Paleo Diet

Hi there! I am an avid runner and follower of the paleo diet. I avoid sugar, grains, and dairy. I eat a lot of meat, nuts, seeds, good fats, vegetables and some fruit. I am prone to inflammation and this diet helps with this tremendously! Last year, I suffered from amenorrhea (absence of my period for 10 months). I think when I switched to the paleo while training by body just dropped all of its fat to quickly. I have a unique body type for a women. I am short and pretty darn muscular. It caught me off guard because I did not really look skinny but I had indeed lost most of my fat.  I had to cut back on my miles and
of course eat more. I am back on track with my cycle. I am still paleo and feel good but as I enter back into heavy training miles I start to get more concerned with my diet and hormone balance. I try to eat between 100-200 grams of carbs per day obviously more when I have a big day.  Is this enough? I have read paleo diet for athletes and feel like I am following it closely.

4 thoughts on “Paleo Diet

  1. Hi there. You are aware of Joe Friel’s book on paleo for endurance athletes correct?http://home.trainingpeaks.com/blog/article/a-quick-guide-to-the-paleo-diet-for-athletes

    I’m in a similar boat as you are. I’m a mesomorph. Quite muscular. Fairly low body fat. Lost my period even though no one would ever mistake me for your typical too thin dostance runner. Paleo works well for my digestive system. But I need carbs post workout to recover properly and not get injured and become fatigued. Without the carbs I end up, a month or so into pure paleo, fatigued, injured and struggling with moodiness and depression. I’m also a type 1 diabetic. What I’ve noticed is that without sufficient carbs, I cannot maintain sufficiently steady blood sugars. I am constantly dropping low. This results in the eventual problems with moodiness and fatigue because of the stress not getting sufficient carbs as an endurance athlete puts on you endoctrine system (so your hormonal levels). This is cumulative so you won’t notice the negative aspects of not getting sufficient carbs right away.

    So can you do paleo as an endurance athlete? I think so. You just have to fuel youself with more carbs (sweet potatoes for example) than your typical paleo adherent. Also, I would be afraid to cheat a little bit if it doesn’t affect your stomach too much. There are a couple ultra runners who are paleo but they’re not uber strict about it. Pick up the Paleo book for athletes though or at least look at that link. Good luck!

  2. Wow! I just saw this response to my post from a while back! Alas, I have found myself back in the same position. I skipped my period this month again probably because my body fat is too low. I am super perplexed by this! Anna Frost, have you also had this issue in the past? Any ways that you have dealt with it and still maintained a competitive training schedule? Sometimes gaining muscle easy is not a blessing!!! Thanks, Rebecca

  3. Rebecca — I think your problem might not be lack of carbs but rather too few calories. Fat is more satiating; we take longer to digest high fat foods than carbs. Those eating Paleo can end up eating fewer calories but feeling less hungry than those following a higher carb diet. As your training increases, I think it must be hard to consume enough to balance out what you’re burning. I know it’s not part of the Paleo diet to calorie count but you might try for a while to make sure that you’re getting enough to sustain yourself. Eating carbs could be a solution but I don’t think it has to be.

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