No announcement yet.

Exhaustion - is this normal?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Exhaustion - is this normal?

    As of today, my nutrition has been primal for one month. I have lost 17 pounds and feel better except for how tired I am. I get between 6 1/2 to 7 hours of sleep every night and that has been enough for me for many years. I usually never sleep on the bus ride home ( 1 and 1/2 hour commute) because if I do, I will be awake all night. Since beginning to eat primal, I can't fight off sleep on the ride home and I sleep so hard. I think someone could steal my bag and I wouldn't know it. I wake up with a heavy head and general icky feeling. Then when I go to bed at night, I sleep like a rock too. Its not normal for me. After getting off the bus I feel so lethargic. I want to go home and exercise but I just don't have the energy. This is basically what I'm eating:

    B - eggs ( egg muffins) usually 2 to 4
    tea with 1 tbsp of coconut oil ( not every day)

    L - Big salad with chicken, tomato, cucumber and red pepper with 2 tbs of vinegrette (recipe from PB cookbook)

    D - chicken and greens of some type (chicken roasted with butter)
    bison chili (from PB cookbook but made with grass fed beef)
    bison and turkey meatballs (found recipe online)
    smoothie made with coconut milk and one serving of strawberries, cherries or blueberries

    The only thing I'm measuring is the oils, otherwise I eat until full and I'm losing weight so its working. But I would like to add the exercise component but without the energy, I just want to sleep or lay on the couch.

    Do I need to add more carbs? The first week I was putting my info into FitDay and I was always under 50g of carbs, sometimes as low as 25g.

    Any suggestions?

  • #2
    What are egg muffins?

    I'm gonna guess that you need a few more carbs. How did you USED to feel? Where you tired at all? Now that I'm allowed (by my children) to sleep through the night, I sleep like I'm dead! And I could sleep some more. It kind of feels like I'm "healing" so to speak. My body has realized that sleep is a total possibility and without interruption. And I seem to crave it! In fact, I now can take a quick 20 minute nap midday, and I'm totally and completely refreshed. But I'm starting to sleep like a guy. You know the type. Head hits pillow. And I'm OUT! Oh... and I wake up sore, 'cause I haven't moved all night... The muscles aren't quite as supple as they used to be (that will be corrected too in good time.)


    • #3
      I always had highs and lows because I lived off of sugar. I mean really lived off sugar, I ate candy, candy and more candy. I like candy! I've never been a light sleeper but I can wake up one or two times per night to use the bathroom. It also used to take me at least 1/2 hour to fall asleep. I don't think I'm in bed very long before I'm asleep now. I was thinking it might be a healing response but I also thought it should have passed by now, its been a month.


      • #4
        Looks to me that your just not getting enough sleep at night. I've always heard that our bodies want 8-9 hours of sleep during the hours of the day that the sun is down, so when you only get 7, your body wants to make up the difference during the day.

        Just because that amount of sleep has worked for many years doesn't mean that it will always be enough, I'm sure you've changed over many years and it would make sense if your sleep requirements changed also.

        Usually through the week I start to develop a sleep deficit (college, studying for exams), and my energy levels will crash every afternoon, but when I can finally sleep without needing to wake up at a specific time, I'll sleep for about 12 hours and make up most of the deficit. Then, that day I won't feel amazing, but if I make sure to do some physical work and get to bed by no later than 10 pm, I'll usually wake up around 6-8am the next day without an alarm and have a ton of energy all day. This energy continues each following day, as long as I get to bed by 10pm and get about 8 hours of sleep, until I mess up my sleep cycle again.

        I would also try eating more heavier quality meats for breakfast and lunch (with some green stuff) and lighter smaller meats (fish and more green stuff) for dinner. The earlier I get a high calorie meal in the more energy I usually have through the day.


        • #5
          You need more fats! Whats your caloric intake like?
          I was totally lethargic when I first started eating primal. After checking my numbers through fitday for a week I was continually eating 1200 calories less than my daily maintenance! I added 700calories of fat to the mix (still staying with a 500calorie deficit for fat loss) and bang, full of energy and still was losing fat. (Yes, I needed to eat fat, to lose fat. Take that CW!)
          - Follow me on Twitter | Read my blog! - -

          Free Robb Wolf Paleo Meal Generator for iPhone
          IF Timer - The Original Intermittent Fasting iPhone App


          • #6
            I'd say ditch the smoothies and eat more solid food, but that's just what leaps out at me.


            • #7
              try eating more for a few days and see how you feel
              and sleep more!


              • #8
                Are you supplementing w/ any vitamins/minerals? Mark recommends taking a multi vitamin and multimineral, plus supplemental vit D at 4000 IUs a day (or more/less depending on your needs), a probiotic and fish oil.

                I just read this in a different paleo/primal thread/forum, and it really jumped out at me as something folks who's 'low carb flu' seems to last for weeks and weeks might want to look into, and may be applicable to your situation.
                The "low carb flu" you speak of... this is a result of depleting the glycogen stores from your muscles when you first start low-carbing, if you are going to experience it it happens in the first 2-4 days of changed eating habits before you go into ketosis.
                I asked the question, 'what about folks who seem to experience the low carb flu for weeks??' The response, which I found interesting and totally possible was:

                What comes to my mind is mineral imbalance, usually potassium, magnesium, and/or sodium. Eating low carb is very diuretic for the body, especially when first beginning it. You can lose a lot of minerals in excretion, especially if you are not eating or supplementing to replace them. Potassium is the big offender, which causes all sorts of nuisances if too low... body aches, muscles cramps, sweats, major fatigue. Being low on Mg contributes to nervousness (ie shakiness, anxiety, sleeplessness). Supplemental magnesium can provide some relief, just not mag oxide because it's very poorly absorbed by the body. In fact, you can get a lot more magnesium into your body through your skin by soaking in a bath of epsom salts that by taking a supplement.

                Excess calcium also depletes magnesium... normal adults really don't need to be taking extra calcium in supplement form if they are eating LC... LC eating prevents leaching of calcium from the body.

                You can see the rest of the thread here: Click on pages 7 and 8 for the section these quotes are taken from...

                HTH! Good luck!!!
                My Before/After Pics
                Are you new here? Be sure to check these links FIRST, before reading anything on the forum! Succeed & PB 101

                "I am a work in progress." -Ani DiFranco


                • #9
                  Thanks for the replies. I will try some of the suggestions. I didn't think about the low carb flu. I will have to read the posts about that and learn more.

                  I have been taking a multi-vitamin and mineral plus a vitamin D supplement, but haven't seen any difference. Also, my first week primal I was faithfully using Fitday but I stopped after that week. I'm going to start up again to monitor my intake at least for the next month to see what needs to be tweaked.

                  Thanks again for all the input and ideas.


                  • #10
                    One other thought--sometimes switching to primal folks will eat a LOT more of a specific food/food group than they used to, which can sometimes either cause or more clearly show a food sensitivity (which could totally be experienced as exhaustion). For example, after going primal (for months though, although it has happened more quickly for some) I started get nausea after eating, a LOT. I tweaked my diet quite a bit, and realized that whenever I ate eggs (which was often) I got nausea. I was eating 4-6 eggs a day at one point, and I think just overdoing it was a major problem *for me*. I might look into the more commonly allergenic foods and see if you're relying on any of them as a daily staple--and maybe try cutting back on them to see if it makes a difference??

                    Just something else to think about...And I agree w/ others, you may want to add more fat. Good luck w/ all this!!!!
                    My Before/After Pics
                    Are you new here? Be sure to check these links FIRST, before reading anything on the forum! Succeed & PB 101

                    "I am a work in progress." -Ani DiFranco


                    • #11
                      Here's another 'out there' mom noticed energy depletion after her dietary change and realize that since she had cut out processed foods and she was cooking entirely with kosher salt that she wasn't getting her iodized salts anymore. Her doctor suggested switching to normal iodized salt and she said it made all the difference in the world, her energy levels soared. Just a thought..


                      • #12
                        I completely forgot about the salt thing. When I first dropped gluten, dairy, corn, soy and eggs due to ds's sensitivities, AND was a vegetarian, I was feeling dizziness and quite crappy a lot (I know this was related to being newly vegan and very low protein, but...) I got the advice to add more salt to food, and it really helped.

                        Personally, instead of using iodized salt, would try using Real Salt, or Celtic Sea Salt--or another salt w/ minerals in it (not just plain 'sea salt'), PLUS some kelp flakes for the iodine. (This is what I use now for seasoning and am quite happy w/ it. I use maine coast sea seasonings kelp flakes, just fyi--they are heavy metal tested and a source I trust. I add a sprinkle of kelp when I do a sprinkle of salt--I don't even notice the taste--they are kind of salty tasting anyway.)

                        I just think this is a really great point/idea.
                        My Before/After Pics
                        Are you new here? Be sure to check these links FIRST, before reading anything on the forum! Succeed & PB 101

                        "I am a work in progress." -Ani DiFranco