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  1. #1
    NinaV's Avatar
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    Newbie Grokkster needs advice :)

    Primal Fuel
    Hi, everyone
    I have been strictly Paleo for about 3 weeks now. (no dairy, no grains, some nightshades). I lost about 7lb my first week and then it slowed down to barely 1 - 1.5 lb for the next 2 weeks. I also keep going through these ups and downs in my general well being. I feel energized for a few days then sluggish and achy all over for a few days. My diet is pretty much the same on those days, so I can't figure out what this is. I always thought the "low carb flu" only affects people who are eating less than 50 g of carbs per day and I'm usually between 50-70. Plus I thought once you have the "flu" once, then you're good to go. And I keep bouncing in and out of it.
    Another thing is that my sleep is still not great. I can't help but nap when I'm in a sluggish day and then my circadian rhythms are all messed up. I tried very low carb in the past and couldn't sleep for weeks, so I'm keeping my carbs a bit higher to avoid it and it still seems to cause problems.
    I do record my food, I know some people here are against it, but I'm a bit of a nerd, so I like having data to analyze. I have my "reports" in pdf format if anyone wants to give it a look-see.
    The one good thing is that I'm definitely not feeling hungry. Sometimes I have to make myself go eat, because I don't want to go too long without food, but I'm not really feeling hungry yet. My meals are usually 4-6 hours apart, sometimes longer, but that's more typical.
    So my questions are:
    1) Why did my weight loss slow down so significantly so quickly?
    2) Why am I going in and out of "flu" and why am I even having the "flu" if I'm not really that low in carbs?
    3) I'll take any advice on sleep - it's driving me crazy :/
    4) I'm hoping people can share how long it was for them until they felt great all the time
    Last edited by NinaV; 08-11-2012 at 03:43 PM.

  2. #2
    zoebird's Avatar
    zoebird is offline Senior Member
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    Carb flu is the achey/yucky feelings which is normal. it's a sort of clear-out -- particularly if what you ate had a fair amount of chemicals in addition to that which is in grains that makes us feel yucky (but we're used to it after a while because yucky = normal).

    For sleep, I recommend winding yourself down early. Turn off tv/computers/etc at about a half hour or hour after sundown, then go with dim lighting or candle light and conversation and then into quiet and bedtime. it can help a lot.

    In regards to food, in addition to recording what you eat, go ahead and count calories if you like data points. you might notice that an adjustment of 50-100 calories either direction could make the difference for you. If you are forcing yourself to eat, consider eating a little less if yu want to eat meals every 4-6 hours.

  3. #3
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    1. You lost water weight your first week. Those first seven pounds don't really matter. 1-1.5 pounds per week is a fine rate for weight loss. Some people don't lose anything for weeks, until their body heals certain things. Weight loss rate also depends heavily on how much you have to lose, which isn't clear. Someone who has 200 pounds can drop 50 in a month sometimes. People who have 20 pounds to lose can take months to lose it.

    2. Maybe you need more primal carbs?

    3. Magnesium I forget which kind is best for this), and maybe more carbs.

    4. Sorry, wasn't really keeping track then.

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    NinaV's Avatar
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    Thank you for the responses.
    Some follow up:
    When I say that I record what eat, I mean that I keep track of calories, carbs, everything. So I pretty much know exactly what I eat, I weigh and measure things, yes, I am that anal
    I know that the first week is water weight, I was just expecting more of a loss . I have over 100 pounds to lose, so I was kind of hoping for at least 2-3 pounds for the first few months, when I read some posts here on the forum, it seems that many people have lost that much or even more. But it does make sense that my body might need to do some healing before it can concentrate of losing fat. I didn't eat a lot of processed junk before Paleo, but I did eat grains and dairy.
    I am forcing myself to eat (sometimes), because if I don't, I'll end up with 800-1000 calories a day and that just can't be healthy for someone of my current size.
    As to the "flu", I was pretty much wondering if anyone else was going in and out of it for the first few weeks/months as well, or is it just me?
    jfreaksho, I will try magnesium, I think that might be helpful.
    Thanks again
    Last edited by NinaV; 08-11-2012 at 08:04 PM.

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    zoebird's Avatar
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    you might find that your body cycles. that some days you want 1000 cals a day, and then another day you want 1600 to 1800. Your body has a lot of body fat, so it will turn to that to fuel itself, so I wouldn't worry about it overmuch, really.

    I don't believe in force feeding myself though. There are days where I really don't eat at all -- i just don't want to. I've always been like that, though.

  6. #6
    Sandra in BC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NinaV View Post
    Hi, everyone
    I have been strictly Paleo for about 3 weeks now. (no dairy, no grains, some nightshades). I lost about 7lb my first week and then it slowed down to barely 1 - 1.5 lb for the next 2 weeks. ...

    So my questions are:
    1) Why did my weight loss slow down so significantly so quickly?
    2) Why am I going in and out of "flu" and why am I even having the "flu" if I'm not really that low in carbs?
    3) I'll take any advice on sleep - it's driving me crazy :/
    4) I'm hoping people can share how long it was for them until they felt great all the time
    1)
    a) Women tend to take a little longer to "kick in". Give it another 3 weeks.
    b) you don't mention your starting weight or goal weight. Significant losses are noticed when you have more to lose, and slows down considerably the closer you get to your optimal weight range.
    c) You don't mention exactly WHAT you're eating, or how much. Restricting calories and/or fat can stall you. Or, you may be eating more than you think.
    d) measure yourself. Not all losses/changes are measured in pounds. (did you read Friday's success story on the main page?)

    2) are you eating enough? You have to power through it. Eat for optimal health during this time, not weight loss. Get over the carb flu, then tweak your food for body composition. (honestly I didn't know I *had* a carb flu until I looked back on it weeks/months later. I had been sick with a cold about 3 weeks primal, and thought I had a nasty virus.)

    3) the sleep issue is causing you stress. Stress will stall weight loss. Get black out blinds for your windows. I use a noise machine sometimes (rain is my favorite). I also have a meditation routine that is so effective that all I have to do is think "go to my beach" and I'm out so quick I never get to the beach! Damn. There was a hot stone massage waiting for me.

    4) first week I noticed some changes in how I felt (no edema, no gas & bloating, no headaches). Except for the nasty cold/flu week, I felt pretty good all the time. Lighter, clearer in my head. 6 weeks and started noticing changes in how my clothes fit. I don't weigh myself, and I haven't changed my activity level.
    Sandra
    *My obligatory intro

    There are no cheat days. There are days when you eat primal and days you don't. As soon as you label a day a cheat day, you're on a diet. Don't be on a diet. ~~ Fernaldo

    DAINTY CAN KISS MY PRIMAL BACKSIDE. ~~ Crabcakes

  7. #7
    NinaV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandra in BC View Post
    1) a) Women tend to take a little longer to "kick in". Give it another 3 weeks.
    Great yet another thing where guys have the advantage. Ugh!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandra in BC View Post
    b) you don't mention your starting weight or goal weight. Significant losses are noticed when you have more to lose, and slows down considerably the closer you get to your optimal weight range.
    c) You don't mention exactly WHAT you're eating, or how much. Restricting calories and/or fat can stall you. Or, you may be eating more than you think.
    I am currently about 280lb, female, 38 years old. I eat paleo foods - eggs, meats (grass fed beef, organic chicken and humane pork) some seafood, veggies of all sort, sweet potatoes, cooked in pastured butter, coconut oil or dressed in olive oil (if it's a salad). I live in Cali and it's summer, so there's literally an abundance of fresh local veg at the farmers market, most of it organic, plus there's a "Whole Foods" around every corner. I always cooked for myself, even before Paleo, I just included "healthy whole grains" and now I don't. Because I always cooked, that part of the transition was not that hard for me, just a matter of adjusting a few things, it's the "I feel deprived of tasty treats" mentality that I had a hard time with at first, but now I have a handle on it, I just had to start thinking of wheat and all the wheat related stuff as I thought of cigarettes when I quit smoking and just let it go.
    I average about 1400 - 1700 cal per day with average of 50-70g carbs, usually about 100g of protein and 100g of fat (give or take a few grams, I don't obsess about the proportions, that's just what it ends up being.) Like I mentioned before, I record what I eat - I use Fatsecret, so I create recipes and measure and weigh and portion things out, again, yes, I'm a nerd, can't help it

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandra in BC View Post
    d) measure yourself. Not all losses/changes are measured in pounds. (did you read Friday's success story on the main page?).
    That's a good one, I'll try measuring

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandra in BC View Post
    3) the sleep issue is causing you stress. Stress will stall weight loss. Get black out blinds for your windows. I use a noise machine sometimes (rain is my favorite). I also have a meditation routine that is so effective that all I have to do is think "go to my beach" and I'm out so quick I never get to the beach! Damn. There was a hot stone massage waiting for me.
    Lol, you and me both! I tried he rainy noise machine - it makes me want to pee

    Thanks, Sandra

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    NinaV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
    you might find that your body cycles. that some days you want 1000 cals a day, and then another day you want 1600 to 1800. Your body has a lot of body fat, so it will turn to that to fuel itself, so I wouldn't worry about it overmuch, really.

    I don't believe in force feeding myself though. There are days where I really don't eat at all -- i just don't want to. I've always been like that, though.
    The only reason I force myself to eat sometimes is that, if I don't eat at least 50g of carbs, I can't sleep at all and that's no fun for me. Don't get me wrong, most times I get hungry and I eat, but some days I get busy and I don't have time to eat until it's 9pm and I had breakfast at 9am, and sometimes I'm still not hungry (thank you, eggs fried in coconut oil or pastured butter so I just eat anyway, because I don't want to stay up all night long, I'm too old for all-nighters

  9. #9
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    Hmm maybe you should try dropping your carbs a bit lower and see what happens? With slightly higher carbs you may not be fully fat burning yet (try dropping the sweet potato, for example). I'm not sure how much a difference it will make, but it's worth a shot to really try and push your body to become fully fat burning!

  10. #10
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    I think you are being greedy to want faster than 1.5-2lb weight loss per week. Seriously, that's probably faster than you put it on. Relax and enjoy the journey. And I agree with keeping your carbs below 60. You might just be bouncing around at the edge of getting over low carb flu. Or it might just be that it will take you more than a few days. It certainly took me more than 5 weeks to fully adjust to low carb.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    I can squat 180lbs, press 72.5lbs and deadlift 185lbs

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