk part. (you'll feel better in time), I would just eat fat as it occurs naturally in meat, just enough oil to make your salad tasty and just enough butter to keep your cooking from sticking. Eat paleo nuts just enough to satisfy. That's enough to make a regular nutritionist scream, ha ha. Fat helps you feel satisfied and happy. You might need less than you're doing. Good luck.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on September 13, 2011
at 06:16 PM

Yeah that was the first time I tried to truly add fat in particular. I think it was probably a bit excessive!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 13, 2011
at 01:47 PM

Fat should be the body's preferred fuel source! But certainly, if you get a good fatty cut of beef, you DON"T need to add more fat, unless you really like the taste.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 13, 2011
at 12:40 PM

excellent answer. the recommendation to eat very large amounts of fat (north of 60-70% of calories) is made time and again here. The body simply does not need that much. Its not deleterious either but if one is feeling crappy then surely some of that large amount of fat can be replaced with carbohydrate like sweet potato, etc and the person will probably feel much better.

3
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on September 13, 2011
at 12:19 PM

Going cold turkey and then downing all that ice cream and alcohol is definitely not the best plan. I suggest you start slowly and gradually work into a good plan, taking at least 2 wks between each change. You could simply just need the time to adjust so you don't binge eat drink. Allow yourself the right to be successful by making a plan that works for you. Sometimes we are our own worse enemies.

1
C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

on September 13, 2011
at 10:06 AM

If you're transitioning from a SAD or even a healthy SAD, you've upped your fats considerably. Personally, I found that it took my body a little while to get used to eating more fat and I had to add it in gradually. At first, a fatty cut of meat would make me very nauseous.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on September 13, 2011
at 06:17 PM

I wonder why the body actually gets nauseous! I have certainly had fattier things in the past such as mac and cheese etc.

F6c1df7d5699661bd1f0d6d0a6c17fc6

on September 13, 2011
at 09:01 PM

The cheese in mac and cheese is emulsified a bit, and so would require less bile to digest. If you really think you need to add extra fat, you might want to consider emulsifying it. Like steak and bernaise.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 13, 2011
at 06:51 PM

It takes more stomach acid to digest a steak than mac and cheese. It might take more bile too. If you are low on either you can end up with nausea and stomach cramps. You might feel better with some betaine and digestive enzyme supplementation until your body adjusts.

C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

(3225)

on September 16, 2011
at 10:39 AM

I can attest to betaine's helpfulness...

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