I've only been on Paleo for about a week and a half. So far I'm living it as I swear I feel better already. Better except for one little thing. I seem to be always hungry. After a big fattening meal I'm okay for about half an hour and then I'm hungry again. I'm wondering if it's carb craving and I should just wait it out.
Anyone else have experience with this?
As far as my work-outs go, I do hardbody high intensity aerobics with strength training 4 times a week on average. On the off days I do some type of cardio ranging from walking to the StairMaster. I love to move and I love to exercise especially now that I'm feeling better and more healthy.
I eat at least 2500 calories a day and something like 50 - 65% of that is fat. I've been eating to much dried fruit recently and I'm trying to cut back on that.
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Hi, Paul! It sounds like you're off to a great start.
Your body has "noticed" that you've shifted away from some of the foods it was used to and what you're experiencing as "hunger" may be brain cravings for processed food-like products.
An easy test: if your fridge and cupboards are full of ONLY healthy whole foods, when you feel "hungry" open the fridge and cupboards as if to select something to eat. If your reaction is, "no not that" than you're feeling brain cravings. If just about everything looks good to you and your stomach goes "Yeah!" then you're just catching up on nutrition and I'd go ahead and eat. If, however, you got the "no, not that" reaction just distract yourself by going outside for a walk or doing chores/errands.
My favorite way for dealing with cravings was to start my day with a large meal of fatty meat and some vegetables. That took the edge off and I knew I wasn't really hungry, just craving junk, so I worked at distracting myself until real hunger showed up.
Could possibly be high cortisol from too much exercise that is stimulating appetite. Back off the "chronic cardio" do heavy lifting along with walking, leisurely. Along with some HIIT training to reverse the high cortisol. You can take some holy basil to reduce cortisol/appetite. If that works for you then you know it's a cortisol/stress response.
My experience the first week or two was somewhat similar. I'd eat a good meal, plenty of fat, and about 15 minutes after finishing, my body would signal "HUNGRY NOW!" even though I felt a "stomach full" feelings. It was the oddest sensation. During these faux-hungries, potato chips, candy bars, cookies, and pasta all sounded fantastic.
I'm guessing that I was seeing the insulin spike and drop from carbohydrate conditioning, and it slowly got better during the first 14 days. The main difference between pre- and post-paleo start is the hunger symptoms: before starting, if I didn't eat something within 30 minutes or so of beginning to feel hungry, I'd get awful nausea and feel like I was going to pass out; during the first 14 days, I'd get the hungry feeling but never any nausea and I never felt desperate to eat.
Do the broccoli test: if you are not willing to sit down and eat a plate of steamed broccoli, then you're not really hungry and it's psychological.
OR drink a tall glass of water as you may be confusing hunger for thirst.
If neither of those help, you may just be better suited to smaller meals more frequently, as opposed to a few larger fatty meals.
if we look at primal man, snacking, during certain times of the year, is likely, nuts, berries and so on, though a full decent feed wouldn't occur 4 to 6 times a day. Maybe there is something to eating more abundant foods regularly and the meat/kill, as would have happened with primal man, now and then?
I would agree with Chris, and some of the others addressing the workout issue, to some extent. Nance's answer was spot on - it tackles the notion of hunger vs boredom or junk cravings. I've dealt with this for a long time myself - eating out of boredom or just because I'm not totally full. Before going to a more paleo friendly diet, I considered anything less than a full stomach to be the same thing as being hungry. Obviously, that's ridiculous. Unfortunately, that's what I had trained my body to respond to. Since eating a higher protein and moderate fat diet this has improved for me so I would also give it some time.
The other issue I've run into is that running or doing aerobic exercise (which I would almost never do if I weren't in the military) for 20 minutes or more significantly increases my appetite. It depends on what your overall goals are though. Do you just want to lose weight or do you have specific fitness goals you're trying to reach with your training schedule? If weight loss is ultimately what you're seeking, I would agree with Mark Sisson in saying that 80% of that is diet. Well, I think his exact words are something along the lines of "reaching your genetic potential" but you get the idea. I found this was true for me when I first started. I had little or no aerobic exercise, other than a mandatory 3 mile run every few weeks, and I've lost 20 pounds and am just below 12% body fat. I also found that for me personally the sugar in fruit can sometimes make me hungrier than I might otherwise be, but I guess that might be different for everyone. If it keeps you from eating candy or potato chips, go for it. However, if you're seeking significant or fast weight loss I would cut out the fruit for a while and stick to fresh berries when you do eat them. That's just been my experience. Oh and almonds. Handful satiates me pretty quick. Best of luck!
Same here, but I'm a female who doesn't exercise much these days. I started eating this way a week and a half ago and am only down 2 pounds (it was 4 pounds after the first two days), but I am always hungry, and last night nothing sounded good, and I didn't eat dinner. (This is was after a small run-in with 4 sugar cookies at the grocery). I am following the Belly Fat Cure Fast Track for now but need some help.
This is the exact same thing that is happening to me right now and I don't know what is going on. Glad to know I am not the only one. Your activity level sounds close to mine and I have managed to curb cravings by upping carbs like sweet potatoes and decreasing fruit and nuts as much as possible because those seem to enhance cravings, especially the fructose in fruit. What does a typical day look like for you in terms of eating? how frequently do you eat?
Are you working out so much that you are making yourself hungry all the time? Working up an appetite?
My other thought would be to eat more protein, quite a bit more.
As the yeast dies off in your gut it fights to stay alive. It is litterly telling your body to eat again because it needs sugar and more carbs to stay alive. This process sucks. I had a head ache for two weeks when I started. It goes away.
Also another thing that happens. We basicly have been starving our bodies for years. Now all of a sudden it is getting what it needs. Give it a few months. Your appetite will decrease.
I always go for a glass of water first. Most of us are seriously dehydrated. This can seem like hunger.
Keep it up.
Oddly, I find if I eat any fruit at all I get ravenous
Because your body isn't getting enough micro or macro-nutrients from your diet to stimulate the same hormones and feelings that you've previously associated with being full.
I sound like a broken record..but I have to say that for me (and that probably applies to some others, there is no amount of fruit I can eat without having a crash. So I eat veggies.
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You may not be eating enough carbohydrates. Add in a sweet potatoe, rutabaga, beets, bananas, fruits.. whatever helps you feel satiated
There are several 'tricks' to reducing your appetite. But, try to identify whether you are experiencing true hunger (general appetite for food) vs. a craving (obsessing over a specific food, such as ice cream).
If it's a healthy hunger, you can use this to your advantage: Studies have shown that eating 4-6 meals per day (small meals that contain protein) will help you build lean muscle and lose fat.
So, your hunger can actually help you burn fat if you use it to your advantage. The right meals and the right exercise can zap stored fat like a laser. Make sure you're not overdoing it with the cardio.
Quite honestly, the percentage of fat in your diet is quite alarming. I've seen a lot of people get great results with no more than 25 - 35% of fat in their diet (but we're talking about good fats, not industrialized trans fat).