Strength training/Appetite out of control

Commented on January 25, 2015
Created January 21, 2015 at 2:50 AM

I am a 26 yo Paleo eating female, about 121 pounds (5'4). I have been trying to implement strength training 3 days a week along with the 2-3 miles of walking I do everyday (walking to and from campus). The problem is that the beautiful regulation of my appetite that I finally found when I started Paleo a year and a half ago is long gone. I am always hungry, I can't concentrate, it is driving me insane! And with a strict budget (50/wk) it is hard to buy a ton of good quality food each week. Please help!!

I eat on average 60-100 grams of carbs a day (I try to eat less on non-training days). 75-100 gms of protein (plus a little extra right after workouts). I'm not sure how much fat, but probably about average (almonds, 3 eggs a day, cooking in coconut oil or bacon fat, goat cheese, occasional bacon, meat). I usually eat breakfast between 5:30 and 6 am. Work out around 7/7:30. Eat lunch at noon. and dinner at 5/5:30 pm and that is it. 

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4 Answers


on January 23, 2015
at 07:58 PM

Eating Paleo and working out a lot (Crossfit 3-5x per week) my appetite is pretty much always on, I feel full for an hour or two after eating but am often hungry.  It often catches up to me at the end of the day when I haven't had enough to eat, and I need to be careful because I will eat anything in sight if I'm really hungry.

High-fat and highly nutritious foods like avocado and coconut milk/cream are helpful, just be aware that you're eating more calories and it's got to go somewhere, you may gain weight.  If you're working out a lot it is more likely to go to muscle, which might make you look better, but you might be heavier.  Also note that if you do build muscle, that all by itself will increase your appetite, carrying lean muscle increases your metabolism and you'll need to eat more just to maintain that.

You have not said if you're looking to gain or lose weight, or maintain or increase your workouts or what.  For me, after an initial period of losing weight, losing weight and improving workouts became opposite goals and I had to choose one or the other.  I don't want to get a lot bigger but these days I tend towards eating whatever I want, as long as it's Paleo, and to enjoy my workouts.



on January 24, 2015
at 03:01 AM

My main focus is to build muscle, and hoping to lose some fat along with it. I hit what is supposedly an idea weight for my height, but I'm not happy with the body composition. 

the last few days I've switched to a lower carb (~75 starch) to a moderate carb (90-120) with light snacks halfway in between meals (a salad with tuna and olive oil and maybe some almonds, or for a treat today I had a mostly green banana with some almonds) and it really helped me feel more satisfied and in control. Could also concentrate better. I just have a lingering fear of overdoing carbs, even though I've lost 30+ pounds from when I've started, and actually, the last time I upped my carbs I lost weight. 

Weight training 3 days a week, and trying to work in some yoga on alternating days. happy to eat more, just don't want it to control me.



on January 25, 2015
at 03:21 PM

If your main focus is to build muscle, the way to get there is to run a calorie surplus and work out heavy.  Generally most people advise to eat more carbs in this case, which kind of goes contrary to the general Paleo schtick, but most Paleo people aren't trying to gain mass.

This nutrition guide from a Crossfit gym provides a simplification of this, perhaps an over-simplifictaion, and the calorie ranges are pretty exact when I think this varies for different people more than this, but you can get a general idea.



on January 21, 2015
at 03:04 PM

Whatever your body is hungry for is what you need to adjust into your diet.  I wasn't eating enough carbs and no matter how much fat I ate I wasn't satiated.  Try raising each of the macros, protein, carbs, fat, one at a time and see which makes you feel full.  I'm now up to 25% carbs in my diet.



on January 21, 2015
at 03:22 PM

Yes! I have been craving carbs like the dickens ( and I actually leaned out more the last time I upped them, though I'm not sure why) but I have been nervous about them.And I'm eating lots of fat already which used to satisfy me but lately not so much..I think I'll try upping carbs again and seeing where that takes me. 


on January 21, 2015
at 01:43 PM

Cut back on the carbs and you will likely notice some appetite reduction. Also, in my case, breakfast ironically just makes me feel hungrier for the rest of the day, so I just skip it. However, if you're not gaining any weight then this isn't even even an issue at all. But if you start gaining some pounds then I would suggest you cut back on those carbs first.


on January 21, 2015
at 09:53 AM

Try compressing your eating window. You will be hungry in the morning but when you break that fast you will be full. There are plenty of other benefits too it as well. Win win in my book. 

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