Have any problems or unexpected negative consequences manifested after being paleo for a year or more?
I've been paleo for 6 months, and I love it. Quick results are part of paleo's appeal. Now, though, I want to be prepared for potential LT pitfalls that might arise. A good example is Nikoley's candid post Paleo Diet Problems:
It enumerates diarrhea, hypothyroidism, depression, cholesterol, and weight gain.
This is a question primarily for individuals who have been eating/living paleo for > 1 year. Please let us know how long you've been paleo, what problems emerged, when they emerged, and how you fixed them if you did. While LT positive consequences would be interesting as well, and ought to be included, I'm primarily interested in PROBLEMS that emerged AFTER being paleo for a year or more.
My side effects include
Vastly improved sports performance
Super fast weightloss with no rebound.
Virtually never sick
Major muscle growth
Better ability to deal with stress
Saved tons of money on Neolithic products.
Saved tons of money on doc visits
Saved tons of money without switching to geico.
Helped many friends and family see the same as above.
I hope people reading this thread realize a few things and don't give up.
Some people have problems with too low carb
Some people don't eat a wide variety Nd have nutrient deficiencies
Some people have preexisting conditions that even they may not know about.
Some people are eating grainfed meat and pesticide junk and then eating 20% Neolithic on top of that an calling it Paleo.
You need to self experiment and see how your body reacts. But I guarantee one thing:
There are zero humans that thrive long term on processed foods, sadly there are billions getting by...
We evolved on Whole Foods.
My self experimentation experiences.
Zero carb too quick lead to very low blood pressure. Dizzy when standing. Went away upon adaptation.
Fructose after a period of zero sugar led to malabsorption. Glucose did not.
Intense exercise without carbs resulted in reduced performance and recovery with 2+ hr sports(Ultimate Frisbee, Tennis, Swordfighting) . Tubers PW resolved.
Nuts seriously stalled getting abs showing.
Fruit stalled getting abs showing. I now eat some berries PW or breaking a fast
Alcohol tolerance is GONE, I'm a cheap date now
Relationships with overweight friends has diminished , I don't want to sit around. They aren't willing to take the red pill. Not that we aren't friends, just hang out less because I socialize with active people now.
My "drive" has returned to pubescent levels. Annoying.
Artificial sugars cause cravings and headaches. Never did before.
I sleep much more and have less freetime(tho I imagine the time better used)
I smell everything much stronger, most often not good smells.
My total cholesterol just tested at 393 and I can't say I really care. If a biologically appropriate diet produces a large amount of cholesterol in your lipoproteins suddenly, then it's not that the fat is bad and is killing you, it's that you were deficient in fat prior and your body can now manufacture the amount it wants to. So be it. I'm not going to interfere with it.
Before paleo I had horrible reactive hypoglycemia and had to eat constantly. I now eat 3 times a day and feel great all the time.
I think most people just need to accept the fact that they really need to eat about 1/2lb of liver a week to ensure that they're getting all of their micros. Add some kelp onto that and you'll likely have all of your bases covered.
Also, paleo isn't VLC or ZC, those are fringe movements under the umbrella of it. If either of those makes you feel great, then go for it, but if they make you feel terrible, skip it and have some rice/tubers without any guilt. Glucose only gets partitioned as fat if you exceed your glycogen saturation point. It's not evil.
Additionally, I think eating as much fat as you possibly can will almost certainly result in a weight loss plateau or gain. If that happens, you may need to rein in the fat consumption a bit in order to decrease calories. There's no evolutionary precedent for eating sticks of butter or jars of coconut oil. We need to respect just how energy-dense fat is and eat less of it if we desire to lose fat and it stalls.
I've been paleo and low carb to some degree or another for most of 7 years and I developed IBS and extreme menstrual cramps. I was also trying to get pregnant for over a year while on paleo/LC and was unsuccessful. I went off paleo and low carb for awhile due to these problems and followed more of a WAPF-ish diet that included much more carbohydrate than I had been eating previously and even including grains and even sometimes just eating whatever the hell I wanted. My IBS issues completely resolved. And killing two birds with one stone, I can't tell you about the menstrual cramps because I finally was able to get preggers and I haven't had a period in over a year due to pregnancy/breastfeeding. I've been trying to move back towards a more paleo approach since Jan of this year, but if my old problems come back I gotta admit I'll probably drop it like it's hot.
Oh I also had borderline low thyroid while on paleo/LC but I was never tested for it when I was SAD or after I gave up paleo/LC for awhile so I don't know if paleo/LC made it better/worse/had no effect.
Great question! The only trouble I have had is with stomach bloating/ache from eating too many nuts! I used to eat bags of them in one sitting. I am in year 5 of 'paleo' and apart from the aforementioned issue (which was easily diagnosed and remedied), I have had no trouble. My basic approach has been to eat food, NOT nutrients, as follows:
The big thing is to keep it simple. Avoid obsessing over the minutai. Avoid the scales - either food scales or the ones you stand on. Trust the mirror, your general health and your athletic performance!
I started eating VLC paleo a year ago and felt physically and mentally great at first. I ate mostly meat, eggs, butter, leafy greens and some fermented or raw dairy. Then I started having pretty bad constipation, but I thought I was eating the ideal 'mostly meat' diet so it would correct itself. It didn't. Then I lost my period about three months in. This was a terrible warning sign from my body to change something but I still believed I was eating the right way.
After three months of no period I got scared. I did some research and decided carbs weren't so expendable after all. I started adding sweet potatoes, rice, white potatoes and using honey and maple syrup occasionally. I upped my dairy consumption and guzzled raw goat milk. It took about two months after changing my diet and I finally started menstruating, thank god. I also gained muscle mass and no more constipation.
Now I eat something like the Perfect Health diet or WAPF with no grains. I think things that WAPF stresses like eating organ meats and lots of animal fats but moderate to low protein are right on the money. Also, I feel much better drinking bone broth daily and eating lots of variety of veggies and berries.
Everyone needs to do a lot of research on their own and get a wide variety of opinions before they start dramatically changing their diet- particularly if said diet is restrictive. I do not believe there is one ideal diet, but I do believe nearly everyone benefits from lots of quality animal fat, organs and bone broth. If you've been doing paleo without those things I really recommend adding some to your diet.
Hypotension to the point where I collapsed and was sent to the ER. I've since resolved this, but lately I've been thinking...am I really paleo anymore? I started eating more starch to help get rid of it and more salt. I now eat rice nearly every day. I also consume more dairy.
I did VLC at first and was looking and feeling fantastic, but about 3 months in the VLC+high intense workouts=disaster! I developed some serious cortisol issues and gained 7lbs in 4 weeks and it was all bodyfat to the gut!!! I've since taken 3 weeks off of training and now eat at least 100 carbs a day. I also adopted the primal blueprint model of training, at least until my hormones get back to normal.
"My total cholesterol just tested at 393 and I can't say I really care. If a biologically appropriate diet produces a large amount of cholesterol in your lipoproteins suddenly, then it's not that the fat is bad and is killing you, it's that you were deficient in fat prior and your body can now manufacture the amount it wants to. So be it. I'm not going to interfere with it."
My fear is that this diet you speak of might only be biologically appropriate, if it is indeed that, for the young, as nature has no use for those past the age where reproduction might occur.
Guys like Art Devany certainly don't eat much fat.
Look, I don't know. I tend to not fuss about my blood numbers at all like you but maybe we're fooling ourselves.
The talk about feeling great and n=1 and all that is fine. On the other hand, you go take some anabolic steroids and you'll feel much, much better than you've ever felt and thought possible. Are you going to tell me that your n=1 in that hypothetical is evidence of anything? "These steroids make me feel strong and energetic and great! Therefore, they're good for me!"
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