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New to Paleo...side effects?

by (5)
Updated about 18 hours ago
Created May 10, 2012 at 10:17 PM

After doing a great deal of research and reading Sarah Fragoso's book Everyday Paleo I finally started eating Paleo yesterday.... and today I feel awful!! I am totally committed and want to continue but I have zero energy and feel nauseous. Is this just my body adjusting to a low carb diet? Did anyone else experience this when they started? What should I do and how long does it last? I appreciate any feedback you can give me :)

9beda76f4e91faedc8fa70ecdc01251e
298 · January 17, 2013 at 7:20 PM

hey, I get a little nausea from coconut oil; I didn't know others did. I prefer butter! Plus, it's local.

9838e3c826f0fccf49ff728267d5b944
58 · May 11, 2012 at 11:16 PM

Your calories are probably low, especially since you are transitioning from one way of eating to another. If you're interested in leaning out, just be easy on your body and give it some time to adjust before you start restricting the calories. Try tracking your food for a few days with your phone app and see how you feel. If you're still struggling, post what you've been eating again. You're moving in the right direction, it might just take some tweaking to find what works best for your body.

8ad7a1837f3920591b0d402daa833ae2
5 · May 11, 2012 at 7:54 PM

Thanks for the advice!

8ad7a1837f3920591b0d402daa833ae2
5 · May 11, 2012 at 7:53 PM

I am 5'6, 140 lbs, 21 years old. I used to work out 5-6 times a week but I haven't gone at all in the last 3 months.

9838e3c826f0fccf49ff728267d5b944
58 · May 11, 2012 at 5:09 PM

And your height/age/activity level/weight? So Delicious is NOT real coconut milk - or even close to that. Coconut milk that you can buy in a store usually comes in a can and has approximately 700 calories in a 13oz can. I am 37, 120 lb female, 5'4 that crossfits 4 - 5 days a week for about 45 minutes. Personally, I eat about 2200 calories a day at this point, and am fairly lean. You may not be eating enough to feel optimal during this transition.

8ad7a1837f3920591b0d402daa833ae2
5 · May 11, 2012 at 4:54 PM

I just totaled it in a phone app that I have and the total for yesterday was 1647 calories, 89 grams of fat, 88 net carbs, 55 grams sugar and 63 grams protein. I am using So Delicious full fat coconut milk, unsweetened. Before dinner I had 746 calories.

9838e3c826f0fccf49ff728267d5b944
58 · May 11, 2012 at 4:42 PM

rough estimates: breakfast - 175 calories with less than 8 grams of fat lunch - 300 calories with 20 grams of fat snack - 150 calories with 10 grams of fat dinner - you don't provide enough details to estimate (and please tell me you are using REAL full fat coconut milk, right?) Up until dinner you consumed about 625 calories. You don't provide your height/age/activity level/weight, so it's hard to guess, but I'm assuming you didn't eat enough. Eat the whole eggs. Eat the whole avocado. Eat more food while adjusting. Maybe a little less sugar and a little more fat/protein early in the day

8ad7a1837f3920591b0d402daa833ae2
5 · May 11, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Breakfast: 1 Egg with 2 egg whites and a handful of zucchini slices 1 teaspoon sour cream Lunch: 1 Chicken sausage Half an avocado with 1 tablespoon olive oil Coffee with 1 teaspoon heavy cream Snack: 28 plaintain chips (That's the serving size) Dinner: 2 cube steaks 8 asparagus Smoothie: 1 banana, half a mango, handful of mixed berries, handful of spinach, coconut milk I'm trying to eventually cut out dairy, and I ate a bit too much fruit..but I did feel better after the smoothie. I think my blood sugar was low before I had dinner and the smoothie and that's why I wasn't feeling great.

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2
5904 · May 11, 2012 at 9:18 AM

Paleo ≠ low carb

C79a5b43dfc5749200bd9dcaa6bb0858
1571 · May 10, 2012 at 11:28 PM

I'm not going to say you can't eat white rice, but technically it's not paleo. There are quite a few paleo complex carbs you can try. To name just a few, winter squash, sweet potato, yucca, and pretty much any type of fruit.

1133603ea602c6824da56e8b596c9754
604 · May 10, 2012 at 11:08 PM

Try some white rice. Best of luck to you!

C116f7e54620c6003b67cd4450a298cd
807 · May 10, 2012 at 10:58 PM

hahaha. NO WAY!! :) Seriously, read Mark Sisson's book (you can even get the ebook or the shortened version off his site for free). It's a WHOLE new way of life and how you view fitness. If you plan on working out 5-6 days a week and running that much, you'll likely be very challenged on Paleo. At the end of the day, it's about living and NOT being a slave to the media, government, and marketing on fitness. Read Primal Blue Print. With that said, if you're a serious cyclist or runner, you can do Paleo, you just have to make sure you're fueling right - the right starches.

8ad7a1837f3920591b0d402daa833ae2
5 · May 10, 2012 at 10:51 PM

I've worked out with a trainer for a few years but stopped while I was away at school. Typically, I would work out 5-6 days a week doing an 1-1.5 hrs of cardio and 30-45 minutes of strength training, but wasn't eating very healthy so I didn't get as thin as I would have liked, but I was in great shape. However, now that I'm starting to eat Paleo, do you think I won't have to work out as much to lose weight?

8ad7a1837f3920591b0d402daa833ae2
5 · May 10, 2012 at 10:46 PM

Thanks! What carbs do you think I should eat during the first few weeks?

C116f7e54620c6003b67cd4450a298cd
807 · May 10, 2012 at 10:45 PM

If you're training for something, then great! But, if you just want to look and feel good, the working out doesn't have to be for 90+ minutes everyone seems to be doing these days. I'm doing essentially the Primal Blueprint type of bodyweight workouts and feel better than I've felt in YEARS. Highly recommend jumping on Mark Sisson's website too "marksdailyapple" Good luck to you!

8ad7a1837f3920591b0d402daa833ae2
5 · May 10, 2012 at 10:42 PM

Should I add in brown rice? What kinds of carbs should I eat while I'm still adjusting?

8ad7a1837f3920591b0d402daa833ae2
5 · May 10, 2012 at 10:40 PM

Your right, I think part of the problem was I went back to the gym today for the first time in a few months and I couldn't handle it the way I used to work out.

C116f7e54620c6003b67cd4450a298cd
807 · May 10, 2012 at 10:36 PM

I'm excited for you though. I only wish I would have known about this 20 years ago in college.

C116f7e54620c6003b67cd4450a298cd
807 · May 10, 2012 at 10:35 PM

It depends, but likely it is the "flu." your body WANTS that crap. We've all become addicted to it. I've been on the Weston Price kick for years, so my only BIG change was eliminating the grains. So, easy for me. . make sure you're eating fat too. That will help keep the sugar cravings away in the beginning (Good chicken skin, salmon skin, avacado, good oils, etc. Go easy on yourself, but be diciplined. If you're also starting to workout, you might want to wait a bit (2-3 weeks) until you body adjusts to your new way of fuel. There are a lot of people that take it ALL on too fast

8ad7a1837f3920591b0d402daa833ae2
5 · May 10, 2012 at 10:29 PM

Terrible! Dorm food and eating out on the weekends. Is this just the low carb flu and I have to wait for it to subside?

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12 Answers

F4d04667059bc682540fdfd8b40f13a7
3
4295 · May 11, 2012 at 12:45 AM

I'm going to disagree with a couple of the other answers... in the long run, I think it's best to go all in, cold turkey. OK so you might have a tough two weeks whilst you withdraw from the carbs - but after the carb flu you'll start to feel great!

Just stick with it for the next two weeks, make sure you have plenty of good fat in your diet and drink enough water.

Good luck!

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1571 · May 10, 2012 at 10:37 PM

KE, you may be going through withdrawal.

According to experts wheat is like a drug. This is an interview with the author of Wheat Belly:
Q: You write that wheat is ???addictive,??? but does it really meet the criteria for addiction we???d use when talking about, say, drugs?

A: National Institutes of Health researchers showed that gluten-derived polypeptides can cross into the brain and bind to the brain???s opiate receptors. So you get this mild euphoria after eating a product made with whole wheat. You can block that effect [in lab animals] by administering the drug naloxone. This is the same drug that you???re given if you???re a heroin addict; it???s an opiate blocker. About three months ago, a drug company applied to the FDA to commercialize naltrexone, which is an oral equivalent to naloxone. And it works, apparently, it blocks the pleasurable feelings you get from eating wheat so people stop eating so much. In clinical trials, people lost about 22.4 lb. in the first six months. Why, if you???re not a drug addict, do you need something like that? And of course there???s another option, which is to cut wheat out of your diet. However, and this is another argument for classifying wheat as addictive, people can experience some pretty unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

Full Article: http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/09/20/on-the-evils-of-wheat-why-it-is-so-addictive-and-how-shunning-it-will-make-you-skinny/

Low carb flu and wheat withdrawal
http://paleohacks.com/questions/20494/could-low-carb-flu-actually-be-wheat-withdrawal#axzz1uVasJ7Tg

Stick with it. If you are trying to low carb it, maybe you should consider keeping your carbs higher for the first week or two while your body is adjusting.

Like with any addiction you just have to hold out till the toxins get flushed from your system. It is also super important that you don't cheat with wheat during your first 30 days or your adjustment period could be extended and your potential results diminished.

1133603ea602c6824da56e8b596c9754
604 · May 10, 2012 at 11:08 PM

Try some white rice. Best of luck to you!

C79a5b43dfc5749200bd9dcaa6bb0858
1571 · May 10, 2012 at 11:28 PM

I'm not going to say you can't eat white rice, but technically it's not paleo. There are quite a few paleo complex carbs you can try. To name just a few, winter squash, sweet potato, yucca, and pretty much any type of fruit.

8ad7a1837f3920591b0d402daa833ae2
5 · May 10, 2012 at 10:46 PM

Thanks! What carbs do you think I should eat during the first few weeks?

F1b82cc7e6d90384ad30007dd6c1b9e3
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1187 · May 10, 2012 at 10:35 PM

go at it a little slower or more gradually. start with one meal a day for a few days then go to two, then three, but don't go carb crazy with your other meals while you are weaning.

8ad7a1837f3920591b0d402daa833ae2
5 · May 10, 2012 at 10:42 PM

Should I add in brown rice? What kinds of carbs should I eat while I'm still adjusting?

B9aa3d986bfe3ef5412f86afe15b390b
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5 · April 05, 2013 at 4:30 PM

I think eating a bit of sweet pot is fine but I would avoid fruit if you are having bad withdrawal.

I quit sugar and grains in Feb and, honestly, it took me over four weeks to feel good. I had been eating bread products daily and sweets. The grogginess and brain fog passed after the first week, but I felt like I had a rock in my gut till I started taking digestive enzymes.

I would go for the cold turkey approach. Yeah, the withdrawal sucks but you don't have the cravings you'll have if you're going piecemeal. I mostly quit sugar a few times but would allow date sugar or honey and it was WAY harder than quitting all forms of sugar.

You are experiencing withdrawal like you would from any other drug. Sugar acts like an opiate on your brain. If you were getting off a drug would you still keep taking a little bit? Just get through it and start feeling good.

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0 · April 05, 2013 at 10:35 AM

I've just started on this 36 hours ago because I am an insulin dependant diabetic and sick of feeling all the things you all describe above. I have spent most of my life for the last 6 years since diagnosis feeling wiped out, weak, restless, shaky, headaches etc all because my blood sugars are too high or too low. The advice my diabetic team gave me was eat plenty of carbs and give yourself sufficient insulin to cover this. I carbohydrate count so every morsel of food that passes my lips requires a calculation and an injection, unfortunately it's virtually impossible to get it right hence constant swings of high and low blood sugars. After a lot of research I decided to give the low carb thing a try and this seems like the healthiest option. I need to lose about 28lbs in weight as since being insulin dependant I have put this on as the insulin I have to inject causes me to store fat so reduce my carbs, reduce my insulin will hopefully mean lose some body fat!! I hope! I feel pretty awful right now but no worse than I've felt on a daily basis since my diagnosis so I'm happy to suck it and see and excited to see how I feel by week 4 to 5 Good luck to all you new Paleos out there and stick with it.... After all it could be worse!! X

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0 · January 17, 2013 at 3:55 PM

I just started Paleo on Tuesday. On Average, how long would you say the withdrawal lasts? I feel week, and just a little shaky, but Not to the point where I'm totally thrown off.

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0 · January 17, 2013 at 11:01 AM

When I gave up Gluten, I had bad withdrawal symptoms, but once over, it was a whole new world. Also, experiencing the withdrawal symptoms will help you keep from going back, You DON'T want to experience that or the lack of energy ever again. It's worth every second.

3cff937f77066ccd2695abda1cefd1e0
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0 · August 04, 2012 at 8:18 PM

Hi, everybody. I started paleo last week, and I feel weak and can't sleep good. Is anyone out there that has the same problem?..i guess the feeling of been hungry don't let me relax.

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11254 · May 11, 2012 at 4:15 PM

There are two ways of dealing with this. First, you can actually eat some fruit or sweet potato. These are paleo things, and there is a range of carbohydrate levels people feel comfortable at- as will be evident by the range of comments you'll get here. The paleo diet is lower in carbohydrates than the standard American diet, but if you stick around you'll become aware of the carbohydrate catfight, where people who don't actually do science complain about people who want to do science that isn't being done.

But, if you want to lose weight, and maybe have my problem where I can't go and buy a week's worth of fruit because I will eat it all instead of actually saving it for it's appointed day, you may want to take option two, which is basically tough it out. I've found the fastest way through that haze is brisket, but you are nauseous where as I was having cravings.

There are some other issues- some people are actually allergic to coconut oil. You might be nauseous because of it; I don't know how much Fragoso relies on it, but a little bit can make me feel seriously sick to my stomach. You might try butter instead if you suspect it.

8ad7a1837f3920591b0d402daa833ae2
5 · May 11, 2012 at 7:54 PM

Thanks for the advice!

9beda76f4e91faedc8fa70ecdc01251e
298 · January 17, 2013 at 7:20 PM

hey, I get a little nausea from coconut oil; I didn't know others did. I prefer butter! Plus, it's local.

9838e3c826f0fccf49ff728267d5b944
0
58 · May 11, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Exactly what have you eaten for the last three days? Food doesn't always affect how we feel immediately. Your body will likely go through an adjustment period to the different types of nutrients you are providing, if they are significantly different. Did you sleep well last night?

9838e3c826f0fccf49ff728267d5b944
58 · May 11, 2012 at 4:42 PM

rough estimates: breakfast - 175 calories with less than 8 grams of fat lunch - 300 calories with 20 grams of fat snack - 150 calories with 10 grams of fat dinner - you don't provide enough details to estimate (and please tell me you are using REAL full fat coconut milk, right?) Up until dinner you consumed about 625 calories. You don't provide your height/age/activity level/weight, so it's hard to guess, but I'm assuming you didn't eat enough. Eat the whole eggs. Eat the whole avocado. Eat more food while adjusting. Maybe a little less sugar and a little more fat/protein early in the day

8ad7a1837f3920591b0d402daa833ae2
5 · May 11, 2012 at 4:54 PM

I just totaled it in a phone app that I have and the total for yesterday was 1647 calories, 89 grams of fat, 88 net carbs, 55 grams sugar and 63 grams protein. I am using So Delicious full fat coconut milk, unsweetened. Before dinner I had 746 calories.

9838e3c826f0fccf49ff728267d5b944
58 · May 11, 2012 at 11:16 PM

Your calories are probably low, especially since you are transitioning from one way of eating to another. If you're interested in leaning out, just be easy on your body and give it some time to adjust before you start restricting the calories. Try tracking your food for a few days with your phone app and see how you feel. If you're still struggling, post what you've been eating again. You're moving in the right direction, it might just take some tweaking to find what works best for your body.

8ad7a1837f3920591b0d402daa833ae2
5 · May 11, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Breakfast: 1 Egg with 2 egg whites and a handful of zucchini slices 1 teaspoon sour cream Lunch: 1 Chicken sausage Half an avocado with 1 tablespoon olive oil Coffee with 1 teaspoon heavy cream Snack: 28 plaintain chips (That's the serving size) Dinner: 2 cube steaks 8 asparagus Smoothie: 1 banana, half a mango, handful of mixed berries, handful of spinach, coconut milk I'm trying to eventually cut out dairy, and I ate a bit too much fruit..but I did feel better after the smoothie. I think my blood sugar was low before I had dinner and the smoothie and that's why I wasn't feeling great.

8ad7a1837f3920591b0d402daa833ae2
5 · May 11, 2012 at 7:53 PM

I am 5'6, 140 lbs, 21 years old. I used to work out 5-6 times a week but I haven't gone at all in the last 3 months.

9838e3c826f0fccf49ff728267d5b944
58 · May 11, 2012 at 5:09 PM

And your height/age/activity level/weight? So Delicious is NOT real coconut milk - or even close to that. Coconut milk that you can buy in a store usually comes in a can and has approximately 700 calories in a 13oz can. I am 37, 120 lb female, 5'4 that crossfits 4 - 5 days a week for about 45 minutes. Personally, I eat about 2200 calories a day at this point, and am fairly lean. You may not be eating enough to feel optimal during this transition.

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0
807 · May 10, 2012 at 10:28 PM

what was your "diet" like before? be honest.

C116f7e54620c6003b67cd4450a298cd
807 · May 10, 2012 at 10:45 PM

If you're training for something, then great! But, if you just want to look and feel good, the working out doesn't have to be for 90+ minutes everyone seems to be doing these days. I'm doing essentially the Primal Blueprint type of bodyweight workouts and feel better than I've felt in YEARS. Highly recommend jumping on Mark Sisson's website too "marksdailyapple" Good luck to you!

8ad7a1837f3920591b0d402daa833ae2
5 · May 10, 2012 at 10:29 PM

Terrible! Dorm food and eating out on the weekends. Is this just the low carb flu and I have to wait for it to subside?

C116f7e54620c6003b67cd4450a298cd
807 · May 10, 2012 at 10:36 PM

I'm excited for you though. I only wish I would have known about this 20 years ago in college.

C116f7e54620c6003b67cd4450a298cd
807 · May 10, 2012 at 10:58 PM

hahaha. NO WAY!! :) Seriously, read Mark Sisson's book (you can even get the ebook or the shortened version off his site for free). It's a WHOLE new way of life and how you view fitness. If you plan on working out 5-6 days a week and running that much, you'll likely be very challenged on Paleo. At the end of the day, it's about living and NOT being a slave to the media, government, and marketing on fitness. Read Primal Blue Print. With that said, if you're a serious cyclist or runner, you can do Paleo, you just have to make sure you're fueling right - the right starches.

8ad7a1837f3920591b0d402daa833ae2
5 · May 10, 2012 at 10:51 PM

I've worked out with a trainer for a few years but stopped while I was away at school. Typically, I would work out 5-6 days a week doing an 1-1.5 hrs of cardio and 30-45 minutes of strength training, but wasn't eating very healthy so I didn't get as thin as I would have liked, but I was in great shape. However, now that I'm starting to eat Paleo, do you think I won't have to work out as much to lose weight?

8ad7a1837f3920591b0d402daa833ae2
5 · May 10, 2012 at 10:40 PM

Your right, I think part of the problem was I went back to the gym today for the first time in a few months and I couldn't handle it the way I used to work out.

C116f7e54620c6003b67cd4450a298cd
807 · May 10, 2012 at 10:35 PM

It depends, but likely it is the "flu." your body WANTS that crap. We've all become addicted to it. I've been on the Weston Price kick for years, so my only BIG change was eliminating the grains. So, easy for me. . make sure you're eating fat too. That will help keep the sugar cravings away in the beginning (Good chicken skin, salmon skin, avacado, good oils, etc. Go easy on yourself, but be diciplined. If you're also starting to workout, you might want to wait a bit (2-3 weeks) until you body adjusts to your new way of fuel. There are a lot of people that take it ALL on too fast

Bbd349fe334481d99c091333b87cacb5
-1
346 · May 11, 2012 at 1:51 AM

Gluten withdrawal, for me, is absolute hell. I feel like I'm dying for about three days. I'm in favor of going cold turkey and just sucking it up and dealing with it for a few days. It WILL go away, I promise! The fog will clear and a whole new world will open up to you! I agree with Suz, eat enough good fats and drink lots of water. Get a lot of sleep. You can do it!

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