I made myself ill on the paleo diet, basically I lost too much weight (16lbs) and had awful energy crashes throughout the second month. My wife and others were concerned about my appearance. I stopped after two months shocked by some particularly gaunt malnourished looking photos. I actually felt great the first month, really enjoyed the food and was initially impressed with my body fat / definition levels!
It took way more than a few days to recover, maybe 7-10 days of high carb eating before I felt well. It's now two months since stopping, (I only regained 4lbs), and I think I'd like to resume. I reckon my carb intake was too low but I probably took a month to really deplete my stores. As I don't need to lose any weight how many carb grams could I consume each day and still be paleo.
Where did I go wrong?
Consume however many carbs make you feel the best- eating paleo doesn't require any particular macronutrient ratio; it just matters what you are/ aren't eating. If you need more carbs, have more veggies, tubers & fruit. There's going to be some trial and error, good luck! :)
I feel like I've written this answer on PH several times: Paleo is highly individualized; you don't have to eat low carb to be paleo. If you thrive on higher carbs, then eat higher carbs.
Also, how much were you eating generally? How many kCal/day?
I think this kind of question is valid - it is valid for newcomers to ask frequently - it is valid because if y'all haven't noticed, Living La Vida Low Carb-esque gurus have adopted the Paleo diet as a bit of a new fangled low carb regimen.
Even those of us who've been at this type of thing for a while continue to "evolve" our own intakes of macros as activity, seasons, stresses and fashion changes.
So, Stefan, the Perfect Health Diet recommends something to the effect of about 600 calories of carbs to feed your brain - that's like 150 grams or so? Many here are adhering to those recommendations. Tinker.
Here's a general carbohydrate calculator from an excellent and in many ways, progressive medical center. So, calculate and see what you come up with and compare it to recommendations from the "paleo fathers" as previously mentioned.
I think that you will find that any way you cut it, paleo is a substantially lower carb way of eating than the recommendations for a GOOD (not frankenfood) SAD diet.
It seems obvious that for those who not only do not have weight issues, but are also very active and into demanding fitness regimens, there needs to be careful attention given to an adequate amount of daily starchy carb sources, starchy fruit like bananas, other fruit and nuts, which are dense calorically.
As a real life comparison for the "what is high carb/low carb and what is not" issue, I will use myself with the calculator. I am a truly large boned, 5'6", 58 year old female who weighs 140lbs and who exercises very intensely for 30min 3X week doing circuit strength/resistance training. Two days a week I teach two 30min classes of very intense, sweat soaking dancercise, for a total of four sets of 30min. And for two other days per week I do 20-30min combos of sprinting, dancing, lifing heavy objects in yard/gardening and instense walking.
This calculator tells me I should eat about 310gms of carbs per day. Even if I fudge and say I am a medium frame woman, which I'm not, it still tells me I could eat like 281gms CHO/day. I labeled the above described level of activity asmoderate, inspite of the fact that it is pretty high, especially for an adult my age.
If I ate this much carbohydrate, I'd bee pulling the blubber behind me. There is no way that I could maintain an appropriate weight. Even if I shaved off 100 grams from each estimate, I'd still be in trouble.
These are generalized recommendations for people at an appopriate weight. But, they give a pretty good idea of what is considered appropriate and average carbohydate intake for any given person, at estimated activity rates, at any age.
Any way you cut it, except for what I'd call real outliers, a paleo diet falls substantially below the recommendations for the majority of persons. Is it inherently VLC? No. Is it inherently LC? Not necessarily. But is it high or even typical carb given average, medically based, healthy (not frankenfood) SAD recommendations? NO. And I'd say, decidedly NOT.
Can any individual eat whatever level of macronutirent that works for them and still "be paleo?" Yes, I think so. But I do believe that eventually, a substantial number will get in trouble with very high,pretty typical, paleo fat intakes combined with very high starchy carb/high glycemic load food intakes. Again, high is defined relative to the recommendations for a healthy SAD diet.
If you list what you were eating, there are a bunch of smart and friendly people here who could help you tweak your intake for better results.
I don't know if this applies to what happened to you, but I think a lot of people have let the old common wisdom of "fat is bad" blend with the new common wisdom of "carbs are bad" and the only macronutrient they are left with is protein. If all you eat is lean protein and veggies I would wager you'll feel better for a little while because you are likely avoiding things you have sensitivities to but that long term your health would start to erode as you used up your fat stores.
sounds like a super un-balanced eating style if you went to such a malnourished state. If you were loosing weight too quickly, its never a good thing and you should have been adjusting along the way.
I completely understand about taking things to an extreme, as I've done it many times in the past and I have the messed up digestive track to prove it. For me, doing this program slowly and gradually has allowed me to understand my body better and eat healthier and not take things to such extremes.
Its a shame, perhaps you'll go back to SAD eating because you didn't find a healthy balance. Have you done this before on other programs?? Sometimes it a personality defect that sends us off to an extreme, understanding that is the first step to fixing it and getting healthy again!!
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