16

votes

Can you "listen to your body" or is your satiety meter broken?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 21, 2011 at 4:11 PM

I know a lot of proponents of Paleo believe it can be done unweighed/unmeasured if you stick to the Paleo food guidelines and you will maintain your weight and possibly even lose weight.

People suggest listening to your body or eating to satiety.

Personally, I know that's not possible for me. If I eat without counting I overeat to the point of gaining weight. Even if I just eat meat, fat and moderate fruits and vegetables. If I don't eat 3 meals + snacks, I get over hungry and make bad food choices.

I don't usually know I've overeaten until I'm done and feel terrible. Sometimes, I'll even think "I feel full, but this tastes wonderful, so I am going to keep eating."

So, my question is what does it feel like to be full? How do you know when to stop eating? Is it a physical sensation? Or a mental place? What am I looking for in regards to a signal?

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 12, 2012
at 09:31 PM

Broken/slow/fully functional. That's a great way of putting it, Kation.

Fc6a9e07f6056d465573c8969d3a2ddd

(370)

on March 12, 2012
at 05:54 PM

I've been having a similar experience: my satiety meter is shifting from "broken" to "slow." Now if I eat an overlarge meal, I notice that I'm still full when the next mealtime rolls around, and I skip it. I'm still aiming for "fully functional" satiety meter, but I regard this a step in the right direction.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on May 15, 2011
at 02:41 PM

My blog will crystalize this fact. In my document on health and aging.....leptin holds position "two" on a list of thirty of cornerstones of healthy longevity....as I have said here many times......it is critical to understand how it radically effects the context of food choices and how our thoughts effect behavior and our ultimate health

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on May 15, 2011
at 02:38 PM

So he ignores all the background noise and defaults to what he knows......music is being made because he sees them doing something. When leptin resistant you eat to support your energy requirements but have no way of knowing if you ate enough or too little to cover the expense. You basically are tied to the peptides control your guts whims....agouti gherlin NPY etc......and they tell younto keep eating.....because eating a lot is better than starving a little to the evolutionary brain that is the hypothalamus.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on May 15, 2011
at 02:35 PM

When your leptin resistant your broken......I'll give you an analogy. Being leptin resistant is akin to taking and removing from earth all the oil coal natural gas nuclear energy and sunlight. Do you think most life could go on living naturally? Nope. When you are leptin resistant your brain is getting that precise message. You can't store or use fat reserves and all methods of access are broken. You rely on what you eat then to gain energy. It's as if the musicians in an orchestra are playing independently because the conductor is deaf. He has no way of knowing what is happening now

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 06, 2011
at 05:12 PM

I wanted to add, that whether you're counting or not I hope you congratulate yourself *every* day. I saw some of your before and after pictures, and what you've accomplished is amazing. I mean, going from 'noticeably large' to 'paleo babe'? It's really inspiring!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 06, 2011
at 03:02 PM

Thanks CR! For me, it's ~all~ mental, I think. I can tell when I am eating from boredom or just because it tastes good. I think it's just switching myself off that is the issue. I'm MUCH, MUCH better than I used to be, but I still have a tendency to overeat if I'm not counting.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 06, 2011
at 04:27 AM

hey, you won't hear arguments about wine drinking from me, viva la France! Wine drinking is indeed great for developing that palate, exercising those taste buds. Enjoy!

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 06, 2011
at 04:24 AM

Wow - that's really interesting! Just the sort of factoid I *love* to read about! Oh I had a big emotional side to it too, in spite of my high-falutin' intellectualizing about 'listening'. I remember times, with bowl of cookie dough in my lap, shoveling it in with a spoon, and having a vivid image of whacking myself in the head with a baseball bat with each bite. Paleo has seemed to fix *that* lovely experience at least. And if I am drinking more wine - well it's not nearly as weird and there ARE a lot of taste buds to celebrate!

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 06, 2011
at 04:05 AM

taste buds do rule... I'm drinking to that now ;) Caverat, you made me think of something my vet was telling me.... i can't remember the exact words... but the gist was that the gum tissue and the intestinal tissue are cut from the same "cloth" in the body. So there is some relation. At least that's what she said, and she's an awesome vet.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 06, 2011
at 04:02 AM

I totally believe in the emotional aspect of it too, Melissa, just for the record. My husband had a bit of this going on, and it still surfaces now again when he craves something like pizza or a beer and then its pizza beer margaritas and i head to the pantry and go "what happened to those chocolate bars I was expecting to last me a few months?". it's rare now, but he comes from a far different eating history than I do. I'm also easily expressive of my emotions (though in some ways I developed that later in life) and he comes from exactly the opposite, a tendency towards holding in.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 06, 2011
at 03:59 AM

"taste buds rule" - I'd drink to that! :-)

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 06, 2011
at 03:51 AM

And of course, there is the new study, which is already getting slammed, saying that the jury is still very much out on salt and that people who used the least salt did the worst cardiac wise. Of course, there was no control group in this 8 year study so ... people are having issues. I don't much care, I never listened to studies anyways (thank goodness!) and listened more to my tastebuds.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 06, 2011
at 03:48 AM

and directly of, well, of sodium (saltiness). I do NOT buy "salt is salt", not as a finished product anyways.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 06, 2011
at 03:46 AM

Taubes has an article on salt here http://www.stat.berkeley.edu/users/rice/Stat2/salt.html To be fair, I've always had lowish blood pressure so it was never a concern for me, but I always blew off the warnings about salt much in the way I blew off the warnings about butter and fat all my life. I almost always salt during cooking, though I try to do it with purpose (I salt aromatics, like onions, and meats etc, before adding liquids later). I like the pink himalayan stuff because it has a very distinctively "mineral" flavor as opposed to table salt, which just tastes far more strongly

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 06, 2011
at 02:55 AM

Aaaaaand another thing (that extra coffee I had a couple hours ago must be kicking in!). I was thinking perhaps I needed more Iodine, for various reasons but one was that we use sea salt at home and that contains very little Iodine. So I bought some granulated kelp (there's a discussion somewhere on Paleohacks about it - mixed results). Turns out it's quite salty! But the actual amount of Sodium is pretty low compared to Iodine, in terms of relative to RDA (which, granted, is a pretty vague measure). Anyway, I use that instead of table salt in many dishes.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 06, 2011
at 02:38 AM

Oh - I wanted to add: it makes a huge difference *when* one salts food while cooking. If dissolved in a liquid salt flavor will get lost - think Spaghetti Sauce which typically has *tons* of salt in it - and then people pour salt over everything because it doesn't taste salty enough. The key is to not cook with salt but sprinkle it on after it's on your plate. The little crystals will taste plenty salty.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 06, 2011
at 02:30 AM

In Good Calories Bad Calories, Taubes makes a kind of side comment that salt in reasonable amounts is NOT bad for you, that people who cut way down will reduce their blood pressure - by something like half a percentage point. Almost statistically irrelevant, and it's another example of the same kind of thinking that gave us the Calories Are Bad Hypothesis. He's says that people will self regulate here too. Personally I never indulged huge amounts, except on fries (yum!), so even during my SAD life I never felt like it was a problem.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 05, 2011
at 01:53 PM

I have (had) high blood pressure, so I don't use salt. My binge eating issues stem from emotional problems though. I had food issues FAR before I had high blood pressure. Most binge eaters are coming from emotional eating issues, not really from a rational place at all.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on May 05, 2011
at 04:38 AM

Mine's totally broken too. Thanks for asking this.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 04, 2011
at 11:08 PM

Yeah, I know it's so common to hear to eat til your full, but that just doesn't work for everyone! Congrats on losing 30lbs! That's awesome!

669790861549f3c6d54d88a65296ed19

(452)

on March 28, 2011
at 10:11 PM

It seems like I'm only finding stories of people who were formerly obese or wanting to lose weight...and all the low-carb discussions.People talking about getting fat on Paleo.I'm getting more&more anxiety of eating and not exercising,forcing myself to walk around half of my day.Already worrying about how I should do that by the time I'll be able to work again,considering what jobs may involve lots of moving around. Pff...I have such issues:(

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on March 27, 2011
at 12:40 AM

I actually don't think that a lot of current Paleo eaters were formerly obese, but I know what you are saying.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on March 27, 2011
at 12:39 AM

Thanks Shari! I know there has been a study showing that the formerly obese do have different hormone signals, I think maybe with leptin, that cause our bodies to constantly try to get back to where they were. I read about it on a different message board and haven't been able to find my way back there. I am certainly way better at listening to my bodies signals than I used to be, but it is way too easy to overeat or make bad choices. I always have to be very aware of what I am putting in my body. Thanks for sharing. <3

7e1064164e012a1ead098098245b1cd4

(1197)

on February 28, 2011
at 11:31 AM

I do something similar but with coconut oil. I love the stuff so much and eat it every day, but I've noticed that when I am full the thought of a big tablespoon of it makes me feel nauseous. If I am hungry then the idea is highly appealing.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 22, 2011
at 05:11 AM

Thanks Melissa, Elizabeth, and Helen. I guess I was being hesitant because I know that you, Melissa, are tired of hearing the same (well-meaning) comment from paleos all the time: "hey, just let your body figure it out." And this was a version of that comment. A different version to be sure, but still a version of it.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 22, 2011
at 01:52 AM

a good hack for this problem (and frugal too), is to keep a container in the freezer for leftovers that are too small to make a meal, but too big to throw away. Stash them in the container (any kind of veggies or meat) and then when you get ready to make a stew you have a great starter. No waste, no worries!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 22, 2011
at 12:20 AM

I totally used to do this and would eat stuff off my husband and daughter's plates. Now I let them clear their plates and a lot of the leftovers go to my MIL. I had to learn that with snacks and stuff for my daughter too. I'll ask her if she's done with something and then ask her to throw it out. Otherwise I tend to eat it instead of throwing it out myself. It's a weird mental thing to get past.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 22, 2011
at 12:18 AM

Thank you! You are too sweet. That's a fantastic step for you! I don't actually weigh/measure so much anymore, but I do eyeball portions and count them. LOL. We are crazy! I like being accountable and knowing what I've had, I too have the "I'm not writing it down so it doesn't count" thing. Thank you for sharing! <3

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 22, 2011
at 12:15 AM

Awesome comment Paul, it didn't come across insensitive at all. That happens to me sometimes if I eat a lot at one meal, but sometimes it doesn't. I'm not sure what affects it. It may be timing and type of meal. It's certainly something I'm willing to try, but I just don't think I am ready yet.

0bcefaa82dc94f93ce705f86e235f335

(1591)

on February 21, 2011
at 11:50 PM

Great comment. I think the inability to know what "full" is is absolutely related to not knowing what "hungry" feels like. I have been panicking a lot about the current weirdness in my eating pattern, but ultimately, I am done forcing food when I don't want it, and forcing starvation too. I'm going to eat what I want (of the right stuff), when I want, and I'll see what happens next.

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on February 21, 2011
at 11:29 PM

Yeah, and I just ate a large hunk of meat, not because I was hungry (I'm actually quite full, in fact, after a large breakfast), but because a piece of meat sounded good at that moment. I have no idea why, but I went with it. =P

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on February 21, 2011
at 11:27 PM

That might be "just a thought", but I think its a very good one.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 21, 2011
at 11:21 PM

You guys might find this thread interesting if you haven't seen it already: http://paleohacks.com/questions/5553/types-of-hunger A classic, from last June.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 21, 2011
at 11:15 PM

I like this test but I think it doesn't always work for me, because sometimes my body just wants some fat with a little bit of carbohydrate, and so a very protein-y steak seems unappealing.

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on February 21, 2011
at 10:59 PM

Thanks for asking this, Melissa! I've wondered the exact same thing; I have no idea what "normal" people feel in regards to hunger and satiety. <3

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 21, 2011
at 10:34 PM

I wonder if 5 years from now we'll have a lot more anecdotal data about the way people's bodies are changing after 5+ years of paleo. Hopefully paleohacks will still be around!

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 21, 2011
at 10:28 PM

+1 too! But I am trying to be accepting of the fact that there may always be some uncertainty about "what would have been"... great question and discussion sherpamelissa!

Medium avatar

(310)

on February 21, 2011
at 09:57 PM

Everything in stride, right? As long as you've recovered! Simply eliminating neolithic poisons has done WONDERS for me. Paleo foods simply don't breed addiction the way unhealthy foods do.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 21, 2011
at 09:29 PM

I like this question and in general I like questions about this bigger topic: how do we know how "broken" we are, how do we know how much damage we've done? What will our bodies be like from here on out compared to what they could have been like had we not eaten and lived poorly (or relatively poorly) for so long? I also wonder if there are some things that can't be healed with one year of paleo, but maybe can be healed with 5 years, or 10 years, or maybe even more.

65660697ed243c7980725fd014eb00e0

(494)

on February 21, 2011
at 08:53 PM

None of us are "normal" about food. ;)

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 21, 2011
at 08:48 PM

sherpamelissa, as you said below --a year of paleo maintenance with calorie counting--is probably a very sensible plan before testing the satiety signals. Good luck!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 21, 2011
at 08:29 PM

Thanks CC! I certainly never thought that day would come! I really do recognize the signals in myself and stop them from becoming a binge. I know I should be able to stop counting. I may give myself a year of maintenance at this weight first though before I try it out.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 21, 2011
at 08:27 PM

Well, I think I'd stop myself a lot faster than a 20lb gain, but I did do that twice over the 6 years trying to become more "normal" about food. I've pushed myself out of my comfort zone a lot, but I'm not sure I'm ready for unweighed/unmeasured.

Medium avatar

(310)

on February 21, 2011
at 08:21 PM

I can relate, Sherpamelissa. The great thing about Geneen's books is they teach you about intuitive eating and trusting yourself so that you can perhaps lessen such hyperattention to planning every morsel you consume, if that is indeed what you want to do. Good for you that you have sorted out the bingeing cycle though! What an accomplishment.

65660697ed243c7980725fd014eb00e0

(494)

on February 21, 2011
at 08:18 PM

You've been paleo awhile now though. It might be different this time. In fact, it probably will be. If counting calories works for you, great. If you want to search for that elusive satiety button, you may have to risk going outside your comfort zone, as downright scary as that is. You know you can always go back to counting calories. You've come too far to ever be obese again. There's nothing saying you have to gain 20 lbs to find out if it works.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 21, 2011
at 08:09 PM

well with paleo, it may be much different that a 20 lb gain huh? I would think it would be way less than that. And you may just well be more comfortable being a "data tracker" so if it is working, learn to love that part of you! Anyway, it could be that if you have an eating disordered background like us, eating to satiety will not happen for a very very long time..

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 21, 2011
at 07:35 PM

I've done some failures over the years. Every time I think I've got it, I end up about 20lbs heavier and then have to go back to my calorie counting. I've read some about 100+lb weight loss and maintaining it and watching the scale and food journaling tend to be the two biggest things that most success stories attribute to keeping it off. It's a lot different I think than a "normal" weight loss.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 21, 2011
at 07:29 PM

No way will you wind up obese girl! You did not just change numbers on a scale, you changed your life! Great job! Now just learn to trust yourself, take some failures a few times, and one day when you dont even know it, it will just "click".

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 21, 2011
at 07:16 PM

It's my love of my new 111 lb lighter body that keeps me tied to my calorie counting. It's hard to believe sometimes that it's real even though I did all the work. I always feel like I could just wake up obese again.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 21, 2011
at 07:15 PM

Yes, he's also skinny fat though. Fitness/nutrition are not on his radar at all! He thinks I am obsessed with food and I guess I probably am, but at least now it's healthy food!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 21, 2011
at 07:00 PM

Thank you! I don't think my switch ever worked either. The way I make the food journaling work is by entering the framework of my day, the night before. I plan my meals because I pre-cook them for breakfast and lunch, so those are easy. I also do a weekly menu for grocery shopping, so I enter my dinner too. I do this at the end of my night while winding down and watching tv and hanging out with the family. I've kind of got it down to a science now. This week is egg salad and bacon for breakfast and meatloaf muffins and squash for lunch.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 21, 2011
at 06:58 PM

You can do anything that you set your mind to. Is it your expectation of instantaneous success that is keeping you tied to you "calorie counting security blanket" ?

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 21, 2011
at 06:55 PM

Dude. I know! I just hear the "eat to your full" and "listen to your body" stuff SO OFTEN that it makes me feel like I'm just not getting it. I am super happy where I am, emotionally and physically.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 21, 2011
at 06:54 PM

Thanks, I'll check it out. I don't binge anymore, haven't in years, but it used to be a problem. I've got things pretty well sorted out now, except for the over planning.

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on February 21, 2011
at 06:51 PM

I've read Geneen Roth's column in GH a few times and I could relate to a lot of the satiation/emotional/etc. issues she cited.

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on February 21, 2011
at 06:42 PM

After six years, in the great shape you've achieved? Makes me think: your system ain't broke, don't fix it! ;-)

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on February 21, 2011
at 06:39 PM

So weird - My naturally skinny husband has said the SAME THING. I'm like, _you'd take a pill instead of enjoying the pleasures of eating?_

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 21, 2011
at 06:37 PM

I fought long and hard to get here. I am really not willing to let that go in order to test myself. I have gone more than a month without counting and it didn't go well. That was Pre-Paleo though, so I could try it again. The thing is it would probably mentally mess with me more NOT to count now and then I kind of stop eating, which isn't where I want to take this. I have conquered a lot of food issues, but not all of them. I am truly a work in progress.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 21, 2011
at 06:35 PM

Thanks for the edit, Travis. I definitely think I have improved my BMR over the last 6 years and it is still improving. I have gone from 150/200 carbs per day down to the 50/75 grams. I will continue to work on it.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 21, 2011
at 06:26 PM

I eat far fewer carbs than I ever have in my life right now. I am keeping them around 50/75 grams per day. I don't think Paleo will work for me mentally, if I cut out all of them. I'd rather count my calories.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 21, 2011
at 06:14 PM

My skinny SAD husband doesn't even LIKE eating. He feels like it's a waste of time and if he could just take a pill and not have to eat he'd be thrilled.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 21, 2011
at 06:13 PM

I know the "stop already!" feeling, but it's the one before that I need help with recognizing. Actually, I recognize it, I just have a tendency to ignore it if I'm not counting.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 21, 2011
at 06:12 PM

I don't eat wheat based products at all anymore, but I do know when I eat them, I always crave more of them. I still gain weight if I eat too much Paleo food. My metabolism is kind of a mess from being obese and years of yo-yo dieting though.

0bcefaa82dc94f93ce705f86e235f335

(1591)

on February 21, 2011
at 05:45 PM

Yes, I definitely find that my eating is much more related to "taste" than to "fuel" or "filling" (unlike my skinny SAD husband, darn him!). I also struggle with what "full" is when I eat. As I posted recently, I am currently in a weird pattern of only wanting to eat once (sometimes twice), usually late in the evening - but when I do actually load up a plate, I feel like I never want to stop tasting butter and veggies and meat, oh my... :/

Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

(3524)

on February 21, 2011
at 05:37 PM

BTW to me it is a physical sensation. It is like "that is it, I am done with eating, and I get this signal from my full stomach."

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on February 21, 2011
at 05:18 PM

It was like my stomach would be saying *stop already!!!* but I would ignore it. But then at some point I realized that I was abusing my stomach by over-filling it, so now I'm much more aware of satiety signals.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 21, 2011
at 05:11 PM

Yeah, I think I know that feeling. I usually ignore it if I don't have a preset limit, which is why I plan out my food most days. :P I guess I need to work on that!

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 21, 2011
at 04:54 PM

good perspective!

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 21, 2011
at 04:52 PM

My mental state was the only reason for the success of this approach. In the past I would set an endpoint for a fast only to obsess about what I was going to eat (overeat) at the end, but this time I set a goal of not eating until by body actually required food to function. Amazingly I only wanted a normal meal. That was the difference for me.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 21, 2011
at 04:45 PM

I know what you are saying about learning what "hungry" is versus "full". I can fast and do occasionally. It's a different state of mind for me and I know it would be tough to do it every day. It's all mental with me though and I don't want to give up the control.

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23 Answers

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47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 21, 2011
at 11:14 PM

I have an idea that might seem a little crazy, but I think there could be something to it. Is it possible that if you (the general "you," not Melissa in particular) eat ad libitum, i.e., as much as you want, then you might eat an insane number of calories at one meal, gorging yourself to a seemingly absurd level of fullness -- and then just not eat again for an entire day? What if the problem is not that you're listening to your body when you shouldn't be -- because you're broken -- but instead that you're not listening to your body enough?

I have a friend who I got to switch over to paleo. She started out eating a pretty low level of carbohydrate, but has since taken up fruit again and feels good at a level of about 20-25% of her calories from carbs. She hasn't lost a significant amount of weight, but she didn't really have any weight to lose (maybe she thought so but she is certainly at a very healthy weight and looks great). The most important thing is that she feels so much happier these days because she finally feels full all the time, thanks to animal fat. Anyhow, when she started out I told her to just let herself eat as much as she wanted to, and she just went with it -- she shocked herself by eating 9 eggs in a single meal, etc. And sure enough, on the day after a meal like that she ate comparatively little, less than she ate on a normal day before switching to paleo.

Maybe eating to fullness actually requires even more food than we think it does, but if we gorge ourselves the body still has a capacity to compensate for it later? And maybe when we're eating "moderate"-sized meals we're still not giving the body what it might need to heal?

Just a thought. I'm sure that other people have tried this before, and I'm also quite sure that not everyone is like my friend: maybe if you eat a ton at one meal then you'll just eat a ton at the next meal, and will end up gaining weight. But maybe it's worth trying if it hasn't been tried. I definitely don't want to sound like I'm not being sensitive of other people's difficulties in this area, and that's why I want it to sound like I'm "just throwin' and idea out there" and not telling anyone "the way things should be."

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 22, 2011
at 05:11 AM

Thanks Melissa, Elizabeth, and Helen. I guess I was being hesitant because I know that you, Melissa, are tired of hearing the same (well-meaning) comment from paleos all the time: "hey, just let your body figure it out." And this was a version of that comment. A different version to be sure, but still a version of it.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 22, 2011
at 12:15 AM

Awesome comment Paul, it didn't come across insensitive at all. That happens to me sometimes if I eat a lot at one meal, but sometimes it doesn't. I'm not sure what affects it. It may be timing and type of meal. It's certainly something I'm willing to try, but I just don't think I am ready yet.

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on February 21, 2011
at 11:27 PM

That might be "just a thought", but I think its a very good one.

0bcefaa82dc94f93ce705f86e235f335

(1591)

on February 21, 2011
at 11:50 PM

Great comment. I think the inability to know what "full" is is absolutely related to not knowing what "hungry" feels like. I have been panicking a lot about the current weirdness in my eating pattern, but ultimately, I am done forcing food when I don't want it, and forcing starvation too. I'm going to eat what I want (of the right stuff), when I want, and I'll see what happens next.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 12, 2012
at 09:31 PM

Broken/slow/fully functional. That's a great way of putting it, Kation.

Fc6a9e07f6056d465573c8969d3a2ddd

(370)

on March 12, 2012
at 05:54 PM

I've been having a similar experience: my satiety meter is shifting from "broken" to "slow." Now if I eat an overlarge meal, I notice that I'm still full when the next mealtime rolls around, and I skip it. I'm still aiming for "fully functional" satiety meter, but I regard this a step in the right direction.

7
D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

on February 21, 2011
at 04:38 PM

Sherpamelissa, I am struggling with this right now too. I do the exact same thing: keep eating when I am not sure that I am full. In fact, if I am very strict on my food and lose weight for two weeks, then I get intense cravings and for lack of a better word "fall off the wagon" either by overeating paleo food or even eating something neolithic and gross that I do not want. Trying to learn "what does it feel like to be full" does not work for me, has not worked for me, so I am changing tactics. In other words I am going to quit expecting different results from doing the same thing! Ha ha novel concept right? That is insanity according to the popular quote (attributed to Einstein I think).

So my new approach is to try to LEARN WHAT REAL HUNGER IS (versus mental, social, clock hunger) instead of trying to learn what "full" feels like. This approach may not work for everyone, and I can see how it would be hard to do if you have small children and have to make sure they are eating three meals a day. But I am working on "not eating by the clock" (Stephen-Aegis suggestion) and really studied quite a bit of research on fasting (posted by Rob Sacks). A 16/8 fast did not work for me and in fact just made me more likely to over-eat during the 8 hour window. Completing a longer fast last week (75 hours) was not as hard as I thought it would be, and the first meal I actually ate a smaller amount than I had been eating, and this effect has still continued for the last few days. Don't get me wrong--although I want to lose some weight and get a more muscular body comp, I tried this extended fast as a new way to solve the "hungry/full" problem we are discussing, not as a crash attempt to get to a number on the scale. The difficult thing to do is to *avoid the family, social or clock pressure to eat when you are not hungry (versus learning to stop eating when paleo food tastes so good). In other words, don't be afraid to shake things up and do something different for a few weeks. Big deal if it doesnt work and you gain a few pounds, at least you tried a new tactic and learned something about yourself, you can always go back to counting calories.

If I say "I can't" then the outcome is already determined. Avoid that mind-set at all costs! This is what seems to be helping me right now, good luck to you whatever tactic you use!

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 21, 2011
at 04:52 PM

My mental state was the only reason for the success of this approach. In the past I would set an endpoint for a fast only to obsess about what I was going to eat (overeat) at the end, but this time I set a goal of not eating until by body actually required food to function. Amazingly I only wanted a normal meal. That was the difference for me.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 21, 2011
at 04:45 PM

I know what you are saying about learning what "hungry" is versus "full". I can fast and do occasionally. It's a different state of mind for me and I know it would be tough to do it every day. It's all mental with me though and I don't want to give up the control.

5
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on February 22, 2011
at 05:04 AM

I never knew satiation before paleo. Before, even if my stomach felt stuffed, for some reason, my brain wanted more. Now, sometimes or often, I will feel too busy to listen to my stomach. Like right now, my stomach has been growling for an hour or more, but I keep saying, just one more email, just one more email.. SO the urge to eat only comes physically, not much mentally. Mentally, I am more interested in emailing. Later, I will get my steak and eat some, but I will lose interest faster. I may stop for another email, and forget to go back to it, and then later I will realize I haven't finished yet. Maybe I will eat a few more bites, but then it will be cold and not as tasty. I will then either pack it for lunch at work tomorrow, save it, or give it to the dog. (when saved meat starts to accumulate in the fridge, then doggy gets more snacks..) However, sometimes food will taste extra good and I will try to finish it. I keep eating past the point of satiation, until the act of eating gets less and less pleasant. Finally the unpleasantness is too strong. I don't want to eat anymore so I stop. The body wins in the end, but this happens mostly with meat. It's hard to eat a huge ton of meat all at once. Plus, overtime, the point where I get too stuffed to eat any more starts to happen with smaller and smaller portions. It was a gradual and very natural progresssion and I think this way is the healthiest. If you weigh a lot, then I don't think it's healthy to suddenly totally cut calories to be very low. Instead I think the healthy way is that over time, you eat less and less. Paleo did that for me naturally such that I really didnt have to think about it. All I had to think about was avoiding the occasional temptation at work where they often have tons of sugary snacks.

5
1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on February 21, 2011
at 04:46 PM

To me, feeling full is mainly physical. It feels like my stomach is stretched and that if I eat any more, my stomach will actually hurt. But at the same time, is a very subtle feeling, and easy to ignore/over-ride. Its less a feeling of "I'VE had enough" and more of a feeling of there's enough in there. To me, it's a matter of feeling the feeling from my stomach's point of view and not MY point of view, if that makes any sense.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 21, 2011
at 06:13 PM

I know the "stop already!" feeling, but it's the one before that I need help with recognizing. Actually, I recognize it, I just have a tendency to ignore it if I'm not counting.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 21, 2011
at 05:11 PM

Yeah, I think I know that feeling. I usually ignore it if I don't have a preset limit, which is why I plan out my food most days. :P I guess I need to work on that!

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 21, 2011
at 04:54 PM

good perspective!

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on February 21, 2011
at 05:18 PM

It was like my stomach would be saying *stop already!!!* but I would ignore it. But then at some point I realized that I was abusing my stomach by over-filling it, so now I'm much more aware of satiety signals.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 21, 2011
at 11:21 PM

You guys might find this thread interesting if you haven't seen it already: http://paleohacks.com/questions/5553/types-of-hunger A classic, from last June.

4
721c2ae7c48630f3c7578a62773b8276

(500)

on February 21, 2011
at 04:25 PM

I'm the same way, but since I detest counting and think, for me, it's counterproductive (It's hard for me to look at a meal without subconsciously tallying calorie count). I tend to wait as long as I can, then eat as much as I want, the rest of the day is spare save for coffee and cream, which I seem to be able to ration without getting neurotic.

After a few weeks of ZC, I get to the point where I start pushing food away when I'm done. But I'm not militant about it and will usually revert every few weeks for berries or tubers of some sort. For me, it comes down to deciding how rather I would lose/maintain weight. Either ZC forever with no counting or even consideration of limiting anything, or carbs and keeping "strict" with one meal a day. I usually fall somewhere in the middle, but the more carbs I eat, the more trouble I have with appetite, so I tend to stay closer to ZC for sanity sake. Yams are delicious, but they drive me crazy.

3
Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 04, 2011
at 10:59 PM

I've been wondering about this! For me it's urge to binge - to physically fill my belly to the point of being stuffed. To cram my mouth full of something and swallow. I was lucky I wasn't outright obese or bulimic! And I might have been either/both if I had let it continue a few more years. OMG the stuff I ate when I once tried to diet, lost 20 lbs, then gained it all back again!

But it's interesting, in retrospect: my horrible binge food was (yikes this is still hard to confess) was this: I'd make a full sized batch of oatmeal raisin cookie dough - and eat it all with a spoon. I used to think it was a weird self punishment. But now I wonder: what if it wasn't the sugar I craved but the BUTTER?

One thing I've learned is to avoid fasting. That 'good' feeling of a hollow belly? That certain pride in having conquered a compulsion for a while? I now know it's a sign to RUN - not walk - to the nearest jar of coconut oil or slab of bacon and eat my fill. Intentional hunger is (for me) nothing to feel smug over and will almost always backfire. If it's a war between my will and my body, my body will win every time and with a vengeance. That said, if I accidentally miss a meal I don't sweat over it either. Maybe I'll try a bone broth fast one day, but not until my body feels safe from my phony pride...

I'm still binging a little - I eat far beyond satiety still, and still stuff my mouth with food. But it's all calmer now, less desperate. AND I've lost almost 30 lbs in spite of it.

Another thing: how big my belly feels has almost no relationship to my weight. I'll have breakfast and be 100% sure I've gained 10 lb but then the scale shows I've lost 3 lbs. Go figure.

I've been thinking of trying a FAT fast - only eat mostly saturated fats and drink water for a couple weeks. That should beat that 'hunger pride' feeling!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 04, 2011
at 11:08 PM

Yeah, I know it's so common to hear to eat til your full, but that just doesn't work for everyone! Congrats on losing 30lbs! That's awesome!

3
D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on February 21, 2011
at 06:49 PM

Oh, my switch is SO broken. The bad thing is, I don't ever recall HAVING that switch working effectively. In high school I only stayed trim by virtue of swimming two hours a day and counting calories. (Hey, I was taking things like an applesauce and two fun size candy bars for lunch, so it wasn't exactly quality food, but the lunches I packed were indeed low calorie) - so it was chronic cardio and sheer willpower then.

Starting a meal generates huge momentum for me, and I blow right by that satiation point, wherever it was, before I know it and just feel ughfull. As I've mentioned before, I know that I need some objective limits rather than subjective if I'm going to make progress - and maybe, maybe after reaching some big goals could I relax a bit, but I really doubt it - too dangerous to slip into my old limit-ignoring ways.

Closely journalling my food intake seems to be my most logical solution at this point. Unfortunately (not excusing, just explaining), being a mother of two kids aged 3 and 1, the painstaking work involved in measuring serving sizes, finding the stuff in an online database, etc. gets difficult to maintain pretty quickly - and I've actually tried it a few times without being able to keep at it longer than about a week.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 21, 2011
at 07:00 PM

Thank you! I don't think my switch ever worked either. The way I make the food journaling work is by entering the framework of my day, the night before. I plan my meals because I pre-cook them for breakfast and lunch, so those are easy. I also do a weekly menu for grocery shopping, so I enter my dinner too. I do this at the end of my night while winding down and watching tv and hanging out with the family. I've kind of got it down to a science now. This week is egg salad and bacon for breakfast and meatloaf muffins and squash for lunch.

3
Medium avatar

on February 21, 2011
at 06:43 PM

I recommend you look into books by Geneen Roth. Among other amazing and informative topics, she writes about the dangers of not trusting your instincts or your own body. The fear that if left to your own devices you would consume the world and continually gain weight fosters the notion that you must deprive yourself to remain "on-track" or sensible when it comes to what you consume, and the other side of deprivation is bingeing. Bingeing is usually inevitable when a person tries very hard to restrict herself/himself. This has certainly been my experience.

I can't recommend her books enough. I would start with Breaking Free from Emotional Eating. If you aren't listening to physical triggers and signs, then you are likely listening to emotional ones.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 21, 2011
at 08:29 PM

Thanks CC! I certainly never thought that day would come! I really do recognize the signals in myself and stop them from becoming a binge. I know I should be able to stop counting. I may give myself a year of maintenance at this weight first though before I try it out.

Medium avatar

(310)

on February 21, 2011
at 08:21 PM

I can relate, Sherpamelissa. The great thing about Geneen's books is they teach you about intuitive eating and trusting yourself so that you can perhaps lessen such hyperattention to planning every morsel you consume, if that is indeed what you want to do. Good for you that you have sorted out the bingeing cycle though! What an accomplishment.

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on February 21, 2011
at 06:51 PM

I've read Geneen Roth's column in GH a few times and I could relate to a lot of the satiation/emotional/etc. issues she cited.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 21, 2011
at 06:54 PM

Thanks, I'll check it out. I don't binge anymore, haven't in years, but it used to be a problem. I've got things pretty well sorted out now, except for the over planning.

Medium avatar

(310)

on February 21, 2011
at 09:57 PM

Everything in stride, right? As long as you've recovered! Simply eliminating neolithic poisons has done WONDERS for me. Paleo foods simply don't breed addiction the way unhealthy foods do.

2
Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 05, 2011
at 04:08 AM

so, ignorant question here...

for those of you who still have binge/overeating desires, do you cook most of your own food, and if you do, what are you using for salt and how much salt would you say you use, a conservative amount or a lot?

I don't know why this occurred to me and if it has any real relevance, but it occurred to me that sometimes I crave a little salt, and I will actually eat just a small pinch of salt now and again. I use a fair amount in my cooking, to taste but I am not shy about it. I use a high mineral content salt (it's Pink Himalayan salt that I bought at TJ Maxx for $5 but its awesome and i bought a lot). I was wondering if maybe there wasn't an underlying mineral craving that could be contributing to these desires. A vast majority of salt these days is pretty mineral poor. This could be a dumb idea, so consider this a curious informal survey.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 06, 2011
at 04:24 AM

Wow - that's really interesting! Just the sort of factoid I *love* to read about! Oh I had a big emotional side to it too, in spite of my high-falutin' intellectualizing about 'listening'. I remember times, with bowl of cookie dough in my lap, shoveling it in with a spoon, and having a vivid image of whacking myself in the head with a baseball bat with each bite. Paleo has seemed to fix *that* lovely experience at least. And if I am drinking more wine - well it's not nearly as weird and there ARE a lot of taste buds to celebrate!

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 06, 2011
at 04:27 AM

hey, you won't hear arguments about wine drinking from me, viva la France! Wine drinking is indeed great for developing that palate, exercising those taste buds. Enjoy!

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 06, 2011
at 02:55 AM

Aaaaaand another thing (that extra coffee I had a couple hours ago must be kicking in!). I was thinking perhaps I needed more Iodine, for various reasons but one was that we use sea salt at home and that contains very little Iodine. So I bought some granulated kelp (there's a discussion somewhere on Paleohacks about it - mixed results). Turns out it's quite salty! But the actual amount of Sodium is pretty low compared to Iodine, in terms of relative to RDA (which, granted, is a pretty vague measure). Anyway, I use that instead of table salt in many dishes.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 06, 2011
at 03:46 AM

Taubes has an article on salt here http://www.stat.berkeley.edu/users/rice/Stat2/salt.html To be fair, I've always had lowish blood pressure so it was never a concern for me, but I always blew off the warnings about salt much in the way I blew off the warnings about butter and fat all my life. I almost always salt during cooking, though I try to do it with purpose (I salt aromatics, like onions, and meats etc, before adding liquids later). I like the pink himalayan stuff because it has a very distinctively "mineral" flavor as opposed to table salt, which just tastes far more strongly

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 05, 2011
at 01:53 PM

I have (had) high blood pressure, so I don't use salt. My binge eating issues stem from emotional problems though. I had food issues FAR before I had high blood pressure. Most binge eaters are coming from emotional eating issues, not really from a rational place at all.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 06, 2011
at 03:59 AM

"taste buds rule" - I'd drink to that! :-)

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 06, 2011
at 02:38 AM

Oh - I wanted to add: it makes a huge difference *when* one salts food while cooking. If dissolved in a liquid salt flavor will get lost - think Spaghetti Sauce which typically has *tons* of salt in it - and then people pour salt over everything because it doesn't taste salty enough. The key is to not cook with salt but sprinkle it on after it's on your plate. The little crystals will taste plenty salty.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 06, 2011
at 04:05 AM

taste buds do rule... I'm drinking to that now ;) Caverat, you made me think of something my vet was telling me.... i can't remember the exact words... but the gist was that the gum tissue and the intestinal tissue are cut from the same "cloth" in the body. So there is some relation. At least that's what she said, and she's an awesome vet.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 06, 2011
at 04:02 AM

I totally believe in the emotional aspect of it too, Melissa, just for the record. My husband had a bit of this going on, and it still surfaces now again when he craves something like pizza or a beer and then its pizza beer margaritas and i head to the pantry and go "what happened to those chocolate bars I was expecting to last me a few months?". it's rare now, but he comes from a far different eating history than I do. I'm also easily expressive of my emotions (though in some ways I developed that later in life) and he comes from exactly the opposite, a tendency towards holding in.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 06, 2011
at 02:30 AM

In Good Calories Bad Calories, Taubes makes a kind of side comment that salt in reasonable amounts is NOT bad for you, that people who cut way down will reduce their blood pressure - by something like half a percentage point. Almost statistically irrelevant, and it's another example of the same kind of thinking that gave us the Calories Are Bad Hypothesis. He's says that people will self regulate here too. Personally I never indulged huge amounts, except on fries (yum!), so even during my SAD life I never felt like it was a problem.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 06, 2011
at 03:51 AM

And of course, there is the new study, which is already getting slammed, saying that the jury is still very much out on salt and that people who used the least salt did the worst cardiac wise. Of course, there was no control group in this 8 year study so ... people are having issues. I don't much care, I never listened to studies anyways (thank goodness!) and listened more to my tastebuds.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 06, 2011
at 03:48 AM

and directly of, well, of sodium (saltiness). I do NOT buy "salt is salt", not as a finished product anyways.

2
22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on February 21, 2011
at 11:31 PM

My biggest issue is waste! I cook for a family of 3 and if there are enough leftovers I will eat them the next day, but if it's not enough for another meal I will just eat it whether I am hungry or not because food is like gold to me! I grew up with a mother that refused to let me leave the table until my plate was clean....so waste is a hard pill for me to swallow.

So to say the least, I tend to over eat for dinner because there is always a couple oz's of meat and veges left over.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 22, 2011
at 12:20 AM

I totally used to do this and would eat stuff off my husband and daughter's plates. Now I let them clear their plates and a lot of the leftovers go to my MIL. I had to learn that with snacks and stuff for my daughter too. I'll ask her if she's done with something and then ask her to throw it out. Otherwise I tend to eat it instead of throwing it out myself. It's a weird mental thing to get past.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 22, 2011
at 01:52 AM

a good hack for this problem (and frugal too), is to keep a container in the freezer for leftovers that are too small to make a meal, but too big to throw away. Stash them in the container (any kind of veggies or meat) and then when you get ready to make a stew you have a great starter. No waste, no worries!

2
Ac9425a387b78cb37a01972fe848bddb

(655)

on February 21, 2011
at 07:47 PM

I use the "Steak Test". Imagine a big 14 oz steak with no seasonings or sauces, if you want to devour that steak, you are hungry! If not, well you may just be bored or craving, but hungry you are not!

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 21, 2011
at 11:15 PM

I like this test but I think it doesn't always work for me, because sometimes my body just wants some fat with a little bit of carbohydrate, and so a very protein-y steak seems unappealing.

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on February 21, 2011
at 11:29 PM

Yeah, and I just ate a large hunk of meat, not because I was hungry (I'm actually quite full, in fact, after a large breakfast), but because a piece of meat sounded good at that moment. I have no idea why, but I went with it. =P

7e1064164e012a1ead098098245b1cd4

(1197)

on February 28, 2011
at 11:31 AM

I do something similar but with coconut oil. I love the stuff so much and eat it every day, but I've noticed that when I am full the thought of a big tablespoon of it makes me feel nauseous. If I am hungry then the idea is highly appealing.

2
65660697ed243c7980725fd014eb00e0

(494)

on February 21, 2011
at 06:22 PM

I wonder if you're just psyching yourself out. You've been counting calories for a long time, I'm sure you have all the know-how to eat what works for you. Willpower is a curious thing. Sometimes you really have to test it to see what you're capable of.

I know you've said in the past that you gain weight if you don't count calories. How long have you gone not counting? Like everything else, there may be a transition period as you switch to trusting yourself instead of trusting the numbers.

I keep documentation too, so I understand the inclination to record everything. Sometimes it's a leap of faith though. If you give your body a fair chance to learn what satiety is you may find that it is possible for you. Don't sell yourself short. You've accomplished so much already.

65660697ed243c7980725fd014eb00e0

(494)

on February 21, 2011
at 08:53 PM

None of us are "normal" about food. ;)

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 21, 2011
at 08:48 PM

sherpamelissa, as you said below --a year of paleo maintenance with calorie counting--is probably a very sensible plan before testing the satiety signals. Good luck!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 21, 2011
at 07:16 PM

It's my love of my new 111 lb lighter body that keeps me tied to my calorie counting. It's hard to believe sometimes that it's real even though I did all the work. I always feel like I could just wake up obese again.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 21, 2011
at 06:55 PM

Dude. I know! I just hear the "eat to your full" and "listen to your body" stuff SO OFTEN that it makes me feel like I'm just not getting it. I am super happy where I am, emotionally and physically.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 21, 2011
at 07:35 PM

I've done some failures over the years. Every time I think I've got it, I end up about 20lbs heavier and then have to go back to my calorie counting. I've read some about 100+lb weight loss and maintaining it and watching the scale and food journaling tend to be the two biggest things that most success stories attribute to keeping it off. It's a lot different I think than a "normal" weight loss.

65660697ed243c7980725fd014eb00e0

(494)

on February 21, 2011
at 08:18 PM

You've been paleo awhile now though. It might be different this time. In fact, it probably will be. If counting calories works for you, great. If you want to search for that elusive satiety button, you may have to risk going outside your comfort zone, as downright scary as that is. You know you can always go back to counting calories. You've come too far to ever be obese again. There's nothing saying you have to gain 20 lbs to find out if it works.

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on February 21, 2011
at 06:42 PM

After six years, in the great shape you've achieved? Makes me think: your system ain't broke, don't fix it! ;-)

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 21, 2011
at 06:37 PM

I fought long and hard to get here. I am really not willing to let that go in order to test myself. I have gone more than a month without counting and it didn't go well. That was Pre-Paleo though, so I could try it again. The thing is it would probably mentally mess with me more NOT to count now and then I kind of stop eating, which isn't where I want to take this. I have conquered a lot of food issues, but not all of them. I am truly a work in progress.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 21, 2011
at 07:29 PM

No way will you wind up obese girl! You did not just change numbers on a scale, you changed your life! Great job! Now just learn to trust yourself, take some failures a few times, and one day when you dont even know it, it will just "click".

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 21, 2011
at 08:27 PM

Well, I think I'd stop myself a lot faster than a 20lb gain, but I did do that twice over the 6 years trying to become more "normal" about food. I've pushed myself out of my comfort zone a lot, but I'm not sure I'm ready for unweighed/unmeasured.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 21, 2011
at 06:58 PM

You can do anything that you set your mind to. Is it your expectation of instantaneous success that is keeping you tied to you "calorie counting security blanket" ?

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 21, 2011
at 08:09 PM

well with paleo, it may be much different that a 20 lb gain huh? I would think it would be way less than that. And you may just well be more comfortable being a "data tracker" so if it is working, learn to love that part of you! Anyway, it could be that if you have an eating disordered background like us, eating to satiety will not happen for a very very long time..

2
Medium avatar

on February 21, 2011
at 06:19 PM

This works, but not when it comes to carbohydrates. Keep strict control of carbs and then eat whatever else you want until you reach satiety. Carbs almost solely determine adiposity.

Edit: I'm of the opinion that adiposity is the intersection between carb intake, activity and BMR. All of these values can be modified, but it's easiest to alter carb intake, followed by activity and lastly BMR. BMR is only really affected by an increase in lean body mass, which takes a long time to change substantially. If you lower carbs from 50 to 30g a day, your overall hunger for the day will decrease and your body will count calories for you.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 21, 2011
at 06:26 PM

I eat far fewer carbs than I ever have in my life right now. I am keeping them around 50/75 grams per day. I don't think Paleo will work for me mentally, if I cut out all of them. I'd rather count my calories.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 21, 2011
at 06:35 PM

Thanks for the edit, Travis. I definitely think I have improved my BMR over the last 6 years and it is still improving. I have gone from 150/200 carbs per day down to the 50/75 grams. I will continue to work on it.

1
Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 06, 2011
at 03:23 AM

Melissa I just remembered something, from when I first started experimenting with the diet(s) that eventually resulted in paleo, at which point I stopped worrying about how much I ate (though I might revisit this question again once I have some mileage - maybe a year - on paleo): it's that there was a difference between belly hunger and mouth hunger. And that the belly LIED to me but my mouth told the truth! It'd work like this: I'd eat something, then need to wait an hour. But I'd feel hungrier so it took will power to resist for that hour and it was very distracting. But I discovered that if I imagined actually eating a food - physically chewing it up, pushing it around with my tongue and swallowing - that'd I'd feel a kind of aversion or even revulsion. My mouth was saying "no" even though my belly/body still had eating momentum and was saying "more!"

Makes some sense - the mouth is a kind of gateway to the body, and it might be easier to send a "time to stop eating!" signal to a single small gate then it is to 'the body' as a sluggish and abstract whole.

I found that I had much better sensitivity to 'asking my mouth' if I wanted more food than from 'asking my body.' The problem of course is that I was SO used to 'asking my body' that it took a lot of constant attention to switch gears.

Anyway, your question seemed to be 'what do you actually listen to when you listen to your body?' and I thought this might be an interesting twist.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 06, 2011
at 03:02 PM

Thanks CR! For me, it's ~all~ mental, I think. I can tell when I am eating from boredom or just because it tastes good. I think it's just switching myself off that is the issue. I'm MUCH, MUCH better than I used to be, but I still have a tendency to overeat if I'm not counting.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 06, 2011
at 05:12 PM

I wanted to add, that whether you're counting or not I hope you congratulate yourself *every* day. I saw some of your before and after pictures, and what you've accomplished is amazing. I mean, going from 'noticeably large' to 'paleo babe'? It's really inspiring!

1
669790861549f3c6d54d88a65296ed19

(452)

on March 26, 2011
at 05:18 PM

As someone struggling myself with fear of getting fat again (now even without exercise) I've come to think about your subject a lot.Most paleo people were once obese,so why wouldn't we/they all struggle with it?Could it be that our bodyfat% is actually higher or could it be that our minds are the culprits?It's the one telling us to fear get fat again. There's also John Gabriel,who claims the body wants to be thin,so maybe it's signalling to eat more so it can keep burning?I'm starting to believe that your body will guide you (how scary the combinations/proportions sometimes might seem) what to eat when you eat natural stuff,maybe it's the mind that needs to be shut down.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on March 27, 2011
at 12:40 AM

I actually don't think that a lot of current Paleo eaters were formerly obese, but I know what you are saying.

669790861549f3c6d54d88a65296ed19

(452)

on March 28, 2011
at 10:11 PM

It seems like I'm only finding stories of people who were formerly obese or wanting to lose weight...and all the low-carb discussions.People talking about getting fat on Paleo.I'm getting more&more anxiety of eating and not exercising,forcing myself to walk around half of my day.Already worrying about how I should do that by the time I'll be able to work again,considering what jobs may involve lots of moving around. Pff...I have such issues:(

1
98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

on March 26, 2011
at 04:47 PM

As a former morbidly obese woman I know for certain that my body's feedback loop is broken when it comes to hunger and I have to consciously restrict myself. I spent a couple of years as a Geneen Roth devotee and ended up 40lbs fatter. I went to the opposite end and did OA Grey sheet for a year when I ate only what I was told to eat (amounts and foods) and called it in to my sponsor every morning for her approval (the ultimate in not listening to ones own body) I did lose a bit of weight but also felt like I lost a bit of myself in the process.

Melissa I think the thing with people like us is that we have all the extra fat cells from our former obesity and I believe strongly that those cells still in us but now empty desperately want to be filled up again and that the scream for that on a daily basis. Our situations are unique I think and I believe that for people with bodies like ours we will never have the luxury of being guided by our bodies alone. Those empty cells are not benign and I know that for me I will have a daily fight with them where I must consciously decide they will not get their way. At least not that day. What I know for sure is that my body wants to be fat again and that I must consciously battle it's desire. I think this is not the case for most people but for morbidly obese or formerly so I think this is generally the case.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on March 27, 2011
at 12:39 AM

Thanks Shari! I know there has been a study showing that the formerly obese do have different hormone signals, I think maybe with leptin, that cause our bodies to constantly try to get back to where they were. I read about it on a different message board and haven't been able to find my way back there. I am certainly way better at listening to my bodies signals than I used to be, but it is way too easy to overeat or make bad choices. I always have to be very aware of what I am putting in my body. Thanks for sharing. <3

1
3fc07ff31006b1860083f0cfe4472ae4

(561)

on March 26, 2011
at 03:26 PM

I love this question and have often wondered the same thing. I notice I only feel satiety if I tend to under-eat a bit.

I use the same tactic as texasleah. I sometimes do a bone broth fast for a day or day and a half, not to lose weight but to decrease my stomach size and trigger a better satiety signal. I'm not sure what happens in my body but I do think there is a physiological effect where something kicks in and I'm able to go longer between meals without eating. I forget about food btw meals and feel sated.

This is the only way I've ever been able to lose weight successfully in the past. It's possible it's kickstarting me into ketosis--I'm not sure what this physical state is but it definitely feels biochemically different. The more I eat the more I seem to want to eat. Perhaps I tend to eat a bit more than I need sometimes and that leads to metabolic derangement? Not sure.

Eventually I tend to go back to eating more or have an emotional trigger but it works for a time. I try to do the broth fast with a friend so I have a partner and am more inspired to stick with it. I also make sure to have a good crockpot full of tasty homemade bone broth. It's surprisingly satisfying. I'll also drink nettle tea/infusion which is rich in calcium.

Sometimes I also think that my general sense is that food is infinitely abundant in America. I can so easily get more at any moment. I am sure this plays into my psychological relationship to food where knowing there is more out there somewhere, in the fridge, at the store, gives me a slight feeling of virtue for eating a little more as if I'm doing my share to move the merchandise. It's a very subtle inflection, but for me, not having too much food in the house is also quite helpful.

1
C2a27bf3bc0f277f87b49040cab903c2

on February 28, 2011
at 11:03 AM

My satiety meter was completely broken for the majority of my life until I started a high-fat, low-carb diet. I never really felt hungry, I never really felt full. There was a lot of "I guess it's time to eat" or "this sounds good." I initially started with Atkins several years ago and for the first time I woke up hungry, or rather, hunger woke me up. Craziness!

I fell off the wagon for a while, but have since climbed back onto the Paleo wagon. I welcome that hungry feeling now, it still feels novel. Full is harder, but I'm getting there. It's very subtle, and it's taken some trial and error to figure out what my body is telling me. My eyes are still much bigger than my stomach and after years of just eating whatever, it's a learning process that I'm slowly mastering. I used to be able to eat huge amounts of food (COE-style), and still feel hungry even though I was painfully full. Now, I can get to a point where I know I just don't need any more and can walk away from my plate with food still on it! I do notice that if I have a meal with any sugar, the feeling of "I WANT to keep eating this" very quickly overrides my "I don't need to eat any more."

1
06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on February 22, 2011
at 08:05 PM

I would point those that do not received the satiety signal to a pod cast interview of Dr. Robert Lustig about satiety and obesity in which he explains at about minute 20 onward the role fiber plays in signaling satiety. http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2011/02/12/802-sugar-hazards/ It's the first interview on the page.

Basically fiber reduces the absorption of sugars into the bloodsteam and thus supresses the insulin response...thus more satiety. Second fiber assists in moving food through 22 feet of intestines quickly and when the food arrives at the end of the intestines, there is a hormone called PPY that is triggered and is absorbed into the blood and when PPY reaches the brain, it shuts off the desire for more food. The satiety signal. Thus Lustig says he advocates waiting 20 minutes before taking a second helping of food in order to let the food reach the end of the intestines so the PPY will be stimulated.

Also there is a lot of discussion of the role of fructose and what it does to the body. Not good.

1
C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc

(2437)

on February 22, 2011
at 03:23 AM

Maybe a behavioural change - just eat a small meal. Wait half an hour. You can eat again if you still feel hungry.

Also, remember the saying, "hunger is the best sauce". Eat plain food.

1
74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on February 21, 2011
at 11:25 PM

As you already know, my hunger-o-meter is totally broken, so I don't have much to offer here in terms of answers.

I've managed to "hack" my counting, though, which is helping me slowly transition to IE. Part of my problem is accountability, and if I don't keep track, then I fly off the deep end of "I don't have to record this so it doesn't count" weight gain.

I've taken to weighing/measuring my portions and writing them down, but not actually tallying the final numbers. The mere effort of having to write it down keeps me from randomly shoving food into my mouth, but knowing if I WANTED to count it, I could, gives me a ton of relief. In the end, I don't know my macros/micros and I have no idea how many calories I did eat to the number, but I can glance at my sheet and sort of guesstimate if I'm within range and knowing that the opportunity to count does exist eases the OCD nagging in the back of my head.

I've been doing this for a little over a month now, and it allows me to dine out and eyeball my portions -- as long as I write them down as soon as I get home (as for knowing when to stop eating, I don't; I just cut my meal in half then save the rest for later). I'm hoping I can soon get to a point where I can just write down portions instead of weighing everything, then from there trust myself to not write down portions and actually IE completely, but I know I have a long road ahead of me in beating my COE/OCD.

My fella is incredible at IE, and I'm trying to model myself after him. He once told me he stops eating when the food isn't really enjoyable anymore. Right now, he's sitting down with a tub of cookies in front of him and a half-eaten sandwich. He took the edge off his hunger with the sandwich, and the crust and a hunk of cheese remains and he doesn't enjoy that part, so he threw it away. However, he still has room in his tummy for a cookie. And now he's satisfied, and just threw away unwanted leftover food. My mind boggles; I would've eaten my entire plate, then ate the cookie as well. =P

It's almost like he picks over the "good" parts and eats them, then when he's no longer ravenous, throws away the "rubbish" bits (scraps of rice, corner bits of bread, straggly bits of potato, vegetables he doesn't really prefer), then tops off the tank with dessert.

Anyway. Sorry about my trailed-off rambling here. x)

Good luck to you! You're amazingly brilliant and smart and have accomplished so much over these years. You've figured out how to lose a commendable amount of weight and keep it off for years; transitioning to IE is the next step, I think, in your progress. I know you can figure it out and determine what works best for you. :) (And if you finally figure out how to IE, please tell me, because I could use the guidance and insight. xD)

<3

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 22, 2011
at 12:18 AM

Thank you! You are too sweet. That's a fantastic step for you! I don't actually weigh/measure so much anymore, but I do eyeball portions and count them. LOL. We are crazy! I like being accountable and knowing what I've had, I too have the "I'm not writing it down so it doesn't count" thing. Thank you for sharing! <3

1
Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

on February 21, 2011
at 05:34 PM

When I did not eat paleo, I had this problem with often overeating. I think both wheat based products (pastries, croissants, pies...) and sugary items created that craving. After adopting paleo I did not need to count calories any more: I eat when I have to, I eat as much as want, I do not gain weight though. Perhaps physiological reasons explain this, hormone balances, etc. Also I believe that when you are under more personal stress you could be tempted to eat just to reduce the anxiety, even if you are not hungry...

Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

(3524)

on February 21, 2011
at 05:37 PM

BTW to me it is a physical sensation. It is like "that is it, I am done with eating, and I get this signal from my full stomach."

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 21, 2011
at 06:12 PM

I don't eat wheat based products at all anymore, but I do know when I eat them, I always crave more of them. I still gain weight if I eat too much Paleo food. My metabolism is kind of a mess from being obese and years of yo-yo dieting though.

0
82a8b7c6e7f67787c2b16bd595db510e

(253)

on March 12, 2012
at 04:11 PM

I found this question looking for some support for the issue I'm facing. My switch used to be fine. I recently started hormonal birth control and I am not hungry. Ever. For a over week now. I'm afraid if I don't start eating at regular times and eating a set amount of food, I won't be eating enough. I also can't tell when I'm full, since I'm never hungry to begin with. I feel full all the time. This led to a bad episode of overeating this weekend that ended in disaster. I didn't realize I was eating too much. So I definitely need to work out a system for measuring my food until I get used to this. Thanks for asking this question and gathering these answers!

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