Tag Archives: carbohydrates

Curb Your Hunger | The Paleo Diet

It can be challenging at first to curb the carbohydrate cravings and hunger that arises when you are adjusting to a Paleo lifestyle, especially during the holiday season. By following the tips below, you can successfully ward off hunger that some people experience when transitioning to The Paleo Diet.

Breakfast

As the old saying goes, “breakfast is the most important meal of day.” This statement is especially true for people leading a Paleo lifestyle. The high-paced life of the average American frequently leaves little time for preparing a hearty breakfast first thing in the morning. Allocate an extra 30 minutes of your morning to cook a breakfast that will boost your energy levels for the entire day.

Scrambling vegetables, cage-free omega-3 eggs, and uncured pasture raised bacon or sausage is a quick and hearty meal that will provide adequate nutrients to keep you fueled throughout the day. If you’re getting tired of bacon and eggs for breakfast consider having salmon with avocado and fresh berries to get your day started on the right foot!

Order The Paleo Diet Cookbook for a collection of breakfast alternatives.

Up Your Protein and Fat Intake

Carbohydrates are digested quickly in our bodies. Excessive carbohydrate consumption often results in a surge of glucose levels throughout the blood stream and an eventual post-carb “crash.” Fat and protein are digested at much slower rates.

Protein consumption also promotes the formation of the peptide PYY, which is known to reduce hunger and aid in weight loss. If you come down with hunger pangs around lunch time, consider adding extra grilled chicken to your garden salad, or a couple of hard boiled eggs to up your your protein and fat intake.

Snacking on nuts in moderation throughout the day will also help to up your consumption of healthy fats.

Carbohydrates for Athletes

If you regularly engage in aerobic and or anaerobic activities you may feel fatigue from inadequate carbohydrate intake. Grains, sugar, and white potatoes are not recommended on The Paleo Diet, but there are plenty of other fruit and vegetable carbohydrate sources that can boost your athletic performance by restoring your muscle glycogen levels.

Sweet potatoes are commonly recommended by many experts within the Paleo community because they slowly release carbohydrates into your body, thus preventing any significant alterations in blood glucose levels. Recent studies show that fruit smoothies also are rich carbohydrate sources that have little adverse effects upon our blood sugar levels. Turnips, parsnips, squash and zucchini also are great options to include in post workout meals. Bananas are inexpensive and high in potassium and carbohydrate. For a quick and easy pre-workout or post-workout snack consider bringing a couple ripe bananas to the gym.

Learn more about the best approach for athletes to adopt the Paleo lifestyle in The Paleo Diet for Athletes.

Kyle Cordain
The Paleo Diet Team

Gluconeogenesis | The Paleo Diet

Dr. Cordain,

Hello there. I am sure you receive a generous amount of email, so I will not waste time with small talk and hope you actually get this email. Long story short: I earned my undergraduate in nutrition from University Nevada Reno in 2003. I left the world of academia with my general understanding of nutrition and felt ready to conquer the world of unhealthy eating ha! I have been doing a bit of research on the paleo diet as well as some others. I have been attempting to try out the paleo diet on myself as a sort of experiment. I had actually stopped eating grains for the most part about 5yrs ago, so it hasn’t been that difficult. What I am ultimately wondering is whether gluconeogenesis via the use of protein aka amino acids and efficient way to rebuild muscle glycogen (well liver glycogen and then to muscles). I just don’t want to be turning my wheels in the gym. It seems like maybe my body will adapt, but I have felt so fatigued at gym. I bonk within the 1st 15 20 min. Maybe I should add more carbs but it is difficult to know which carbohydrates I can eat. I’m not going to lie, I kind of want to just go eat a bowl of dairy filled ice cream and quickly revamp my glycogen. I am sure you are busy, but any help or resources would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Shilo

Dr. Cordain’s Response:

Hi,

Building glucose and then glycogen via gluconeogenesis is a very inefficient pathway. A better strategy is to obtain your carb stores as Joe Friel and I have outlined in our newly revised 2012, The Paleo Diet for Athletes. This book describes how Paleo foods such as sweet potatoes, yams, bananas, fresh fruit, fruit juices and dried fruit are both Paleo friendly and help to restore muscle glycogen. Additionally, we describe how to top off muscle glycogen before, during and after workouts and competition. Finally, by eliminating grains and refined carbs, you will force your body’s metabolic machinery to rely more upon stored intramuscular triglyceride (IMT) which will increase beta oxidation of IMT, which is a highly labile source of ATP during exercise. Higher muscle concentrations of IMT “spare” muscle glycogen and actually allow you additional time before muscle glycogen stores are depleted causing you to bonk. Many high level endurance athletes have successfully employed “Paleo” to improve performance.

Cordially,

Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus

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