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What will prove that low carb is not for me?

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  • What will prove that low carb is not for me?

    So, I thought I'd go low-carb paleo to try to drop some fat fast. I'm really just eating grass-fed beef, some bacon, and green leafy veggies. My carbs are around 25 grams a day, I'd guess.

    I'm on day 14, and I feel terrible. I think it's getting worse. I'm just really sad, and I feel foggy and slow. Also, my sex drive has died. That cannot be a good sign.

    I guess I'm wondering, at what point does one decide that this is not just the "low carb flu"? When or what will be enough for me to conclude I am simply not well designed for low carb eating?

    BTW, I'm only working out 3x a week, lifting weights. I also so for some long walks.

  • #2
    You'll conclude what ever you want to.

    Are you sure you have a nutritionally complete diet
    Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

    Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine

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    • #3
      You are going very very low carb from the start here... Maybe you're just crashing particularly hard. Plus that's not much food variety...

      I don't know of a specific "not working" rule of thumb. I'd give it more than two weeks though.
      "Trust me, you will soon enter a magical land full of delicious steakflowers, with butterbacons fluttering around over the extremely rompable grass and hillsides."

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      • #4
        I don't think that low carb works for me. I ate over an entire pumpkin pie in less than two days, yet gained no weight. I do best when I eat plenty of fruit and occasionally sweet potatoes or Greek yogurt. Just eat any primal foods that you want to (Not pumpkin pie ) and just give your body plenty of time to digest. Sleep well, drink water throughout the day and make sure that you're not eating so frequently that your digestion can't keep up (this was a major problem for me).

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        • #5
          I don't think Mark considers the PB to be a low carb diet. You're supposed to eat enough vegetables to get a reasonable amount of carbs. That being said, I added starches back into my diet after a month or two on PB. I needed them for energy and I was getting too thin. I did not add wheat back in, or sugar, though, just potatoes, white rice once in a while, and some peanut butter.

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          • #6
            Try raising your carbs up to around 100, and see how things go.

            That's where i'm at, and i'm shedding pounds like crazy, with light workouts. 35 minute power walks at work 3-4 days a week and one hard workout a week. I dropped 3 pounds over thanksgiving week!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Sam Cree View Post
              I don't think Mark considers the PB to be a low carb diet. You're supposed to eat enough vegetables to get a reasonable amount of carbs. That being said, I added starches back into my diet after a month or two on PB. I needed them for energy and I was getting too thin. I did not add wheat back in, or sugar, though, just potatoes, white rice once in a while, and some peanut butter.
              Right. Primal is NOT low carb. I too eat some potatoes, white rice and nut butters. Also yams and a few corn tortillas. Couple servings of carbs per day. It is working very well.
              Ancestral Health Info

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              Primal Blueprint Explorer My blog for people who are not into the Grok thing. Since starting the blog, I have moved close to being Archevore instead of Primal. But Mark's Daily Apple is still the best source of information about living an ancestral lifestyle.

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              • #8
                Thanks for the replies everyone.

                I know that Paleo is not necessarily low carb - but I was intrigued by some of the claims about the wonders of ketosis (level, unlimited energy... the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound... etc...). For now, I'm going to switch eating more paleo-carbs, ala the Primal Blueprint. Now is not a good time for me to be sad and have a low libido (I'm not sure when would be a good time for this - but now is a particularly time).

                But, for the sake of conversation, let me restate my question in a clearer way. A lot figuring out what diet works best for is just experimenting; you try something out, and see the effects. With this in mind, what are some basic parameters people use to judge results? How long should one stick with something, and what are some key things to look for (pro or con)?

                For me, two weeks with mild depression and no sex drive was enough to abort the very-low-carb experiment, at least for now.
                (No sex drive seems like a particularly bad sign, from an evolutionary perspective.) What are some of your parameters for experimenting?

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                • #9
                  For me and many others on the forum, Primal IS low carb.

                  You could just be going through the "low carb flu", although you may need to add more carbs eventually. It doesn't sound like you have enough variety in your diet right now though. How about some eggs or some coconut oil? Fish?

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                  • #10
                    I'd give it at least 6 weeks, particularly if you're switching from SAD to a low-carb version of primal/paleo. 2 weeks is not enough of an experiment.

                    Personally, though, I'd cut back a bit more gradually. Try 50g for a couple weeks (or even 80g), then whittle back down to 25 if you must. I also agree with the other posters that you could use some additional variety in your diet. Fish, eggs, coconut, avocado, poultry, different colored veggies...

                    Another thing: Are you sleeping enough? As in, 9+ hours per night? This is as important as diet for libido, bodyfat loss, and brain function.
                    Nightlife ~ Chronicles of Less Urban Living, Fresh from In the Night Farm ~ Idaho's Primal Farm! http://inthenightlife.wordpress.com/

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                    • #11
                      For me, the last vestiges of low carb flu took more than 2 weeks to clear. I didn't have it bad (and certainly no sex drive problems, but I'm female, so that may change things), but it lasted about 3 weeks, all told.

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                      • #12
                        I've been trying to follow a primal lifestyle for just over 12 weeks now. I think that's the longest I've ever followed a "diet". My parameters are:
                        -how long can I do this without getting bored
                        -how long can I do this without feeling like I'm going to starve
                        -how long does it take me to get back on track if I "cheat"
                        -what happens if I stop tracking my calories/points/macronutrients/ounces of water/etc
                        -how well does this work with my real life (eating out, holidays, etc)

                        So far, so good.
                        I had "carb-flu" symptoms for about 3 weeks, too, and it took about 6 weeks before I had enough energy to run 5 miles without feeling like my legs were going to give out on me. If you like the idea of the primal lifestyle, give it some more time.
                        My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread51572.html

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                        • #13
                          The process of switching from using glucose as a fuel to using ketones as a fuel takes only 2 weeks in the smallest number of cases. More often it's at least a 4 week ordeal so you'll want to give it at least a month. I'm personally almost at the 1 month mark of going sub-50g carb/day from a moderate carb intake diet and I'd say this past week things have certainly been improving.
                          "You can demonstrate the purpose and limits of human digestion with a simple experiment: eat a steak with some whole corn kernels, and see what comes out the other end. It won’t be the steak."
                          -J.Stanton

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Esoteric Fish View Post
                            So, I thought I'd go low-carb paleo to try to drop some fat fast. I'm really just eating grass-fed beef, some bacon, and green leafy veggies. My carbs are around 25 grams a day, I'd guess.
                            It took me 8 weeks to ketoadapt (see my journal). 14 days is nothin'

                            Having said that, there is no reason to be so so low carb and some starch (small amounts) may be beneficial per The Perfect Diet - which is a variation

                            Also, many simply aren't meeting nutrients needs if not ingesting organ meats. "Ingesting organ meats" does not simply mean ingesting liver, but rather a wide range of organ meats. I don't eat a wide range of organ meats (or any for that matter) so I supplement as needed with various vitamins and minerals.

                            K



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                            • #15
                              Also know that it will likely take 4-6 months for your body to heal if you had an undiagnosed gluten sensitivity. Wonderful things are happening to my body that I'm attributing to being low/no gluten for the past 6 months.

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