3

votes

Why does it take too many calories to satisfy my hunger? (From paleochix experiment)

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created June 27, 2011 at 10:28 AM

Yes, I know some people think we should eat till we're full. Others remind us all that there is such a thing as eating too much and we can/will gain weight on paleo if we ingest too many calories.

I just want to know what I'm doing wrong and why I need to eat more calories than my body needs to feel satisfied. Not overstuffed - simply satisfied. And yes, I know it's too many calories because I've gained seven pounds in a month.

I'm also comparing my data to the first-week averages in the paleochix experiment that Baconbitch just shared.

Group averages: 1723 cals, 102g fat, 84g carb, 98.8g protein

My averages for the week: 2810 cals, 198g fat, 118g carb, 154g protein. My lowest calories on any one day was 2339, and my lowest carb amount was 92.

I'm 5'4, used to be 131 but am now 138. I'm eating the same amounts I was before I broke my collarbone a month ago. Before that happened, I was doing Crossfit 3x/week and running 3-5 miles three other times a week, and my weight stayed stable at 131-132. Now I'm running a bit more (and slower), and doing some light weights with my left arm occasionally. Clearly, the Crossfit made a huge difference. I'm also noticing muscle loss (OK, the fat is obscuring some of the muscle now but I'm also feeling less strength).

I know I need to cut down on what I'm eating. I see other big guys come on here and say they eat fewer calories than I do! I've also seen this thread - http://paleohacks.com/questions/10196/am-i-eating-too-much#axzz1QPNRV029 - and

while what Corinne said about tripling her portion sizes sounds great to me, I know increasing my portions won't work.

I've seen other threads here saying "increase your fat" or "eat less" to stabilize/lose weight and for greater satiety. But I'm already eating close to 200g of fat a day! And when I try to cut down on portions, I'm hungrier - and eat much more at my next meal.

I eat pretty much Whole 30, except for Kerrygold butter. No nuts. An occasional serving of blueberries. I just started eating apples again - I stopped for a while but now I'll have an apple on occasion.

Am I just whiny and I need to learn to deal with the hunger to get my calorie count down to a more reasonable number? How do you all stay satisfied with fewer calories, especially those of you who are bigger than I am and work out more than I do?

9759643ce5d97ab8fa649ae954656c4c

(3325)

on June 28, 2011
at 06:18 PM

I don't think it would be very accurate either, but I noticed some of the tracking programs (Cron-o-meter, for instance) do keep a net total (because I almost entered it on accident myself once!)

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 28, 2011
at 11:58 AM

oh duh;) Thanks. i have never tried to estimate my caloric burn. I just track what i consume daily.

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on June 28, 2011
at 11:10 AM

I'm doing total. I'm not sure it's possible to be accurate when trying to track for net calories. Seems some are averaging 1100, 1200 a day, Wow. I That's my breakfast alone.

9759643ce5d97ab8fa649ae954656c4c

(3325)

on June 28, 2011
at 02:34 AM

Well, if some people are subtracting the calories that they burned while working out, it could potentially create a pretty big discrepancy between people's totals and offset the averages considerably.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 28, 2011
at 02:21 AM

What would the difference be?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 28, 2011
at 12:27 AM

@Ben - I've seen other people like that. When I was lifting I had tight ass abs but weighed 10 lbs more. I looked slimmer and smaller though. That's why the scale can kiss my a$$.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:35 PM

wow that pic transformation is awesome. that is such a perfect illustration how weight and a scale can be very misleading. She is way healthier now at the same weight. Too cool. Great post.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:33 PM

oh they sound good. hey, sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. eat them apples.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 27, 2011
at 06:30 PM

I know it's not very Paleo to eat so often, but you also have to do what works for you. Don't not try something just because it isn't the norm. I get grief sometimes when I talk about eating really often, but when the choice is binge or eat often? I'm going to eat my damn snacks! :)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 27, 2011
at 06:09 PM

I'm right there with you..becoming a bit less active. Still, don't freak out as that will just add stress, which adds weight, which brings down your confidence and oh my a vicious circle :)

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on June 27, 2011
at 06:02 PM

Do not compare yourself to other women (or men, for that matter)! You are *you*, not them. Sheesh, I'd personally be starving to death on 1700 calories a day -- for me, that is a weight loss amount WITHOUT exercise. Honestly, you sound more perturbed that you eat more than everyone else rather than you're gaining weight, which could be any number of factors, such as edema due to inflammation at the break site (and thus healing) or even sodium consumption or menstrual bloat. Eat the amount that feels best for you, not anyone else. Good luck! :)

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on June 27, 2011
at 05:56 PM

I saw Deb's story last week and you know, it actually made me feel worse because I know I'm going in the opposite direction - from fit to sedentary. So even if my weight stayed stable (instead of increasing) the body composition would be going in the wrong direction. But thanks for the support for the "group average means nothing" idea - that does help.

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on June 27, 2011
at 05:50 PM

This is something I could try later if other tweaks don't work. I'm like you in always looking to the next meal and I used to eat three meals plus three snacks. I switched to three larges when I began Paleo but that isn't working for me right now. Thanks, Melissa!

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on June 27, 2011
at 05:48 PM

I'll do that, cutting the carb calories - as soon as I eat all the lovely Goldrush apples I bought on Saturday. Thanks, ben61820!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 27, 2011
at 04:59 PM

Absolutely! I typically eat breakfast about 7am (250 cals) a snack at 10am (100/150 cals) lunch at noon (300/350 cals) a snack at 2pm (100/150 cals) dinner at 5pm (400 cals) and an evening snack at 9pm (100/150 cals). I am formerly an obese binge eater, so I have learned that if I let myself get too hungry I have issues. Also, knowing when and what my next meal is really helps me mentally.

C221a8c9efba0c80d03b9f84a2b3b3f9

(418)

on June 27, 2011
at 04:32 PM

I would also add..don't underestimate the physiological stress of your broken clavicle.Trauma and pain increase cortisol and may even trigger the need for additional calories as you go through this healing process. Give yourself a break for a minute.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 27, 2011
at 03:28 PM

Smart advice. Not to be too conventional wisdom here but the fact is that calorically dense foods like cream, cheese, milk generally, any liquid calorie at all, and fats of any kind are easily over eaten if you don't realize their caloric load. This in no way means they're bad, I'm not demonizing them, but the REASONING behind cutting fat lower in a diet is simple and straight forward and not flawed: it makes it easier to taper calories off by consuming less of the dense sources.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 27, 2011
at 03:25 PM

Yeah, the fact that that number is the average of that group means absolutely nothing for you. You may not even need that much BUT you can't assume you do based on that. Too much info clouding the picture there (though I think this group you're part of sounds rad). I'm 31, 5'11", male and so obviously not comparable to you but I can't think that 1700 would be enough for your maintenance. Thatamount might be enough to start some weight loss maybe. If you're cutting calories make sure you're still eating enough protein. I'd say cut the carbohydrate calories first.

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on June 27, 2011
at 02:46 PM

Ah, "food reward" is something I'm trying to keep in mind as well. How long does it take you to become accustomed to the cut in caloric intake?

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on June 27, 2011
at 02:44 PM

Thanks for the thorough response! Both you and Melissa have suggested cutting back slightly. That's probably better than cutting back to the group average of 1723 I was considering.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4111)

on June 27, 2011
at 02:43 PM

wow this is me. the magic number is 140.

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on June 27, 2011
at 02:42 PM

Could you elaborate on "a lot of smaller meals?"

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 27, 2011
at 01:23 PM

I joined the experiment yesterday. Can't wait to get to know y'all better!

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 27, 2011
at 01:16 PM

Big ups big daddy - especially for the "prolly".

C0fcb48d7da4f76fac17318efd2cd6b8

(4069)

on June 27, 2011
at 12:11 PM

Thanks for the book mention- just placed a hold on it in our local library. Looks interesting.

332d9f75d1077abafff6887681f6b130

(1081)

on June 27, 2011
at 11:49 AM

+1 for a nice answer

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 27, 2011
at 11:46 AM

not too far from what I'd say.

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8 Answers

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14
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 27, 2011
at 11:46 AM

Alright, firstly stop with the ???what am I doing wrong??? thing. You???re not doing anything wrong. You???re in the midst of an experiment and you???re getting your initial results. You???ll come through this fine. Smile.

Group averages are tough to use. Firstly you say you???re injured and have just greatly lessened your energy output so we know right away that that is going to be big factor right there. Expend less calories and you???re more than likely going to store excess that you???ve recently eaten or are currently eating. No biggy, you can handle that no worries. No mystery.

I would say that even before your injury you were exercising prolly too much if one of your goals was leanness. Thrice crossfit and thrice weekly running is too too much for sure. One day off? Sending signals to your body that you can never relax and that there is daily/somewhat constant stress around that is making your body expend so much energy so regularly. I???d say choose either the xfit or running or simply do less of both.

I would say don???t listen to all the ???increase your fat??? people. Eat as much fat as you???d like. If that 200g, cool. If its 20 g per day that???s cool, too. There is no magic in eating more fat. I would say skip all fruit but im prolly being a bit overboard there.

Finally, yes, you will have to mentally deal with the hunger initially while you taper down your caloric intake. This is really no big deal. People all around the world do this all the time. You will be fine. Start tapering back everyday bit by bit. Don???t go crazy. You???re not going to starve, you???ll be fine.

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on June 27, 2011
at 02:44 PM

Thanks for the thorough response! Both you and Melissa have suggested cutting back slightly. That's probably better than cutting back to the group average of 1723 I was considering.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 27, 2011
at 03:25 PM

Yeah, the fact that that number is the average of that group means absolutely nothing for you. You may not even need that much BUT you can't assume you do based on that. Too much info clouding the picture there (though I think this group you're part of sounds rad). I'm 31, 5'11", male and so obviously not comparable to you but I can't think that 1700 would be enough for your maintenance. Thatamount might be enough to start some weight loss maybe. If you're cutting calories make sure you're still eating enough protein. I'd say cut the carbohydrate calories first.

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on June 27, 2011
at 05:48 PM

I'll do that, cutting the carb calories - as soon as I eat all the lovely Goldrush apples I bought on Saturday. Thanks, ben61820!

332d9f75d1077abafff6887681f6b130

(1081)

on June 27, 2011
at 11:49 AM

+1 for a nice answer

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 27, 2011
at 01:16 PM

Big ups big daddy - especially for the "prolly".

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:33 PM

oh they sound good. hey, sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. eat them apples.

3
7e36094a0f7a2fbad24290225405220b

(2064)

on June 27, 2011
at 01:54 PM

I'd say bump down your carbs and, if you get into ketosis the hunger will diminish.

3
C90eecdd76cf57a387095fa49de23807

(960)

on June 27, 2011
at 11:36 AM

Hi barefeet.

I think some people will chime in soon with some links regarding set point theory and food reward, so I'll sit back and let them do that. Instead I'll share my personal experience, which is this:

when I go beneath a certain weight, I get hungrier. In fact, the lower weight I am, and therefore the fewer calories I am eating to meet that weight (ie 1600 to maintain versus 1800) the more my body wants me to eat. I'm certainly not "too thin" by conventional standards-- I sit around a 19 or 20 percent body fat, which is healthy enough-- but a change from just 110 to 115 pounds (I'm quite short) makes a world of difference in my satiation. My working theory is that, having grown up and gone through puberty about 30 pounds heavier than I am now, my body is used to a higher calorie and nutrient intake- and higher weight- than I currently am. Therefore, my leptin levels/signalling really start to climb when I dip below the nutrient and calorie intake my body has always been used to. I've noticed this shifting a bit in the past year and have become increasingly sated with my diet over time. Another decent hypothesis is that it's taken my body a while to correct for nutrient deficiencies, and as those deficiencies have decreased my driving need to eat has decreased as well.

I adopted this idea via the fantastic book Ancient Bodies, Modern Lives by Wenda Trevathan.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4111)

on June 27, 2011
at 02:43 PM

wow this is me. the magic number is 140.

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on June 27, 2011
at 02:46 PM

Ah, "food reward" is something I'm trying to keep in mind as well. How long does it take you to become accustomed to the cut in caloric intake?

C0fcb48d7da4f76fac17318efd2cd6b8

(4069)

on June 27, 2011
at 12:11 PM

Thanks for the book mention- just placed a hold on it in our local library. Looks interesting.

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 27, 2011
at 04:35 PM

Hey Barefeet -

Ben is so correct. These are averages for just one week. Really, they mean nothing to YOU, specifically other than anecdotal to give us a general overview of what we, as a group consume.

Second - the experiment is really just to get an idea of how we, as women who try to practice paleo, eat. So yes, we're trying to find a baseline so we can use our collective data to figure out the what/how/when of our eating. Once we complete the experiment, we'll share our data as a way to move forward and adjust based on our experience tracking and what other's find works for them.

When I ran our first week of data yesterday, I noticed so many differences. We have an age range between 20 and 58. A couple of women are pregnant and others are post-menopause. No woman is eating for the same reason. I see some larger women who are not Paleo to lose weight but to FEEL better and heal their metabolism.

Let me offer you a link that may put the weight issue into perspective. It is from Everyday Paleo of a woman who never lost weight but her body transformation is incredible!

Don't freak out. I have gained a little bit of weight and got a little huffy with myself. But what I realized is despite the weight gain, I feel phenomenal. I cured depression, I cured anxiety, I'm not irritable. I'll gladly carry the extra 5 lbs for that huge win!

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:35 PM

wow that pic transformation is awesome. that is such a perfect illustration how weight and a scale can be very misleading. She is way healthier now at the same weight. Too cool. Great post.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 27, 2011
at 06:09 PM

I'm right there with you..becoming a bit less active. Still, don't freak out as that will just add stress, which adds weight, which brings down your confidence and oh my a vicious circle :)

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on June 27, 2011
at 05:56 PM

I saw Deb's story last week and you know, it actually made me feel worse because I know I'm going in the opposite direction - from fit to sedentary. So even if my weight stayed stable (instead of increasing) the body composition would be going in the wrong direction. But thanks for the support for the "group average means nothing" idea - that does help.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 28, 2011
at 12:27 AM

@Ben - I've seen other people like that. When I was lifting I had tight ass abs but weighed 10 lbs more. I looked slimmer and smaller though. That's why the scale can kiss my a$$.

2
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on June 27, 2011
at 02:44 PM

Try eating protein and a vegetable like spinach, broccoli or cauliflower with every meal. Eat breakfast if you are not doing so.

Try removing some calorie dense foods such as cream and cheese.

Get plenty of sleep 7-8.5 hours and if you are IFing try not IFing for a month to see if it makes a diffrence.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 27, 2011
at 03:28 PM

Smart advice. Not to be too conventional wisdom here but the fact is that calorically dense foods like cream, cheese, milk generally, any liquid calorie at all, and fats of any kind are easily over eaten if you don't realize their caloric load. This in no way means they're bad, I'm not demonizing them, but the REASONING behind cutting fat lower in a diet is simple and straight forward and not flawed: it makes it easier to taper calories off by consuming less of the dense sources.

1
9759643ce5d97ab8fa649ae954656c4c

on June 28, 2011
at 01:46 AM

I just had a thought about this. I'm doing the experiment too and I've been tracking my calories as TOTAL calories. Is it possible that some people are tracking NET calories?

Did this come up already and I missed it? Feel free to slap me if that's the case, I've been buried in work the last few days. ;)

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on June 28, 2011
at 11:10 AM

I'm doing total. I'm not sure it's possible to be accurate when trying to track for net calories. Seems some are averaging 1100, 1200 a day, Wow. I That's my breakfast alone.

9759643ce5d97ab8fa649ae954656c4c

(3325)

on June 28, 2011
at 06:18 PM

I don't think it would be very accurate either, but I noticed some of the tracking programs (Cron-o-meter, for instance) do keep a net total (because I almost entered it on accident myself once!)

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 28, 2011
at 02:21 AM

What would the difference be?

9759643ce5d97ab8fa649ae954656c4c

(3325)

on June 28, 2011
at 02:34 AM

Well, if some people are subtracting the calories that they burned while working out, it could potentially create a pretty big discrepancy between people's totals and offset the averages considerably.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 28, 2011
at 11:58 AM

oh duh;) Thanks. i have never tried to estimate my caloric burn. I just track what i consume daily.

1
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on June 27, 2011
at 02:30 PM

I've been doing 1200 calories for 6+ years now, with occasional forays into higher numbers. I am formerly obese though, so I gain very easily, whether I eat strict Paleo or not.

I have eaten this much through marathon training, 5 days a week of cardio, 3 days a week of bootcamp, triathlon training, whatever I'm currently doing workout-wise.

I don't get too hungry very often, but what I have learned is that I need a lot of smaller meals, which most people don't consider very Paleo. It keeps me from feeling hungry and mentally, keeps me from thinking about it too much.

I think moving your calories down 100 each week for 2 weeks should allow your body time to adjust to the difference. It will adjust, if you get too hungry there are lots of tricks to take your mind off it. Chewing gum can work, hot tea, going for a walk, brushing your teeth. Usually if you take your mind off it for a little while, it will go away.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 27, 2011
at 06:30 PM

I know it's not very Paleo to eat so often, but you also have to do what works for you. Don't not try something just because it isn't the norm. I get grief sometimes when I talk about eating really often, but when the choice is binge or eat often? I'm going to eat my damn snacks! :)

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on June 27, 2011
at 02:42 PM

Could you elaborate on "a lot of smaller meals?"

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on June 27, 2011
at 05:50 PM

This is something I could try later if other tweaks don't work. I'm like you in always looking to the next meal and I used to eat three meals plus three snacks. I switched to three larges when I began Paleo but that isn't working for me right now. Thanks, Melissa!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 27, 2011
at 04:59 PM

Absolutely! I typically eat breakfast about 7am (250 cals) a snack at 10am (100/150 cals) lunch at noon (300/350 cals) a snack at 2pm (100/150 cals) dinner at 5pm (400 cals) and an evening snack at 9pm (100/150 cals). I am formerly an obese binge eater, so I have learned that if I let myself get too hungry I have issues. Also, knowing when and what my next meal is really helps me mentally.

0
E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on June 27, 2011
at 11:43 AM

no big guys are eating more than you and if they are they are in the process of leaning out not getting bigger or maintaining

our brains want to eat the same volume of food everyday, so you still want to eat as much as your crossfit days, bump down your fat and upp your carbs so the volume stays the same but the calories decrease

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 27, 2011
at 11:46 AM

not too far from what I'd say.

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