My wife and I started the "whole 30" diet, which is a little more strict than paleo but for 30 days. My hope was that I would build better habits and identify some foods that may be causing problems. We eat a lot of fresh veggies, some fruit, eggs and a variety of meats.

After a week my energy level was low. I cut down on my workouts and I started drinking more caffeine. I was mentally exhausted by mid-afternoon and when I came home from work (4:00pm) I was pretty much useless. No conversation, no chores, no exercise.

I did a medium length bike ride (28 miles) on day 8. Day 9 I was a wreck. On day 10 I tried to go to spin class but had to walk out after 20 min. I came home, laid down on the couch and couldn't even lift my phone up to look at it.

I am 5'11 (1.8 meters) and 200lbs (91kg) with 23% body fat. On an ideal week I lift weights for an hour on Mon and Wed, do a 40 min walk 5-6 times and bike about 90 miles over 3 days (10 hours total exercise).

I weighed myself on day 10 and I was down to 198lbs (down 2lbs) but 25% body fat (up 2% points), which leads me to believe I've lost 2lbs of lean mass in 10 days. That is not good.

Last summer I lost 30lbs and my goal is to lose another 25lbs this summer.

I like the principle of the "whole 30" and paleo diets, but I have to make a change or it's not going to work.

Does this sound like a blood sugar problem, and if so, any suggestions on how to adjust my diet?

Note: After day 10 I made a concerted effort to boost my carbs. I started eating at least one serving of sweet potato a day, but tried to add additional quality carbs with green beans and some additional fruit. I'm on day 16 now and I'm not sure there's been much improvement.

Maybe I'm recouping lost energy, maybe I'm not eating enough carbs, or maybe that's not the right solution at all. I wish I knew.

  • need to know exactly what your diet is
    – 0xMert
    Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 13:12
  • The "whole 30" diet is pretty similar to Paleo. The goal is to retrain your body away from junk food and foods that are highly processed and contain additives. You set aside added/processed sugars, dairy, beans, grains, alcohol and focus on "… meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re totally natural and unprocessed." /via whole30.com/whole30-program-rules
    – newz2000
    Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 23:51
  • You need carbs or fat for fuel. If you get neither, no wonder you feel terrible.
    – cbll
    Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 5:58

2 Answers 2


You do need to regain that lost lean mass and better to remake it from proteins than carbs.
I'd stick to the diet, but gain calories from proteins like lentils and nuts(which also have fat so be careful) rather than carbs(even healthy ones like sweet potato).
I know people who have lost up to 30 lbs in two months by about 70% of their daily caloric intake as proteins.
You probably are losing lean mass due to muscle atrophy since they are not getting enough nutrients to recover after your workouts. So ease off on the muscle-building exercises and keep up the cardio. Remember, even body builders lose some muscle mass just before season because of their heavy dieting to reduce body fat %.


Significant diet changes often have a transition period while your system adapts, so I wouldn't immediately panic. On the other hand, without a lot of detail in your post, it seems to me your fat intake may be too low.

If you cut carbs you need to make up the fuel somewhere

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