1

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Am I eating too little?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 05, 2011 at 2:19 AM

I follow the "eat when you're hungry, stop when you're full" mantra. Today was typical:

Breakfast: 1 cup coffee w/heavy cream

Lunch (around 2 pm): about 3 oz beef sirloin, 2 jumbo eggs, 1 fingerling potato (all cooked in butter), 1/2 tomato, 1/2 avocado

Snack: 1 cup of coffee w/cream, a handful of blueberries

Dinner (around 7 pm): about 3 oz chicken thigh, brussels sprouts & mushrooms (all cooked in ghee), mixed greens salad w/olive oil & balsamic vinegar (not sure about veggie portions... enough to fit on a 10" plate).

These kinds of meals fill me up, make me feel satisfied, and keep me that way for a long time. I don't snack often because I don't feel the need to. I've been told to eat more, in particular more protein, but how do I do that if I'm just not hungry for more?

EDIT: My stats are: female, 37, 5'5", 140 lbs. Activity: HIIT twice a weak and Zumba once a week, plus light weights (10-15 min) at home on no-gym days, plus walking every day.

Medium avatar

(297)

on July 06, 2011
at 11:47 PM

Of course calories matter, but your example is rather extreme. I'm pretty sure I've never consumed more than 2500 calories a day in my life - I would explode! So if someone who eats 4000 cals a day suddenly starts eating 2000, they'll likely lose weight. But what if someone who eats 2000 starts eating 1500-1600? I don't think the deficit is drastic enough to make a difference. I'm eating at least 500 calories less than my BMR says I should. And I burn some through exercise on top of that. I should be a skeleton by now, yet I'm on the chubby side.

Medium avatar

(297)

on July 06, 2011
at 11:36 PM

I'll try the stix, but just looking at myself I find it hard to believe I'm burning anything. I've been same weight and size for... well, what feel like forever. LOL.

B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

(3909)

on July 06, 2011
at 11:00 AM

There's a simple way to check out whether you are burning fat. Buy some Ketostix and check your urine first thing in the morning. It you get any degree of pinkness then you are in ketosis and burning fat. Going by your sample menu though you are probably in ketosis. I know eating those exact foods would have me in ketosis. The fact that your appetite is suppressed is also a sign that you are in ketosis.

D98f3971971dc074f5d413ba9530350f

on July 06, 2011
at 12:12 AM

In scientific literature, calorie restriction is shown to extend life in fruit flies, meal worms, & lab rats. Human trials will be another ~100 years to complete! Across the board the trend seems to be: 50% caloric intake == 100% life extension; i.e., organisms that eat half as much live twice as long. Apoptosis (cell death) & mitosis (cell replication) correlate to how much you eat. Increased mitosis decreases DNA telomeres, accelerating atrophy (old age). Starvation reflex increases telomerase lengthening telomeres, restoring youth. TL;DR: Replace your body every 14 years, not every 7 years.

D98f3971971dc074f5d413ba9530350f

on July 05, 2011
at 11:43 PM

In scientific literature, calorie restriction has been shown to extend life in fruit flies, meal worms, & lab rats. Human trials will take another ~100 years to complete! Across the board the trend seems to be: 50% caloric intake == 100% life extension; i.e., organisms that eat half as much live twice as long. Apoptosis (cell death) & mitosis (cell replication) correlate to how much you eat. Increased mitosis decreases DNA telomeres, accelerating atrophy (old age). Starvation reflex increases telomerase lengthening telomeres, restoring youth. TL;DR: Replace your body every 14 yrs, not 7 yrs...

D98f3971971dc074f5d413ba9530350f

on July 05, 2011
at 11:23 PM

In scientific literature, calorie restriction has been shown to extend life in fruit flies, meal worms, & lab rats. Human trials will take another ~100 years to complete! Across the board the trend seems to be: 50% caloric intake == 100% life extension; i.e., organisms that eat half as much live twice as long. Apoptosis (cell death) & mitosis (cell replication) correlate to how much you eat. Increased mitosis decreases DNA telemeres, accelerating atrophy (old age). Starvation reflex increases telomerase lengthening telemeres, restoring youth. TLDR: Replace your body every 14 yrs, not 7 yrs.

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on July 05, 2011
at 05:44 PM

While it's far more complex than "calories in - calories out = weight gain/loss", calories still matter to a certain extent (that is, someone managing to pack down 4000 calories of pure protein/fat a day is still probably going to gain weight). BMI? Not so much.

Medium avatar

(297)

on July 05, 2011
at 05:17 PM

Haven't the BMI and the basic weight loss formula been proven to be complete nonsense?

Medium avatar

(297)

on July 05, 2011
at 05:15 PM

Agreed! They also didn't eat things based on what they knew was good or bad for their bodies, they ate whatever they found.

Medium avatar

(297)

on July 05, 2011
at 05:14 PM

Well, it's not actually burning fat, at least it doesn't look like it is.

Medium avatar

(297)

on July 05, 2011
at 05:13 PM

Thanks for the suggestion, will do!

E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on July 05, 2011
at 04:00 AM

BeastGirl, you need to put these details into an edited version of your original question so that when people who haven't read it before can get the whole picture! It's better to edit your original posts with more details rather than to do it in comments - you'll get better quality replies that way! ;)

Medium avatar

(297)

on July 05, 2011
at 03:44 AM

Female, 37, 5'5", 140 lbs. HIIT twice a week and Zumba once a week. Some weights on no-gym days, and I walk everywhere. As I mentioned to Rose, the monitor says I'm 35% BF, but if I'm to believe it, it means I've replaced bones and muscles with fat in the course of last year: http://paleohacks.com/questions/45602/gained-13-bodyfat-freaking-out-help#axzz1R9zaQtDH Besides, I just don't look like I'm at that percentage: http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y170/sijeney/vegas.jpg

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on July 05, 2011
at 03:30 AM

I find a similar thing... I think with a healed gut we can absorb much more of our food rather than it passing right through us, so to speak.

Medium avatar

(297)

on July 05, 2011
at 03:30 AM

Female, 37, 5'5", 140 lbs. HIIT twice a week and Zumba once a week. Some weights on no-gym days, and I walk everywhere. As I mentioned to Rose, the monitor says I'm 35% BF, but if I'm to believe it, it means I've replaced bones and muscles with fat in the course of last year: http://paleohacks.com/questions/45602/gained-13-bodyfat-freaking-out-help#axzz1R9zaQtDH

Medium avatar

(297)

on July 05, 2011
at 03:26 AM

@ Grottenolm: Yes, it's consistent. Has been ever since I went paleo. Before that I was food-obsessed, constantly hungry, never satiated, and getting crazy carb withdrawal symptoms. The energy is just fine. I don't think I ever pig out, but there are some days when I'm hungrier than usual, not too many though.

Medium avatar

(297)

on July 05, 2011
at 03:24 AM

Rose: I was told to eat more when I asked why I couldn't lose BF (that along with advice to sleep more and stress less). I'm 5'5", 140 lbs. BF monitor said I was 35% BF but I think that's completely off since I was 23% BF and 135 lbs just a year ago. I do HIIT twice a weak and Zumba once a week, plus light weights (10-15 min) at home on no-gym days. Plus walking every day.

Medium avatar

(297)

on July 05, 2011
at 03:23 AM

Rose: I was told to eat more when I asked why I couldn't lose BF (that along with advice to sleep more and stress less). I'm 5'5", 140 lbs. BF monitor said I was 35% BF but I think that's completely off since I was 23% BF and 135 lbs just a year ago.

183f5c49a7a9548b6f5238d1f33cb35e

(1716)

on July 05, 2011
at 02:46 AM

Is your lack of hunger consistent every single day? I feel that if you have good energy, feel fine and are satiated with only a little food, don't worry about it. I am sure that it will balance out over the course of the week or month when you feel hungrier on some days. For example, half of each month I have absolutely no appetite at all. Then during the luteal phase I am a ravenous pig constantly foraging for food - it all balances out over the course of a month.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on July 05, 2011
at 02:21 AM

How big are you? What's your activity level? I'm generally suspicious of advice to "eat more" if you're not hungry. Who told you to eat more? What are they worried about?

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4 Answers

2
E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on July 05, 2011
at 02:58 AM

What Rose asked. It's not possible to answer your question even poorly without knowing what your size, age and activity level are, and any other special needs your diet may have.

As an example, before I knew I had celiac disease, I ate a ton of food. Now I eat very little (probably just a bit less than your diet) and I'm also now over 40, which probably makes a difference. I'm more active at the moment because it's summer time and I'm doing outdoor work, but heat simultaneously makes me less hungry (maybe the body doing less work to bring things up to body temp??)

E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on July 05, 2011
at 04:00 AM

BeastGirl, you need to put these details into an edited version of your original question so that when people who haven't read it before can get the whole picture! It's better to edit your original posts with more details rather than to do it in comments - you'll get better quality replies that way! ;)

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on July 05, 2011
at 03:30 AM

I find a similar thing... I think with a healed gut we can absorb much more of our food rather than it passing right through us, so to speak.

Medium avatar

(297)

on July 05, 2011
at 05:13 PM

Thanks for the suggestion, will do!

Medium avatar

(297)

on July 05, 2011
at 03:30 AM

Female, 37, 5'5", 140 lbs. HIIT twice a week and Zumba once a week. Some weights on no-gym days, and I walk everywhere. As I mentioned to Rose, the monitor says I'm 35% BF, but if I'm to believe it, it means I've replaced bones and muscles with fat in the course of last year: http://paleohacks.com/questions/45602/gained-13-bodyfat-freaking-out-help#axzz1R9zaQtDH

Medium avatar

(297)

on July 05, 2011
at 03:44 AM

Female, 37, 5'5", 140 lbs. HIIT twice a week and Zumba once a week. Some weights on no-gym days, and I walk everywhere. As I mentioned to Rose, the monitor says I'm 35% BF, but if I'm to believe it, it means I've replaced bones and muscles with fat in the course of last year: http://paleohacks.com/questions/45602/gained-13-bodyfat-freaking-out-help#axzz1R9zaQtDH Besides, I just don't look like I'm at that percentage: http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y170/sijeney/vegas.jpg

1
B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

on July 05, 2011
at 04:26 AM

I feel pretty confident to say that you are not eating too little. If you are listening to your body then you are fine. Your body is making up the difference by burning fat for energy. That's exactly where you want to be.

Medium avatar

(297)

on July 05, 2011
at 05:14 PM

Well, it's not actually burning fat, at least it doesn't look like it is.

B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

(3909)

on July 06, 2011
at 11:00 AM

There's a simple way to check out whether you are burning fat. Buy some Ketostix and check your urine first thing in the morning. It you get any degree of pinkness then you are in ketosis and burning fat. Going by your sample menu though you are probably in ketosis. I know eating those exact foods would have me in ketosis. The fact that your appetite is suppressed is also a sign that you are in ketosis.

Medium avatar

(297)

on July 06, 2011
at 11:36 PM

I'll try the stix, but just looking at myself I find it hard to believe I'm burning anything. I've been same weight and size for... well, what feel like forever. LOL.

0
D98f3971971dc074f5d413ba9530350f

on July 05, 2011
at 03:18 PM

Restricted calorie diets are very healthy. "Paleo diet" is kind of a misnomer when not also practicing restriction on caloric intake. You think cavemen had the abundance of resources we experience today!? No, they exercised the starvation reflex much more regularly than do those on standard "paleo" diets.

Medium avatar

(297)

on July 05, 2011
at 05:15 PM

Agreed! They also didn't eat things based on what they knew was good or bad for their bodies, they ate whatever they found.

D98f3971971dc074f5d413ba9530350f

on July 05, 2011
at 11:43 PM

In scientific literature, calorie restriction has been shown to extend life in fruit flies, meal worms, & lab rats. Human trials will take another ~100 years to complete! Across the board the trend seems to be: 50% caloric intake == 100% life extension; i.e., organisms that eat half as much live twice as long. Apoptosis (cell death) & mitosis (cell replication) correlate to how much you eat. Increased mitosis decreases DNA telomeres, accelerating atrophy (old age). Starvation reflex increases telomerase lengthening telomeres, restoring youth. TL;DR: Replace your body every 14 yrs, not 7 yrs...

D98f3971971dc074f5d413ba9530350f

on July 05, 2011
at 11:23 PM

In scientific literature, calorie restriction has been shown to extend life in fruit flies, meal worms, & lab rats. Human trials will take another ~100 years to complete! Across the board the trend seems to be: 50% caloric intake == 100% life extension; i.e., organisms that eat half as much live twice as long. Apoptosis (cell death) & mitosis (cell replication) correlate to how much you eat. Increased mitosis decreases DNA telemeres, accelerating atrophy (old age). Starvation reflex increases telomerase lengthening telemeres, restoring youth. TLDR: Replace your body every 14 yrs, not 7 yrs.

D98f3971971dc074f5d413ba9530350f

on July 06, 2011
at 12:12 AM

In scientific literature, calorie restriction is shown to extend life in fruit flies, meal worms, & lab rats. Human trials will be another ~100 years to complete! Across the board the trend seems to be: 50% caloric intake == 100% life extension; i.e., organisms that eat half as much live twice as long. Apoptosis (cell death) & mitosis (cell replication) correlate to how much you eat. Increased mitosis decreases DNA telomeres, accelerating atrophy (old age). Starvation reflex increases telomerase lengthening telomeres, restoring youth. TL;DR: Replace your body every 14 years, not every 7 years.

0
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on July 05, 2011
at 02:20 PM

based on what you've posted doesnt look bad, but I'd still recommend plugging into fitday.com and make sure your fat intake is at about 65%, protein no more than 25% and carbs less than 50g day. You need to know your BMI and also how many calories per day you should be consuming, -500 from that to loose some weight.

then once you keep those numbers up for a week, if its not moving, you may need to go VLC to -0- carb and see if that helps.

are you seeing results to begin with? if you are, I'd stick with what works for you. If not, tweeking it from the above will help.

But just worrying about 'not eating enough' in and of itself isn't really a problem if thats all thats going on.

Ff6560918e3b3cede8958b070cc07822

(407)

on July 05, 2011
at 05:44 PM

While it's far more complex than "calories in - calories out = weight gain/loss", calories still matter to a certain extent (that is, someone managing to pack down 4000 calories of pure protein/fat a day is still probably going to gain weight). BMI? Not so much.

Medium avatar

(297)

on July 05, 2011
at 05:17 PM

Haven't the BMI and the basic weight loss formula been proven to be complete nonsense?

Medium avatar

(297)

on July 06, 2011
at 11:47 PM

Of course calories matter, but your example is rather extreme. I'm pretty sure I've never consumed more than 2500 calories a day in my life - I would explode! So if someone who eats 4000 cals a day suddenly starts eating 2000, they'll likely lose weight. But what if someone who eats 2000 starts eating 1500-1600? I don't think the deficit is drastic enough to make a difference. I'm eating at least 500 calories less than my BMR says I should. And I burn some through exercise on top of that. I should be a skeleton by now, yet I'm on the chubby side.

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