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Still hungry all the time/low energy, 5 weeks in?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created June 19, 2012 at 8:36 AM

I began eating paleo 5 weeks ago, and I have been doing it pretty strictly. I've lost some water weight and my gas/bloating problems are history, but I'm still hungry much more often than I would have expected. I'm thinking that maybe it's hormonal but I'm not sure.

Also, I was hoping I'd get some more energy by going paleo as I am constantly tired and all the tests my doctors have done have come back normal.

As I said earlier, I have lost some water weight, but I feel like I might be stalling with my weight loss (not certain as I don't have access to a scale at the moment).

I know that the amount of time it takes for the effects of the diet to set in varies from person to person, but is it that it's just taking a long time, or am I doing something wrong? I'm eating fairly low carb, cutting out almost all fruit temporarily, although the fact that I am on vacation and unable to cook my own food has made it so I can't really count calories/macros effectively... so again, I'm not certain about how low carb I actually am, numbers-wise.

05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

on June 21, 2012
at 11:00 PM

my point is that ketosis is NOT great for all people. thinking that it is, shows real inexperience. "fat burning mode" is one of those ridiculous paleo myths that sounds good but makes no sense. increase digestible carbs, increase t3 and oxidative metabolism. get adequate protein and sat fats, minerals, etc. enjoy life, move more, develop and intelligent immune system.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on June 21, 2012
at 03:36 PM

And I am a BIG fan of IF, but only after nutrient deficiencies have been addressed. Many women are zinc, magnesium & D deficient and they won't lose the body fat until these are replete.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on June 21, 2012
at 03:34 PM

Women's hormones and hormonal balance is VERY different from men's. There are many stories here of men dropping fat right away when going Paleo, while their female partners, eating the same diet (but fewer calories) cannot lose anything--and they sometimes even gain.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on June 21, 2012
at 03:31 PM

You may find this article (and the comments) interesting! http://www.marksdailyapple.com/women-and-intermittent-fasting/#axzz1yRTe6RHR

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on June 21, 2012
at 03:30 PM

Mike, many smaller women have a hard time maintaining a calorie deficit and getting enough nutrients (from food) into their systems. Assuming that this young woman is into a Paleo lifestyle for the long haul, I wanted h to know what has worked successfully for many women I know in this community. Fasting is fab for the short-term--especially for men, but for many women it is akin to yo-yo dieting and causes binging.

C3f9730405f7885f9ccaad364404c433

(412)

on June 21, 2012
at 03:16 PM

Oops, I did labor the point there... sorry, me be quiet now :-)

C3f9730405f7885f9ccaad364404c433

(412)

on June 21, 2012
at 03:16 PM

Why can't we "balance hormones" while maintaining a small caloric deficit... the body will eat it's own fat for fuel, it's not like there's no fuel :-) Using certain prot/carb amounts balances hormones, taps into body fat, which means plenty of energy. What's the problem?

C3f9730405f7885f9ccaad364404c433

(412)

on June 21, 2012
at 03:11 PM

I was at death's door with CFS and God knows what else. I fasted, I lost about 30 lbs in 11 days. I didn't need to balance any hormones sp I have a hard time buying into this. Your advice is very good but doesn't honor the wishes of this person, which is to lose weight and get more energy. Imo both are possible with some very simple guidelines, but I won't labor the point :-)

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on June 21, 2012
at 12:33 AM

Plenty of anecdotal evidence here and on the Mark's Daily Apple forum. I also work with pregnant women and see the results of hormonal balance & how it affects post-partum fat loss.

C3f9730405f7885f9ccaad364404c433

(412)

on June 20, 2012
at 09:06 PM

"For many women, fat loss will only come once nutrition is dialed in and hormonal balance achieved." Evidence?

C3f9730405f7885f9ccaad364404c433

(412)

on June 20, 2012
at 07:32 PM

That makes no sense to me at all Dragonfly. Eat less food, that always works. Liver, broth, sun, sleep, all good... and eat less food. I ain't buying this hormone thing. Some hormones, important ones, are affected by what you eat sure... why are we waiting 6 bloomin' months? :-)

Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

(4400)

on June 20, 2012
at 05:24 AM

Not sure about eating 100g protein and more carbs. You'll be way out of ketosis, making fat stores harder to burn and hunger guaranteed if you eat too little. I'd rather suggest lower carb, moderate protein, and rounding it out with plenty of fat, getting your body into fat-burning mode. After a few weeks of that it'll be easy to skip a meal here and there to mildly restrict calories without hunger, since your body will just burn the fast from your stores rather than from the diet.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on June 19, 2012
at 11:45 PM

Mike~ for most men this is true. For many women, fat loss will only come once nutrition is dialed in and hormonal balance achieved.

C3f9730405f7885f9ccaad364404c433

(412)

on June 19, 2012
at 10:52 PM

Looking good always trumps feeling good I find. People put a very highly priority on looking good. Intellectually, you're right, emotionally? I think both goals can work simultaneously if the fat loss is gentle and high quality foods are prioritized.

05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

on June 19, 2012
at 08:58 PM

^if you choose to drink this much liquid, make sure there are minerals/salt added to it.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on June 19, 2012
at 01:27 PM

a lot of people confuse hunger with thirst...but if you're drinking a gallon of water a day you'll kill some of those hunger pains :)

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on June 19, 2012
at 11:21 AM

Eliz if you can't prepare your own foods just do the best you can by eyeballing portions and food, if you can get a good piece of protein and a plain carb and add EVOO or avocado it should be fairly balanced...keep it simple and it will work for you. Up your fat, I bet thats the issue.....

C3f9730405f7885f9ccaad364404c433

(412)

on June 19, 2012
at 11:11 AM

I disagree with this... to lose weight, fat per meal for a woman should be in the range of 9-12g. If one is trying to burn body fat, it's not a good idea to eat a lot of fat. If fat is proportionally higher, then one would need reductions in protein or carbs, neither of which is desirable imo.

C3f9730405f7885f9ccaad364404c433

(412)

on June 19, 2012
at 10:56 AM

PPS And drink PLENTY of water... 2 liters a day minimum... I'm more like 3. If you have 1/2 liter when you get up and then at least 1/2 between meals plus extra if you're thirsty, that will do it.

C3f9730405f7885f9ccaad364404c433

(412)

on June 19, 2012
at 10:54 AM

I disagree with this... to lose weight, fat per meal for a woman should be in the range of 9-12g. If one is trying to burn body fat, it's not a good idea to eat a lot of fat. Consider a 1500 cal diet, if fat is proportionally higher, then one would need reductions in protein or carbs, neither of which is desirable, since carbs are already at the lower limit, and protein needs are consistent.

C3f9730405f7885f9ccaad364404c433

(412)

on June 19, 2012
at 09:23 AM

PS If you do it right, there's no need for hunger... that tells me you are def not eating enough. A 500 calorie deficit per day (roughly) is best all round, and will mean only the odd very slight hunger pang, if at all, in my experience.

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6 Answers

2
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on June 19, 2012
at 02:53 PM

Don't focus on fat loss right now!

Depending on your diet pre-Paleo, you may need 3-6 months to replenish nutrient stores which will help you hormones balance & future fat loss will be much easier.

Make sure to eat organ meats, esp. liver for iron. Bone broth & gelatin, too!

I suggest you dial in your nutrition first, get your D level tested (you want a blood level of 50-60 ng/ml) and relax.

Make sure you are sleeping well.

Eat Paleo to hunger (even 1-2 pieces of fruit/daily) and don't stress!

C3f9730405f7885f9ccaad364404c433

(412)

on June 19, 2012
at 10:52 PM

Looking good always trumps feeling good I find. People put a very highly priority on looking good. Intellectually, you're right, emotionally? I think both goals can work simultaneously if the fat loss is gentle and high quality foods are prioritized.

C3f9730405f7885f9ccaad364404c433

(412)

on June 20, 2012
at 09:06 PM

"For many women, fat loss will only come once nutrition is dialed in and hormonal balance achieved." Evidence?

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on June 19, 2012
at 11:45 PM

Mike~ for most men this is true. For many women, fat loss will only come once nutrition is dialed in and hormonal balance achieved.

C3f9730405f7885f9ccaad364404c433

(412)

on June 20, 2012
at 07:32 PM

That makes no sense to me at all Dragonfly. Eat less food, that always works. Liver, broth, sun, sleep, all good... and eat less food. I ain't buying this hormone thing. Some hormones, important ones, are affected by what you eat sure... why are we waiting 6 bloomin' months? :-)

C3f9730405f7885f9ccaad364404c433

(412)

on June 21, 2012
at 03:11 PM

I was at death's door with CFS and God knows what else. I fasted, I lost about 30 lbs in 11 days. I didn't need to balance any hormones sp I have a hard time buying into this. Your advice is very good but doesn't honor the wishes of this person, which is to lose weight and get more energy. Imo both are possible with some very simple guidelines, but I won't labor the point :-)

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on June 21, 2012
at 12:33 AM

Plenty of anecdotal evidence here and on the Mark's Daily Apple forum. I also work with pregnant women and see the results of hormonal balance & how it affects post-partum fat loss.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on June 21, 2012
at 03:34 PM

Women's hormones and hormonal balance is VERY different from men's. There are many stories here of men dropping fat right away when going Paleo, while their female partners, eating the same diet (but fewer calories) cannot lose anything--and they sometimes even gain.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on June 21, 2012
at 03:31 PM

You may find this article (and the comments) interesting! http://www.marksdailyapple.com/women-and-intermittent-fasting/#axzz1yRTe6RHR

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on June 21, 2012
at 03:36 PM

And I am a BIG fan of IF, but only after nutrient deficiencies have been addressed. Many women are zinc, magnesium & D deficient and they won't lose the body fat until these are replete.

C3f9730405f7885f9ccaad364404c433

(412)

on June 21, 2012
at 03:16 PM

Why can't we "balance hormones" while maintaining a small caloric deficit... the body will eat it's own fat for fuel, it's not like there's no fuel :-) Using certain prot/carb amounts balances hormones, taps into body fat, which means plenty of energy. What's the problem?

C3f9730405f7885f9ccaad364404c433

(412)

on June 21, 2012
at 03:16 PM

Oops, I did labor the point there... sorry, me be quiet now :-)

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on June 21, 2012
at 03:30 PM

Mike, many smaller women have a hard time maintaining a calorie deficit and getting enough nutrients (from food) into their systems. Assuming that this young woman is into a Paleo lifestyle for the long haul, I wanted h to know what has worked successfully for many women I know in this community. Fasting is fab for the short-term--especially for men, but for many women it is akin to yo-yo dieting and causes binging.

1
5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 19, 2012
at 11:16 AM

Start putting your daily food into a food diary like cronometer or fitday. Then you will know what you are actually eating, how low carb etc. Changing your diet over requires a lot of relearning. Food diaries are one of the fastest ways I know to help you do that learning since you will get instant feedback information. You'll be able to see for yourself if calories, fat or carbs are low or high. You'll be able to see what nutrients you're low on. If someone asks in the future what you've been eating in response to a question here, you'll be able to tell them reliably.

http://cronometer.com/

http://www.fitday.com/

http://paleotrack.com/

0
05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

on June 19, 2012
at 08:57 PM

if you are eating foods that are not allergenic to you, and if you are eating enough calories, then decrease fats and increase carbs and make sure to get at least 100g of protein a day.

tiredness can be a result of hypothyroidism, inflammation, auto-immunity, gut dysbiosis, chronic infection, etc.

Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

(4400)

on June 20, 2012
at 05:24 AM

Not sure about eating 100g protein and more carbs. You'll be way out of ketosis, making fat stores harder to burn and hunger guaranteed if you eat too little. I'd rather suggest lower carb, moderate protein, and rounding it out with plenty of fat, getting your body into fat-burning mode. After a few weeks of that it'll be easy to skip a meal here and there to mildly restrict calories without hunger, since your body will just burn the fast from your stores rather than from the diet.

05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

on June 21, 2012
at 11:00 PM

my point is that ketosis is NOT great for all people. thinking that it is, shows real inexperience. "fat burning mode" is one of those ridiculous paleo myths that sounds good but makes no sense. increase digestible carbs, increase t3 and oxidative metabolism. get adequate protein and sat fats, minerals, etc. enjoy life, move more, develop and intelligent immune system.

0
2b269f081f7e3190b489b1ecbf58f922

on June 19, 2012
at 02:04 PM

Disregard strange people; eat sugar.

0
10cadc0a2dff90c849c6d088832be324

(741)

on June 19, 2012
at 10:29 AM

Chances are you're not getting enough fat in your diet. Your body still needs fuel and with taking sugar out you need to replace it with fat. Eventually your body will figure out you have fat stores and work off of those.

C3f9730405f7885f9ccaad364404c433

(412)

on June 19, 2012
at 11:11 AM

I disagree with this... to lose weight, fat per meal for a woman should be in the range of 9-12g. If one is trying to burn body fat, it's not a good idea to eat a lot of fat. If fat is proportionally higher, then one would need reductions in protein or carbs, neither of which is desirable imo.

C3f9730405f7885f9ccaad364404c433

(412)

on June 19, 2012
at 10:54 AM

I disagree with this... to lose weight, fat per meal for a woman should be in the range of 9-12g. If one is trying to burn body fat, it's not a good idea to eat a lot of fat. Consider a 1500 cal diet, if fat is proportionally higher, then one would need reductions in protein or carbs, neither of which is desirable, since carbs are already at the lower limit, and protein needs are consistent.

0
C3f9730405f7885f9ccaad364404c433

(412)

on June 19, 2012
at 09:10 AM

Hi Eliz,

If you want to lose weight AND get more energy, then I recommend being very consistent... having a structure to your diet day.

So for example breakfast could be a banana, and a veg omelet with 2 eggs and 4 oz veg. Lunch might be a piece of fruit and a salad with 3 oz meat or fish, 3oz potatoes or sweet potatoes, 4 oz salad veg, 1 oz salad leaves, 1 tsp olive oil, 1/4 lemon squeezed. ETC.

So... if you enter a "typical" day into fitday.com and aim to hit your calorie target... say 1250 to 1500 calories per day. Don't forget to include any treats you normally have and drinks etc.

Once you have your "structure" nailed that will roughly hit your target every day, then you just repeat but with different foods... e.g. today an apple, tomorrow a pear.

If you're tired, then you may be not getting enough calories -- under eating too much or not enough carbs. By working out a proper structure, you can avoid both these things.

Losing weight does mean feeling more tired at times as glycogen stores are easily depleted... hence your water loss as glycogen is stored with over 3 times its weight in water.

If you have a piece of fruit with each meal as a starter while you prep the rest, it will give your body a chance to restock glycogen. If you find you are hitting the wall, say you're quite active one day and suddenly hit the wall, then have a piece of fruit as a snack.

C3f9730405f7885f9ccaad364404c433

(412)

on June 19, 2012
at 09:23 AM

PS If you do it right, there's no need for hunger... that tells me you are def not eating enough. A 500 calorie deficit per day (roughly) is best all round, and will mean only the odd very slight hunger pang, if at all, in my experience.

C3f9730405f7885f9ccaad364404c433

(412)

on June 19, 2012
at 10:56 AM

PPS And drink PLENTY of water... 2 liters a day minimum... I'm more like 3. If you have 1/2 liter when you get up and then at least 1/2 between meals plus extra if you're thirsty, that will do it.

05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

on June 19, 2012
at 08:58 PM

^if you choose to drink this much liquid, make sure there are minerals/salt added to it.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on June 19, 2012
at 01:27 PM

a lot of people confuse hunger with thirst...but if you're drinking a gallon of water a day you'll kill some of those hunger pains :)

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