Everyone keeps trumpeting the wonders of the Paleo diet, so my boyfriend and I decided to jump on the bandwagon after starting Crossfit last week. He is trying to lose some weight, while I'm just trying to eat healthier (I'm 5'6, 115 lbs, regular runner, in decent shape). The problem is that now I'm starting Day 3 and I woke up feeling awful. Other people in our Crossfit (they just started doing paleo too) say they feel great. People on the web say they sleep better. I am feeling awful, tired, sluggish, and completely useless--and I've seemed to develop a problem with insomnia. I have had minimal aches and pains throughout all of Crossfit On-Ramp and have had little problem with keeping form; however, last night I could do nothing. I was tired, emotional, and completely zapped of energy after the workout. On top of that, I tweaked a muscle in my quad---which I have NEVER done throughout years of being a collegiate and semi-professional athlete.
I don't understand what is wrong with me. I saw people talking about "carb-flu," but I don't feel sick---I just feel like I want to cry. As in, pms-type emotions, but I am definitely not premenstrual---just weepy, girly emotional. As in, I almost cried last night during a workout because I was being such a baby about not being able to get the form down. EMBARRASSING. I feel too tired to even go out and run and even a little too nervous that I'll get out four miles and not be able to make it back.
Is this because of no carbs? How long will it last? Should I have slowly transitioned away from carbs rather than cold turkey? I just need some help/answers/advice, or I know there is no way that this is going to work for me.
UPDATE: THANK YOU TO EVERYONE FOR THEIR WISDOM, HELPFUL CLARIFICATION OF PALEO GUIDELINES, AND GUIDANCE TO ADDITIONAL RESOURCES. TODAY HAS BEEN MUCH EASIER---DIDN'T FEEL AS DEPRIVED AND FEELING BETTER PHYSICALLY. INTRODUCING MORE FRUITS HAS BEEN VERY HELPFUL.
Another angle of this is that the more intense your workout is, the more you need to replace your muscle glycogen. If you are pushing yourself in the crossfit workouts, you should definitely consider higher carb than you are doing now. (I am assuming that you are very low carb (<50 g).
You likely don't need a ton, but if you aim for something on the order of ingesting 100 to 150 carb grams on your crossfit days, you should be fine. Shoot for some a few hours before you workout, then eat some afterwards to recharge.
Of course, use safe starch such as sweet potatoes or white rice.
At your height and weight, it appears that obesity is not an issue, so carbs are probably not something you need to be TOO concerned about.
Is it that you're truly not eating any carbs, or is it that you're just not eating the carbs you are used to eating?
I haven't been paleo for long, but I know my first week or so was hard, because I was constantly missing things like cheese, bread, pasta, etc that I loved. I would get whiny when I was hungry, and I am sure that I was very annoying to my fiance. However, it did end after a few days. I started to realize how much of my diet was grains, dairy, and processed foods- even though I ate fruits, veggies, and meat before, it wasn't the base of my diet. It is a hard adjustment to give up things you love or are used to. I wanted to cry at the grocery store sometimes when I passed things I 'couldn't have.' But I promised myself to truly do paleo, no cheating, for a month. I found that the best way to deal with cravings was to find a recipe I was excited about that was paleo- there are endless amounts of great recipes online! One night I was craving pancakes- I found a recipe for paleo "pancakes" online consisting of bananas, an egg and almond butter (I added in cinnamon, too). They smelled amazing, they taste yummy (even my non-paleo, banana-hating fiance loves them), and they filled a need I had for something I thought I couldn't have. Once you learn to get more creative it gets a lot better- I was bored with eating the same things over and over, so make sure you're trying to mix it up.
Are you literally eating no carbs? Or very few carbs? If so, you probably need to add some healthy carbs into your diet, whether a little fruit, some sweet potato, or other vegetables. You don't need to go overboard or grab a cookie, certainly. What uou describe could be a simple transition, it's hard to tell this early. But remember, Paleo is not carb-free.
Paleo does not have to be no or low carb. The low-carb flu can affect you physically and/or emotionally. Incorporate some sweet potatoes or fruit and you will probably feel better.
Too much glucose related change all at once. You add in a glycolytic event (crossfit) and drastically reduced your carb consumption all at once. If you can push through for a couple weeks you will likely come out the other end feeling quite a bit better.
The up and down side is rather than dipping a toe in, then a foot, then wading in .....you just got shoved into ketosis. Your physiological adaptation has not happened yet. It will develop, but it takes time. Eat some coconut oil, use sodium, and drink plenty of water. Many people have no problem once they get over the initial carb flu and transition to ketones and fat.
On the other hand if you continue to do crossfit at a rate of more than about three times a week you may very well need to do some carb refeeds. That is when you purposely increase your intake for a day http://www.marksdailyapple.com/dear-mark-should-i-increase-carb-intake-for-weight-loss/#axzz23SHfipdI
Really your macro make up is dictated by your exercise choices and lifestyle. Endurance training, or HIT 1-2x/week does just fine with LC. Those that engage in prolonged moderate level cardio, or HIT 4-7x/week seem to do better with more carbohydrate in the diet.
Paleo shouldn't be called a low-carb diet, and definitely not a no-carb diet. It should be called a normal carb diet. The sad thing is that the Western Diet has changed what a "normal" intake of carbs is. The Western Diet is high-carb. Eat less carbs; the intended amount--and from whole, natural sources.
How many carbs are you eating? If your plan was not to lose weight then don't radically reduce carbs at once. You may need to add bananas and or sweet potatoes to you diet. Paleo doesn't need to be very low carb or low carb. It is usually just moderately lower in carbs but you can slowly reduce your carb intake.
Give it three weeks. You might not want to workout until you feel better.
Low carb gets a lot of bad press and a lot of people here will tell you to just eat more carbs.
I don't agree, and have seen tremendous benefits from going into ketosis. However it must be done properly, and not cold turkey if you want a smooth transition.
Stop working out for a while, and you can try doing a search for intermittent fasting. This really seemed to help me.
In short: Do lots of research before you make diet changes, and know what you are doing. I recommend reading Primal Body, Primal Mind