Monday, February 11, 2013

The Paleo "Flu"

If you are new to 'paleo' and feeling less than your best, please read on! Those of you on day-6 of your 'paleo' challenge may be wondering why you feel worse instead of better. This is a quick write-up from months past to further explain.

I'm not going to lie, quick elimination of the high carbohydrate and processed foods that many of us have relied on for years can lead to a 2 - 3 week period of feeling:
• Hungry
• Lethargic
• Headachy
• GI distressed
• Stuffy-headed
• And simply, less than your best!
This is sometimes referred to as the "Paleo Flu".

For those of you in the midst of your 'paleo challenges'...
Sticking with 'paleo' for a full 30 days (or more) gives your body the chance to adjust (making the switch from carb-burner to fat-burner) and transition to feeling:
• Satisfied longer
• Craving free
• Energized throughout the day
• Well-rested (better sleep)
• Bloat-free
• Clear breathing and clear thinking

If you are feeling this..., it could be because...:
• Tired and sluggish - Your body no longer has the level of quick carbs it's used to using for energy. Within a few weeks, most people make the shift to utilizing fat (dietary and body stores) for fuel and feel far more energetic than before.
• Hungry - Your body is "craving" sugars. Don't give in! Turn to paleo-friendly options and make sure there are enough healthy fats in your meals to help diminish your cravings.
• Constipated - There's been a quick decrease in fiber from grain elimination. Increase your vegetables and include some nuts and seeds to increase fiber with paleo eating.
• Nauseous or really full - You may be adjusting to higher fat consumption. Try increasing your fats more slowly within the first month. Some people find lipase enzymes to be helpful.
• Diarrhea - Adjusting to a higher fat consumption. Again, try increasing fats more slowly.

The second week on 'paleo' can be the toughest in regard to cravings and wanting to give-in to your old ways! Continue to put in the extra effort to make delicious, whole-food meals, stay hydrated and make notes in your journal about how you are feeling. Find outlets other than food - things you love to do: get some fresh air, focus on your family and friends and remember why you want to make changes in your life. Stick with it and the pay-off will be worth it!

Anyone have a dose of the 'paleo flu'? Share your comments below:


  1. Day 7 still learning the up's and downs, but during today's "coconut pancake" experiment I'm having a mental Paleo meltdown. Stressed, aggrevated and light headed. I'm a 44 year olf male, 5'9 148.5 lbs and really just trying to lean out and drop 4-6 lbs of body fat. Not at all sure I'm doing this thing right

    1. Hi Stew,

      Congrats for giving "paleo" a go! It can definitely be a tough first few weeks as your body adjusts and you figure out your routine. But, I would highly encourage you to keep it up. With a focus on quality meat, fresh produce and natural fats you are probably on the right track. Please check out my new website/blog at for more info, recipes and tips!

      Thanks for sharing!