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Where is the energy???

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  • Where is the energy???

    I just finished Mark Sisson's 21 Day Primal Blueprint challenge and I feel worse than when I started. I use to sleep pretty well, now I wake up several times a night/sleep fitfully. I still have muscle fatigue that I've had since I started this way of eating. I now lift way less weight at the gym than I did when I ate my carbs. And I've never quit craving sugar or pasta.

    I lift weights 2-3 days a week (30 minute or less sessions) I do low effort cardio (walking) 2 days a week. I hike outside with my family on weekends. My point is I'm not over working myself.

    I get at least 20 minutes of sunshine a day.

    I keep my carbs on average 55 per day. I eat plenty of good fat (coconut oil, olive oil, butter, fat on steak, skin on chicken, avocados..) I eat my lean body weight number in protein grams per day. I'm eating enough calories.

    I've even followed Dr Eads suggestions and tips for those starting out on low carb diets (supplements and the like) The Blog of Michael R. Eades, M.D. » Tips & tricks for starting (or restarting) low-carb Pt I and The Blog of Michael R. Eades, M.D. » Tips & tricks for starting (or restarting) low-carb Pt II

    I keep reading all these success stories about people feeling better and their cravings going away (I'd settle for even diminishing cravings!).

    So, where's this energy I'm suppose to have?? Where's the improved sleep?? Where's the "feeling the best they've ever felt"??

    I'm sorry to be a whiner, but I was expecting even a LITTLE improvement by now.
    If any one has been through this and can give me any advice I'd love to know.
    Thanks! I feel like giving up.

    My stats:
    Height - 5'7"
    Weight - 133
    Age - 42
    Sex - Female
    Body Fat % - 20.8 (per Dexa scan)

  • #2
    Stop thinking, reading and tweaking. Try to relax and eat what you want (clean) and see where you end up in a month or two. The craving can take time. Let yourself go a bit on clean carbs

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    • #3
      Well, i can relate to some degree. I had a real low moment today after 1.5 weeks in, and wondered why i felt like hell. Turns out i was hungry. I am still eating fruit, so i had a banana and all was right with the world again. You may just be having a low moment, or you may need to tweak things so that they work for you. Are you certain that you are eating enough?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Jomp View Post
        Stop thinking, reading and tweaking. Try to relax and eat what you want (clean) and see where you end up in a month or two. The craving can take time. Let yourself go a bit on clean carbs
        Yes, alas, I do tend to obsess over things. I could do well to relax (just scared of relaxing too much and gaining weight or loosing the muscle tone I've gained.)

        I thank you for your response and advice!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by icz View Post
          Well, i can relate to some degree. I had a real low moment today after 1.5 weeks in, and wondered why i felt like hell. Turns out i was hungry. I am still eating fruit, so i had a banana and all was right with the world again. You may just be having a low moment, or you may need to tweak things so that they work for you. Are you certain that you are eating enough?
          I keep a food log on SparkPeople so I keep a tight reign on my calorie count and always know just how many calories I'm eating (as well as carb, protein and fat grams). I've found that if I don't do this, I tend to overeat and gain weight. I am eating just 300 to 400 calories under my daily requirement (figuring in my workouts and bodyfat %). That's about 1700 - 1800 a day. My maintenance is close to 2100.

          I truly hope it's just a low point. I may try upping my calories by 100 (adding more proteins and good fats) and see if that helps. Maybe add in a sweet potato every other day or so.

          Thank you for your response.


          It's just a little discouraging, you know?

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          • #6
            55g of carbs - I think that counts as very low carbs, maybe it dosn't suit you, there is a very long thead in this forum about it, lots of people arn't happy at that level of carbs and find higher optimal for them, try upping good carbs and see if you feel better - remember primal is not a low carb diet, it's low toxin .

            Or you may just have a stubbon body that is taking longer to adapt to fat as fuel???
            You know all those pictures of Adam and Eve where they have belly button? Think about it..................... take as long as you need........................

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            • #7
              I also do not do well at 50g a day or less. I did that for a full month, and then I felt wonderful after I ate a banana; it was like taking amphetamines!

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              • #8
                I was having the exact same issues. I have managed to tweak mine to where it works the best for me energy wise and have found that 50% fat, 25% protein and 25% carbs is my sweet spot. I was originally 70% fat, 20% protein and 10% carbs and felt like poo..... I do need to lose weight but I'm not going to worry about eating a bit of fruit and some sweet potatoes anymore (there are certainly much worse things I could be eating!). Adding fats and proteins to the starches certainly helps with the satiety factor also. I noticed prior to having a starch with dinner (I was only having meat/fat/non-starchy veg) I constantly craved something sweet for dessert, by adding the sweet potato to dinner I no longer feel like I need dessert!

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                • #9
                  I strongly recommend that you either read WHY WE GET FAT (AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT) or watch Gary Taubes's lecture on the book (there's a link on the MDA resources page). The reason I suggest this is that when you understand the science behind fat regulation, you won't think so much about your total caloric intake being an issue. Once you've made that mental leap, you will be more inclined to eat as much as you need to, and, I would think, would be less tired because of it.
                  “If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea” -- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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                  • #10
                    As you're not overweight, and probably not particularly insulin-resistant either, you may find you do better somewhere in the moderate carb range. Try 100-150 g a day.

                    Many folk find that the timing of carbs is far more important than total daily intake. Try eating the bulk of your carbs in your evening meal. This is ideal for promoting insulin sensitivity and muscle gain when it's post-workout, plus it promotes deep, uninterrupted sleep.
                    F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by paleo-bunny View Post
                      As you're not overweight, and probably not particularly insulin-resistant either, you may find you do better somewhere in the moderate carb range. Try 100-150 g a day.

                      Many folk find that the timing of carbs is far more important than total daily intake. Try eating the bulk of your carbs in your evening meal. This is ideal for promoting insulin sensitivity and muscle gain when it's post-workout, plus it promotes deep, uninterrupted sleep.
                      I agree with all of this!! I eat 2-3 servings of fruit right after dinner most days, and sleep like the dead. Some people find that very low carb doesn't work well for them. You have to find YOUR sweet spot. If you feel nasty on 55g of carbs, try a few days on more and see how you feel. I hope that helps!

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                      • #12
                        Have a high carb day.

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                        • #13
                          I track what I eat at cronometer.com. I really like that it not only shows macronutrient values, but also vitamins, minerals, etc. It helps me focus a lot less on the calories and a lot more on the overall composition of my diet. And if I notice any trends of feeling icky, it makes it a lot easier to identify what might be making me feel off.

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                          • #14
                            You'll find your niche. I had trouble finding mine because I need to be in the 20-40g range,which is way too low for most folks. Your body will tell you where it wants to be. At my level 20-40g, I occasionally experienced muscle cramps, so I added coconut water to my diet. An 8.5oz glass of coconut water (11g) after I finish my daily walk did the trick.

                            My legs are my barometer, if my legs feel a little fatigued when I climb my stairs at the house, it's time for a little carb boost, maybe even a carb reload. It's a process...you'll get there!

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                            • #15
                              It took me about 6 weeks to really feel great on this plan. I travelled to see my sister in the 3rd week it was miserable. I was still obsessing over what/when/how much to eat. About week 5/6 I added in sweet potatoes and I felt better, slept better, etc. I typically eat a sweet potato or a banana every night now and all is right with the world. I have also found that when I upped my carbs I wasn't getting the steady 1-2 lb a week weight loss, but instead I will hold at the same weight for 2-3 weeks, then drop 5lbs over the course of a week. I eat about 75-100 on rest days and up to 125 on workout days. I also eat in an 8-9 hr window and that seems to make it possible for me to eat huge meals and the occasional snack with no consequence.

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