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Paleo withdrawal, or sick when cheating on diet?

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  • Paleo withdrawal, or sick when cheating on diet?

    I've been eating paleo (or actually a vegetarian "paleo") diet for almost a month now. A paleo friend of mine told me to expect some withdrawal symptoms, and boy did I ever get those. Since about a week in, I've had a persistent headache, have been overly moody and tired, and there's that all-over ache. I know this was common and I sort of understand why it happens, but I'm confused about what happened today.

    Last night I gave in to my ramen craving sort of, and drank a bowl of broth made from the packet that comes in ramen. Ingredients are:

    Salt, Soy Sauce Powder (Wheat, Soybeans, Maltodextrin, Salt), Monosodium Glutamate, Spices, Hydrolyzed Soy, Corn and Wheat Protein, Garlic Powder, Caramel Color, Onion Powder, Rice Oil, Citric Acid, Disodium Succinate, Dehydrated Leek, Calcium Silicate (Anticaking Agent), Disodium Guanylate, Disodium Inosinate.

    I knew it was not paleo and was cheating, but thought that a single packet of powder wouldn't matter so much in the grand scheme of things and could be my 20% cheat for a couple days.

    This morning when I got up I was really, really sick. The persistent headache had turned into a pounding torment, and I had stomach problems and no energy. When I drove my brother to work I thought I was going to throw up from being so nauseous. I was up for the day at 9, but I went back to sleep at 10 and stayed in bed until 3:30pm. I was sweating, and the sweat smelled like it does when your body is getting rid of some serious toxins (not sure if any of you know what opioid withdrawal is like, but yeah).

    Why does this happen? It doesn't make sense to me that the body would react in such a way. The overall sickness makes some sense in that the body is getting used to life without grains and other bad things, but during that initial withdrawal period wouldn't eating bad foods make you feel less sick temporarily, instead of just making everything worse?

    I'm beginning to think that paleo might not be that healthy. How is it that this is a sign of being healthy? Wouldn't a truly healthy body not react violently to small amounts of unhealthy foods?
    Music of the day/week/month/whatever:

    K.A.A.N. - L.T.N. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWocmse1Ef4

  • #2
    you drank a bowl of total garbage and felt sick, but it's paleo that isn't healthy? your logic confounds me.

    as for how you felt before yesterday? are you doing this low-carb? make sure to replace your electrolytes with bone broth. do you need/want to be vlc?
    As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

    – Ernest Hemingway

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Nellodee View Post
      I'm beginning to think that paleo might not be that healthy. How is it that this is a sign of being healthy? Wouldn't a truly healthy body not react violently to small amounts of unhealthy foods?
      Story time.

      I was given a gift of some VERY rich chocolates some time ago. I opened the packed and couldn't even finish one. The second day, I came back to the box and managed to finish the chocolate I half-ate the day before. On day 3, I managed to eat a whole chocolate before being maxed out. On Day 4 I ate two. On day 5 I ate the rest of the box.

      It's possible your body knows what it likes and doesn't like, and if you take a break from the bad foods you can regain your sensitivity to them, and listen to your body and not eat them again. But if you force it your body will kinda lay down and let you do whatever stupid thing you want.

      You know, if you want to.
      Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

      Griff's cholesterol primer
      5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
      Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
      TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
      bloodorchid is always right

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      • #4
        It's amazing to me how accustomed my body was to eating and drinking junk - I felt no side effects at all from the chemicals, additives, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics. Now, after months of eating cleanly, I eat junk food or take out food once and I feel at least one negative side effect.
        Paleo Diet: 8-25-13 Wt: 185 BF% 27
        Primal Diet (Lower Fat/Carb): 9-27, Wt: 176.4
        Potato Hack Diet (Rotation): 11-12, Wt: 171.2
        Primal Diet (LF/C): 1-23-14, Wt: 159.6
        1-30-2014 - 157 (lowest weight since 2004)
        GAPS/SCD 12-29-2014
        CW: 164 GW: 130-135 CBF%: 24.38
        49 - 5'7.5"
        Macros (PFC) 30/40/30

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        • #5
          Originally posted by BlueToad
          It may be helpful to note that everyone's body processes these things differently from what I have seen. I have had the same experience as you where food that seemingly was no problem pre-primal has become a huge issue in small quantities the longer I have eaten this way, namely, wheat and seed oils. I can bloat up like a puffer fish on a bit of seed oil now whereas in the past I would only have had that reaction after eating an entire loaf of bread and pint of ice cream. Also, I have reflux now every time I eat unhealthily, and in the past it was only occasionally. I take this as a sign that my body is giving my a very firm "NO!" when it senses a food enemy. My husband is quite different. He will gain weight when veering away from primal eating but not have the side effects I have.
          It is good to know that I'm not the only one who reacts this way when eating the occasional unhealthy food.

          Originally posted by BlueToad
          I can't answer why the headache is persisting, but you may want to re-examine what you are eating to see if there may be a food item causing it. Not enough liquid perhaps? Or something else you cut out or added in since going primal.
          I thought that a sort of "withdrawal" period was normal, when making the switch to a paleo-based diet. It could be not enough liquid, as I am taking a medication that happens to be a diuretic. On the advice of a friend I've been taking a magnesium supplement to help with electrolyte levels. Really though I had expected this period to end in a few weeks, when other people have said the true benefits of paleo start to become obvious.

          My diet hasn't gained anything since trying paleo, except butter which I stopped trying to use because it upset my stomach. All I've been eating have been fresh vegetables (including fruits like tomato and avocado), peppers, coconut/olive oil, sometimes mushrooms, eggs and spices. Oh and red wine vinegar, and small amounts of other vinegars found in simple hot sauces. Really I've been eating the same foods every single day. To drink I have had mostly water, sometimes unsweetened tea or coffee.

          Originally posted by BlueToad
          On a side note, it may be helpful to eliminate the concept of "cheating" from your food vocabulary. If you want to eat something, eat it. Our food choices are our own, and we need to give ourselves a break and eat what our own bodies need. Primal works amazingly for me, but I wouldn't hold anyone else to it. Keep discovering and learning where you can add in healthy foods to your diet and don't feel like you've done something "wrong" when you eat something outside of someone else's guidelines. Its all part of the journey.
          Thank you, I like this advice. I've actually been thinking that I'm not comfortable eating eggs, and I may instead opt for less-healthy tofu.

          Originally posted by noodletoy View Post
          you drank a bowl of total garbage and felt sick, but it's paleo that isn't healthy? your logic confounds me.
          You sound just like a friend of mine! But what I'm confused about is that the "withdrawal" sort of thing that people go through could happen at the same time as the "I've been eating this way and now unhealthy food makes me very ill" thing. Mostly. I'm also wondering how being more susceptible to sickness could be a sign of good healthy, but that could be chalked up to a decrease in tolerance to toxic foods from not eating them often.

          It seems very odd to me that my body is sick overall from getting used to not having bad foods, and then when I give it some bad food I become even more ill. Maybe I'm at some weird in-between stage, I guess.

          Originally posted by noodletoy View Post
          as for how you felt before yesterday? are you doing this low-carb? make sure to replace your electrolytes with bone broth. do you need/want to be vlc?
          I am doing this low-carb, yes. I've lost 12lbs since starting paleo and intend to lose a bit more (down to 110 or so). The most carb-heavy foods I have eaten in the past month have been 2 bananas and a single apple, and those were on different weeks each. I will not drink or eat bones, and I don't know what vlc is (other than a media player).

          Originally posted by magicmerl View Post
          Story time.

          I was given a gift of some VERY rich chocolates some time ago. I opened the packed and couldn't even finish one. The second day, I came back to the box and managed to finish the chocolate I half-ate the day before. On day 3, I managed to eat a whole chocolate before being maxed out. On Day 4 I ate two. On day 5 I ate the rest of the box.

          It's possible your body knows what it likes and doesn't like, and if you take a break from the bad foods you can regain your sensitivity to them, and listen to your body and not eat them again. But if you force it your body will kinda lay down and let you do whatever stupid thing you want.

          You know, if you want to.
          Originally posted by MsSmith View Post
          It's amazing to me how accustomed my body was to eating and drinking junk - I felt no side effects at all from the chemicals, additives, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics. Now, after months of eating cleanly, I eat junk food or take out food once and I feel at least one negative side effect.
          Yes, it sort of makes sense that our bodies start to reject unhealthy foods once they become accustomed to life without them, but for it to be this severe makes me wonder if maybe it wasn't just the food, and my immune system has become compromised by eating paleo, or something. I'm still quite sick; more than I have been during this past month of "withdrawal".
          Music of the day/week/month/whatever:

          K.A.A.N. - L.T.N. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWocmse1Ef4

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Nellodee View Post
            but for it to be this severe makes me wonder if maybe it wasn't just the food, and my immune system has become compromised by eating paleo, or something. I'm still quite sick; more than I have been during this past month of "withdrawal".
            Possibly you are deficient in something. Electrolytes like Magnesium and table salt tend to be hidden in a lot of processed foods, and you may need to seek them out more.
            Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

            Griff's cholesterol primer
            5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
            Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
            TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
            bloodorchid is always right

            Comment


            • #7
              Your body is adjusting. I know when I eat paleo for like a month and then eat a few "bad" foods in a row my stomach doesn't like it. It aches.

              It sounds like it's just a time thing.
              My interesting paleo weight loss blog

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              • #8
                Why vegetarian? What are you doing for protein other than eggs?

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                • #9
                  Salt, Soy Sauce Powder (Wheat, Soybeans, Maltodextrin, Salt), Monosodium Glutamate, Spices, Hydrolyzed Soy, Corn and Wheat Protein, Garlic Powder, Caramel Color, Onion Powder, Rice Oil, Citric Acid, Disodium Succinate, Dehydrated Leek, Calcium Silicate (Anticaking Agent), Disodium Guanylate, Disodium Inosinate.
                  I haven't seen a list of ingredients like that since I ditched the I Can't Believe It's Not Butter.

                  Look at it this way. Let's say that instead of eating that list processed ingredients, you drank a fifth of your favorite spirit. The next morning, you feel like crap. Is it the vodka or paleo?
                  "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

                  B*tch-lite

                  Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MamaMidwife View Post
                    Why vegetarian? What are you doing for protein other than eggs?
                    For ethical reasons, and I haven't been getting any other protein, except maybe trace amounts in other foods. I might stop eating eggs and go with tofu in the future.

                    Originally posted by JoanieL View Post
                    I haven't seen a list of ingredients like that since I ditched the I Can't Believe It's Not Butter.

                    Look at it this way. Let's say that instead of eating that list processed ingredients, you drank a fifth of your favorite spirit. The next morning, you feel like crap. Is it the vodka or paleo?
                    This would make a lot more sense if I wasn't experiencing "carb withdrawal" in the first place. A person physically addicted to alcohol would experience alcohol withdrawal when quitting their drinking habit, and during that period they would feel sick (in extreme cases they could die). While in those stages of withdrawal, some vodka would alleviate the withdrawal symptoms. Like when a person recovering from heroin addiction takes methadone, and slowly wean themselves off. The methadone won't be good for their bodies, but it will ease their transition into drug-free living.

                    In my case, consuming the admittedly terrible broth exacerbated the existing withdrawal symptoms. The headache, nausea, tiredness, irritability and body aches were all happening while eating no bad foods, and became hugely intensified after the broth. Maybe it's not as simple as I'm thinking it to be, and the withdrawal from carbs is a separate issue. I could be sick from one of those other toxic ingredients, I suppose.

                    This has been an eye-opening experience. I didn't even use the entire packet of toxic powder, and now nearly 24 hours later I'm still very unwell. That broth likely would have been the only serious deviation from the diet for a few weeks at least, and I thought it would be fine under the 80/20 thing. I'm amazed that my body has become so sensitive and fragile in the face of unhealthy food. I'll continue with the diet for now because I do like the effortless weight loss, but after this I think I will stick to it 100% of the time, no exceptions. It's a little upsetting to think that many of my favorite guilty pleasure foods will floor me with sickness, but it is better to be healthy.
                    Music of the day/week/month/whatever:

                    K.A.A.N. - L.T.N. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWocmse1Ef4

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      For ethical reasons, and I haven't been getting any other protein, except maybe trace amounts in other foods. I might stop eating eggs and go with tofu in the future.
                      So, I'm new here (again), but on the paleo diet, that doesn't seem healthy. It's not an all vegetables diet, it's a fat, protein, and produce diet (mostly). You're trying to do it with just the produce.

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                      • #12
                        If you haven't checked this out yet, start here:

                        Primal Blueprint 101 | Mark's Daily Apple

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MamaMidwife View Post
                          So, I'm new here (again), but on the paleo diet, that doesn't seem healthy. It's not an all vegetables diet, it's a fat, protein, and produce diet (mostly). You're trying to do it with just the produce.
                          The majority of my calories have been coming from fat, though olive/coconut oil, avocados and a bit of almond meal. And I've been eating 1-2 eggs on most days, though eggs are kind of gross. I realize that my diet isn't optimal for personal health, but I believe it's wrong (for me) to eat animals.
                          Music of the day/week/month/whatever:

                          K.A.A.N. - L.T.N. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWocmse1Ef4

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                          • #14
                            I used to think that too. I was vegan for six years. I ended choosing to eat meat and I do local/organic as much as possible. To each his own.

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                            • #15
                              Funny, I showed a friend this thread and we discovered that my protein intake is actually very, very low.

                              For a strict vegetarian considering veganism, what do you think would be the least unhealthy way (keeping in mind I am trying to lose weight) to boost my protein intake by a LOT?
                              Music of the day/week/month/whatever:

                              K.A.A.N. - L.T.N. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWocmse1Ef4

                              Comment

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