2

votes

Not Hungry, Concerned About Unreliable Hunger Signals

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 10, 2011 at 8:02 PM

Background: I've been eating fairly strict Paleo/Primal (no grains, no sugar, no artificial sweeteners, lots of meat, fat, and some veg) for about a month now. No cheating, no nuts, no fruit, no chocolate, no caffeine. Dairy is butter and ghee only. I occasionally get a little soy in conventional mayo (planning to make my own soon, but don't have a blender yet). I don't like numbers, because they stress me out, but I know I've lost weight (10-15 lbs?) because my jeans fit differently. But because of my dislike of counting, I also don't have a good sense of calories/proportions in my diet, so I can't give you good nutrition stats.

Also: Zero activity, extremely sedentary. That's not going to change in the next month or two, for reasons I can't get into. Sleep is not good, chronic insomnia with graphic nightmares. Just started 10,000 IU D3 this week. No other supplements yet, but thinking of adding Natural Calm. No medical conditions I'm aware of (good BP, thyroid ok, no diagnosed celiac or anything else except being a fatty who eats her feelings).

Here's the concern: I'm barely ever hungry now. I eat once a day, fairly late, protein and veg cooked in good fat (sometimes just fried eggs and bacon, but also salmon and lamb and chicken and beef, so I get a good assortment of protein). I'm not deliberately fasting. I'm just... not hungry. One large plate of food about does it for me.

Now, I have a lot of weight to lose, so I'm not about to drop dead of starvation. But I'm concerned that inadvertent calorie restriction could further mess up my already messed up appetite signals (I've been overeating for so long I'm not even sure I know what hungry feels like, honestly).

My gut (haha) tells me to just listen to my own signals, and eat when I want. But my gut in the past has told me to eat a package of double-stuf oreos in one sitting, so... I don't know if I'm trustworthy. Should I be trying to eat more/more often? Maybe a small snack early in the day to get things going? I'm still stuck on the idea that a metabolism needs to be "revved up" to lose weight.

I did see this question: http://paleohacks.com/questions/10665/eating-only-when-hungry but my specific concern is about being a newbie who can't quite trust her signals.

Thanks for all your help, hackers.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on April 12, 2013
at 07:32 PM

Thanks for the suggestion, Kelvin. It's done.

70c75942b975919dfbed8dddbd767b60

(289)

on April 12, 2013
at 05:56 PM

@Rob please add your last comment to your answer. It will help those who don't decide to read all the comments.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on August 22, 2011
at 12:25 PM

I must apologize to everyone here for my comments about my friend who was supposedly eating only a few hundred calories every other day. It turns out that she lied to me. She nows says she lost much less weight over a longer period of time, and she ate fairly normally and wasn't in ketosis. The reason I believed her is that I myself experienced the sort of appetite reduction she described when I first went into high ketosis. However I was only a little bit overweight and it didn't last long in my case. I'm sorry for the misleading comments. I was mislead too.

8763119a6ff9dce4bf78d543426b0144

on March 08, 2011
at 09:49 PM

I also like to stir fry my spinach in fat...or just before i remove my stir fry from the heat i'll throw a big handful over the sir fry so it cooks down a little!

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 13, 2011
at 05:17 AM

Thanks for the check, Elizabeth. :)

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 12, 2011
at 02:42 PM

She might feel terrific now, which is awesome for her. I just rarely find people that lost weight quickly keep it off for the long term, that is the only reason I have for suggesting that.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 12, 2011
at 06:00 AM

"It was a major epiphany for me when I first went lowcarb and found for the first time in my life that I was not hungry all the time anymore. It truly was an eye opener that my desire to eat or not eat was mostly biological. Seems obvious now..." It seems obvious to me too, and yet not everyone here seems to have had the same experience.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 12, 2011
at 03:22 AM

Justin, when I wrote "her body is curing her obesity," I was referring to someone else. This other person is indeed more active now. Her arthritis has almost vanished; lymphedema is reduced from 20 lbs of fluid in her leg every morning to two lbs; she no longer gets pneumonia every 3 months; chronic skin infections have stopped; she no longer sleeps 16 hours a day; she no longer has difficulty breathing. Unfortunately her body can't regrow its lost gallbladder. She feels terrific. This is the person who Sherpamelissa suggested would be better off if she had lost weight more slowly.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 12, 2011
at 03:15 AM

Justin, when I wrote "her body is curing her obesity," I was referring to someone else. This other person's health has improved radically. Her arthritis has almost vanished; lymphedema is reduced from 20 lbs of fluid in her leg every morning to two lbs; she no longer gets pneumonia every 3 months; chronic skin infections have stopped; she no longer sleeps 16 hours a day; she no longer has difficulty breathing. She is more active. She feels terrific. This is the person who Sherpamelissa suggested would be better off if she had stayed fat longer while losing weight more slowly.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 12, 2011
at 03:14 AM

Justin, when I wrote "her body is curing her obesity," I was referring to someone else. This other person's health has improved radically. Her arthritis has almost vanished; lymphedema is reduced from 20 lbs of fluid in her leg every morning to two lbs; she no longer gets pneumonia every 3 months; chronic skin infections have stopped; she no longer sleeps 16 hours a day; she no longer has difficulty breathing. She is more active. She feels terrific. This is the person who Sherpamelissa suggested would be better off if she had stayed fat for several more years while losing weight more slowly.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 12, 2011
at 03:08 AM

Justin, when I wrote "her body is curing her obesity," I was referring to a different person. This other person's health and life have improved radically. Her arthritis has almost vanished; her lymphedema has reduced from 20 lbs of water in her leg every morning to two lbs; she no longer gets pneumonia every two or three months; her chronic skin infections have vanished; she no longer sleeps 16 hours a day; she no longer has difficulty breathing. And as you say, she has much more energy and she's more active. It no longer hurts her to move.

0bcefaa82dc94f93ce705f86e235f335

(1591)

on February 12, 2011
at 03:05 AM

Yes, it's difficult to try and unpack all the feelings around changing a diet so significantly - pride, anxiety, fear of failure, stress of new routines...

5489f67c05ca5fc68f2b984e48b6da5e

on February 12, 2011
at 01:31 AM

"Zero activity, extremely sedentary." There might be something worth looking into. I've experienced this myself. If her body was really curing its obesity, more activity would be a likely symptom as well as losing fat mass.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 11, 2011
at 11:06 PM

Sorry. Didn't answer first question. No. Changing my diet hasn't reset anything. I don't battle binge eating as much as I used to, but I do find if I let myself get too hungry I make bad decisions. Also, if I'm stressed I can feel myself planning eating bad things to calm myself, but I don't actually eat them anymore. I am much better at recognizing "full" but I still don't trust myself.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on February 11, 2011
at 07:44 PM

I just steam it and drench it in butter + a little salt.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 11, 2011
at 06:26 PM

I understand what you are saying Rob but when you come from a history of disordered eating, the body doesn't always know what it wants. It is pretty easy to go from one end of the spectrum (binge eating) to the other end (restriction). Not everyone can do the "eat to satiety" or "listen to the body" thing. There are a lot of mental aspects to eating too, if you don't fix those, that's when people gain the weight back.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on February 11, 2011
at 04:39 PM

You could try buying a few reusable containers that will last you through the day, or at least until lunchtime (or some other midday point if you don't eat lunch).

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 11, 2011
at 03:39 PM

I got my first scale at the dollar store! I upgraded to a digital one and checked them against each other and it was pretty damn close. I used to use Fitday, for the first 4 years. Now I'm on Livestrong because you can have "friends" and check each other's food. I love it. If you join, please friend me! http://www.livestrong.com/profile/sherpamelissa/

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 11, 2011
at 11:31 AM

Elizabeth, starvation mode (ketosis) doesn't stop fat loss. Starvation mode *is* fat loss. Starvation mode means that your body is burning fat to satisfy its energy needs. That's why ketosis suppresses appetite. That's what you want. Based on your description, this is what is happening to you. The last thing you should do is force yourself to eat more than your appetite calls for. That can't possibly help. It's natural to have doubts that you are progressing, but the only way you can resolve your doubts is to weigh yourself regularly or count calories to see how few you are really eating.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 11, 2011
at 11:12 AM

Elizabeth, the reason your appetite is suppressed is because your body is burning your fat and getting nourishment from your fat. That means your fat is getting used up. That's what you want. You don't need to "rev up" your metabolism. You've already done what needed to be done -- you fixed your appetite mechanism. It's now working properly. Sit back and enjoy the ride! If you have doubts, the way to answer them is by weighing yourself regularly and monitoring your progress. Nobody here can tell you for sure what your body is doing. Only your scale can do that.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 11, 2011
at 06:29 AM

Sherpamelissa, that's what her body wants. What makes you think you know more than her body about its needs? The really unhealthy thing is obesity. It was killing her. Her body is curing its obesity as fast as it safely can. We can analyze her diet by comparing it to a complete fast. The longest fast in the medical literature was 382 days. He was healthy the whole time. When fat people fast, only a few important nutrients are lost, namely minerals and approximately 40 g protein/day. It's not an accident that her body is asking her to eat high-protein foods. Her body knows what it's doing.

0bcefaa82dc94f93ce705f86e235f335

(1591)

on February 11, 2011
at 05:44 AM

I get overwhelmed by discussion of supplements - it seems like trying to make sure I'm getting the right amount in the right form in a paleo-approved delivery system is just too much for me to figure out. That sounds pathetic, I know, but there's just SO much information and debate... and I'm still mastering the basics of shopping and cooking. :/

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on February 11, 2011
at 05:08 AM

Get a free account at www.fitday.com to track your calories and percent of your diet that is fat, protein, and carb.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 11, 2011
at 04:03 AM

Elizabeth, I assume "starvation mode" means ketosis. If that's what you mean, yes, probably right now you are in mild ketosis. That's a metabolic state. The body creates ketosis to preserve as much muscle as possible while food is limited. Ketosis is part of the healthy appetite-suppression mechanism that you are witnessing. You don't need to worry that you will get stuck in ketosis permanently. Ketosis ends as soon as you eat normal amounts of protein and carbs. When your weight becomes normal, you will probably get cravings for sweet food. Half a sweet potato will end ketosis.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 11, 2011
at 03:53 AM

Elizabeth, I'm sorry but I never heard the expression "starvation mode" before. Can you explain what it means? It sounds like a euphemism for ketosis. If that's what it means, you don't need to worry. Ketosis only happens naturally when people starve or fast. In order to make it happen while you are eating frequently, the diet has to have a shortage of both protein and carbohydrate. If ketosis occurs, your body will be begging you to eat a half of a sweet potato and end it. And that's all it will take.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 11, 2011
at 03:47 AM

SP, that's what her body wants. What makes you think you know more than her body about its needs? The really unhealthy thing is obesity. It was killing her. Her body is curing its obesity as fast as possible. One way to analyze her diet is to compare it to a complete fast. The longest fast by a fat person in the medical literature was 382 days. He was healthy the whole time. When fat people fast, only a few important nutrients are lost, namely minerals and approximately 40 g protein/day. It's not an accident that her body is asking her to eat high-protein foods. Her body knows what it's doing.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 11, 2011
at 03:42 AM

Elizabeth, I'm sorry but I've never heard the expression "starvation mode" before. Can you explain it? It sounds like a euphemism for ketosis. Ketosis occurs naturally only when people stop eating. Certain kinds of diets can induce it artificially. (I'm in ketosis 24/7 for medical reasons, so I'm familiar with this.) Ketosis does suppress appetite. But it's not normal to be in this state all the time. It can only happen if you work at it artificially.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 11, 2011
at 03:39 AM

That's what her body wants. Why do you believe that you know more than her body about its needs? The really unhealthy thing is obesity. Her body is curing itself of obesity as quickly as possible. One way to analyze this situation is to compare it to a complete fast. The longest fast by a fat person in the medical literature was 382 days. He was healthy the whole time. When fat people fast, only a few important nutrients are lost, namely minerals and approximately 40 g protein/day. It's not an accident that her body is asking her to eat high-protein foods. Her body knows what it's doing.

0bcefaa82dc94f93ce705f86e235f335

(1591)

on February 11, 2011
at 03:33 AM

Thank you. Fortunately, I had less than a week of hard-core cravings, and it was mostly for diet soda, not even real sugar. Yes, I also am really enjoying the stress-free nature of cooking what tastes good and fills me up. That's partly why I am loath to get into counting anything.

0bcefaa82dc94f93ce705f86e235f335

(1591)

on February 11, 2011
at 03:30 AM

Thanks! Good to know it's not just me. :)

0bcefaa82dc94f93ce705f86e235f335

(1591)

on February 11, 2011
at 03:30 AM

Not so much leafies - more like asparagus and broccoli, mostly. I know you're a big proponent of spinach, though. How do you prepare it?

0bcefaa82dc94f93ce705f86e235f335

(1591)

on February 11, 2011
at 03:28 AM

Thanks, Rob. It's reassuring to hear that this is okay. Like I said, I'm still really worried about stalling out due to "starvation mode" although I know most Paleo folks don't put much stock in that concern.

0bcefaa82dc94f93ce705f86e235f335

(1591)

on February 11, 2011
at 03:26 AM

So you haven't found that changing your diet re-set your signals? I was kind of hoping that would happen for me. :/ Also, what do you use for counting? An online service? I think I would have to get a kitchen scale, too...

0bcefaa82dc94f93ce705f86e235f335

(1591)

on February 11, 2011
at 03:24 AM

I am def struggling with drinking enough water. When I switched to paleo I stopped buying bottled to save $, and I'm having trouble remembering to fill up my cup with Brita water. I used to drink much more when I could just grab a bottle every time I went to the kitchen. Maybe I need to look into some kind of online timer...

0bcefaa82dc94f93ce705f86e235f335

(1591)

on February 11, 2011
at 03:21 AM

Ugh, I could write another whole essay on my sleep issues. I have taken melatonin in the past, but not time-release, so maybe I'll try that. I was on Ambien for a while, but that stuff creates more problems than it solves - the retrograde amnesia was horrible. It did help me sleep, though. Also Klonopin, but I don't like getting attached to benzos, so I only use it when desperate. I did eat a little earlier today, and I'll try to keep it from getting too late. I have this weird thing where my body never seems to be on a 24-hour schedule for sleep or food or anything. More like 30-36 hrs.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 11, 2011
at 02:44 AM

I don't like the idea of eating only 300/400 calories every other day. That doesn't sound right or healthy.

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9 Answers

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82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 10, 2011
at 08:19 PM

This is good, not bad.

Your body is now working normally. What's happening is that you have excess fat and your body is burning it for energy. Since your body is getting energy from its internal supply, it doesn't require you to eat very much.

When the body is healthy, appetite is regulated in a way that fat automatically stays at desirable levels. Until recently, your appetite mechanism was broken. It was causing you to eat too much and keeping you fat. Now, because of your healthier diet, your appetite is working properly. Your body has reduced your appetite so you'll eat less and lose your excess fat.

You are now experiencing health. This is what it feels like.

When your fat shrinks to healthy levels, your appetite will automatically increase.

There's nothing to worry about. You should be glad to see this happen.

You can trust your appetite now. Your body has reduced it on purpose so it can get rid of your excess fat. This is how appetite is supposed to work.

Your body knows what it's doing.

By the way, it's quite likely that your appetite will shrink even more and you will find yourself eating only every other day or even less often. This happened to me and I've seen it happen to friends.

If that happens, don't worry. It's a sign of health. Your appetite will increase again when the excess fat is gone.

Edit: I must apologize to everyone here for my comments that you are about to read about my friend. It turns out that she lied to me. She nows says she lost much less weight over a longer period of time, and she ate fairly normally and wasn't in ketosis. The reason I believed her is that I myself experienced the sort of appetite reduction she described when I first went into high ketosis. However I was only a little bit overweight and it didn't last long in my case. I'm sorry for the misleading comments. I was mislead too.

A good friend of mine weighed 273 last year and now weighs 165. She loses a pound every three days like clockwork. She usually eats only 300 or 400 calories every other day. That's all she wants. She isn't hungry between those small meals. Her body is getting most of its nourishment from her fat, and that's all the food she needs.

Edit: One of the fascinating things about my friend is that her body makes her desire liver, eggs, and spinach. Those are practically the only foods she eats. What those foods have in common is that they are extremely dense in micronutrients. Her body is apparently making her pick foods that contain the most micronutrients in the fewest calories! It's really remarkable.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 11, 2011
at 04:03 AM

Elizabeth, I assume "starvation mode" means ketosis. If that's what you mean, yes, probably right now you are in mild ketosis. That's a metabolic state. The body creates ketosis to preserve as much muscle as possible while food is limited. Ketosis is part of the healthy appetite-suppression mechanism that you are witnessing. You don't need to worry that you will get stuck in ketosis permanently. Ketosis ends as soon as you eat normal amounts of protein and carbs. When your weight becomes normal, you will probably get cravings for sweet food. Half a sweet potato will end ketosis.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 11, 2011
at 03:53 AM

Elizabeth, I'm sorry but I never heard the expression "starvation mode" before. Can you explain what it means? It sounds like a euphemism for ketosis. If that's what it means, you don't need to worry. Ketosis only happens naturally when people starve or fast. In order to make it happen while you are eating frequently, the diet has to have a shortage of both protein and carbohydrate. If ketosis occurs, your body will be begging you to eat a half of a sweet potato and end it. And that's all it will take.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 11, 2011
at 03:42 AM

Elizabeth, I'm sorry but I've never heard the expression "starvation mode" before. Can you explain it? It sounds like a euphemism for ketosis. Ketosis occurs naturally only when people stop eating. Certain kinds of diets can induce it artificially. (I'm in ketosis 24/7 for medical reasons, so I'm familiar with this.) Ketosis does suppress appetite. But it's not normal to be in this state all the time. It can only happen if you work at it artificially.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 12, 2011
at 03:08 AM

Justin, when I wrote "her body is curing her obesity," I was referring to a different person. This other person's health and life have improved radically. Her arthritis has almost vanished; her lymphedema has reduced from 20 lbs of water in her leg every morning to two lbs; she no longer gets pneumonia every two or three months; her chronic skin infections have vanished; she no longer sleeps 16 hours a day; she no longer has difficulty breathing. And as you say, she has much more energy and she's more active. It no longer hurts her to move.

0bcefaa82dc94f93ce705f86e235f335

(1591)

on February 11, 2011
at 03:28 AM

Thanks, Rob. It's reassuring to hear that this is okay. Like I said, I'm still really worried about stalling out due to "starvation mode" although I know most Paleo folks don't put much stock in that concern.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 12, 2011
at 03:15 AM

Justin, when I wrote "her body is curing her obesity," I was referring to someone else. This other person's health has improved radically. Her arthritis has almost vanished; lymphedema is reduced from 20 lbs of fluid in her leg every morning to two lbs; she no longer gets pneumonia every 3 months; chronic skin infections have stopped; she no longer sleeps 16 hours a day; she no longer has difficulty breathing. She is more active. She feels terrific. This is the person who Sherpamelissa suggested would be better off if she had stayed fat longer while losing weight more slowly.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 12, 2011
at 02:42 PM

She might feel terrific now, which is awesome for her. I just rarely find people that lost weight quickly keep it off for the long term, that is the only reason I have for suggesting that.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 11, 2011
at 03:47 AM

SP, that's what her body wants. What makes you think you know more than her body about its needs? The really unhealthy thing is obesity. It was killing her. Her body is curing its obesity as fast as possible. One way to analyze her diet is to compare it to a complete fast. The longest fast by a fat person in the medical literature was 382 days. He was healthy the whole time. When fat people fast, only a few important nutrients are lost, namely minerals and approximately 40 g protein/day. It's not an accident that her body is asking her to eat high-protein foods. Her body knows what it's doing.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 11, 2011
at 06:29 AM

Sherpamelissa, that's what her body wants. What makes you think you know more than her body about its needs? The really unhealthy thing is obesity. It was killing her. Her body is curing its obesity as fast as it safely can. We can analyze her diet by comparing it to a complete fast. The longest fast in the medical literature was 382 days. He was healthy the whole time. When fat people fast, only a few important nutrients are lost, namely minerals and approximately 40 g protein/day. It's not an accident that her body is asking her to eat high-protein foods. Her body knows what it's doing.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 11, 2011
at 11:12 AM

Elizabeth, the reason your appetite is suppressed is because your body is burning your fat and getting nourishment from your fat. That means your fat is getting used up. That's what you want. You don't need to "rev up" your metabolism. You've already done what needed to be done -- you fixed your appetite mechanism. It's now working properly. Sit back and enjoy the ride! If you have doubts, the way to answer them is by weighing yourself regularly and monitoring your progress. Nobody here can tell you for sure what your body is doing. Only your scale can do that.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 11, 2011
at 11:31 AM

Elizabeth, starvation mode (ketosis) doesn't stop fat loss. Starvation mode *is* fat loss. Starvation mode means that your body is burning fat to satisfy its energy needs. That's why ketosis suppresses appetite. That's what you want. Based on your description, this is what is happening to you. The last thing you should do is force yourself to eat more than your appetite calls for. That can't possibly help. It's natural to have doubts that you are progressing, but the only way you can resolve your doubts is to weigh yourself regularly or count calories to see how few you are really eating.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 11, 2011
at 02:44 AM

I don't like the idea of eating only 300/400 calories every other day. That doesn't sound right or healthy.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 11, 2011
at 03:39 AM

That's what her body wants. Why do you believe that you know more than her body about its needs? The really unhealthy thing is obesity. Her body is curing itself of obesity as quickly as possible. One way to analyze this situation is to compare it to a complete fast. The longest fast by a fat person in the medical literature was 382 days. He was healthy the whole time. When fat people fast, only a few important nutrients are lost, namely minerals and approximately 40 g protein/day. It's not an accident that her body is asking her to eat high-protein foods. Her body knows what it's doing.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 13, 2011
at 05:17 AM

Thanks for the check, Elizabeth. :)

5489f67c05ca5fc68f2b984e48b6da5e

on February 12, 2011
at 01:31 AM

"Zero activity, extremely sedentary." There might be something worth looking into. I've experienced this myself. If her body was really curing its obesity, more activity would be a likely symptom as well as losing fat mass.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 12, 2011
at 03:14 AM

Justin, when I wrote "her body is curing her obesity," I was referring to someone else. This other person's health has improved radically. Her arthritis has almost vanished; lymphedema is reduced from 20 lbs of fluid in her leg every morning to two lbs; she no longer gets pneumonia every 3 months; chronic skin infections have stopped; she no longer sleeps 16 hours a day; she no longer has difficulty breathing. She is more active. She feels terrific. This is the person who Sherpamelissa suggested would be better off if she had stayed fat for several more years while losing weight more slowly.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 11, 2011
at 06:26 PM

I understand what you are saying Rob but when you come from a history of disordered eating, the body doesn't always know what it wants. It is pretty easy to go from one end of the spectrum (binge eating) to the other end (restriction). Not everyone can do the "eat to satiety" or "listen to the body" thing. There are a lot of mental aspects to eating too, if you don't fix those, that's when people gain the weight back.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 12, 2011
at 03:22 AM

Justin, when I wrote "her body is curing her obesity," I was referring to someone else. This other person is indeed more active now. Her arthritis has almost vanished; lymphedema is reduced from 20 lbs of fluid in her leg every morning to two lbs; she no longer gets pneumonia every 3 months; chronic skin infections have stopped; she no longer sleeps 16 hours a day; she no longer has difficulty breathing. Unfortunately her body can't regrow its lost gallbladder. She feels terrific. This is the person who Sherpamelissa suggested would be better off if she had lost weight more slowly.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on August 22, 2011
at 12:25 PM

I must apologize to everyone here for my comments about my friend who was supposedly eating only a few hundred calories every other day. It turns out that she lied to me. She nows says she lost much less weight over a longer period of time, and she ate fairly normally and wasn't in ketosis. The reason I believed her is that I myself experienced the sort of appetite reduction she described when I first went into high ketosis. However I was only a little bit overweight and it didn't last long in my case. I'm sorry for the misleading comments. I was mislead too.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on April 12, 2013
at 07:32 PM

Thanks for the suggestion, Kelvin. It's done.

70c75942b975919dfbed8dddbd767b60

(289)

on April 12, 2013
at 05:56 PM

@Rob please add your last comment to your answer. It will help those who don't decide to read all the comments.

4
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on February 11, 2011
at 05:04 AM

It was a major epiphany for me when I first went lowcarb and found for the first time in my life that I was not hungry all the time anymore. It truly was an eye opener that my desire to eat or not eat was mostly biological. Seems obvious now, but for all my life, everyone always said people are fat because they have lack of self control or low self esteem or whatever. And I'm not saying those are never part of it, but I never realized how biological it truly is until I experienced for the first time how trim people must always feel, ie satiated with normal amounts of food intake for long periods of time.

As for the case of eating very low amounts of calories, I am going to go on my instinct and suggest maybe a light snack in the morning just to keep things in balance. But personally I would not worry too much about it yet as long as you are not getting too skinny and as long as your energy level is still good, you don't feel rundown etc.

I would also add that you should probably be eating very high density nutritious food if you are not eating much. And you may want to consider nutritional supplements for any nutrients you are not getting. Go to fitday.com and see if you are lacking anything on current intake of food. You may already have plenty of calories stored on your body, but that may not be true of vitamins and minerals. YOu are probably still a big person but now intaking a small amount of food. Your body can replace the missing calories using stored fat but it may not be able to do the same with vitamins and minerals. If you are eating very little, it would be easy to be deficient in some nutrients. You may not need to eat more but you probably should make sure you are eating smart with very nutritious food and maybe even some supplements if you are deficient. THe more you weigh, the greater your need for nutrition. Normally, I'd say shy away from supps but I think it's hard to eat enough nutrientss when your body is still big and your food intake is small. However, if you are very crafty in your food selection, you could probably do it that way as well.

0bcefaa82dc94f93ce705f86e235f335

(1591)

on February 11, 2011
at 05:44 AM

I get overwhelmed by discussion of supplements - it seems like trying to make sure I'm getting the right amount in the right form in a paleo-approved delivery system is just too much for me to figure out. That sounds pathetic, I know, but there's just SO much information and debate... and I'm still mastering the basics of shopping and cooking. :/

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 12, 2011
at 06:00 AM

"It was a major epiphany for me when I first went lowcarb and found for the first time in my life that I was not hungry all the time anymore. It truly was an eye opener that my desire to eat or not eat was mostly biological. Seems obvious now..." It seems obvious to me too, and yet not everyone here seems to have had the same experience.

3
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on February 11, 2011
at 02:48 AM

I don't have reliable hunger signals, due to past disordered eating, but I love to count, so I just track my numbers and make sure I'm where I know I need to be to maintain my weight.

I've don't think there is anything wrong with only eating once per day if you are eating enough. I found if I under ate it actually slowed my weight loss down. So you may want to count for just a day or two to see where you are at.

It took me 6 years to lose 111lbs. I think taking it slowly and learning about nutrition as I went is what will help me to keep the weight off. My body and mind adjusted along with my weight.

0bcefaa82dc94f93ce705f86e235f335

(1591)

on February 11, 2011
at 03:26 AM

So you haven't found that changing your diet re-set your signals? I was kind of hoping that would happen for me. :/ Also, what do you use for counting? An online service? I think I would have to get a kitchen scale, too...

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on February 11, 2011
at 05:08 AM

Get a free account at www.fitday.com to track your calories and percent of your diet that is fat, protein, and carb.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 11, 2011
at 03:39 PM

I got my first scale at the dollar store! I upgraded to a digital one and checked them against each other and it was pretty damn close. I used to use Fitday, for the first 4 years. Now I'm on Livestrong because you can have "friends" and check each other's food. I love it. If you join, please friend me! http://www.livestrong.com/profile/sherpamelissa/

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 11, 2011
at 11:06 PM

Sorry. Didn't answer first question. No. Changing my diet hasn't reset anything. I don't battle binge eating as much as I used to, but I do find if I let myself get too hungry I make bad decisions. Also, if I'm stressed I can feel myself planning eating bad things to calm myself, but I don't actually eat them anymore. I am much better at recognizing "full" but I still don't trust myself.

3
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on February 11, 2011
at 12:34 AM

Id only be concerned with your body sending the wrong signals, if you were also suffering from extremely low energy, thats when id be concerned about inadequate nutrition.

When your activity levels go up, youll find your hunger will follow.

Id really fix your sleep if you can, I cant stress enough how important it is for EVERYTHING. Id be FAR more concerned with poor sleep than being hungry.

If you can, play around with shifting your meals a little earlier, so you can go to bed without being in the middle of digesting your meals.

Make sure youre turning off electronics/lights at least an hour before you want to crash.

Im going to break from my rule and recommend a supplement too. Melatonin is great for getting back on a sleeping schedule. get a 3mg timed release one. timed release is important if you dont want to wake up in the middle of the night. Take it an hour before planned bedtime, when youre turning off all those lights/electronics. in 1 week, switch to every other day, after 2 weeks just stop taking it. You'll fall asleep faster, more lucid dreaming, the whole 9. It definitely helped me for a short term fix to put my clock back in line.

0bcefaa82dc94f93ce705f86e235f335

(1591)

on February 11, 2011
at 03:21 AM

Ugh, I could write another whole essay on my sleep issues. I have taken melatonin in the past, but not time-release, so maybe I'll try that. I was on Ambien for a while, but that stuff creates more problems than it solves - the retrograde amnesia was horrible. It did help me sleep, though. Also Klonopin, but I don't like getting attached to benzos, so I only use it when desperate. I did eat a little earlier today, and I'll try to keep it from getting too late. I have this weird thing where my body never seems to be on a 24-hour schedule for sleep or food or anything. More like 30-36 hrs.

3
06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on February 10, 2011
at 11:57 PM

Almost everyone starting paleo experiences the no hunger "syndrome". Make your body into a fat burning machine by eating around 75% fat, 20%, 5% carbs and you will do just fine. Trust your instincts. If anything says wheat products, sugar products, corn products avoid. Small cheats can sabatoge your weight loss process. Determination and willpower.

But be sure you drink enough water. New paleo people tend to be satiated from the food they eat, that they do not get the thirsty pangs.
Some sites say to multiply your weight by .5 and that is the amount of water to drink on a daily basis. Best to break that up into amount per hour. I tend to add 25% to my number. It flushes out any toxins I am ingesting or come in contact with and it is terrific for BMs.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on February 11, 2011
at 04:39 PM

You could try buying a few reusable containers that will last you through the day, or at least until lunchtime (or some other midday point if you don't eat lunch).

0bcefaa82dc94f93ce705f86e235f335

(1591)

on February 11, 2011
at 03:24 AM

I am def struggling with drinking enough water. When I switched to paleo I stopped buying bottled to save $, and I'm having trouble remembering to fill up my cup with Brita water. I used to drink much more when I could just grab a bottle every time I went to the kitchen. Maybe I need to look into some kind of online timer...

2
8274ce9d4bffd8209055e1e34def04d6

(429)

on February 11, 2011
at 09:35 PM

Sometimes your body speaks but your brain does not want to translate. I assume that eating those oreos occurred somewhat outside of your control. It was that way for me, anyway.

You have to trust yourself and allow your body to tell you what it means. In this case, you might be flying high and proud of not having to eat much anymore. (I fell into the same trap when I started paleo). It was totally psychological for me, and I finally have some sense of control over my food habits.

The truth will set you free... :D

0bcefaa82dc94f93ce705f86e235f335

(1591)

on February 12, 2011
at 03:05 AM

Yes, it's difficult to try and unpack all the feelings around changing a diet so significantly - pride, anxiety, fear of failure, stress of new routines...

2
F1cd291cf9ba1ebd9a9db21d3dd09735

(436)

on February 10, 2011
at 09:50 PM

I went largely Paleo last year and didn't even know it (grin). What happened to me was that I had terrific nonstop cravings for high added sugar food-like products for about a month. I thought I was hungry all the time. But once I got through that, my hunger faded away, and my appetite regulated, just like others are describing. The key for me was to pay attention to my appetite, make sure I was getting the biggest nutrition and taste bang for my buck, and then I tried not to worry about controlling it or it controlling me.

It is such a welcome relief to have a friendly, non-anxiety producing relationship with food and eating. I don't keep 100% Paleo (I eat a fair amount of nuts and fermented dairy, plus the rare hard cider and dark chocolate), but mostly I eat the freshest whole foods available. Within my limited starving artist budget, if I can't afford local, in-season, I go for variety and high quality.

What I'm interested in learning is how long it takes the body (within a guestimate range) to re-regulate things such as n6:3 ratios, for adipocytes to release stored toxins and reregulate, for organs (skin included) to recover and to what extent this happens when on a Paleo diet, and what kinds of compensatory mechanisms we have to tolerate variations in diet (the multicultural aspects of eating are fascinating). There's so much to learn and so much still to discover.

Glad you are on your way. Enjoy the journey.

0bcefaa82dc94f93ce705f86e235f335

(1591)

on February 11, 2011
at 03:33 AM

Thank you. Fortunately, I had less than a week of hard-core cravings, and it was mostly for diet soda, not even real sugar. Yes, I also am really enjoying the stress-free nature of cooking what tastes good and fills me up. That's partly why I am loath to get into counting anything.

2
82a8b7c6e7f67787c2b16bd595db510e

(253)

on February 10, 2011
at 08:13 PM

When I first went paleo I definitely had diminished hunger signals. I was concerned at first, too, but most things I saw online about it (on the paleo blogs) framed it in a positive way. I think if you feel fine and you have weight to lose, then you're doing fine. Eat when you're hungry or when you think you need to.

I'll leave it to someone else to share links and opinions from varied sources, but I just wanted to state my personal case. When I went paleo, I dropped about 20 pounds in two months, almost all of it fat. I was pretty much not-hungry the entire time. Now that I'm still strict but 20 pounds lighter, I AM pretty hungry on a predictable schedule, more like I was pre-paleo (but without the nasty headaches and inability to function -- real hunger, not carby hunger). Also, things may fluctuate based on hormone levels, mood, etc. You never know. As long as your gut isn't telling you to eat Oreos, I'd trust it! :)

0bcefaa82dc94f93ce705f86e235f335

(1591)

on February 11, 2011
at 03:30 AM

Thanks! Good to know it's not just me. :)

2
Medium avatar

on February 10, 2011
at 08:07 PM

I personally don't agree with the exclusion of starches, but if you feel fine and are consuming green leafies to supplement the fat and meat, it should be sufficiently healthy. You are carrying around plenty of calories that your body will toss into the furnace as you go, so I would wager that your hunger would gradually increase as your adiposity decreases.

0bcefaa82dc94f93ce705f86e235f335

(1591)

on February 11, 2011
at 03:30 AM

Not so much leafies - more like asparagus and broccoli, mostly. I know you're a big proponent of spinach, though. How do you prepare it?

Medium avatar

(39821)

on February 11, 2011
at 07:44 PM

I just steam it and drench it in butter + a little salt.

8763119a6ff9dce4bf78d543426b0144

on March 08, 2011
at 09:49 PM

I also like to stir fry my spinach in fat...or just before i remove my stir fry from the heat i'll throw a big handful over the sir fry so it cooks down a little!

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