New to Paleo, can't breathe

Hi, I've been trying Paleo for about two and half weeks now. Mostly to lose weight but also to address my GERD.

1) Dieting: I don't have a lot to lose. Maybe 6 to 8 pounds at most. Most people would tell you I already look fit, but I know I'm 2 sizes larger and 15 pounds heavier than before I had kids. So I need to lose those "last ten pounds" Lucky for me I do not have a sweet tooth.

I have a body bugg that tells me I burn about 1700 a day (desk job) and 2000 when I go running. So on non-run days I try to eat around 1200 calories, and 1500 on run days.

But I've been feeling 2) like I can't breathe. Is this normal? My heart area aches, and I feel like I'm light headed and can't get a full breath. I'm guessing it's low carbs?? I was driving along on Friday - tried to catch my breath and I felt like I was going to black out. (quick darkness and then back) I pulled into a parking lot. Ate an Apple and rested 30 minutes.

Anyway - since I don't have much to lose and I need to restrict my calories. Is Paleo the way to go?


  • jennaworksout
    jennaworksout Posts: 1,739 Member
    I did have the carb flu when starting Paleo and felt lightheaded a lot and lasted about 2 weeks, then I increased my fat intake, nuts, avocados and more fatty meats, and felt much better. when decreasing your carb macros, you need to adjust your fat and protein to offset it, that worked for me anyways.
  • breeanreyes
    breeanreyes Posts: 228 Member
    if you're trying to reduce your carbs and are still stuck in the low fat/lean meat cycle of general diets you may be in trouble energy wise. Make sure you're getting plenty of protein and fat, I manually set my macros to 40% fat, 30% carbs and 30% protein and that seems to help.
  • MissLauraQ
    MissLauraQ Posts: 2 Member
    I did set my macros to

    50% FAT
    30% Carb
    20% Protein

    And I've been eating 52% FATS mostly. I was pretty sure I fell into Ketosis for a couple days as my pee smelled awful.

    But I haven't lost a pound in two weeks.
  • caribougal
    caribougal Posts: 865 Member
    Shortness of breath doesn't sound right. I wouldn't think that's related to low carb. If it persists, see a doctor please. It sounds a little like pneumonia or asthma.
  • Shadowknight137
    Shadowknight137 Posts: 1,243 Member
    IMHO, you're not eating enough.

    It kinda looks like you're going with the whole "500kcal deficit a day = lb a week weight loss". I don't recommend that to anyone except the severely overweight and sedentary.
    Seeing as that A) you say you run and this are not sedentary and B) you don't have a lot to lose, I would suggest a 20% deficit at most. Calculated it from your rest days- so you eat 1360 on rest days, and on days you run eat 300 more (1660).
    That's 20% at AT MOST... With not much to lose, you may want to decrease the deficit o 15-10% to prevent loss of LBM.
  • Salkeela
    Salkeela Posts: 367 Member
    First off, I agree with the poster above..... Check out any worrying symptoms with your Doctor.

    However in terms of changing your diet, I'm not sure a single big change is best. (If we change the foods we give to our animals - it is always recommended that the change is phased in to help the gut adapt... human guts I think should be offered the same respect! ;) )

    When I switched my diet from normal eating to Primal - I upped my calorie allowance in order to allow me the flexibility to make the changes. I also didn't withdraw all foods all at once. I took a week during which I experimented with the cooking styles and gradually removing different foods. I dropped bread first - but still ate breakfast cereal for example. Then I gradually cut out all grains and at the same time consciously upped my protein and fats. I've now been eating fully Primal for about 9 weeks and feel well adjusted to it. (Bought some new cook books too!)

    The aim at the change over period is to adjust to that you will be happy to continue. Weight loss aspirations at this stage are counter-productive IMO.

    Once you are happily eating these new foods, then you can think of restricting cals again if required. This way you (your head) and you (your body) can adapt to one change at a time. I actually continued to loose weight gently even with this staged change over and with a higher cal allowance.

    My aim was always to go Paleo eventually, but I wasn't prepared to make all the changes to Paleo at one go - so just this week I am finally cutting out dairy too. This is the biggest change for me - but I've been "practising" with the alternatives for a while. So when the final cut off came, it wasn't such a huge shock to either my head or my system!

    Best wishes on your Primal/Paleo/Weight Loss journey.
  • Lupercalia
    Lupercalia Posts: 1,857 Member
    I had slight troubles with carb flu when I started eating low carb--on the one day I felt bloody awful, I had a sweet potato with a bunch of coconut oil and cinnamon and I felt about a thousand times better. That was the extent of my troubles with carb flu, so I may not be the one to advise you here.

    What I do feel is odd is your complaint that you are having trouble breathing. I'd see a doctor about that, because I don't believe that should have anything to do with a low carb or paleo diet. Someone else mentioned illness--I will throw out the idea that it could also be some sort of an allergic reaction.

    Eating enough fat is super important. If you try to cut carbs and fat at the same time, you are doing what is known in many circles as the "faileo diet". Just something to be aware of and keep an eye on. Drink water as needed. I remember being incredibly thirsty during the first few weeks of changing my diet.

    Scale victories are hard to depend on. I think a better way to check for fat loss is to take measurements and go by those numbers instead. I think you'll find that method more rewarding than watching the scale and hoping the universe aligns at that moment to give you the reading you're hoping for. There are just so many weird variables that can affect the numbers you see on the scale at any point in time.

    The other thing is that two weeks isn't exactly a long time to go without seeing the scale change. It happens, and especially if you're already within (or rather near) the healthy weight range for your body type/height.

    Hang in there!
  • LavenderBouquet
    LavenderBouquet Posts: 736 Member
    Not related to Paleo per se, but I know that when I get faint, for whatever reason, I also feel breathing is laboured. But I agree with the other posters that you should maybe see a doctor.
  • brokenjawedmuse
    Shortness of breath + pain in the chest.....sounds like a panic attack to me.

    Especially if you're just driving. If it happens EVERY time you drive, then something in your car might be triggering an asthma attack. But asthma attacks don't typically happen 'out of the blue,' there's usually an irritant of some kind.

    The symptoms don't strike me as a low-blood sugar issue either. Shortness of breath or pain in the chest isn't even remotely related to low-blood sugar.
  • rla099
    rla099 Posts: 66 Member
    When starting paleo I drank chicken broth when I felt faint.
  • evilmj31
    evilmj31 Posts: 55 Member
    I have to say that the first thing you need to do is see a doctor, it may be your diet change, but then again it may not. Don't leave something that could be serious, or could be fixed.
  • nicolamoonbrains
    nicolamoonbrains Posts: 72 Member
    As most the others have said I would go and speak to your doctor! Tell them about your diet changes and the symptoms and maybe get some blood work done!

    As someone else stated, it may have been a panic attack/anxiety? Diet changes can cause anxiety and general edginess in some people. Maybe you are feeling more irritable and worrying more, tightness in the chest and a dry mouth? Its a possibility which may just require a few adjustments to you diet! But have your doc rule out anything more serious as a priority.

    Also you described aching around your heart? A lot of people can mistake sensations in the stomach/indigestion as being heart related. Just a thought.