C83820cb34dbc91951afb462670e1533
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Fat loss and energy levels

by (113)
Updated about 15 hours ago
Created June 09, 2011 at 2:55 PM

I'm really not feeling the 'boundless energy' some people claim to have on a Paleo diet. Quite the contrary; some days I haven't even got the energy to sit up straight or bend over to pick things up. I'm also quite moody. I keep a diary on how I feel, what I eat etc. Some days are better than others I haven't found any connections so far. I have noticed I generally feel better in the evenings. Some info about me:

  • Paleo for 1+ year
  • Goal is fat loss
  • 6 ft, 187 lbs
  • Sleep 7-9 hrs in pitch black room
  • 3 x week strength training: SL5x5 (fasted in the mornings)
  • not much sprinting yet
  • no supplements
  • grass-fed beef, free range lamb/pork/chicken, Kerrygold butter, Omega3 eggs, herring, farmed salmon, sardines couple times a week
  • I eat once or twice a day as per PaNu (usually dinner and occasional midday snack or breakfast), high fat, low carb, ketogenic.
  • 40mins bike ride a day + 15-30 min of walking after dinner
  • Desk job which I spend most of the time standing or strolling around.

I'm very strict paleo for the most part, except for 'commercial' heavy cream and occasionally creme fraiche. The last couple of months have been 2-3 weeks very strict paleo, then I binge on CRAP... or just eat WAY to much paleo foods. I don't know why... Perhaps because I calorie restrict to much? Am I tired because of a lack of calories? Ketogenic diets are supposed to give you ALOT of energy while on a caloric deficit, right? According to some answers found here: http://paleohacks.com/questions/22505/how-to-start-a-ketogenic-diet#axzz1Olyxdn92

Am I just not giving my body enough time to re-adapt to VLC / Keto (after binging...)? I don't plan on making the binging a habit... but it just happened to turn out that way; family parties etc.. I figure I'm pretty keto adapted.. not sure how long it takes to fight off any hypoglycemia after a high carb session even though I'm VLC most of the time?

Or should I just introduce more carbs? Are there any other things that might effect my energy so drasticly? I know some wise guy said that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is insanity but I have had alot of success with a ketogenic diet in the past. I might eat some PWO carbs if this goes on. But I want that 'keto-super-energy-lack-of-apitite-ultimate-fatloss' thing to kick in! I don't realy track any calories, I do check with ketostix pretty much every day.

I have experimented with supplements in the past (Vit D, n3, Mg mostly) but haven't noticed a significant difference. There have been alot of questions regarding fatigue, lack of motivation etc and I know it will probably come down to me experimenting with carbs/meals/sleep/supps etc. But the way I feel now my days are worthless and I can't do anything productive, and I need to! So if anyone has any ideas please let me know!

Thanks in advance.

C68f0b374156e5ce7a9b8358232bfed0
627 · February 18, 2013 at 11:38 PM

So what did your diet change to in the end and have you stuck to it?

C83820cb34dbc91951afb462670e1533
113 · June 12, 2011 at 7:40 AM

I want to thank everybody very much for their time to reply. The last couple of days I've been eating alot more fat and my mood in particular has skyrocketed! Energy levels have been much better but I hope they improve even more. I'm currently in week 2 of StrongLifts so it's not very intensive yet. I also forgot to mention my BF is around 18% at the moment. I was thinking as long as I'm in ketosis I must be getting enough fat, but I was so wrong.. Thanks again!

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2977 · June 10, 2011 at 1:32 PM

I'll get to test my own suggestion - I just last night ate almost a CUP of beef tallow I had rendered the night before! I only meant to have a little with my burger but it was oh so good and I kept scraping little spoonfulls of it... 8 hours isn't a real test but this AM I'm a full *pound* lighter than usual. I do feel slightly hung over though... As long as I don't die I'll be satisfied with the result ;-)

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78407 · June 09, 2011 at 7:53 PM

Sorry to hear that. I didn't say it worked for everyone. It works for me, so it's worth a try. Leonard Peltier is pretty cool, so I am sorry that you are not him :)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78407 · June 09, 2011 at 6:28 PM

I did the Ben n Jerrys version, myself. Same results as you, though.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498
2977 · June 09, 2011 at 6:14 PM

@mephju ask your doctor for a more complete thyroid panel - T3 and T4 and also TPO (which tests for autoimmune conditions). There are others but that's a good start.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498
2977 · June 09, 2011 at 6:12 PM

Agree. Always good to keep track of thyroid levels and not just TSH but T3 and T4 too. People can spend *years* trying to fight a condition that's hormonal but thinking it's just diet and/or character. And if they are off don't just do the standard course of synthetic hormone but do a ton of research - mainstream doctors are *terrible* at dealing with thyroid issues.

135ea7e598ac8517e26ac2896309e776
166 · June 09, 2011 at 6:08 PM

How can I diagnose an underactive thyroid myself? Everywhere spoken about energy I stumble about a recommendation mentioning a thyroid problem. It makes me wonder.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498
2977 · June 09, 2011 at 6:07 PM

Ditto, and ditto. Many people who go 'paleo' shift to all the right foods (and Daniel's menu sounds fantastic) but not *enough* of it, and especially not enough fat, even if - and *especially* if - the goal is weight loss. Our 'low fat' culture is so internalized that it's HARD to eat that spoonful of butter the first few times! But every time I add more sat fat to my diet I lose a little more weight (I've said this before, but I think it's important). *Fat adds energy* not weight.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498
2977 · June 09, 2011 at 5:58 PM

I was on the pint of Haagen-Dazs ice cream a day diet - literally - for a couple years. But - this is just me - it didn't work :-)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78407 · June 09, 2011 at 5:56 PM

Lol I'll take your word for it. Not my idea of a good time. However, do you have a flavor you could recommend? Maybe when the SHTF, ya never know. I once met Leonard when I was very young. Before he became a POW. I was wrongfully accused once, and stand convicted. The "moniker" struck me as appropriate. – L. Peltier 0 secs ago

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78407 · June 09, 2011 at 5:55 PM

Lol I'll take your word for it. Not my idea of a good time. However, do you have a flavor you could recommend? Maybe when the SHTF, ya never know. I once met Leonard when I was very young. Before he became a POW. I was wrongfully accused and stand convicted once. The "moniker" struck me as appropriate.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7
11986 · June 09, 2011 at 5:52 PM

I don't understand why this answer was down-voted. It may not be the solution for everyone, but it's certainly worked for at least two people here, and by anecdotal reports, many others.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18701 · June 09, 2011 at 5:51 PM

I can keep 75 grams of carbs as long as my calories are lower. I might be able to eat more calories if I dropped the carbs lower. That may be an experiment for another day.

D5096ff5baffc0ba5d20b21346414a7a
1112 · June 09, 2011 at 5:35 PM

same here sherpamelissa I have lost 40+ pounds on panu version, but if I don't stay under 1300 calories, I will put on pounds. I have tried the last 2 months just like you going up to 1400.1500 and gained 3 or 4 lbs. I am always under 50 carbs...when I experimented some with adding rice or potato or fruit...results: weight gain

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7
11986 · June 09, 2011 at 5:16 PM

My experience going zero-carb was exactly this. The first six months I ate gobs of fat. I put butter on everything, chewed the fat off the bones of my steaks, got the fattiest cuts I could find of everything. As I lost size, my appetite decreased and so did my fat intake -- just naturally, not consciously -- but my energy never flagged. And iirc, both Stefansson and Schwatka talk about the switchover period being shorter for the men who ate the fatty meat, even though it smelled and tasted awful to their unaccustomed palates.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78407 · June 09, 2011 at 5:08 PM

BTW, now that I've got your attention. Are you really Leonard Peltier or do you just wear that moniker like some kid who wears Chicago Bulls jersey with Jordan written on the back?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78407 · June 09, 2011 at 5:06 PM

It's one of the best things I've done. That's why. Give it a shot.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78407 · June 09, 2011 at 4:52 PM

"A pint or two of Haagen-Dagz ice cream per day"....seriously? Why would anyone, especially knowing what you know, do that to themselves?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78407 · June 09, 2011 at 4:48 PM

Also, I have to ask. If you are working out that much, are 6' tall and only 187 pounds, then you'r bodyfat must be fairly low. What is your goal? I'm 6'1 and 205 and have bodyfat around 12 percent, so I am wondering about this.

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6235 · June 09, 2011 at 4:41 PM

Thank you Melissa, that really means a lot to me :)

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18701 · June 09, 2011 at 4:25 PM

I've really been enjoying your responses Vrimj, I'm glad you've been around more lately!

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1
4086 · June 09, 2011 at 3:33 PM

Great advice Melissa

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18701 · June 09, 2011 at 3:23 PM

I have to disagree on the futility of counting calories FOR SOME PEOPLE. I am formerly obese and have to keep my calories pretty in check even eating 100% Paleo. I recently went up to 1400/1500 per day and gained weight and had to reduce them back down to 1200/1300. I do agree that unweighed / unmeasured Paleo works for a lot of people, especially those that were fit and/or eating healthy when they started.

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7
78407 · June 09, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Every time I hear this, I wonder if the person is eating enough fat. You don't mention cooking with coconut oil and how much butter do you consume daily? What CUTS of meat are you consuming? The fattier the better. I don't count calories and don't supplement. I have been able to maintain 6%-8% BF for quite some time and have only recently incorporated sweet potatoes once every 7 days PWO. I lost over 110lbs on ZC Paleo in less than one year and always have boundless energy. IMO, strength training should be done once every 3-4 days. I have done this for years with most favorable results. My prescription....reduce training frequency and EAT MORE FAT! Best of luck and best of health!

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498
2977 · June 10, 2011 at 1:32 PM

I'll get to test my own suggestion - I just last night ate almost a CUP of beef tallow I had rendered the night before! I only meant to have a little with my burger but it was oh so good and I kept scraping little spoonfulls of it... 8 hours isn't a real test but this AM I'm a full *pound* lighter than usual. I do feel slightly hung over though... As long as I don't die I'll be satisfied with the result ;-)

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498
2977 · June 09, 2011 at 6:07 PM

Ditto, and ditto. Many people who go 'paleo' shift to all the right foods (and Daniel's menu sounds fantastic) but not *enough* of it, and especially not enough fat, even if - and *especially* if - the goal is weight loss. Our 'low fat' culture is so internalized that it's HARD to eat that spoonful of butter the first few times! But every time I add more sat fat to my diet I lose a little more weight (I've said this before, but I think it's important). *Fat adds energy* not weight.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7
11986 · June 09, 2011 at 5:52 PM

I don't understand why this answer was down-voted. It may not be the solution for everyone, but it's certainly worked for at least two people here, and by anecdotal reports, many others.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7
11986 · June 09, 2011 at 5:16 PM

My experience going zero-carb was exactly this. The first six months I ate gobs of fat. I put butter on everything, chewed the fat off the bones of my steaks, got the fattiest cuts I could find of everything. As I lost size, my appetite decreased and so did my fat intake -- just naturally, not consciously -- but my energy never flagged. And iirc, both Stefansson and Schwatka talk about the switchover period being shorter for the men who ate the fatty meat, even though it smelled and tasted awful to their unaccustomed palates.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
4
18701 · June 09, 2011 at 3:12 PM

Everything you are doing sounds wonderful, but it is obviously not working for you.

Personally, I would try to add more carbs. You may gain a little bit of weight while experimenting, but you may not. What I would suggest is adding about 50g of starchy carbs per day just to see what happens. You are a pretty decent size guy, so you should be able to handle that. Give it two weeks and see if it helps, but honestly, I would expect results pretty immediately. If it makes the binging worse, which is a possibility, then you may need to look for a different option.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1
4086 · June 09, 2011 at 3:33 PM

Great advice Melissa

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6235 · June 09, 2011 at 4:06 PM

I know supplements are not supported by standard paleo, but I find that unless I take additional B complex I drag like a parachute. If it works, it works within an hour or two.

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd
6235 · June 09, 2011 at 4:41 PM

Thank you Melissa, that really means a lot to me :)

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18701 · June 09, 2011 at 4:25 PM

I've really been enjoying your responses Vrimj, I'm glad you've been around more lately!

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0 · January 31, 2014 at 9:50 PM

You may have hypoglycemia and/or insulin resistance. In the book "Why Isn't My Brain Working?", Dr. Datis Kharrazian has a great chapter on these conditions - why they cause you to feel terrible and crave foods when you're trying to cut them out..

Also, food sensitivities may be a problem and doing an elimination diet to find out which foods bother you could be very valuable. We always think that as long as we don't eat gluten and sugar, we should be fine. But people can have reactions to "healthy" foods like celery, bananas, berries, avocado...you name it. Food sensitivities can cause spikes in adrenalin and can mess with you in various ways.

Last, as one person noted, you may have thyroid issues. If you do, know that "healthy" foods can really mess with you. Especially cruciferous vegetables. This is also discussed in the book mentioned above. Another great website regarding certain foods, and ketosis, is "diagnosisdiet".

If you're dealing with any of these, you just have to be patient and tough it out through the healing process until these issues are resolved. But it's so worth it in the long run.

Good luck.

263e2d3f741d1ecb0886454e977f4e6f
0
206 · June 09, 2011 at 6:21 PM

I had issues similar to yours when I went into full Ketogenic mode. I was running, lifting and cycling. Here is what I did that helped. I took protein suppliments, B complex and ate more oily and fatty foods hours before working out. Also I didn't Cycle and lift on the same day, I did life and run. I usually took a pre and post work out protein supplement. Although supplements are not "Paleo" I think I might have been shy on my ratio Body weight to protein. I'm 6'2" 177 and I try to consume 180g of protein a day in the form of foods and supplements. I came to the conclusion that when hit a level under 12% Body Fat, that I wasn't getting enough food. You might try eating an extra meal and see if that helps or more veggies.

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0
258 · June 09, 2011 at 5:31 PM

You may have an underactive thyroid.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498
2977 · June 09, 2011 at 6:14 PM

@mephju ask your doctor for a more complete thyroid panel - T3 and T4 and also TPO (which tests for autoimmune conditions). There are others but that's a good start.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498
2977 · June 09, 2011 at 6:12 PM

Agree. Always good to keep track of thyroid levels and not just TSH but T3 and T4 too. People can spend *years* trying to fight a condition that's hormonal but thinking it's just diet and/or character. And if they are off don't just do the standard course of synthetic hormone but do a ton of research - mainstream doctors are *terrible* at dealing with thyroid issues.

135ea7e598ac8517e26ac2896309e776
166 · June 09, 2011 at 6:08 PM

How can I diagnose an underactive thyroid myself? Everywhere spoken about energy I stumble about a recommendation mentioning a thyroid problem. It makes me wonder.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73
0
20908 · June 09, 2011 at 3:20 PM

I had a post earlier this week here about the futility of counting calories (which goes into the futility of calorie restriction) - http://paleohacks.com/questions/39937/maintenance-calories-calories-added-for-a-workout/42843#42843 So don't worry about calorie restriction, just eat until your satisfied, food quality is more important. Not cheating (with non-paelo foods) is just as important.

Mike Eades has a good topic on becoming ketoadjusted, these two are good - http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/low-carb-library/why-we-get-fat/ and http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/ketones-and-ketosis/tips-tricks-for-starting-or-restarting-low-carb-pt-i/ sherpamelissa is also right, you need to experiment (within a reasonable range - no binging!) on how many carbs you really need to feel good. I feel great on a low carb diet, though it did take me nearly a month to ketoadapt. Some people need a few more carbs, play with it and see how it works.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18701 · June 09, 2011 at 5:51 PM

I can keep 75 grams of carbs as long as my calories are lower. I might be able to eat more calories if I dropped the carbs lower. That may be an experiment for another day.

D5096ff5baffc0ba5d20b21346414a7a
1112 · June 09, 2011 at 5:35 PM

same here sherpamelissa I have lost 40+ pounds on panu version, but if I don't stay under 1300 calories, I will put on pounds. I have tried the last 2 months just like you going up to 1400.1500 and gained 3 or 4 lbs. I am always under 50 carbs...when I experimented some with adding rice or potato or fruit...results: weight gain

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18701 · June 09, 2011 at 3:23 PM

I have to disagree on the futility of counting calories FOR SOME PEOPLE. I am formerly obese and have to keep my calories pretty in check even eating 100% Paleo. I recently went up to 1400/1500 per day and gained weight and had to reduce them back down to 1200/1300. I do agree that unweighed / unmeasured Paleo works for a lot of people, especially those that were fit and/or eating healthy when they started.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
-1
78407 · June 09, 2011 at 4:46 PM

1) Do what I did. Add in a pint or two of Haagen-Dagz ice cream per day. Try and see if it works. If it doesn't, try something else.

2) Cut down the bicycle rides to twice a week.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78407 · June 09, 2011 at 7:53 PM

Sorry to hear that. I didn't say it worked for everyone. It works for me, so it's worth a try. Leonard Peltier is pretty cool, so I am sorry that you are not him :)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78407 · June 09, 2011 at 6:28 PM

I did the Ben n Jerrys version, myself. Same results as you, though.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498
2977 · June 09, 2011 at 5:58 PM

I was on the pint of Haagen-Dazs ice cream a day diet - literally - for a couple years. But - this is just me - it didn't work :-)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78407 · June 09, 2011 at 5:56 PM

Lol I'll take your word for it. Not my idea of a good time. However, do you have a flavor you could recommend? Maybe when the SHTF, ya never know. I once met Leonard when I was very young. Before he became a POW. I was wrongfully accused once, and stand convicted. The "moniker" struck me as appropriate. – L. Peltier 0 secs ago

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78407 · June 09, 2011 at 5:55 PM

Lol I'll take your word for it. Not my idea of a good time. However, do you have a flavor you could recommend? Maybe when the SHTF, ya never know. I once met Leonard when I was very young. Before he became a POW. I was wrongfully accused and stand convicted once. The "moniker" struck me as appropriate.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78407 · June 09, 2011 at 5:08 PM

BTW, now that I've got your attention. Are you really Leonard Peltier or do you just wear that moniker like some kid who wears Chicago Bulls jersey with Jordan written on the back?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78407 · June 09, 2011 at 5:06 PM

It's one of the best things I've done. That's why. Give it a shot.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78407 · June 09, 2011 at 4:52 PM

"A pint or two of Haagen-Dagz ice cream per day"....seriously? Why would anyone, especially knowing what you know, do that to themselves?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78407 · June 09, 2011 at 4:48 PM

Also, I have to ask. If you are working out that much, are 6' tall and only 187 pounds, then you'r bodyfat must be fairly low. What is your goal? I'm 6'1 and 205 and have bodyfat around 12 percent, so I am wondering about this.

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