No hunger, but too low of a calorie count?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 24, 2013 at 1:54 PM

I've been Primal since December 29th of last year and I've noticed that my hunger is completely gone. I can wake up after not eating for roughly twelve hours and all I'll feel is thirst. I can also usually go most of the day, until dinner time, without really getting hungry. When I do eat at normal meal times, I feel bloated at the end of the day and barely make it past 1200 calories. There are days when I don't make it past 950 and my carbs measure out to roughly 20-50g. Most of my meals consist of:

Breakfast- Almost pure protein. Usually two large eggs and some bit of meat like steak or bacon. Sometimes I'll make an omelet and throw veggies in.

Lunch- Massive salad with all sorts of colour: bell peppers, carrots, mushrooms, cucumbers, avocado, mixed greens, spinach, sugar snap peas, almonds, and a splash of olive oil with red wine vinegar.

Dinner- Some form of meat, usually steak or chicken, and veggies like broccoli, carrots, and/or squash.

After all of that, even when I'm on my feet and constantly moving at work which burns off those calories, I still feel bloated... and don't hit 1200. I know I'm getting my vitamins because everything else feels great and I never really get cravings for anything anymore. I also take Fish Oil and D3 supplements, for what I can't always get through food.

Since my goal is weight loss, doesn't this throw my body into starvation mode and make it harder to lose? Why do I feel better when I eat less? Also, how long is it okay to be in ketosis for? I'm 20, female, 5'6, and I weigh about 250. A lot is already muscle mass, so I need to specifically target fat loss.



on January 24, 2013
at 03:58 PM

How much protein do you think is appropriate to maintain muscle mass?



on January 24, 2013
at 02:31 PM

I don't know the answer but I am curious what other people will say. I'm in a similar situation as you. We eat very similar foods but I don't get hungry much.

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4 Answers



on January 24, 2013
at 02:45 PM

Suggestion: add meat/fish to your massive salad. Overall, your diet sounds pretty good -- just keep it varied.

In your case, I wouldn't worry too much about starvation mode. If you're 250lbs now, your body has a lot of stores to access to burn fat. However, I think your general concern is valid -- keep eating good food. Less is not more, in this case. If your are counting calories, 1200 is almost certainly the least you want to go.



on January 25, 2013
at 12:24 AM

I have a similar story. While I was only trying to lose about 30 pounds in the first place, I had the same results as you for the first few months. When I first started following paleo, I ate very few calories, followed a VLC diet, and exercised a lot (mostly cardio). However, once I lost all that excess fat, I became more hungry. Now I am eating more, I upped my carbs to between 50 and 100g per day from paleo starches, and I do more powerlifting and much less cardio (now only 16min of bike HIIT 3x per week). I am building muscle, and even more fat is melting away! My best advice would be to just listed to your body. It knows what it's doing.



on January 24, 2013
at 03:09 PM

So, what is probably happening is that you've hit that zone where your stored up fat is your primary fuel source.
This is awesome, so while you've got it keep it.
Just make sure you've got enough protein to keep your muscle mass.

Now, at some point( probably -100lbs or so), right when you think you are at the top of the world, and just need to get that last little bit off, and you start daydreaming about possibly getting into single digit bodyfat territory- your energy will just dry up. This is what happens when the body, which likes having a heftier percentage of fat around than we vain people do, shuts off the tap. I didn't get hungry at this point; I just lost energy, and all that hypothyroidism talk started to sound legit to me. So, you will need more food then- indeed, if you inexplicably feel like you are stuck in second gear, it is probably a good idea to get some more calories, and you can do it with fat and stay in ketosis if you like.



on January 24, 2013
at 03:58 PM

How much protein do you think is appropriate to maintain muscle mass?



on January 25, 2013
at 01:20 AM

My situation is sort of similar, except that I'm not trying to lose any weight. I generally practice IFing and during my 8 hour feeding period, I eat two pretty substantial meals and maybe a little snack in between the two if I feel the urge. But I'm always 100% full eating like this and sometimes it's hard for me to get above 1100 calories. I make sure that my two meals are very nutrient dense though, and honestly I've never felt better. I don't do much actual cardio other than walking and sometimes dancing to music (hey, it counts!) but I do lift weights as I'm trying to tone up a bit (I'm naturally quite small). And I eat starches basically daily as well.

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