Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Feeling rubbish on the Paleo diet? 9 Reasons why

So you've been eating Paleo for a while and you know that your supposed to be feeling better and have more en energy. But you don't. You feel sluggish, with low energy and even think that you'll give up your diet altogether.

I know because I went through this and sometimes I still feel like there's something that I've not yet figured out.
But here are some common things that might be stalling you in your Paleo lifestyle.

For a start, I believe that these symptoms were hidden to a certain extent on the normal unhealthy high carb and sugar diet. Whenever you felt low or sluggish no doubt you stopped for a chocolate break. That's what I did and sure enough I'd get a spurt of energy, and off I'd go again. Here are some of the pointers that I've checked myself against. Perhaps you are struggling because of one of these or maybe a combination of a few of them. I'm going to outline them here and some of them need more time and space to discuss properly so I'll do that in subsequent blog posts.

Too busy/ Not giving yourself rest time.
I Know that when I was living with very high amounts of sugar and carbs that I used those foods as a drug to get me through tired times. So perhaps the tiredness that you are feeling now is the true extent to your actual tiredness. Take time out everyday for yourself. Try to relax and have some downtime for yourself. Don't beat yourself up over having a relax either.

Food allergies.
I'm allergic to wheat and other grains. Which makes being on the paleo diet easier. However I get skin reactions to something else. Whether it's dairy or eggs I'm not sure. If you are suspicious about being allergic to some food stuff, the only way to know is to remove it from your diet for a month and track your progress. Having a food allergy does effect people differently, but if you have Eczema or other skin conditions, there's a high possibility that your still eating something that doesn't agree with you. I'm afraid its a process of elimination. Some centers do offer testing that might be able to give you a head start. But the elimination process is free and works.

Caffeine Intake
I love my coffee. Do you have bulletproof coffee or some other high fat version?
Well caffeine in your system really gives your body a bump start! But if your suffering from adrenal fatigue, then having excess caffeine will do more harm than good. It will make your fatigue worse. I've switched to decaff coffee recently to try to lower the caffeine level I take in. Beware that decaff coffee has roughly 1/5 of the regular coffee, so decaff isn't caffeine free. But if you love your favourite brew its a great first step.

Drink enough water.
Like I said I like drinking my coffee, so I find it hard to drink enough water. I do try though to up my intake of water everyday. A lot of tiredness an headaches comes down to being chronically dehydrated. Try to add water and reduce the tea/ coffee.

Not eating enough fat and nutrients
If you are low carb eating then you will become fat adapted. If you are very low carb make sure that you are getting enough fat in your diet. You also need to ensure that you are getting enough nutrients from nutrient dense foods. Are you eating enough vegetables? There's no harm in taking a good multivitamin either.
As well as a multivitamin I also take magnesium daily. Here's why.

Get enough quality sleep/ sleep quality reducing on Paleo
Again all the time I'd heard that the paleo diet cured so many people's sleep apnea. But I've always slept like a log, that was until I started eating Paleo. I kept waking up nearly every hour. I sometimes suffer from restless legs syndrome, where you get the urge to get up and walk. But even when my legs were fine I just couldn't sleep! This was so frustrating.
I'm supposed to be eating the best way I can and now I can't sleep?!! I tried eating more before going to bed, using blackout curtains, and being in a good routine.

But the cure for me was magnesium. No doubt on my diet of rubbish I was getting near!y enough magnesium but on the Paleo I wasn't, even though I was eating a lot of almonds over the transition point.
After a few days of taking the magnesium supplement the restless legs that I had experienced vanished and my sleep pattern went back to normal. If I forget to take the magnesium for a day or two, sure enough, the poorer sleep and restless legs return. Give it a try!

You will feel like crap for a week or two or three!
If your new to Paleo and you've gone off sugar and most carbs, then your going to have withdrawal symptoms for a couple of weeks. I had headaches and generally felt unwell. But this is to be expected and it will pass.

Having to high of expectations for Paleo weight loss
You want to lose weight, and you want to be healthy. But what happens when you stall? You can stress yourself out and make yourself feel like Paleo is failing you if you seem to stall on a certain weight.
I stalled for a while, but i kept going, and i stopped checking myself so regularly so as not to be disappointed. The result of being patient was that a month later I had lost quite a few pound. If your struggling on a Paleo diet to lose weight, my advice would be to make sure your doing it right for a start, but then don't check yourself so regular.

I'm feeling so stressed
Stress, no matter where it comes from will raise our Cortisol level in our bodies. This makes it hard to lose weight and has a detrimental effect on us. We can feel like crap! Have a look at these two blog posts below. Wait you say, I'm not stressed! Well check them out anyway, the first one is about stress diagnosis. Maybe your stressed and you don't even know it!

Do you feel bad on the Paleo diet? Please comment and give your experience, and include what you found has helped you!

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