4

votes

Drastically reduced appetite?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 30, 2010 at 8:54 PM

Hi everyone. I'm a paleo-curious ex-vegan who had been kind of "flexitarianism"-ing it for the past year. Typically, I wake up extremely hungry and am totally non-functional until I eat. Then, throughout the day, I typically get hungry every 4 hours-ish, and pretty frequently it's shaky-blood-sugar-crash hungry.

This week, just for kicks, I ate alot more meat and many fewer carbs than usual (maybe 5x more meat than usual, and 1/5 of the carbs). I have hardly been hungry at all! I don't wake up ravenous, and my stomach will start rumbling long before I actually feel like eating. Also, I haven't needed to eat huge quantities of food. For instance, I ate a couple slices of avocado while quesadilla meat was cooking, and wasn't even really hungry for the quesadilla.

I'm wondering if anyone else experienced this drastically reduced appetite? Thanks!

Medium avatar

on February 09, 2014
at 01:44 AM

Yes, I have experienced this and now rarely feel the need to eat breakfast and can go a lot longer without eating and without feeling bothered by hunger.

C074eec3b3c0325ef3018a128111823a

(1012)

on August 18, 2011
at 07:10 AM

In general, yes. I assume it's primarily a result of increased metabolism for thermal regulation, as I found previously my appetite increases in winter, and I tend to put on a kg or two over winter. Where I live, winters are cold enough (5-15C daytime) to need extra BMR, but not so cold that we spend all our time indoors over-heated, as happens elsewhere - that may mask the effect. This winter, not so much - but this winter I'm eating paleo and walking around in shirt sleeves when everyone else is in heavy coats. (PS.. this is a question as an answer :)

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on August 16, 2011
at 07:13 PM

That's funny. This study says the opposite (nice graphs, too!): http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/89/6/3048.full and so does this one: http://www.ajcn.org/content/66/5/1264.short and these two found that ketogenic diets reduce postprandial insulin: http://www.nature.com/oby/journal/v12/n11s/full/oby2004276a.html http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0012057

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on July 29, 2010
at 08:30 PM

Fat and protein cause dramatic post-prandial insulin responses.

866fd1b06042dc5b47c07a688e6ddda5

(40)

on May 17, 2010
at 03:42 PM

Thank you for recommending this book. While I certainly didn't agree with everything in it, it was just what I needed to reaffirm my new non-veg*n lifestyle.

2289fa3718446717043ac8721eada546

(75)

on May 02, 2010
at 01:47 PM

I think one aspect is if you get your body functioning in a ketogenic state then you are getting your energy from fat stores. In your previous carb addicted state your body was sending out panic hunger pains every time the carbs start running low, like every 2-4 hours.

52cae90a114ca8f0404948e2b7ccb7ef

(1595)

on May 01, 2010
at 11:11 AM

A paleo diet seems to bring out our proper instincts about food and hunger. As long as you exclude the neolithic food options, you don't need to increase your willpower. Let your body tell you what to do and then listen to it. If "unweighed and unmeasured" works for you, so much the better.

866fd1b06042dc5b47c07a688e6ddda5

(40)

on May 01, 2010
at 04:04 AM

Thanks for clarifying, but I do understand this. I was just trying a little experiment, and this excellent result has tempted me to go *actually* paleo!

703331bec3d551d21d2178f60c9963c1

(587)

on April 30, 2010
at 09:54 PM

yeah, i'd imagine it's an insulin issue when you're eating meat with carbs. That's actually the standard american diet. Tons of fatty meat products coupled with high GI carbs. Lethal combo for jacking up insulin, storing fat, and creating sugar highs and crashes and the subsequent hunger for more. You're on the right track with Paleo! Keep at it : )

866fd1b06042dc5b47c07a688e6ddda5

(40)

on April 30, 2010
at 09:31 PM

Haha, I will try! I was just kind of concerned, because it is so extreme. Do I need to be monitoring my calories? I don't need to lose more than 5lbs or so.

20172354416166004d612e7d6bdd2f5e

(352)

on April 30, 2010
at 09:26 PM

I subscribed to the "eat in the morning to boost metabolism..." nonsense for years before going paleo/VLC. These days I only eat when I'm hungry, sometimes not until 3-4pm for my first meal! Re-sensitizing yourself to the hormonal feedback system we've got for hunger and satiation is one of the MAJOR benefits of this way of living/eating.

866fd1b06042dc5b47c07a688e6ddda5

(40)

on April 30, 2010
at 09:25 PM

Thank you - glad to know this is nothing out of the ordinary. The thing that I don't understand, though, is why meaty meals I've eaten in the past didn't seem to keep the hunger away as long? Does eating a steak with bread, for instance, tend to satisfy for less time than just the steak? If so, then wow - those carbs are tricky!

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11 Answers

best answer

10
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on April 30, 2010
at 10:02 PM

Not only are meat and fat more satiating than carbohydrates, they don't disturb your insulin levels. That ravenous, foggy, must-eat-now feeling comes from the low blood sugar rebound of the insulin from too much carbohydrate.

You should experienced reduced appetite, as well as more stable moods.

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on July 29, 2010
at 08:30 PM

Fat and protein cause dramatic post-prandial insulin responses.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on August 16, 2011
at 07:13 PM

That's funny. This study says the opposite (nice graphs, too!): http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/89/6/3048.full and so does this one: http://www.ajcn.org/content/66/5/1264.short and these two found that ketogenic diets reduce postprandial insulin: http://www.nature.com/oby/journal/v12/n11s/full/oby2004276a.html http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0012057

3
0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on April 30, 2010
at 10:01 PM

I agree with the other comments about the effect being real. However I suspect it has more to do with lowering your fasting insulin levels amoung other things like altering satiety hormones etc, lowering carbs is a quick way to do this. I find that I can achieve the same effect with quite alot of the right kinds of carbs plus protein, fat etc. How you can achieve the probably depends on the person. However I suspect (pure speculation) that the Kitavan's don't wake up starving in the morning.

3
9747ae0ff20a8f4a4a2857c66820b125

(439)

on April 30, 2010
at 09:11 PM

Yes. It's not uncommon--protein and fat are way more satiating than carbohydrates. When you eat a lot of carbs, you can fill yourself up, but the feeling doesn't last. This is why IF on a paleo diet isn't nearly as big a deal as it would be on SAD. It's easy to go long periods of time without eating, once your body is acclimated to burning fat for fuel.

703331bec3d551d21d2178f60c9963c1

(587)

on April 30, 2010
at 09:54 PM

yeah, i'd imagine it's an insulin issue when you're eating meat with carbs. That's actually the standard american diet. Tons of fatty meat products coupled with high GI carbs. Lethal combo for jacking up insulin, storing fat, and creating sugar highs and crashes and the subsequent hunger for more. You're on the right track with Paleo! Keep at it : )

866fd1b06042dc5b47c07a688e6ddda5

(40)

on April 30, 2010
at 09:25 PM

Thank you - glad to know this is nothing out of the ordinary. The thing that I don't understand, though, is why meaty meals I've eaten in the past didn't seem to keep the hunger away as long? Does eating a steak with bread, for instance, tend to satisfy for less time than just the steak? If so, then wow - those carbs are tricky!

2289fa3718446717043ac8721eada546

(75)

on May 02, 2010
at 01:47 PM

I think one aspect is if you get your body functioning in a ketogenic state then you are getting your energy from fat stores. In your previous carb addicted state your body was sending out panic hunger pains every time the carbs start running low, like every 2-4 hours.

2
A480640a53eb5dc8966f49141942f705

on May 02, 2010
at 05:54 AM

If you're a recovering vegan you might enjoy reading Lierre Keith's Vegetarian Myth: http://www.amazon.com/Vegetarian-Myth-Food-Justice-Sustainability/dp/1604860804/

It's not as rigorous as Taubes, and contains its share of factual errors, but I agree with the overall argument and thoroughly enjoyed the writing style.

866fd1b06042dc5b47c07a688e6ddda5

(40)

on May 17, 2010
at 03:42 PM

Thank you for recommending this book. While I certainly didn't agree with everything in it, it was just what I needed to reaffirm my new non-veg*n lifestyle.

1
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on April 07, 2011
at 01:30 PM

Anyone else experience this as a seasonal phenomenon? Spring is the time of year when my appetite is lowest. I wonder how that perhaps might fit with the fact that this time of year is the toughest season for hunter-gatherers.

C074eec3b3c0325ef3018a128111823a

(1012)

on August 18, 2011
at 07:10 AM

In general, yes. I assume it's primarily a result of increased metabolism for thermal regulation, as I found previously my appetite increases in winter, and I tend to put on a kg or two over winter. Where I live, winters are cold enough (5-15C daytime) to need extra BMR, but not so cold that we spend all our time indoors over-heated, as happens elsewhere - that may mask the effect. This winter, not so much - but this winter I'm eating paleo and walking around in shirt sleeves when everyone else is in heavy coats. (PS.. this is a question as an answer :)

1
52cae90a114ca8f0404948e2b7ccb7ef

(1595)

on April 30, 2010
at 09:28 PM

This is one of the expected responses to a low carb diet. Enjoy it!

866fd1b06042dc5b47c07a688e6ddda5

(40)

on April 30, 2010
at 09:31 PM

Haha, I will try! I was just kind of concerned, because it is so extreme. Do I need to be monitoring my calories? I don't need to lose more than 5lbs or so.

52cae90a114ca8f0404948e2b7ccb7ef

(1595)

on May 01, 2010
at 11:11 AM

A paleo diet seems to bring out our proper instincts about food and hunger. As long as you exclude the neolithic food options, you don't need to increase your willpower. Let your body tell you what to do and then listen to it. If "unweighed and unmeasured" works for you, so much the better.

0
0ee9a84f28b64ae94bc9a65071cd0317

on February 09, 2014
at 01:18 AM

I have been eating largely like a paleolithic gal for over a week now. Been largely a carnivore, but now not eating grains or dairy (ok....I've had a smidgen in my coffee on some days). My appetite has decreased significantly. Today I didn't eat until 2pm- yesterday too and I usually don't skip breakfast! My mood has been very stable as well as blood sugar. Just feeling very tired and mental fog which I hear will pass. Also, I'm not as "regular" as I normally am. Any thoughts? Thanks!

0
65b3beb803af1f8bcecee587dbecad44

on April 07, 2011
at 12:59 PM

About appetite: After trying every diet possible over last 20 years, I finally managed to go entirely gluten free and my near-voracious appetite normalized after two weeks, reducing to about a third. I just feel "full" sooner. All health issues disappeared entirely within about 6-8 months, including truly wretched hormonal problems (hot flashes, insomnia, night sweats, fatigue, cramps, flooding, PAIN) and a ton of "little" things everyone attributes to "aging," like stiffness and soreness, aching bones, memory and "fogginess," depression, etc, etc, etc.

This effect is independent of whether I eat meat or not, sugar or not, cooked or not. All I have to do is avoid gluten as if it were pure poison, even the tiniest bit, and I do fine. I no longer crave much of anything "unhealthy" as it seems to have normalized all my taste sensors and cravings too. I don't have cravings at all anymore, which is liberating in itself.

Considering that gluten is now thought by some docs to affect the endorphin receptors of the brain 30 times more strongly than morphine, not only is it addictive but it can really mess up your whole internal balance. Weight loss, a lifelong issue for me, became gradual but effortless--I eat what I want, but the key is that 99 percent of time I don't want any junk or sweets, my body desires mainly foods that, surprise, just happen to be consistent with the paleo diet. I just think of this as "real" food, stuff you don't need a mechanized food-agribiz to create or find: meats, fish, eggs, nuts, mushrooms, herbs, veggies and beans, fruits, raw organic milk, butter and cream, and coconut and olive oils are the only veg oils I use.. the others are too new in human diet and are agribiz. The tastes of foods changed. I lost the desire for sweets after about 3 weeks gluten free--I eat them on occasion but not often. Veggies taste sweet to me now. I am usually never hungry in the morning unless I skipped dinner, and I don't worry about it, I eat when I feel like it. I do eat rice, millet and quinoa, but not often. These aren't a staple for me but I don't avoid carbs or starches on purpose, it's just that I don't feel like eating them so much, they aren't as appealing anymore.

I don't eat tons of meat either, I eat it when I feel like it and that is not every day, nor is it by the truckload like I did on Atkins-type diets. We have a few chickens in the backyard, so I eat eggs but not bucketfuls. Food is no longer a big issue all the time and I just am so much healthier and happier as a result. All this goodness, and going radically gluten-free is what made it possible. Food bills are actually lower although I am eating most costly foods, just because I eat so much less.

I now suspect that gluten is the culprit in virtually all health problems. If we eliminated it from the food supply, universal health care would become irrelevant as nobody would be sick anymore. The entire pharmaceuticals industry would collapse and we'd all be better off for it. Please keep in mind that the same people who own all the big agricultural and "food" corporations are also the same people who own the pharmaceuticals corps.

They don't care if you're healthy, it isn't profitable for them.

May you each find your own path to balance and health. Love and blessings to you all.

0
04293f705870e1837b8670d3c1cd5f67

on July 29, 2010
at 07:09 PM

I was about to ask this same question about appetite. I have always been a meat eater and I have recently added coconut oil to my diet. I am usually not hungry & I don't think about food. Some days I eat an egg/veggie for breakfast and I have no hunger until around 3pm. Other days, I don't even eat breakfast but start to feel hunger around 12ish.

0
8ea784171b2d15cffb537349b341b806

(260)

on May 01, 2010
at 04:29 AM

Only count calories if you start losing too much weight (or don't lose any, depending on your goal), otherwise just enjoy eating.

0
08ce57b1bbb3bda8e384234389c36d94

on May 01, 2010
at 02:18 AM

The Paleo diet is not synonymous with a Low Carb diet. Low carb is often a side effect of eliminating grains, refined sugar, legumes and other starchy Neolithic food like substances.

866fd1b06042dc5b47c07a688e6ddda5

(40)

on May 01, 2010
at 04:04 AM

Thanks for clarifying, but I do understand this. I was just trying a little experiment, and this excellent result has tempted me to go *actually* paleo!

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