2

votes

Why are my energy levels quite low?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 04, 2011 at 5:45 PM

The 1th of July, I went LC (around 50-60g of carbs daily, all the carbs coming from green vegetables, and no nightshades).

During three months, I had low energy. All the rest improved in one way or another. As I constantly hear people praising the paleo diet because it gives them energy, I'm kinda confused.

What could I be doing wrong? Am I really eating not enough carbs or could it be iodine deficiency or something like that? What are your experiences with VLC, particularly your energy levels?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 04, 2011
at 07:41 PM

100mg CoQ10 and/or Creatine will help get the energy too.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 04, 2011
at 07:39 PM

Actually, try that first, 4-8g of powder as several doses.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 04, 2011
at 07:38 PM

You may be deficient in vitamin C, you don't have any susbstantial input via diet.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on October 04, 2011
at 07:31 PM

Thanks Dragonfly!

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 04, 2011
at 07:22 PM

You are not stopping the diet, just tweaking it. It will still be higher on the fat side, and lower on the cars so you should still be seeing the same benefits you are now. Listen to your body and adjust accordingly. No rules here, tweak until you feel energy levels are right. Maybe 5 - 10 more carbs every few days until energy levels are back to normal.

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 04, 2011
at 07:21 PM

I was vegetarian for 10 years, the first 2 were vegan so I hear ya. I would eat potatoes. Kurt Harris does recommend rice, but for its still a grain, and my stomach has had some issues with it (i am sure if I continue to eat rice, that might go away). Potatoes was super easy for me to introduce. Also add butternut squash and pumpkin into meals. Besides adding to veggie dishes, think soups and sauces here too! Eat veggies and fruit that are more glucose heavy than fructose, as fructose appears to be much worse for us than glucose. So a banana is another good one.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on October 04, 2011
at 07:17 PM

Good point! After my ZC experiment (I think it's important to have done ZC once to check out the effects) I'm gonna try out safe starches. I'm not willing to eat white potatoes yet, honestly. Nightshades give me a bit of issues. Thanks for your response!

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on October 04, 2011
at 07:04 PM

I supplement magnesium and I'm soon gonna introduce dulse into my diet to up my potassium, though I doubt the potassium will do anything. But you're probably right. I should just try out potatoes again and hope that they don't give me allergies.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on October 04, 2011
at 06:49 PM

I think that a good chunk of your carbs weren't absorbed for the reason I mentioned. Also very low carb diets tend to be low in various nutrients, particularly magnesium and potassium, which are needed to produce energy. So more starch and more of certain nutrients is my recommendation.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on October 04, 2011
at 06:47 PM

I was vlc for 6 weeks and definitely had lower energy than I do now with carbs around 70-80 gm/day. I think experimenting to see what level of carbs works for you is key. Try upping them slowly.

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on October 04, 2011
at 06:43 PM

Kurt Harris recommends white rice, as it doesn't contain any significant anti-nutrients

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on October 04, 2011
at 06:32 PM

Wait, there's some confusion. I'll edit my question. I've been ZC for only 5 days. That's my experiment. The VLC wasn't an experiment, it's just the way I ate paleo. No nuts, no fruits, no nightshades. It's pretty hard to up carbs that way.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on October 04, 2011
at 06:31 PM

Well honestly, the diet works great! Way less acne, better mood, my energy may be low but at least it's steady, I'm not shy anymore, my brain functions better, etc etc etc. That's why I'm so afraid of upping carbs : I think it might just make all the rest worse. I come from a vegan diet, it made me severely ill, so you gotta understand I'm kinda carbophobic now :). What kind of carbs would you recommend though?

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on October 04, 2011
at 06:27 PM

I agree in a sense, although potatoes or something will probably work. Oftentimes the very slow-absorbing carbohydrates like from green vegerables don't even make it into the body because they get gobbled up by bacteria in the gut. So something fast-absorbing is usually needed rather than the usual low carb vegetables.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 04, 2011
at 06:20 PM

Or, some ice cream or black chocolate, is even better option.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 04, 2011
at 06:19 PM

Your experiment is finished. 3 months is a lot of time and adaptation would take place. You need some starch.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 04, 2011
at 06:18 PM

++ . .

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on October 04, 2011
at 06:18 PM

I'm doing zero carb as an experiment. My question has nothing to do with the experiment, really, it's about the lack of energy on VLC-LC (around 50-60g of carbs a day).

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4 Answers

6
Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on October 04, 2011
at 06:10 PM

You're eating too few carbohydrates! The body needs a certain amount of glucose every day but it can only make so much, so when glucose is restricted in the diet the metabolism slows down to use less glucose. Generally somewhere between 50g-100g will prevent this problem. What exactly is the rationale of zero carb anyway? Just focus on health in all of its forms and you will be fine.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on October 04, 2011
at 06:27 PM

I agree in a sense, although potatoes or something will probably work. Oftentimes the very slow-absorbing carbohydrates like from green vegerables don't even make it into the body because they get gobbled up by bacteria in the gut. So something fast-absorbing is usually needed rather than the usual low carb vegetables.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on October 04, 2011
at 06:18 PM

I'm doing zero carb as an experiment. My question has nothing to do with the experiment, really, it's about the lack of energy on VLC-LC (around 50-60g of carbs a day).

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 04, 2011
at 06:19 PM

Your experiment is finished. 3 months is a lot of time and adaptation would take place. You need some starch.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 04, 2011
at 07:41 PM

100mg CoQ10 and/or Creatine will help get the energy too.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on October 04, 2011
at 06:49 PM

I think that a good chunk of your carbs weren't absorbed for the reason I mentioned. Also very low carb diets tend to be low in various nutrients, particularly magnesium and potassium, which are needed to produce energy. So more starch and more of certain nutrients is my recommendation.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 04, 2011
at 06:20 PM

Or, some ice cream or black chocolate, is even better option.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 04, 2011
at 07:39 PM

Actually, try that first, 4-8g of powder as several doses.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on October 04, 2011
at 07:04 PM

I supplement magnesium and I'm soon gonna introduce dulse into my diet to up my potassium, though I doubt the potassium will do anything. But you're probably right. I should just try out potatoes again and hope that they don't give me allergies.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 04, 2011
at 06:18 PM

++ . .

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on October 04, 2011
at 06:32 PM

Wait, there's some confusion. I'll edit my question. I've been ZC for only 5 days. That's my experiment. The VLC wasn't an experiment, it's just the way I ate paleo. No nuts, no fruits, no nightshades. It's pretty hard to up carbs that way.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 04, 2011
at 07:38 PM

You may be deficient in vitamin C, you don't have any susbstantial input via diet.

3
2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 04, 2011
at 06:28 PM

Agree, your body is needs more energy and you should help it out by upping your carbs. You can still be low carbs (50 - 150 grams is fine, and depends on your activity level).

3 months is enough time to realize that particular diet is working or not.

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 04, 2011
at 07:22 PM

You are not stopping the diet, just tweaking it. It will still be higher on the fat side, and lower on the cars so you should still be seeing the same benefits you are now. Listen to your body and adjust accordingly. No rules here, tweak until you feel energy levels are right. Maybe 5 - 10 more carbs every few days until energy levels are back to normal.

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on October 04, 2011
at 06:43 PM

Kurt Harris recommends white rice, as it doesn't contain any significant anti-nutrients

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 04, 2011
at 07:21 PM

I was vegetarian for 10 years, the first 2 were vegan so I hear ya. I would eat potatoes. Kurt Harris does recommend rice, but for its still a grain, and my stomach has had some issues with it (i am sure if I continue to eat rice, that might go away). Potatoes was super easy for me to introduce. Also add butternut squash and pumpkin into meals. Besides adding to veggie dishes, think soups and sauces here too! Eat veggies and fruit that are more glucose heavy than fructose, as fructose appears to be much worse for us than glucose. So a banana is another good one.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on October 04, 2011
at 06:31 PM

Well honestly, the diet works great! Way less acne, better mood, my energy may be low but at least it's steady, I'm not shy anymore, my brain functions better, etc etc etc. That's why I'm so afraid of upping carbs : I think it might just make all the rest worse. I come from a vegan diet, it made me severely ill, so you gotta understand I'm kinda carbophobic now :). What kind of carbs would you recommend though?

2
39ccdc07ecb843b6399e0df9c1a6aa1a

on October 04, 2011
at 06:58 PM

Sweet potatoes man. : ). Give some starch a try. It couldn't hurt. As long as you choose safe starches you can keep the benefits of paleo without low energy. Some people are fine on energy with lc. I think you have found that you are not.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on October 04, 2011
at 07:17 PM

Good point! After my ZC experiment (I think it's important to have done ZC once to check out the effects) I'm gonna try out safe starches. I'm not willing to eat white potatoes yet, honestly. Nightshades give me a bit of issues. Thanks for your response!

1
072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on October 05, 2011
at 02:20 AM

As others have suggested, try incorporating some carbs you are comfortable with. It sounds from your responses that you might be a little overly focused on your food. Don't stress about trying some new things in small amounts and trying an array of them, be it sweet potatoes, white rice, or whatever. Many of us on this forum get a little too focused day to day. I would suggest stop counting and just eat what you feel comfortable eating, making sure to include some "safe carbs" every day.

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