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  1. #1
    nocturnalmama's Avatar
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    I need help troubleshooting low energy...

    Primal Fuel
    Hey all.

    I've been eating primal for almost two years now. I would say I'm fairly strict - I don't cheat often. I do indulge in primal baking from time to time, honey in my tea, and I did consume heavy cream and yogurt pretty much daily.

    Last week, I started the whole30 challenge taking away dairy and all sweeteners.

    Today - at my yoga class, I noticed a definite loss of energy and strength.

    My carb intake is around the same as it's always been, maybe slightly lower - I'd say close to 75g/day. My protein is higher than usual (closer to 100g, when normally around 90g). I'm wondering if it could be that I'm eating less fat (without the heavy cream daily, fat is a bit harder to get in)??

    Does anyone have this experience? I feel pretty good otherwise... a bit foggy in the head, a bit irritable from time to time, but my body, stomach, etc all feel great.

    Thoughts?
    Robin
    ~primal mama to 3~

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    A friendly bump, hoping someone is able to offer some thoughts on this...
    Robin
    ~primal mama to 3~

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    IcarianVX's Avatar
    IcarianVX is offline Senior Member
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    I think you nailed it with the lower fat. Since you are already adapted, your body is probably looking to that extra fat from the dairy as an energy source.
    Could you possibly add in an avocado or maybe a fattier cut of meat in one of your meals? How much heavy cream and/or yogurt are we talking about? 1tbsp would be easier to supplement than say 1cup or something.
    People too weak to follow their own dreams will always try to discourage others.

  4. #4
    nocturnalmama's Avatar
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    thank you.... it was about 1/4 cup heavy cream a day (but raw, and pretty high in milk fat) and the yogurt was full fat greek - and that would have been only about 1 cup a week - maybe 2.

    I have been a bit more mindful to add more fat to what I'm eating... I'll munch on an avocado today before my workout and see what that does for me.

    Thanks again.
    Robin
    ~primal mama to 3~

  5. #5
    IcarianVX's Avatar
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    Well, just the heavy cream alone is about 22g of fat IIRC. That is a lot of fat if you just cut it out. I eat between 180 and 200g per day and I would notice a 10% reduction. I am sure that it is a much larger percentage of your fat intake.

    A tbsp of olive oil will get most of that back but it will be more mono than saturated fat, which is the opposite of the cream.
    People too weak to follow their own dreams will always try to discourage others.

  6. #6
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    you are definitely not eating enough fat. and keep in mind that protein in addition to carbs also causes an insulin response, so too much protein can cause a higher insulin response (leading you to feel tired after eating). it's important to know that fat is the only thing that DOES NOT raise insulin. your diet currently sounds like a low carb, high protein, and moderate fat diet, which is probably why you are feeling tired (i definitely made this mistake). try switching to a HIGH FAT, moderate protein, and low carb diet and see how you feel. it might take a couple of days to adjust but it should definitely give you a lot more energy.

    personally, i found that cutting out heavy cream really helped. for some reason consuming heavy cream made me feel really tired (maybe i'm lactose intolerant or something. it probably won't be an issue for you though). now i just add tons and tons of butter and olive oil to my vegetables and eat lots of bacon or pulled pork fat (sooooo good). make sure most of your calories are coming from fat and not protein.

    also, don't worry about the extra calories you might be consuming from fat, because your body is extremely homeostatic and will work harder to burn those extra calories (more calories increases your metabolism, less calories lowers your metabolism. your body will adjust your metabolism based on how many calories you eat). in fact, if you are on a true high fat/low carb diet, no matter how many calories you consume you WILL NOT gain fat. you can only lose fat or stay the same (you can read about it in protein power).

    eating tons of fat and very little carbs (all my carbs were from low-starch vegetables) helped to increase my energy levels tremendously, and i lost all my belly fat in a week! (i didn't have that much to start with but still very noticeable).
    Last edited by chuckarie; 03-28-2011 at 03:54 PM.

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    Thanks for the advice. I really have no problems mentally with upping my fat intake - it was really a matter of finding sources! I've been making a conscious effort and my strength is definitely returning. Thanks for the advice and information - I definitely find the info about protein increasing insulin interesting, and something I'd never considered. Makes sense.

    I'm finding the absence of dairy to be a positive change overall - but definitely something I've had to be mindful about replacing with something else... it was my primary source of fat!
    Robin
    ~primal mama to 3~

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    I agree with upping the fat. You may also want to take a B-complex if you aren't already...will help with the energy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckarie View Post
    you are definitely not eating enough fat. and keep in mind that protein in addition to carbs also causes an insulin response, so too much protein can cause a higher insulin response (leading you to feel tired after eating). it's important to know that fat is the only thing that DOES NOT raise insulin. your diet currently sounds like a low carb, high protein, and moderate fat diet, which is probably why you are feeling tired (i definitely made this mistake). try switching to a HIGH FAT, moderate protein, and low carb diet and see how you feel. it might take a couple of days to adjust but it should definitely give you a lot more energy.

    personally, i found that cutting out heavy cream really helped. for some reason consuming heavy cream made me feel really tired (maybe i'm lactose intolerant or something. it probably won't be an issue for you though). now i just add tons and tons of butter and olive oil to my vegetables and eat lots of bacon or pulled pork fat (sooooo good). make sure most of your calories are coming from fat and not protein.

    also, don't worry about the extra calories you might be consuming from fat, because your body is extremely homeostatic and will work harder to burn those extra calories (more calories increases your metabolism, less calories lowers your metabolism. your body will adjust your metabolism based on how many calories you eat). in fact, if you are on a true high fat/low carb diet, no matter how many calories you consume you WILL NOT gain fat. you can only lose fat or stay the same (you can read about it in protein power).

    eating tons of fat and very little carbs (all my carbs were from low-starch vegetables) helped to increase my energy levels tremendously, and i lost all my belly fat in a week! (i didn't have that much to start with but still very noticeable).
    Would this still apply for those of us that have alot of body fat to lose? I tried upping my fat intake and not only felt horrible but ended up gaining weight. I find that having the body fat to lose, I only seem to drop the weight on a low carb, higher protein, low-moderate fat intake. I so wish I could eat all that fat and lose, but my body just won't let me

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tradawg View Post
    I agree with upping the fat. You may also want to take a B-complex if you aren't already...will help with the energy.
    Interesting... I was taking a B12 prior to whole30 but stopped during the whole30 because my pills contain lactose... I will continue taking them again after - but perhaps that also contributed to my energy loss...
    Robin
    ~primal mama to 3~

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