1

votes

10 months in and too skinny, too broke and bad stomach

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 16, 2013 at 10:39 AM

I'm writing on behalf of my brother. We went Paleo for a total of 10 months, with a 1 month break in between. We've now been Paleo since mid July. My brother is 5'10 and skinny. I mean really really skinny. He's lost a lot of fat but also mass too and his arms are looking sticky, along with his legs (he doesn't do a lot of exercise, just walking. He doesn't want to for fear of losing more weight). Even when he was probably at 400-500g carbs a day he was never overweight so his meta is very high.

Ever since we went on the diet he has has struggled with the large amount of veggies but especially the fat. He's always had a sensitive stomach (though he does stress and worry like a nut too, part of it is his character the other is very serious issues with the family). He can have a fat heavy meal in the evening and that night it goes right through him. This issue hasn't fixed itself. He is often hungry too but the problem is now money: due to the economic situation we can't buy more food (as it is our meat is the crappy supermarket kind and we're eating mostly bacon, pork, mince and some beef maybe once a week as it's costly but also salmon/mackerel), it is expensive here in the UK but even if we could, he can't tolerate more meat/fat. (Btw cutting back on luxuries isn't an option as we have none but the internet. The diet has been a huge sacrifice for us)

We're just lost now. Myself and mum have thrived on the diet, and in some ways so has my brother. Example: we found out grains and dairy were causing his cystic acne. We eat a fair amount of carbs as we all have fast metabolisms, sweet potatoes every day, and frequently squash and bananas too and our energy seems fine on it. But these issues are getting him down, badly, it feels like he's going to have to break out of Paelo to gain the weight but we don't really want this. Especially as some foods seems to cause very strong inflammatory reactions judging from how his skin reacts.

We don't know what to do now. Money only goes so far and stomachs can only take so much. Would it be best to add some non Paleo things to help bulk him out a bit and if so which things? He has potato now and then, maybe dairy? Is it possible that some people just aren't compatible with this diet?

I've read about supplements etc but feel like this is only half the issue and have also heard it's not so simple as just necking these things.

ETA: he has limits on his appetite too, I frequently out eat him. He just can't seem to pack the food away.

1e2d281851d4c0e471ba43abc851954a

(5)

on January 16, 2013
at 10:53 PM

Regarding appetite I think it's because he's just not doing enough. We had a phase pre-Paelo where he lost weight because he was sat on his ass too much = no appetite = missed calories = skinny more than normal. His urges: he just wants sugary crap, or pizza, or tortillas. So... not sure giving him full rein would be wise lol. High acidity wouldn't happen to cause heartburn would it???

1e2d281851d4c0e471ba43abc851954a

(5)

on January 16, 2013
at 10:50 PM

Yes, you're right on the food diary. I will start one up for the family tomorrow. Though we think it's an excess fat issue, who knows what else may be contributing. I'm afraid the no more cheap meat is just not something we can stop atm. We do get good quality cubed beef and pork from the butchers as often as we can (a few times a week) but financially things are very very bad here. An idea of how: it's -4 outside and we can't put the heating on because we can't afford it, nvm fuelling a car to go to a farm as much as I used to love working at the stables and that. If we had a choice...

1e2d281851d4c0e471ba43abc851954a

(5)

on January 16, 2013
at 10:45 PM

Thank you for the gallons of water suggestion, that's a good one. We have a 15kg bag of dog food he can haul about too :D Tbh we all need to do it, it's not just him!

1e2d281851d4c0e471ba43abc851954a

(5)

on January 16, 2013
at 10:44 PM

I'm not sure, I'd have to check our supermarket which is notoriously limited because we're in a rural location. I will suggest the whey protein which I had forgotten about!

1e2d281851d4c0e471ba43abc851954a

(5)

on January 16, 2013
at 10:43 PM

Yeps we're planning on getting a portion of cow at some point when money eases up. I shall remember to ask for the organs and bones. Sorry but what is chuck? I'm UK based, not familiar with it. Was wondering if we could make mix ourselves?

1e2d281851d4c0e471ba43abc851954a

(5)

on January 16, 2013
at 10:42 PM

Yeah tell me about it Chris lol. Mum is pretty knowledgeable/well read, though I think I'm more so. I think I'm going to have to find really inventive ways of sneaking in organ meats or something. But it's hard, it's an attitude/outlook problem, along with being broke and the digestion issues and he misses his pizza and bread!

1e2d281851d4c0e471ba43abc851954a

(5)

on January 16, 2013
at 10:30 PM

He's mostly ok on potatoes, but if he has a lot he gets yawny/sleepy. So it's not like it isn't affecting him or leaving him totally floored too. To me he seems at the higher end of carbs, I mean sweet potato every day, sometimes squash on top of that too. I think he may need a fair bit more than what is typically classed as Paelo

1e2d281851d4c0e471ba43abc851954a

(5)

on January 16, 2013
at 10:28 PM

No fermented foods consistently which is something we need to work on. The biggest challenge is he's a fussy eater, just argh sometimes, you know? Meal plan for last 2 days: bacon, sweet spuds, mushrooms/bacon, sweet spuds, eggs (breakfast), salmon wrapped in parma, peas, swede. Sausages, parsnips, peas (I think... those were for lunch). Dinner: Cottage pie with mashed parsnip and cabbage, I can't remember the other meal. He's snacked on a can of mackerel and a beefburger too. But these meals are pretty typical. And no, not checked for Crohn's any point when it seems directly related to fat?

C4deaa6bb01626b4569e8992890381ab

(930)

on January 16, 2013
at 03:32 PM

Wow, sounds like an up-hill struggle Shay, "you can lead a horse to water"....just keep plugging away, if your mum likes to read suggest a primal/paleo friendly book to read, or casually point out an article/blog on the net that promotes how good oily fish/organ meats are for our health. It is hard i know, my partner doesn't care much for her own health (quick to dismiss things but wont educate herself) & it is a struggle but she's slowly coming round.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on January 16, 2013
at 02:56 PM

Has your brother been checked out for Crohn's disease?

0b7c3e7fd96005f0b2dfd781e512fc2e

(1237)

on January 16, 2013
at 11:57 AM

Can you give an outline of what your bro eats on a typical day?

1e2d281851d4c0e471ba43abc851954a

(5)

on January 16, 2013
at 11:35 AM

Yes, I had considered discussing going to the doctors with him though that'll be a feat in itself as he's doc phobe. Organ meats are unpopular in our family, not for lack of trying, it's everything from smell to the taste which is unfortunate because as you say, cheap and good for you. We make beef bone broth each week, about 3 litres of the stuff. I will look into the sardines and sprats along with fish stock though gl trying to get that cooking in the house with my mum's sense of smell!!

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on January 16, 2013
at 11:10 AM

Is your brother eating fermented foods? If he can't tolerate fat, it sounds like he might have gallbladder and/or thyroid issues.

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6 Answers

5
Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on January 16, 2013
at 01:56 PM

How does he feel when he eats potatoes?

If he has no blood sugar problems, and potatoes agree with him, then he should eat as much as he likes until he gets back to a healthy weight.

Also, I'd say that this diet doesn't agree with everybody, IF you are taking "this diet" to mean very low carb.

Some people seem unable to store much fat - I would say that these people need to keep eating carbs regularly or they will waste away.

1e2d281851d4c0e471ba43abc851954a

(5)

on January 16, 2013
at 10:30 PM

He's mostly ok on potatoes, but if he has a lot he gets yawny/sleepy. So it's not like it isn't affecting him or leaving him totally floored too. To me he seems at the higher end of carbs, I mean sweet potato every day, sometimes squash on top of that too. I think he may need a fair bit more than what is typically classed as Paelo

2
Medium avatar

(3213)

on January 16, 2013
at 01:47 PM

Are green and ripe plantains available to you? If so, give 'em a try, they are a healthy source of carbs and they are a staple in sumo wrestlers diet. Also, have him try whey protein, it's good for building mass, and pound for pound, it's cheaper than animal protein.

Good luck and keep us posted

1e2d281851d4c0e471ba43abc851954a

(5)

on January 16, 2013
at 10:44 PM

I'm not sure, I'd have to check our supermarket which is notoriously limited because we're in a rural location. I will suggest the whey protein which I had forgotten about!

2
A3f57f8dc6162df78bdd462982244663

on January 16, 2013
at 01:22 PM

Our farmer will grind together 70% chuck 10% liver and 20% heart to create a nutrient dense mince for burgers and meatballs. I season it with shallots and garlic and basil and you can't taste the liver or heart at all. Once you find a farmer, it may be worth a shot. Also consider getting an 1/4 or 1/8 cow. You'll end up with a bunch of meat and if you ask, they'll likely give you all the organs and bones. A simple meat grinder could do the trick too!!!

1e2d281851d4c0e471ba43abc851954a

(5)

on January 16, 2013
at 10:43 PM

Yeps we're planning on getting a portion of cow at some point when money eases up. I shall remember to ask for the organs and bones. Sorry but what is chuck? I'm UK based, not familiar with it. Was wondering if we could make mix ourselves?

1
C4deaa6bb01626b4569e8992890381ab

on January 16, 2013
at 11:16 AM

He doesn't necessarily have to 'break out' of paleo as everyone's paleo is different, some do well higher carb, some do well high fat, it's all about self experimentation, i would be a little worried about fat just going through him. If i were your bro i'd get consider some medical advice, being from the U.K myself i know it's not as simple as walking in the docs & asking for a full examination, but it may be worth having a chat about it. as for your money situation, find a good farm to stock up on organ meats & bones for broth, they are cheap & far superior nutrition wise to the regular cuts, also get to a good fishmonger & stock up on mackerel, sardines, sprats etc, also ask them for fish heads & bones for stock, all very cheap & full of goodness. I hope it works out for all of you, good luck.

C4deaa6bb01626b4569e8992890381ab

(930)

on January 16, 2013
at 03:32 PM

Wow, sounds like an up-hill struggle Shay, "you can lead a horse to water"....just keep plugging away, if your mum likes to read suggest a primal/paleo friendly book to read, or casually point out an article/blog on the net that promotes how good oily fish/organ meats are for our health. It is hard i know, my partner doesn't care much for her own health (quick to dismiss things but wont educate herself) & it is a struggle but she's slowly coming round.

1e2d281851d4c0e471ba43abc851954a

(5)

on January 16, 2013
at 11:35 AM

Yes, I had considered discussing going to the doctors with him though that'll be a feat in itself as he's doc phobe. Organ meats are unpopular in our family, not for lack of trying, it's everything from smell to the taste which is unfortunate because as you say, cheap and good for you. We make beef bone broth each week, about 3 litres of the stuff. I will look into the sardines and sprats along with fish stock though gl trying to get that cooking in the house with my mum's sense of smell!!

1e2d281851d4c0e471ba43abc851954a

(5)

on January 16, 2013
at 10:42 PM

Yeah tell me about it Chris lol. Mum is pretty knowledgeable/well read, though I think I'm more so. I think I'm going to have to find really inventive ways of sneaking in organ meats or something. But it's hard, it's an attitude/outlook problem, along with being broke and the digestion issues and he misses his pizza and bread!

0
5c45586ceb57c4cee16960b03f85c9d2

on January 16, 2013
at 05:57 PM

First of all: EVERYONE should be keeping a food diary. No exception. Especially if you are one of us, self-experimenters.

Our brains are not healthy enough yet to track everything we've eaten, and to look back and correlate between diet choices and symptoms.

He should have been keeping a log of EVERY substance that enters and exits his body. Every food item, every time he hydrates, and every time either one comes out. So should you.

If you have a smartphone, it makes it much easier to just buy a .99c food diary app. (or euro whatever, I'm in the U.S.) ((not by choice, mind you, but I don't think the UK is any better than us in it's current state-of-affairs to be honest))

Second of all: No more cheap meat. NO MORE CHEAP MEAT. It's very possible that he is more sensitive to you to the HORMONES in the meat. Not to mention the fact that every pesticide that the animal has ever eaten, bio-accumulates in it's fatty tissues. It all builds, and builds and builds, until they slaughter it and we eat it. Then it builds inside of us! Milk is the same way.

Like suggested by other individuals, you MUST find a farmer. YOU MUST. There is no way around it. If money is the issue, find an organic livestock farm and BEG. I'm not kidding, beg for it. Offer to work for it, shoveling manure or anything else. Camp outside of their door if you have to, let them know that you can not go on eating poison.

I'm really not joking.

No, not everyone will thrive on this diet.

Just jump over to the 30bananasaday website, and see how differently those people thrive.

I have a brother, too, and we are VERY different physiologically. This can be common between siblings, and what's best for you may very well not be best for him.

I will say this once: If he is having appetite issues, i.e. he simply doesn't want to eat.. This means that whatever he is eating is wrong for him.

His body is simply saying 'okay, I've had enough'.

You need to remember this, and keep it in the forefront of your mind: Following a diet should not be a 'cool kids club'. Meaning, do not let him kill himself because he simply want's to be able to tell people that he is 'Paleo', or because he wants to 'fit in' with his family.

None of us are Paleo. The point of the diet is to try to closely mimic that of which our ancestors ate and thrived. But obviously this is impossible for any of us.

Certainly any of us who are speaking English, with computer skills and internet access! We are all trapped in the modern world, and there's no paradise with clear unpolluted streams to drink from and plentiful fruit trees, wild vegetables, and wild game for any of us here.

My strong advice: Let him give in to his urges.

Take him to a buffet, and find out what his body wants. It's not the end of the world if he stops his cool new diet.

It is, however, then end of HIS world if he wastes away any further and one of his organs shuts down.

Also: Watch you PH levels. Meat and dairy all turn HIGHLY ACIDIC in the body, and an acidic body is where sickness and disease thrive.

Many a paleo eater fails to pay attention to this. It's very, very serious. Once the body is too high in acid, it needs alkaline minerals to counteract it.

It borrows those minerals from important parts of your body. Muscle, tissue, bones, teeth, organs... It has to take them to continue surviving.

Google something like: detailed listing of acid / alkaline forming foods.

Good luck!

1e2d281851d4c0e471ba43abc851954a

(5)

on January 16, 2013
at 10:50 PM

Yes, you're right on the food diary. I will start one up for the family tomorrow. Though we think it's an excess fat issue, who knows what else may be contributing. I'm afraid the no more cheap meat is just not something we can stop atm. We do get good quality cubed beef and pork from the butchers as often as we can (a few times a week) but financially things are very very bad here. An idea of how: it's -4 outside and we can't put the heating on because we can't afford it, nvm fuelling a car to go to a farm as much as I used to love working at the stables and that. If we had a choice...

1e2d281851d4c0e471ba43abc851954a

(5)

on January 16, 2013
at 10:53 PM

Regarding appetite I think it's because he's just not doing enough. We had a phase pre-Paelo where he lost weight because he was sat on his ass too much = no appetite = missed calories = skinny more than normal. His urges: he just wants sugary crap, or pizza, or tortillas. So... not sure giving him full rein would be wise lol. High acidity wouldn't happen to cause heartburn would it???

0
089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on January 16, 2013
at 05:18 PM

it sounds like he has malabsorption issues. i think he needs looked at by a doctor. there's no reason for him to be so skinny since metabolism really isn't that different between people- slow versus fast.

also, strength training would help him put on some muscle. even if he can't afford weights, you can use gallons of water or whatever you have to lift at home- i've used my backpack and filled it with books. he doesn't have to do a lot either. i am very thin as well and rarely work out more than 30 minutes a day.

1e2d281851d4c0e471ba43abc851954a

(5)

on January 16, 2013
at 10:45 PM

Thank you for the gallons of water suggestion, that's a good one. We have a 15kg bag of dog food he can haul about too :D Tbh we all need to do it, it's not just him!

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