I weigh 145 pounds and I am 6'1 and I have been surprisingly eating a little over 120 grams of carbs for about four months now. I get a good amount of exercise with my job for eight hours a day for five days a week but it is not an excessive amount of exercise and it is considered a normal labor job with lifting and other activity. I get over 100 grams of meat protein a day and I get around 100 grams of fat a day. I know that whenever I eat even a little more meat I feel sick: including eggs. I am eating organic red meat and turkey.
All I know is I have an intense craving for carbs, and I feel that I shouldn't eat some but I also feel like what am I doing? I definitely need to eat some more carbs. LOL at the way I sound with that sentence.
I have been feeling pretty weak and having terrifying muscle cramps. I am also having the worst time trying to sleep and when I actually fall asleep it is has been like clockwork I wake up four hours later with horrible leg cramps. And when I went to the doctor I didn't have any inflammation markers or anything wrong: including no worms in my stomach eating the food for me LOL I asked about that as well. And of course the doctor recommended me to eat more carbohydrates lol at doctors. So I decided to eat some more carbs yesterday and I ended up eating about 300 grams to possibly make up for a deficit as an experiment. And after the stomach ache went away, because that was awful LOL, I felt really great. I ate some sweet potatoes and squash and my muscle cramps have very largely subsided and I didn't feel like I had the flu anymore.
So my question is: what is a good decision for this situation? I am too thin and this is direct evidence that something is wrong; whether it is from my diet or not more food can help a low weight. And I felt better; but there are diseases and viruses that are designed to make a person feel good and euphoric because it is trying to distract the host LOL and I think carbs can work the same way. Should I eat more carbs? And isn't it less work for our body to get glycogen through less processing with ingesting glucose than from making glucose from fat and protein; which expends a good amount of resource and creates bi-product and waste product? Thank you for anyone who has any advice or who has tried to help.
Calories matter no matter what anyone says.
If you add you the grams of carbs, fat and protein you provide you are only eating about 1800 calories a day.
1800 calories a day is unlikely to be enough for a lean 6'1 guy with an active job.
Whether you are eating enough glucose or making enough from protein is irrelevant if you are not getting enough overall energy.
I am about the same height as you and weight 10 pounds more and I am rather on the skinny side :) In your case macronutrients are not important. You probably just need to eat more of whatever you can. However I would not recommend eating any more protein as this will fill you up too much. In your case Carbohydrates are probably the easiest way to eat more.
I would recommend trying to get your calorie intake up to 2500 calories a day and see what effect that has. You may need more but this would be a good start.
If you are someone who naturally finds it hard to eat enough you may need to start counting you calories to make sure you do get enough of them.
From the info you give, I would say that eating more carbs daily is a fantastic idea...you're a tall active male who is looking to gain weight...try including a variety of tubers with your meals and keep your fats and proteins up...I hope that keeps you feeling better!
Paleo does not mean low carb. Individuals have different nutritional needs. You're craving carbs, and the cramps are probably related to your muscles not getting enough fuel -- listen to your body, and eat more carbs. Yams, sweet potatoes, fruit and berries are your friends.
"And isn't it less work for our body to get glycogen through less processing with ingesting glucose than from making glucose from fat and protein"
Our muscles refill their glycogen from glucose, but a substantial portion of liver glycogen is refilled via gluconeogenesis (sometimes referred to as glyconeogenesis).
So although your reasoning is logical, it's not necessrily the case when it comes to liver glycogen.
edit for Cliff:
The data support the concept that under normal re- feeding conditions the bulk of liver glycogen is formed by an indirect pathway involving the sequence glucose- lactate- glucose-6-P - glycogen, whereas muscle glycogen is formed by the conventional, direct path- way: glucose - glucose-6-P - glycogen.
Though not itself used efficiently, glucose promotes the conversion of gluconeogenic substrates into glycogen.... A maximum of 27% of glycogen repletion occurred via the direct pathway, with most of the remainder contributed by compounds such as lactate, alanine, and glycerol
In fact, it was further demonstrated that little postprandial glycogen synthesis takes place if gluconeogenesis is inhibited. Glycogen synthesis from gluconeogenic substrates was termed ‘glyconeogenesis’.
Gluconeogenic flux not only provides substrates for glycogen synthesis, but also appears to be essential for glycogen synthesis from all substrates including glucose.
Both McGarry and Sugden showed that the postprandial synthesis of glycogen was dramatically decreased in the presence of 3-mercaptopicolinic acid, demonstrating that glycogenesis is highly dependent on its gluconeogenic component.
Take fish oil, more if you are already taking fish oil. Eat sweet potatoes, bananas, avocados, natural sugar and more good fat. This happened to me when i did "zone-paleo" and hence I don't do zone-paleo anymore. I am strictly paleo
I think you may have been stuck in a middle ground where your body wasn't able to get enough energy from carbs or fat. Assuming you previously mostly carbs in the past, then adding back more carbs would be the easiest 'fix' and would give you that same sense of energy you had before. With your activity level there is not likely to be a significant risk to eating more sweet potatoes and squash. However it is possible there will be long-term sub-optimal effects on health in old-age from eating primarily carbs for fuel all your life - there really isn't enough information to be sure in separating all the factors in the epidemiological studies as yet.
There is a better precedent for burning fat, but it takes a bit of practise and people often report that they feel almost a different person. It should be possible to function this way - assuming your ancestors survived the ice age - but some people do find it too difficult a transition and prefer to stick with what they know. Psychologically this is the same as any other drug, the only difference is we have less of an idea of the full health implications so don't know whether it's like tobacco or weed.
Thank you all for your responses as they have been quite helpful. I agree I do need more calories and I don't have a problem with eating I am just not sure about increasing fat and protein past the levels I am already at. I have well over a hundred percent for magnesium, potassium, folate, B12, etc: the vitamins including Vitamin E. I eat some over a hundred percent for sodium because I lose some when exercising. I get plenty of exercise and I don't think I need to lift more than the amount I do with my job. I am feeling better eating more than one fifty for now but I think it is good to go above one fifty for a few days a week and within 150 for the rest, depending on your activity level, because I didn't even realize I had headaches until I started eating more carbs because now my head feels like it isn't empty or running low on sustenance.
I think it is also efficient for your body to burn through glycogen, even though it is the exact opposite by definition, because if a body can consume and absorb more energy through a shorter period of time that is also efficient if the body intends to do so. And I think my body is trying to tell me this since there isn't an inherent feeling present within myself from a need to have to conserve energy so my body freely expends it at a particular pace which is without extraneous conservation or stretching out stale glycogen. But that is a wild ass guess LOL.
I also only eat foods that don't have aggressive lectins or other natural toxins in them and not just grains and seeds. As far as avacadoes go, here is some information about persin; the natural fungicide in avocados ( http://nutritionfacts.org/videos/are-avocados-bad-for-you/.) ( http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=2004.0.) I am very particular for the foods I eat. I also do not eat fruits because I see no reason to eat toxic fructose for antioxidants as I can eat these with good vegetables. But I do not look down on people for eating fruit because fruit has a lot of benefits in them and it too me a while to make that decision.
So I believe my body is telling me that since there is no inherent position to conserve energy: it is open to consume more which would benefit my body. Or I have been running up a deficit but I feel like it is a bigger deficit that the near thirty grams under the 150 I have been maintaining for the past three months.
I think the problem with carbs is the food are such bad sources for glycogen. There aren't many good sources LOL. There's just squash, sweet potato, and a few other vegetables. So I am starting to get sick of the extra carbs; but it is working.
But the other day I tried just to eat more fat: most of my fat is from olive oil because I do not eat dairy because of the natural hormones in them that are meant for the baby goat or calf and I want my fat from sources that haven't been cooked and if I ate meat with more fat in it then most of my fat is cooked fat. As I tried to eat more olive oil I started to gag; it might be because it is somewhat acidic or the salicylic acid in them. The only other fat I had was was almond butter I saved for an occasion and I detest nuts as well as legumes because of their toxins and trypsin inhibitors. So opened the almond butter as I had a very strong craving for fat as I would never eat some nuts but I ate some and I kept eating more as I discovered a true craving for more fat. I ate almost the whole jar, as it was a regular sized jar from Trader Joe's, and I felt so disappointed and very upset at myself. Then the stomach ache came about ten minutes later and it was so awful LOL. But, twenty minutes later even though I had a stomach ache my mind had this clarity and energy that I haven't felt in a long time. I think I either need more fat in my diet, or just more carbs and fat but less carbs than I thought I needed. Does anyone have any suggestions for fat sources as I will not eat nuts again and I will just eat more olive oil next time until I find a good source. I know coconut oil precipitates proteins in the blood and adds more saturated fat than I want to consume in my diet so I am trying to avoid it.
The cravings are simply because you are not getting enough calories. Just try to eat a little more of everything tomorrow and a little more than that the next day and so on. Coconut milk is pretty good for getting calories in fairly easily.
High carb/low carb fasting ability 8 Answers