Ok. Let me start by saying that I'm a bit of a worry-pot and hypochondriac, and a lot of people will probably think this rather silly, especially as its not something that's causing me any particular discomfort. I'll probably also piss some people off who will wonder why on earth I am complaining of satiety when so many are constantly seeking ways to be 'fuller longer'.
It's been a year since I started primal/paleo, I'm very happy on it, etc, etc. But my appetite seems to be steadily decreasing! I usually get hungry in the morning, have breakfast (that's around 10 am most days). Then I'm not hungry until about 8-9 pm in the evening when I have dinner! I used to get hungry for lunch, especially after training, but now I don't even get hungry after working out! My mum particularly was rather horrified to see me go from 10 am to 9 pm without anything but water running up and down exploring town & shopping non-stop when on holiday this Christmas.
Is this normal? Has paleo simply made me very attuned to hunger signals? I know frequent meals are overhyped, I'm into fasting occasionally (though I don't bother with planned fasts much any more since I go for extended periods w/o food anyhow)...I know the fact that I only eat whole foods naturally regulates eating patterns...but even on paleo/primal blogs, I constantly see people saying 'eat this to get this nutrient'/'5 servings of vegetables/fruit'/'make sure you get enough zinc/whatever vitamin/mineral' - there's a message to get enough nutrition - but when? I try to get a serving of fruit/veg at each of my two meals, have wild fish in the morning for O3, drink bone broth with my dinner, eat fermented, raw dairy & sauerkraut. I love & eat organ meats. All organic & grassfed...I take a multivitamin and some other supplements like fermented Cod liver oil, selenium, etc.
The thing is, that I'm 20, very active (workout every day + walk everywhere) and I'm worried that I'm not getting enough nutrition though I do try to cram as much as possible into each meal. I'm also wondering why my appetite is so strange! It's kind of annoying sometimes, because I'm quite a food lover! I've even been known to do a couple of planks in the morning to 'make' myself hungry because, well, I like breakfast! Morning just doesn't feel the same without my scramble & salmon, and I've got to get my nutrition.
What triggered me to actually ask this question was waking up this morning with a sore-ish throat. It's not anything severe and I'll probably get rid of it with my arsenal of natural remedies and sleep, but this is so strange. I literally sat there in bed not believing it, then even went to check if I had something lodged or stuck there, pointing my tongue this way and that in the mirror :-p. ("hm, maybe I overdid the curry spice last night? Maybe all the chili stripped the mucus membrane off?') This wouldn't seem so outlandishly unusual to most people since I'm a student who spends a lot of time in the library, which is a literal incubator of germs of all kinds and full of people who don't even bother to cover their mouths when they sneeze. But I haven't had a single sniffle since I've eliminated grains, processed food and sugar. Not even when I've been in highly contagious company in very claustrophobic situations. So I have a nagging feeling that all this fasting has impacted my immune system, along with the rotten English weather which means I haven't had a proper, natural vitamin D fix in a week.
Holy grassfed cow, this question is looong. I hope I haven't bored the pants off you!
asked byMilla (3217)
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on January 23, 2012
at 04:31 PM
Hi, Milla! Don't worry--I enjoyed your question as I've had a similar conversation with myself lately. Namely, what's going on?
First, your sore throat could be a germ you caught or you slept with your mouth open and dried it out but it's probably not about how you're eating unless you have acid reflux for some reason and I assume you don't.
However, my appetite has been behaving like yours to some extent lately. I'm 9 months in and it now seems clear that the ravenous appetite I lived with all those years was malnutrition, plain and simple. After this many months of better eating, I must have replenished and replaced my reserves to a point where I'm not technically malnourished anymore.
Here's an experiment for you--after days when I eat as completely as you described I wake up feeling no hunger and, if circumstances make that convenient, I can fast for the day without ever feeling sharp hunger although I eat with gusto once I start on the following day. BUT, if my nutrition is incomplete, then I do get hungry. For example, yesterday I ate a bunch of vegetables and a generous serving of fruit. I ate broth with bits of fat and meat but no significant amount of protein. By evening, I was feeling mildly hungry and I woke up very hungry this morning.
Have you tried that? I bet you'll find you're appetite is so quiet because you're doing a great job of nourishing yourself most days. In terms of appetite, it seems no food is less of a trigger than incomplete food.
on January 23, 2012
at 09:13 PM
I was worried about this too but I did experiment with it. I'm usually never hungry now and I worried that it was something ominous but it's just the diet.
If I drink wine at night or if I cheat with more sugars I usually wake up starving...
When I stay pretty strict Paleo I'm barely hungry and usually have to force myself to eat...
So I'd say don't worry!
on January 23, 2012
at 04:42 PM
Sounds awesome - congratulations!
In my experience, it is normal after 6 months or so of teaching your body to subsist on proper foods. More so (and sooner) if you are eating ample fats, which is sounds like you are.
on January 23, 2012
at 04:25 PM
I wouldn't worry. Keep an eye on your workouts and see if you start to struggle, but your body will let you know if it needs something. Your requirements probably have gone down as your body has adjusted to the change in lifestyle. And don't disregard the weather (and the season). Your body doesn't expect much nutrition at this time of year, it will be working very efficiently with what it's got and it sounds like you're giving it a fantastic arsenal twice a day! You can always skip an extra meal and see if you do get hungry - I think you could refind your appetite pretty soon if you wanted to but if anything I'd take the opportunity to rest more.
It's winter, sometimes you will get sick. Think about how most people look and feel with the flu and then ask yourself if a sore*ish* throat for one day is really so bad.
on December 03, 2012
at 11:52 AM
@ "along with the rotten English weather which means I haven't had a proper, natural vitamin D fix in a week."
It's impossible to make Vitamin D from Sunlight in UK from October through to the end of February so EVERYONE need to be using EFFECTIVE amounts of Vitamin D3 (or using UV exposure from special UVB producing lights, ordinary tanning lamps may only contain UVA) 1000iu /daily is typically required.
Test 25(OH)D after 3~5 months to check this is an appropriate amount for you. 125nmol/l ~ 50ng/ml is ideal as that's around the natural level of vitamin D equilibrium for hunter gatherer's.
Vitamin D council or CityAssays (Birmingham UK NHS path lab) cheapest test sources if you bulk buy and share with family/friends.
Then adjust intake up/down 1000iu/d for each 25nmol/l ~ 10ng/ml under/over 125nmol/l 50ng/ml target
on December 03, 2012
at 10:00 AM
Touche girl! I eat a LCHF breakfast each morning with a green tea. I'm talking 2 eggs, 3 tblsps coconut oil, parsley and coconut flakes sprinkled on my eggs with tumeric. Sometimes I mix in leftovers with my eggs or a few slices of salmon. Or a tin of lamb tongues (yum). 1 tablespoon Cod Liver Oil.
Lunch is a big organic coffee. POSSIBLY a teaspoon of macadamia butter if I didn't have enough fat for breakfast.
Dinner is usually lamb/organs/salmon/kangaroo with sauerkraut, a nibble of raw cheese, a big dollop of raw cream on top, herbs and spices. Cooked in raw butter. Broccoli/carrot etc as I feel like it. I usually eat dinner between 12-14 hours after breakfast throughout the week, or between 8-10 hours after breakfast on the weekends.
Lunch is not part of my day anymore, I have not had a real 'lunch' for about 3 months.
I eat two meals a day, lift heavy things twice a week and walk fast everywhere. My body operates and sleeps just fine! Next year I'm starting up netball again which I am excited about. I have bounds of energy to use!
I say do whatever you FEEL. And be a great example of a well nourished human being. :)