First 2 days on Paleo - not feeling full/satisfied. Is this normal??

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 30, 2013 at 9:09 AM

Hi so I chose to transition to the Paleo diet over the course of around 3 days. Today's the third day.

The day before yesterday I ended up eating heaps, mostly paleo-stuff, lots of fat, and ended up eating most my usual carbs on top of it (rice, rice cakes, chocolate, etc. my diet has been a disaster the last few weeks).

Yesterday I ate completely Paleo (except for some spread which contained yeast and vegetable oil but few carbs). I ate tons of ham, hemp oil, avocado, meatballs with salad, cucumber, mackerel... Around 4 large meals. I was going to eat just 2-3 but kept getting hungry after a few hours, and couldn't stop pouring hemp oil on my food. I figured it'd be better to at least eat Paleo instead of giving it all up on the first day so I made myself another meal around 9pm, and another around 12am. It all adds up to about 3300 kcal in Cronometer. (230g fat, 140g carbs) I just kept getting hungry, dizzy....

I'm a female, 21, 5'6, 140 lbs. Don't work out atm. I should not be eating that much. I can probably maintain my weight on about 2000-2500 kcals easily. I've put on about 10 lbs within the last few weeks due to sugar binges. I've also been getting eczema, terrible skin, and my health has been suffering overall so I'm committed to eating paleo for these reasons alone. But I'd like to know if this crazy hunger is going to stop over the course of the next few days/weeks..

Is it normal to eat heaps and not feel full or even sated when starting on Paleo? my diet has been pretty standard (low fat, tons of carbs) in the last few weeks. Am I maybe just really deficient in Omega3?

Just had breakfast. Two eggs with 1tbsp coconut oil, large Avocado, half a tbsp hemp oil, a whole cucumber, salad. That's abt 750 kcal. I feel quite satisfied now actually.. But it seems like such a lot in order to hit that point where I feel okay and ready to go about my day..

Would be nice to hear from someone that this will dissipate and I'll be eating normal sized meals within a few days.. I don't want to balloon up even more but I don't want to let myself get too hungry, else I'd probably go for the sugary stuff just out of habit.



on August 30, 2013
at 10:36 AM

J, didn't know you still hung around here.

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2 Answers


on August 30, 2013
at 09:53 AM

Hemp oil is about 55% linoleic acid, e.g. omega-6 fat. In addition to being pro-inflammatory, n-6 fats disrupt hunger signaling both in the intestine and in the brain. Ditch the hemp oil immediately, and use fats high in saturates that will satiate you: butter, beef tallow, coconut oil.

Also, 750 kcal is fine for breakfast! If you're maintaining weight on 2000-2500, that's three 750-kcal meals per day. So long as you don't snack you're fine.

Mainly, though, I wouldn't worry about it yet. You're eating real food for the first time in a while, and your body is probably trying to catch up on all the delicious nutrients it's deficient in.

Repeat after me: "Fat loss is a consequence of a healthy metabolism." It is likely that your other health problems will start resolving before you start losing fat.




on August 30, 2013
at 10:36 AM

J, didn't know you still hung around here.



on August 30, 2013
at 10:32 AM

Yes, this is normal. I had the same symptoms at the same time (after the first 48hrs on paleo).

What is happening is that your body has run out of glucose in your muscles and liver to use for fuel. Your body has almost forgotten how to use fat for fuel, and basically screams at your brain to consume glucose/sugar.

How much time until fat is used efficiently and the sugar cravings disappear ? It depends, everyone is different. It took weeks for me.

I managed to get the cravings in control by drinking strong black coffee and, when it got really tough, one low-carb fruit such as an apple or a pear.

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