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Starting a Paleo Diet: What to Expect?

Starting a Paleo Diet: What to Expect?

What are you going to experience when starting a paleo diet? I mean, let’s face it you have to cut out all those processed foods, the sugar, and all the take-out junk food. Isn’t that gonna hurt?

I can only talk from my own experience and from what others have told me. And when I first started I had the awesome sugar detox guide to help me through the process and it’s often what I recommend people use to help them through.

To be honest, when starting paleo there are obviously pros and cons, but you will be happy to know that the pros far outweigh the cons.

Pros Of Starting A Paleo Diet

1. Feeling less bloated – this was an initial huge bonus and of course it makes sense when you aren’t consuming all the grains and gluten, which blows you up. Seeing your stomach shrink makes you feel better instantly. Feeling a bit skinnier is always a good incentive to keep on going.

2. Fast easy weight loss – Losing a few pounds in the first week is a bonus and definitely helps boost your motivation to keep going. If you continue to eat paleo the weight keeps coming off steadily…YEAH!

3. Eating lots of food – I certainly didn’t felt deprived in any way by changing to a paleo diet, the paleo diet food selection really offers a great variety and keeps you full and satisfied. I’m thoroughly enjoy eating this way, and would never go back to my old habits. For someone who used to be addicted to bread and pasta and all things carb, that’s saying alot!

4. Increased energy for most of the day – Overall my energy greatly increased as a result of starting paleo but I did get a slight slump mid afternoon. I increased my carbs intake earlier in the day to work through this and after a few of weeks as my blood sugars became steady, this mid afternoon slump disappeared.

5. A feeling of lightness – this is a great feeling. It’s kind of like you feel that your health has improved and there is an inner lightness. Probably the organs sighing in relief from not being bogged down by all that junk and all the heavy carb load :)

6. Mental clarity – what we eat affects us on so many levels. And before starting paleo I was literally living in a constant haze. Getting mental clartiy back was a huge bonus. Brain functioning better, that’s a good thing.

7. Improved sleep – I was really struggling before to get the right amount of sleep. But I have been sleeping 8-9 hours a day, easy. And good soild sleep too. I am waking up feeling energetic, not tired and sluggish like I was before starting paleo.

8. An inner calmness – I do feel more calm and relaxed, odd…but true.

The Cons Of Starting A Paleo Diet

Okay I did say it wasn’t all a rosy ride!

There are a few things in the initial stages that aren’t exactly pleasant. BUT you just have to know that those effects are your body going through a detox and adjustment process. They will pass so it’s worth perservering. And of course the pros do outweight the cons.

So what are the cons?

1. Headaches – By mid to late afternoon you may experience some rather bad headaches. Make sure you drink plenty of water and I found that getting some more carbs into the body helps with the symptoms. Of course make sure they are Paleocarbs – the good carbs, like an apple or something.

2. Slight energy slumps – I think these come associated with the headaches and are due to the carb/dehydration component. Again, if you eat something and get some more water into you will usually recover within 10-20 minutes.

3. Diarrhea – In the first few days you may get a slight bout of diarrhea. All that extra fibre and protien does get the bowels moving. Also if you are eating too much protien and not enough fat or vice versa, that can also create diarrhea. Sometimes you just need to tweak your protein, fat and carb intake to get this in balance. And generally it does pass after a while.

4. Thirst – Drink lots of water. Believe me you will want to because boy do you get thirsty. Another sign of the body’s detox process.

For me that was it! Not too bad really.

But I know there are people who experience tiredness and lethargy, muscle cramps, constipation, an amplification of symptoms for a week or two, and blood sugar lows where you get the shakes (increase your carbs or fats). It really just depends on ‘how bad’ your diet has been prior to starting the paleo diet.

Just keep drinking water, eat when you are hungry, even if you think you are eating alot (which you will), eat good carbs from your selection of fruits and veges and not just protein. And if you find you are really struggling, just ease yourself into it instead of going cold turkey.

Any new lifestyle program takes time for your body to adapt. The benefits far outweigh the process of going through it so just stick with it.

Have a great day

Jedha

P.S. One of the very best ways to get started on paleo, ease yourself into it and lose weight faster is to do a sugar detox. The sugar detox guide has 3 different levels you can follow so you start at a level that’s comfortable for you. I did it this way and loads of people do. It also contains loads of the questions you’ll want answered, and tells you what to eat. It’s one of the very best gifts you’ll *ever* give yourself!

Be sure to get hold of the guide now to help you do it easier and faster!

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Comments

  1. Glenneth says:

    Hi. Found you from #blogboost. Curious about eating out on the Paleo diet. Thanks!

    • Jedha says:

      Hi Glenneth, thanks for stopping by. Great question. It is a little more difficult to eat out paleo but not impossible. It’s also good to remember the 80/20 rule. Be good 80% of the time, then you can go a bit off your diet program 20% of the time! This has inspired me to write a blog post about this. Thanks:)

  2. Meredith says:

    I am having the hardest time even getting started – although I *know* this is what I should do…. any advice for getting started and getting over the “tomorrow” syndrome.

    • Jedha says:

      Ah…the tomorrow syndrome. Boy do I know that well! For two years I got stuck in that negative cycle. What is it that you are avoiding? What percieved obstacles are you creating in your mind? I was avoiding loving and looking after myself and making the excuse that I didn’t have time. I was also thinking that I had no control over my circumstances. I was wrong. As soon as I made the change, things began to flow. My advice, just make the decision and get started, don’t wait 2 years, find someone to keep you accountable & get your dirty laundry out in the open (your feelings and thoughts), then take it one day at a time. Hope that helps :)

  3. tina says:

    found you through blogboost.
    i’m really interested in the paleo diet as it speaks to me in so many ways.
    only problem i have is my coffee and my dairy. many things i can give up, but not my coffee (with cream) and my yogurt (full fat homemade) and cheese.
    i’ve done away with almost all grains though. will enjoy reading your blog.

    • Jedha says:

      I still drink one coffee a day! Organic freshly brewed coffee with milk, YUM. Not strictly paleo but you don’t have to be perfect to get good results. Also there are a lot of people who still include dairy, cheese and yoghurt in their paleo diets. Thanks for stopping by. Love to see you back here soon :)

  4. Greg says:

    Just started Paleo diet three days ago. Lost three pounds but feel a little tired. I started doing it cold turkey but today ate a few raisins. Giving up salt is the hardest for me, I love salt, but this is a good thing since I have high blood pressure. Also had to have a cup of coffee. to have a cup of coffee today as well. I am sure that I am experiencing some detox, when that passes I will give up the raisins and the coffee. I think the coffee will be the last to go though.

    • Jedha says:

      Well done on getting started Greg. The first few weeks can be a bit of a challenge. The tiredness is part of the detox process and will pass. Just don’t be too hard on yourself during the transition, and the occasional coffee (made with good coffee beans) is okay :)

  5. linda says:

    Hi Jedha,

    I have tried starting Paleo a couple times, but always have a lot of fatigue. I am prone to fatigue it seems. Is there any guide for how many carbs to have per day to still maintain energy. I might have candida and thinking I might try the Paleo diet again. Thank you for your help!

    • Jedha says:

      Eat carbs in equal portion to proteins but also make sure you include good fats because this will help to sustain your energy longer. If you have candida this can cause fatigue, getting on paleo and avoiding all suagr and fruit will help to get on top of that and hopefully help with the fatigue as well. Good luck and I hope you find your energy soon :)

  6. Keren says:

    Hi im just starting the paleo diet and want to know if mince is ok to eat as long as it is lean mince and wondering which foods are the highest in protein and carbs as my goal is to be a female body sculptor and my personal trainer told me to stick to this diet to get what i need to reach my goal

    • Jedha says:

      Mince is awesome! It’s one of my favorite meats, cheaper, makes loads of delicious things, you can get chicken, pork, lamb, veal, beef, so there’s good variety. So yep it’s okay. Not sure on which foods are highest in protein and carbs off the hat, I’ll have to write a post about that so thanks for the inspiration :)

  7. just me says:

    So I have been doing Paleo since Monday morning and it is Wednesday and I have a headache. I am figuring it is from withdrawals. I need some help because I am a vegetarian, but I eat seafood. Any recommendations. I need to lose 45 lbs. in the next year or so, I have had two hernia repairs due to pregnancy and doctor said we should not get pregnant again until I lose the weight. I want to lose the weight and stay healthy! I miss yogurt can I have it! How do people do in the first month, especially women with the weight loss part?

    • Jedha says:

      Hey Just Me, headaches are normal due to withdrawals as you are aware. 45lbs is totally doable. If you are vegetarian I would be eating some seafood every day. It’s not necessarily optimal but I’d also include some beans, maybe chickpeas for some extra protein but you need to soak them and cook them well to help remove the antinutrient factor.Some people can handle yoghurt as some paleo people do eat dairy, so it’s a personal choice but if weight loss is slow or not happening, cut the dairy at least for a while. Weight loss results vary but 6-10lbs a month is a good goal. Aim at 6 if you get higher that’s great!

      Hope that helps :)

  8. nicole says:

    Hello!

    I wanted to say thank you for this post! I am normally a full of energy person but this week (week 1 caveman) I have been incredibly tired. I couldn’t even finish a short 3 mile training run the 2nd day because my legs felt like bricks. I have been overly tired – took a short nap after work yesterday but was able to play volleyball without feeling the sluggish legs. Actually, I felt awesome playing volleyball. Although the sluggishness is still there. Do you know about how long I can expect this to last?

    • Jedha says:

      This is normal and will only last about a week, 2 at the most if your diet has been really bad. Make sure you eat a small amount of good fats every day to help increase your energy and ward off cravings and hunger. Good luck and please check back anytime for questions :)

  9. jackie says:

    This is my 13th day on the paleo diet. I have not had any starches like potatoes, rice etc. I am really tired, mentally sluggish and believe it or not constipated. I limit my fruits to maybe a half grapefruit and half apple per day as I am trying to loss weight as well. I feel like I am coming down with the flu and my stomach is bloated. The first 5 days were great, no bloat, energy.etc. what could be wrong? I eat good fats like coconut milk, oil. Avacodos. Lots of fresh veggies. Chicken, beef, salmon, I feel like eating badly again just to feel good. Isn’t 13 days enough for withdrawl? I have lost 2 pounds though. Please help so I do not give up. Thx

    • Jedha says:

      It depends on your diet and lifestyle previously, it could be a number of things but it sounds like it might be a case of gut bacteria overgrowth. The problem here is often the carbs because the bacteria eat it, so dairy, raw veges, fruit and starches may be the problem. Peel and cook your veges well. And it may even be certain types of veges that are the porblem. The gases the bacteria create can cause the bloating and constipation along with fatigue etc. Maybe you went into paleo too fast. You may need probiotics. Magnesium helps constipation. Sometimes the intro of more fats can cause nausea etc. Stick to it, or ease off just a bit and try changing a few things to see what happens. 13 days is such a short amount of time if you’ve had a life time of bad habits. Don’t give up, things will pass and you will feel awesome once they do.

      • jackie says:

        My diet was certainly poor prior, typical American diet. I have not had any dairy so should I take a probiotic pill or just break down and buy some Kefir?(or maybe sugar free Metamucil) What foods provide the highest amount of Magnesium? I should mention that I am 43 years old, on armour thyriod once daily, weight 170, and I have a muscular build. I tried mowing my acre today which is normally a breeze and could not do it. I have a 3 days 7am to 8pm business meeting starting Monday and I am worried I will not be able to function properly. Should I fast on Sunday? I hear IF will help. Thank you so much for your advice. So glad I found this post.

  10. jackie says:

    On the list of foods you recommend it has coconut cream. Would this be the same as coconut milk? I bought the brand Silk for a once in awhile treat coconut milk. Is this ok? Where can I get coconut cream? I live in a small town and have one health food store. Thx. The meal plans look awesome by the way!

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