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  • Bonk

    Hey everybody~

    I'm on day three of primal. This evening, I had what I can only describe as a bonk. I felt light-headed, irritable, and I got really hungry for specific things. Namely, vanilla yogurt, potatoes, and a pumpkin cookie. I happened to be a few blocks from my co-op, so I went in and had all three. I felt better, but I still have a bit of a headache. I'm not too happy about slipping up, either. But it felt like a blood sugar plunge, and I had to eat those things.

    This is what I ate today, up until then:

    Breakfast
    ~6 oz.Green juice (Kale, cucumber, apple, carrot, celery, lemon and ginger)
    Two scrambled eggs (in butter) with smoked salmon and cream cheese
    Cup of tea

    Lunch
    Turkey jerkey
    Cottage cheese
    1/2 an avocado

    Snacks
    About 20 almonds
    two small pieces of dark (74%) chocolate

    I felt fine, and not hungry before I left to do some errands. Then I bonked.

    Am I just not eating enough? Now that I think about it, I have not altered my diet much, except for ditching grains. I used to eat granola and yogurt for breakfast, or have toast along with my eggs. I felt fuller on the bread and grains. Any advice?

    I am female, 50 yrs, 165 lbs at 5'7"
    Last edited by cherylg28; 12-19-2012, 06:45 PM. Reason: added tea to breakfast

  • #2
    Technically the term "bonking" is what happens to an endurance athlete when they fall down twenty yards from the finish line and can't get up.

    What you have is a case of the carb flu. Cranky, tired, headache, crazy cravings are all typical symptoms. It takes at least two weeks to adapt to burning fat.

    You're eating good quality foods but that is nowhere near enough quantity wise unless you are a very little person. Did you not have dinner or just omit writing about it?

    Ah, I see eta of 5'7" and 165. You need to eat more than that.
    Last edited by Paleobird; 12-19-2012, 07:33 PM.

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    • #3
      Thanks. Yeah, I knew that "bonking" was an athlete thing - it has happened to me! But it's how I felt today, just going about my day, then bam! Dinner was the potatoes, yogurt and cookie. I've since had some Triscuits and cheese.

      I gave in to the cravings - what do you do about that?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by cherylg28 View Post
        Thanks. Yeah, I knew that "bonking" was an athlete thing - it has happened to me! But it's how I felt today, just going about my day, then bam! Dinner was the potatoes, yogurt and cookie. I've since had some Triscuits and cheese.

        I gave in to the cravings - what do you do about that?
        You need to eat more of the right food. Then you won't be craving the junk as much. Don't try to do calorie restriction until your body is shifted over from sugar burning to fat burning. When you are craving sugar, eat some pure fat like a spoonful of coconut oil or butter. This is just a transitional thing. You can dial back the calories later after you have become a "fat burning beast", as Mark says.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
          You need to eat more of the right food. Then you won't be craving the junk as much. Don't try to do calorie restriction until your body is shifted over from sugar burning to fat burning. When you are craving sugar, eat some pure fat like a spoonful of coconut oil or butter. This is just a transitional thing. You can dial back the calories later after you have become a "fat burning beast", as Mark says.
          This whole sugar burning to fat burning thing has to stop. This is what is messing up so many paleo and primal dieters.

          Your body prefers sugar!!! Why on earth should someone become a fat burner when there is no reason to be. There are plenty of ways to lose fat while still ingesting enough carbs to avoid ketosis.

          IMO its just plain dangerous to advise this switch to people who have been "sugar burners" their whole life.

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          • #6
            A spoonful of butter? I'm not worried about the calories, or the fat for that matter, but is there something a little tastier?

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            • #7
              First - when I initially went low carb, about 3 days in, I suddenly knew what marathoners meant when they talked about hitting the wall (cyclists usually call it bonking) - I felt like I had zero energy, breathing was a fair effort, and it was just hard to move. It passed.

              One thing to watch out for is getting your electrolytes sorted out, as CW food is distorting on minerals compared to a primal/paleo diet. You may need to add broth (the store's bouillon cubes are adequate, home made bone broth is much better). Also, eggs are a terrific source of nutrients, as is liver (they say - it's not my favorite). If you're hungry, food is appealing - keep some hard boiled eggs handy for when you're really, truly hungry (and not just wanting to eat because you're used to eating all the time).

              As for giving into the cravings, for almost all of us here it has been true that the cravings disappear once we're past an initial period. During that period, you have to stop yourself. People use all kinds of tricks to do that - they remind themselves of why they are going primal (something they're trying to change, some goal they have, etc.) or they find a distraction (if I'm still hungry in 30 minutes. I will have a primal snack - like those eggs) or they just talk to themselves ("Do today what others won't, so I can do tomorrow what others can't." ... or just "Suck it up, Buttercup!").

              You will find something that works for you. When you slip - we all do, though typically less and less as time goes on - pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and go forward. Try learn a lesson, and avoid the trigger next time.

              Most of us find that ensuring sufficient protein helps a lot - very satiating. For some of us, fat is very helpful, too - but it may have to be an acquired taste if you've unconsciously accepted CW. Now I practically live on fat - and the lard is disappearing from my body. I find that a win-win. You will find, through trial and error, what works for you. Experiment carefully, giving things time to show results, and listen to others, but listen most to your body and spirit. They will tell you what suits you, even if it takes you awhile to understand what they're saying.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Zach View Post
                IMO its just plain dangerous to advise this switch to people who have been "sugar burners" their whole life.
                I had been trying a carb-cycling thing, with high protein and fat on one day, and good carbs (whole grains, tubers) and protein on alternate days. That was working for me. Might try it again.

                What do you mean "messing up"?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by cherylg28 View Post
                  I had been trying a carb-cycling thing, with high protein and fat on one day, and good carbs (whole grains, tubers) and protein on alternate days. That was working for me. Might try it again.

                  What do you mean "messing up"?
                  There is a lot of controversy over ketosis. Im of the belief that unless you are using it for treatment of a serious condition or only using it as a "crash" diet, that it can be very unhealthy long term.

                  Bottom line, if you felt good eating carbs before, why stop now? You can replace grains and legumes with tubers, roots, fruit and white rice.

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                  • #10
                    Cheryl, you should know that Zach doesn't even pretend to eat primally yet comes here to give out advice and confuse people. His idea of health food is soda and candy.

                    Annlee is very right about watching your electrolytes. That can make the transition a lot easier. Second the bone broth idea too.

                    Not everyone needs to or wants to be in full ketosis all the time. It is not dangerous or harmful to be in ketosis as much as sugar freaks like Zach would have you believe otherwise, but it is not necessary. The "fat burning beast" is able to switch back and forth between glucose and fat for fuels easily without stress or disruption. This is the best of both.

                    The snacking urge should dissipate as you become a FBB. Until then keep some good snacks on hand like nuts, cheese, meat.

                    AND EAT BIGGER MEALS.

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                    • #11
                      Yes i do enjoy the finer things in life.

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                      • #12
                        Fat burning doesn't equal ketosis. Your talking one extreme to another.

                        Took me about two weeks both times I dropped my carbs. For me, testing my sugars, my body was running too high. Switching to a lower carb diet, my sugars became more normal, not low, just not high. However, my body thoight it was low because it had been used to a high baseline sugar. After a couple weeks of feeling extra hungry, boom, there is suddenly a switch and everything is easy after that. Byebye debilitating lower back pain, constant hunger that doesnt go away even immediatley after a large meal, numb hands, migraines... and fat just slowly melts off.

                        I agree on watching the electrolytes during the transition and don't keep going back a forth. The transitions are the hardest part on your body.

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                        • #13
                          I agree with Paleobird here, and she's had a very successful go with primal.

                          I would say that we (my husband and i) are very efficient fat-burners and are not in ketosis on-going. It's not harder on the body to burn fat as fuel, honestly, and it is about eating the right kinds of foods in the right quantities.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Annlee View Post
                            As for giving into the cravings, for almost all of us here it has been true that the cravings disappear once we're past an initial period. During that period, you have to stop yourself. People use all kinds of tricks to do that - they remind themselves of why they are going primal (something they're trying to change, some goal they have, etc.) or they find a distraction (if I'm still hungry in 30 minutes. I will have a primal snack - like those eggs) or they just talk to themselves ("Do today what others won't, so I can do tomorrow what others can't." ... or just "Suck it up, Buttercup!").
                            My mantra is "I won't be out-willpowered by a vegan!"

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by zoebird View Post
                              It's not harder on the body to burn fat as fuel, honestly, and it is about eating the right kinds of foods in the right quantities.
                              You have no idea. I'm not going to rehash the same things I've said over and over(if anyone is interested, they can look in my post history on ATP), but the larger role your stress hormones take on, the more your body degenerates, and the harder it is for it to produce protective hormones like t3, dhea, etc.

                              You may not notice on the short-term, or it may even take quite a while before the symptoms are really noticeable depending on how resilient your body is, but it will happen. Ketosis, by the very mechanism is "harder" on your body and very inefficient and definitely not recommended long-term. I couldn't even do it for a month, personally.
                              Make America Great Again

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