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Beginner concerns...

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First time poster here, just getting started on the Paleo bandwagon.

However, I do have a few concerns about beginning a style of eating that doesn't involve carbs:

1. The Atkins diet got a lot of bad press for being dangerous and unsustainable. Lots of people were worried about ketoacidosis due to lack of insulin. Paleo has even LESS carbs than atkins, shouldn't this be a concern?

2. I'm a pretty skinny guy (6'0", 153lbs). Part of paleo seems to be training your body to use fat reserves for energy. Well, I don't have very much fat reserved on my body, does that mean that once all my fat is gone my body will turn to my muscles for energy? I don't want that. I'm actually trying to build a little bit of muscle mass here while not gaining any fat.

3. From what I've read about dairy, the average person seems to be fine with it. I've never had problems with it, but I've heard that if you cut out dairy from your diet, your body will stop producing lactase, essentially creating a dairy allergy for you. What should I do?

Those are the main questions I have right now, thanks in advance for taking the time to read this!

By the way, my reasons for doing the Whole30 challenge are as follows:

-I feel tired all the time

-I don't generally sleep well, often due to back pain

-I have seasonal allergies which cause an annoying post-nasal drip that has me clearing my throat 100 times per day (I'm a singer and this is causing vocal problems)

-I'd like to build some muscles and lose the tiny bit of belly fat that's getting in the way of showing off my abs...ha.

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1. is not really true unless you deliberately make it so -- Whole30 allows you to eat carby things that Atkins rules out, like sweet potatoes, other starchy roots, and fruit. You could follow the rules and eat quite a lot of carbs, but they'll be in the form of vegetables, fruits and roots -- not bread.

2. If you don't have fat reserves to burn you'll need to eat more food to maintain enough calorie intake.

3. Anecdata: I didn't think I had problems with dairy, but after a month on the Whole30, I've noticed a reduction in what I thought of as "seasonal allergies", especially runny nose, post-nasal drip, and fluid in the ears. So you never know what might happen. I don't think you have to worry about your body totally shutting down a metabolic pathway over the course of 30 days though.

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Befab has it right here. There is absolutely no reason that a paleo diet has to be low carbon. You could choose to make it that way, but it is not inherently so. Atkins severely limits many of the items that are not limited with a paleolithic or Whole30 eating style, like fruit for example. I think it's important to remember that carbohydrates, as a macronutrient group, are different from what Western society considers "carbs" (potato chips, breads and crackers).

If you want to avoid drawing on your muscle mass for energy (which wont happen unless you significantly under eat protein), just make sure you're eating enough protein. If I remember correctly, most general recommendations fall around 0.8g per lb of bodyweight. I have a feeling, though, that you won't have a problem with that.

As for the dairy question, let me do some research. I've never heard that before.

Hope that helps with your beginner concerns!

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