Hi guys. My story is a sad one.
I went Paleo/Primal around October 2010. I went from 5 meals a day to 3 meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Then I discovered Intermittent Fasting and I just ate lunch and dinner.
I became obsessed with calories and ended up losing too much weight, from 85 to 67kgs. I got entry in the hospital with low pulse rate, extremely LOW energy and swollen feet.
I got out of the hospital and haven't recovered fully. I'm still intermittent fasting 16/8, but now I have 3 meals setup like this:
Meal 1 - 1PM - low carb (fatty meat/fish with olive/coconut oil and yogurt/salads) Meal 2 - 5.30PM - medium carb (1 liter of milk + coconut oil) Meal 3 - PM - high carb (lean meat + potatoes + bit of fruit)
No grains and no legumes, just potatoes and the likes for around 200g daily. The reason for the meat is because I'm just not hungry to chew food, so I just swallow 1 to 1.5 liters of milk in the afternoon with or without coconut oil). Carbs help a bit with my poor sleep that's why I leave them for the end of the day.
Concerning sleep, I SLEEP like HELL: go to bed at 22.30PM, and wake up at 3-4AM, although I stay in bed until 6.30AM (most times). Some days are worse: today I couldn't sleep past 2.30AM after getting up to go to the bathroom (I get up 2-3 times to piss every night).
Now I'm on vacation and I'm very ANNOYED, anxious and a bit depressed because I don't know what the hell is wrong with me. Doctors haven't done SHIT, I just know that I have slight anemia.
During the day my right buttock and a bit of the right leg (and sometimes right arm/forearm up to pinky finger) are numb and a bit weak.
Blood sugar levels are probably not the issue either I guess. In the morning I went to give blood for a recent blood test I asked a nurse to check my blood sugar levels and it was 89 - fine according to her.
I don't know what's going on... everyday... my right buttock is a bit numb and weak. When it's worse, my energy levels are also worse... could be related somehow (could it be weights? - I haven't lifted weights in several days now).
I've read about hypothyroidism as it relates to some of the syptoms i have, although I don't have weight gain, I have WEIGHT loss.
Things I've done that I thought were/are helping me are:
1.raising my calories
2.having one more meal (from 2 to 3)
You guys think I should start having breakfast, lunch and dinner and just stop IF? The swollen feet I used to have were probably due to an infection, and if that's the case IF should help with that (as well as with hypothiroidism - although I'm not sure I have this).
I just feel tired of sometimes during the day having some shortness of breath, low energy and a slighty weak right buttock (and sometimes right forearm to pinky).
I'm not even enjoying my vacation with my girlfriend. I know I'm having enough calories, but the weight I'm gaining is very slow - and that is assuming my problem is fixed with a weight gain. Maybe IF is too "efficient" for my body when it comes to losing weight.
The last thing I'd want to do is to go back to grains and legumes... I just don't feel hunger enough to eat a LOT, but I do know I have lots of calories (2400 calories for my +150lbs - 70kgs). I'm not even active or anything, I just walk in the beach during the day while I'm on vacation.
I'm also a bit sensitive to cold.
I don't know what else to do, doctors have done nothing to improve my condition...just know I have a slight anemia so far (from the blood tests), the rest they say "it's ok" mostly.
In either case... would i be better off with the usual 3 SQUARES a day, or even 4 meals (breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner)?
YES, you should STOP IF and start eating more often. It sounds to me like your cortisol is through the roof. Make sure you are getting enough calories, stick with 200g carbs per day, and make sure you go no more than 6 hours between meals (except when sleeping). You might also try meditation, either in the morning or before bed. No cardio. You can walk and lift a little, but not high rep.
You might also supplement vitamin C, and B complex, and magnesium, to help support your body in coping. For me, 50mg of zinc or 200mcg of Chromium would make me feel absolutely incredible for one day only. After that, it didn't help. I've not tried other suggested remedies like Holy Basil, Ashwagandha, or Phosphatidylserine. But none of them is going to help much in the long run if you don't take care of the underlying issues, which in this case sound likes your extended fasting (every day is not really intermittent, is it?), and possibly any other stressors you have going.
This is my guess, anyway, based on what I've experienced. Too much fasting will crank your cortisol and cause all kinds of problems.
I think you gave yourself an eating disorder and really messed your body up with the massive starvation weight loss. Cure is eating more food, more often, lots of calories, plenty of protein, fat and carbs, tons of nutrients - eat your fish and veggies, coconut oil and milk is not a meal. Weight be damned until you get your health sorted.
Couldn't hurt to get more thorough/detailed thyroid testing of course.
And really work on your sleep. There is lots of good info here.
Your symptoms sound a lot like hyperthyroid to me...I would find a good naturopath who is knowledgeable in proper testing of thyroid levels and get checked right away. My grandmother is currently suffering from the effects of extreme hyperthyroidism, and it's horrible...hers went unchecked for years and she's lucky to be alive.
Where are you getting your nutrition? Doesnt sound like you're eating any vegetables at all. Milk is bad, unless it's Raw and then should still be in lower quantities, potatoes are bad and have little nutrition. If u want the carbs, go for a sweet potato and add in some veggies for dinner. Have you thought about doing a green smoothie as a meal substitute? We use Whey protein (no fillers), kale, spinach, apple, blueberries, coconut milk or almond milk and a couple dates or raw honey for sweetness.
Just reading what you've written it sounds like you are a bit malnourished and need to build yourself back up. It sounds like your electrolytes were messed up when you went in the hospital and you mention being low on iron. Numbness in your leg and shortness of breath could be related to deficiency in vitamin B12. This is all just speculation though based upon your symptoms. What testing did your doctor do? If you were eating good foods, but not enough of them - hence the rapid weight loss - then you really need to concentrate of building yourself back up. Can you get some testing done to see if you have any deficiencies besides iron?
Not sure it this conversation is still alive or not, i been IF a long time on and off, i got a window of 5-8 hours to eat, and make sure to eat good foods, i train 5 times per week fasted most of the time and i got high energy all the time. The first week is hard because the body adapts, but after that its very easy, you lose weight, crush the sugar cravings, are less hungry and feel your life less controlled by food. I also cook everything in coconut oil its great, i eat lean red meat, drink green tea, eat whole eggs with some turmeric, sea salt, take EFA, BCAA and some whey isolate, avoid milk and process foods. Carbs are bad but i eat some not to fall into ketosis most of my carbs will come from berries and greek yogourt.
Guys, this is Jonas, the OP. I'm still pondering doing 3 or 4 meals a day. Either:
Meal 1 - 8AM
Meal 2 - 2PM
Meal 3 - 9PM
Meal 1 - 8AM
Meal 2 - 1PM
Meal 3 - 6PM (milk or something liquid)
Meal 4 - 9PM
I did 3 meals the other day and didn't notice much difference between 3 or 4 meals. Is the 6 hour limit without food really important? And actually, today I ate a small breakfast at 10AM, having eaten dinner at 10PM the previous day... so basically I had a 12 hour fast in there. I didn't felt low energy or anything, maybe my limit is 12 hours (I notice when I start getting goosebumps/cold, that's probably when I'm going too far).
Perhaps I should stick with a regular breakfast in the morning instead of skipping it to mid morning?
I have the problem of not feeling any hunger, that's why I'm insisting in having something liquid in the mid-afternoon in the 4 meal plan.
Also... I still have a slight weakness/numbness on my right buttock and right scapulae. I don't lift weights in over a week, I'm not sure if it's related or not. I notice that when I don't feel the slight numbness my energy levels are good, when I feel it, I tend to go down a bit. Weird...
By the way, according to my docs, my thyroid levels are ok/so-so... however I've read on the web that the "acceptable" thyroid levels are not really acceptable or optimal to judge a good healthy thyroid, so again I'm uncertain on this.
What are your views on what I wrote?
I had royal jelly, bee pollen and Siberian Ginsensg yesterday, and today I feel kind of better. My numbness is still there (maybe neurology related?) but I feel better overall.
Also, today I had my breakfast after a 12 hour fast because I just wasn't hungry. Dinner yesterday was at 9.30 pm and breakfast was around 10 am. Then lunch at 1.45pm and dinner will be at around 9pm with a green smoothie in the afternoon so I have something running on my body. So 3 meals and a snack seem fine so far.
Why don't you try and change your fasting regiment to one or two days a week, instead of 16/8 hours?
Have you checked yourself for ms? There is a correlation between this disease and high fat/ red meat intake, which can trigger symptoms..