Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Energy Level . . .

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Energy Level . . .

    One of the reasons I was looking to try the primal blueprint in the first place was because I often feel that I lack energy. It doesn't occur while I'm exercising, and in fact, I do usually get out to exercise every day. But for the rest of my day, I often feel very groggy.

    I have been eating primal to the best of my ability for about a week now, keeping in mind that I am a college student with limited funds. So what have I been eating?

    -Eggs (hard boiled and scrambled), chicken breast, spinach salads (w/ mushrooms, tomatoes, green pepper, broccoli, ranch dressing), burger (obviously without a bun), almonds (a daily snack), grapefruit, bananas, apples, green and white tea (decaf), bacon, sausage. Frankly, it has been delicious and I wouldn't mind continuing to eat this way at all. My one cheat (which I plan to remove eventually) is oatmeal--it's cheap and 100% whole grain. I'm certainly well under 100 g of carbohydrate per day.

    I like this diet and think it has a strong theoretical foundation. But I was a little concerned with my energy level today, which seemed even lower than normal. I guess what was even more bothersome was the fact that the fatigue seemed subjectively more "physical." In the past, I would characterize my fatigue as primarily "mental" and due to the stresses of life (social and academic). The fatigue I experienced today just felt different and I can't rule out the possibility it was a consequence of the way I'm eating.

    I am at a healthy body weight and am not trying to lose weight. Basically, my goal is to set a sustainable foundation for preventing disease when I'm older. I would also love to have more energy.

    I guess my questions are . . .

    -Is it normal to experience this when first going on a primal diet?
    -Does a primal diet compromise your ability to compete athletically? Do you "need" carbs to compete at a high level?
    -What are the best ways to increase your energy level? Because I feel like I've tried everything--I go to bed by 10:30, I don't drink soda or alcohol or coffee, I've done yoga, I exercise everyday, and I'm conscientious about my diet.

    I just think the way felt today freaked me out a bit. It made me think, is this really a good way to eat (remember, we live in a society that constantly promotes the healthfulness of grains--and that's a difficult notion to shake when it's been ingrained--no pun intended). I never have been terribly unhealthy, so I don't want to screw my body up. Nonetheless, the Primal Blueprint does seem like a great program and I would like to give it a longer chance . . .

    As a side note, I really want to move to a warmer climate. I hate winter. =/
    Last edited by Bill_89; 12-13-2010, 03:01 PM.

  • #2
    A lot of folks experience a "low carb flu" when they first get into the primal way of eating. It should wear off after a little bit. You might want to make sure you're getting 8-10 hours of sleep a night, too, just to help out.
    "A man in this world without learning is as a beast of the field."

    My Primal Journal

    Comment


    • #3
      That's what I am hoping for. If it's temporary, I can deal with it. That's why I'm going to give it a little longer. I'm still concerned with my low energy levels in general, though. It's hard for me to get my work done.

      In the name of full disclosure, I personally think there are factors beyond diet that are in play. I'm not very happy with my social life right now (I'm socially anxious) and I'm nearing my graduation and not entirely sure what to do with my life. In other words, I'm under stress. I've always been a huge proponent of the mind's ability to affect the body.

      Comment


      • #4
        the stress was sort of my first inclination.

        the main thing, then, is to work on reducing stress in whatever ways you can. for anxiety, a "grounding" meditation is a good idea. just do a quick google and you'll find lots of resources.

        good luck!

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you!

          So it is fair to say, then, that chronically reduced energy levels are not a typical outcome of the primal diet? Because that would be a huge drawback. Again, the conventional wisdom is that you need carbs (and grains) for energy . . . people here would say that is indeed a mistaken assumption?

          Comment


          • #6
            Welcome to the primal way of eating!

            -Is it normal to experience this when first going on a primal diet?
            Like Iskander said, "Low carb flu" is the most likely culprit. It can actually take the body 4+ weeks to fully adapt.

            -Does a primal diet compromise your ability to compete athletically? Do you "need" carbs to compete at a high level?
            The best answer I can give you is...it depends, but for the most part no. It mainly seems to vary depending on the nature of the athletic pursuit, in addition to some individual variations. Check out the "primal fitness" and "primal athlete" boards for discussion of this topic ad nauseum.

            -What are the best ways to increase your energy level? Because I feel like I've tried everything--I go to bed by 10:30, I don't drink soda or alcohol or coffee, I've done yoga, I exercise everyday, and I'm conscientious about my diet.
            Make sure you are eating enough fat! If you're not using added fats for food preparation, your diet looks like it could possibly be too lean. Also, what type of exercise are you doing?

            As for your other stress, I would like to make a few non-primal suggestions. I'm assuming that you're 21 or so and getting ready to complete your undergraduate degree? I work as a university administrator, and it is likely that your school offers free career and psychological counseling - it couldn't hurt to check them out. If your university has a career services department, I guarantee that they see a ton of students with your exact problem. And social anxiety is something that often can be overcome with the help of therapy or support groups. Good luck!
            Last edited by theholla; 12-13-2010, 03:32 PM.
            The Primal Holla! Eating fat. Getting lean. Being awesome.

            You were sick, but now you're well, and there's work to do. - Kilgore Trout

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Bill_89 View Post
              Thank you!

              So it is fair to say, then, that chronically reduced energy levels are not a typical outcome of the primal diet? Because that would be a huge drawback. Again, the conventional wisdom is that you need carbs (and grains) for energy . . . people here would say that is indeed a mistaken assumption?
              Back when I ate an entirely grain based diet, I never had energy. Switching to an animal and plant (non-grain) based diet has given me huge amounts of energy. Yeah, I'd say it's a mistaken assumption. XD

              Edit: I've also noticed a great improvement in mood after switching to primal. Could help with the stress and whatnot.
              "A man in this world without learning is as a beast of the field."

              My Primal Journal

              Comment


              • #8
                1. Everyone has some low energy days at first - your body is adapting itself to getting energy from fat instead of carbs and it's not very efficient at first. In the long term, more overall energy and more even energy throughout the day is to be expected.
                2. It's not going to solve your shyness and social life, though I have found myself more sociable as I'm happier and less of a grumpy gus than before. Also, looking better is good for your social life at every level.
                3. Do athletes need carbs, it depends on the person to some extent. Maybe they (you) do, but a LOT less than standard people eat. For a while, I had energy issues playing racquetball, I usually play singles for about 2 hrs. The second hour I really was dragging. Started eating a banana or similar right before game time and that was plenty, no need for a ton of carbs for sure. These days I'm not sure I even need the banana, but I'm not really worrying about it either way any more.
                If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think you'll definitely see an increase in energy, but as others have said, the key on a low carb/low grain diet is more, not less, fat. On other low carb programs, I had energy problems and now, with less carbs, I'm doing more than fine after a month of this. The only difference in my situation is more fat on this program. I also find far fewer cravings with the added fat which is awesome. I just don't think about food all day.
                  True healthcare reform starts in your kitchen, not in Washington. ~Anonymous
                  The worst carrot is better than the best candybar.--TornadoGirl

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    As a side note, I really want to move to a warmer climate. I hate winter. =/
                    All good advice and you may want to get your vitamin D levels checked. Sufficient D3 can help with SAD symptoms (not saying you have any!), as well as being essential to a healthy immune system.
                    Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
                    Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
                    Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well, I hit the gym and I did fine there. My problem doesn't seem to be when I'm actually exercising. It's during the rest of the day that I feel lethargic. I think that's one reason why I haven't had any trouble staying on a routine--I feel the best while I'm exercising.

                      For exercise, I do mostly weight training. I also mix in some jogging (usually < 2 miles) for cardiovascular health and endurance. I used to be a "chronic cardio" guy, but I quit that before ever hearing about PB. I kept getting shin splints, and plus, it was sort of boring.

                      If you're not using added fats for food preparation, your diet looks like it could possibly be too lean.
                      To add more fat into my diet, I've using ranch on my salad. I've got the almonds. The egg yolks. Obviously, bacon sausage and burgers have plenty of fat. Is this enough? If not, any other suggestions? I am slightly limited in that I rely on a university cafeteria and my funds are not extensive at this point in my life.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ranch dressing? How can that fit into the plan? It's probably made of soybean oil and artificial colorings + flavorings + salt. They must have olive oil in the cafeteria salad bar. Heavy cream is good if you don't mind dairy products.
                        If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You know, for some reason, I never actually thought about the composition of ranch dressing. I recently gave the label an uncritical look and saw that it was 100 calories and 100 calories from fat and just assumed it was primal kosher. I will make your recommended adjustment starting tomorrow.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            i was a college student not all that long ago, so i can appreciate how hard this must be. getting enough good fats is probably going to be the hardest part for you. get yourself to a store & grab some coconut oil, & some real butter. if you eat on campus, i'd throw the butter or oil on your veggies as often as you can, & add coconut oil to smoothies if you can find ones that don't include processed sugar (the ones i made while working in a college cafeteria were from a box; ew!). full-fat dairy will probably be your cheapest form of fat, if you can swing it.

                            as for the energy levels, yes it's normal, but if you're running that much, you may need to eat more than 100g carbs a day. mark suggests 150 if you're maintaining. you might even want to skip the mile runs & switch to sprinting instead.

                            i applaud you doing this; i so wish i'd found it in college. marching band would have been so much easier! have fun at the rose bowl, you certainly earned it after beating us (buckeye alumni here).
                            And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the wind longs to play with your hair
                            Kahlil Gibran

                            http://simplesunshine.wordpress.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              i was a college student not all that long ago, so i can appreciate how hard this must be. getting enough good fats is probably going to be the hardest part for you.
                              It is. My cafeteria is really good about offering a wide variety of foods (including a robust salad bar), but it isn't perfect. Today I checked the salad dressings, and lo and behold, no olive oil. Just about everything is made of soybean oil . . . I could buy my own coconut oil, but then I'd have to bring it with me to the cafeteria, which is a little weird, but I suppose I can do it.

                              I think I'll be buying Mark's book over break to get some ideas. I already downloaded the user submitted recipe cookbook and forwarded it to my mom. Something tells me she won't be up for taking on this way of life, but I can try.

                              It really is a shame how messed up the American food supply is as a result of what appears to have been really poor research and mistaken assumptions. You just can't get away from soy products and HFCS and these vegetable oils. I really wish people would notice this stuff and demand some changes so that we had more options. If there was a large enough market for it, perhaps that would drive prices down a bit, too.

                              have fun at the rose bowl, you certainly earned it after beating us (buckeye alumni here)
                              Badgers were mighty impressive this year, but I'm a Hawkeye fan at heart (UW student, but Iowa native) ;-)

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X