When I was in high school, my family ate paleo, and my parents lost a ton of weight on it. I didn’t notice too much of a change, but I had a lot of other stuff going on, and was already pretty active (high level dance classes for multiple hours most nights, etc.), so I just assumed I was continuing to be healthy. However, eight years later, and I have decided to go back to eating paleo after being unable to in college due to dining hall options, and having gained weight from college and some medications (which I am no longer on).
I started on Ash Wednesday (it’s for Lent, but I plan on sticking to it after Easter as well), and now after a month of strict paleo, I feel awful. I broke out in a horrible full-body rash the second week, assumed it was because of food allergies (I have oral allergy syndrome, a severe almond allergy, and I’m celiac), and tried to avoid whatever the potential trigger foods were. However, midway through that second week I completely lost my appetite, and I haven’t regained it. It’s to the point where the sight, smell, or idea of food makes me nauseous, and no matter what I try to eat I struggle to keep it down. I’m drinking plenty of water every day, but can’t eat more than a handful of cashews or a small piece of chicken in a day. I’ve been drinking coconut milk to try and keep the fat intake up, but even that makes me feel sick after more than one glass in a day.
On top of all of that, I have a horrible taste in my mouth, and I seem to be burning easily in the sun, which wasn’t really the case before. My father was always so pleased at how much more sun he could tolerate when eating paleo, being someone who burned easily, so I was shocked at this. I’ve also only lost 6 pounds this month, which is the standard amount my weight usually fluctuates over the course of a month. Finally, I’ve noticed that I’m experiencing more depressive dips than I have in a while, even though so many people rave about the positive effects of paleo on mental health.
I’ve been adhering to the paleo diet entirely, or as much as I can without being able to eat much. The closest I’ve come to a “cheat” food was a piece of 70% dark chocolate, in an attempt to get my stomach to accept food, but other than that one instance I’ve been trying to eat eggs, nuts, fish, chicken, beef, bananas, grapefruit, and all of the vegetables I’m not allergic to. I made paleo animal crackers with coconut flour, a bit of honey, cinnamon, and eggs, and even those I’ve been struggling to eat. Again, I’m really only eating at max the equivalent of a cup of food a day, always something that is paleo, and I am drinking tons of water. My caloric intake is obviously very low, and although my energy levels are usually pretty good during the day, after 5:30 they tend to drop to the point where I’m taking multiple naps before just going to bed at 10 PM. I don’t hit the gym regularly, but there’s a lot of walking involved with my job, so I know I’m getting a few miles in every day, as well as a ton of stairs. I do take a Vitamin D supplement every morning, as well as a multivitamin, so I’m sure that’s helping me some, but I would like my nutrients to come from food I’m able to eat!
Does anyone have any suggestions to get some of my appetite back? I know that calorie reduction can help with weight loss, but I’m sure that under 300 calories a day for almost a month is just not good. Also, any ideas on what could be causing the horrible taste in my mouth? (I’m a 23 year old female)