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New to Paleo and ALWAYS Hungry

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created January 10, 2013 at 1:20 PM

This is my first week eating Paleo and I am constantly hungry. It seems that no matter what or how much I eat I am hungry again shortly after my meals. Sometimes I am hungry within minutes of eating of feeling full and sometimes an hour or so later I feel as if I have not eaten in days. I am 5'8" 235lbs and fairly active (crossfit 4-5 times a week). This morning I ate 4 eggs with spinach cooked in bacon fat and 3 strips of bacon. I felt full when I finished eating but 20 minutes later I felt as if I had not ate breakfast at all.

Any advice would be helpful. Is it as simple as eating bigger portions? or Does it take a little while for my body to adjust to this lifestyle?

D7291de1d3cda7a9a3155429b1aebb77

(85)

on January 11, 2013
at 12:15 PM

I meant to add that, on average, it takes six weeks of Paleo living to see the BIG changes.

D7291de1d3cda7a9a3155429b1aebb77

(85)

on January 11, 2013
at 12:15 PM

The other consistent thing that I've read (and I have read A LOT, trust me) is that it takes months of living clean Paleo for all of the cravings to go away. Years of bad food = loaded guts, from even the non Paleo books I've read on the dangers of wheat, that stuff is very hard to rid once in your intestines. Please stick with Paleo, I have a feeling one day the hunger switch will just shut off and you will be so happy with all of the other changes you see, too.

580cff21541e3694d275dcc87f96264f

(100)

on January 10, 2013
at 06:57 PM

I do not use any artificial sweetners in anything. I had very unhealthy eating habits before. I would eat crap (pizza, burgers, fries, chips, sub sandwiches) and I would eat until I couldn't stuff another bite in.

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10 Answers

7
35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on January 10, 2013
at 01:51 PM

If you're working out so hard and so frequently you might benefit from more carbs in your diet. You could try adding some safe starches (e.g. potatoes, yams) to your diet or some non-glutenous grains if you're willing to do grains. Not everyone does well on low-carb paleo, especially people who work out a lot.

5
Eedf46c82d0356d1d46dda5f9782ef36

(4464)

on January 10, 2013
at 02:11 PM

I ate like I'd never seen food before during my first two weeks. Ride it out. Eat.

2
2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on January 10, 2013
at 04:08 PM

4-5 Crossfit sessions is a lot. Please eat more carbs, your body will thank you!

Some people will advocate you eat more fat, which I don't think is good advice.

To quote the great Robb Wolf "Crossfit burns through glycogen like nothing else".

Check out his latest article on low carb eating within the paleo-sphere http://robbwolf.com/2013/01/09/thoughts-carb-paleo-episode-3-hope

Fat is a great fuel for low intensity activty. If you were just doing some walking and light jogging, with even some strength training sessions, you would probably be okay going lower carb.

So to get to the point: eat more by upping your carbs.

2
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 10, 2013
at 01:41 PM

Yeah, both. Bigger portion and its gonna take time. Switching your eating style also has you concentrating on food a bit more than normal, and until its second nature that can make you consider being hungry more frequently.

1
B22b8d81bb058d990509c91fb20ee575

(30)

on January 10, 2013
at 02:24 PM

I do Crossfit 5 times a week and active recovery once a week, so I consider myself a very active person. I have played around with starch since going paleo to find out what works best for me and that is probably what you should do too until you find what works best for YOU. Just make sure that you eat fat, protein and veggies on every meal, eat only when you are hungry, eat big meals and listen to your body. If you ate very recently and feel hunger, eat veggies, a very big plate of it, and some fat. If you don??t feel like eating them but you feel you are so hungry, then it is only cravings and you should ignore them. Or you could also just have a tablespoon of coconut oil, which should help you get through till your next meal. Try eating 1/2 a sweet potato before and after your workout and see how you feel. Then try eating only the post workout starch (1/2 or 1 sweet potato), how do you feel? did you lack energy? Then try eating only the before workout starch and see if your recovery is affected. By doing this I have figured out that I do just fine without the post workout starch and only need the pre workout one (at night, because I work out in the morning before breakfast). My recovery is fine that way, but when I remove the pre-workout starch it has a very negative impact in my performance. I did this experiment for 1 week with each method. Also limit your fruit intake and starch according to your goals, for fat loss keep them to a minimum, if you are a hard gainer eat more starch and moderate fruit. For my first 2 weeks of paleo I was always starving, but I think it was my body adjusting to this new way of eating and fighting cravings. I used to eat 6 meals a day, now I eat 3 or 4 and never feel hungry. Experiment a bit and find the best version of Paleo for you.

0
558376dd024ffad4eb44d111ba09f34a

on January 19, 2013
at 07:11 PM

I found that eating a lot of nutrient-dense vegetables (more than I wanted, at times), drinking a ton of water, taking a multivitamin, and omega 3-6-9 complex helped me during my first few days of Paleo where I felt unusually ravenous.

0
D7291de1d3cda7a9a3155429b1aebb77

on January 10, 2013
at 06:03 PM

Are you having any artificial sweetners in your day at all? I too felt hungry all the time, couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. I was drinking way too much crystal light and diet soda. Once I cut out all of that stuff, my hunger went away too. Maybe it was simply a coincidence, but if you are willing to try, it might help you too.

D7291de1d3cda7a9a3155429b1aebb77

(85)

on January 11, 2013
at 12:15 PM

I meant to add that, on average, it takes six weeks of Paleo living to see the BIG changes.

D7291de1d3cda7a9a3155429b1aebb77

(85)

on January 11, 2013
at 12:15 PM

The other consistent thing that I've read (and I have read A LOT, trust me) is that it takes months of living clean Paleo for all of the cravings to go away. Years of bad food = loaded guts, from even the non Paleo books I've read on the dangers of wheat, that stuff is very hard to rid once in your intestines. Please stick with Paleo, I have a feeling one day the hunger switch will just shut off and you will be so happy with all of the other changes you see, too.

580cff21541e3694d275dcc87f96264f

(100)

on January 10, 2013
at 06:57 PM

I do not use any artificial sweetners in anything. I had very unhealthy eating habits before. I would eat crap (pizza, burgers, fries, chips, sub sandwiches) and I would eat until I couldn't stuff another bite in.

0
Bbae431256192d2c57ba2a2122d12cd3

(84)

on January 10, 2013
at 05:19 PM

it's because you new to paleo.

I am new to paleo too. after two weeks my hunger decreased and now i'm feeling fine.

0
Medium avatar

(3213)

on January 10, 2013
at 02:26 PM

That happened to me at the beginning also, I would recommend you increase the amount of protein and fat in your diet and lower your carbs. This will regulate your leptin levels. Be patient, you'll feel great in no time. Good luck and welcome.

0
D5e668d253a6ffa4ab908be90e5afffe

on January 10, 2013
at 02:14 PM

Any kind of diet adjustment will unsettle the appetite. Have you ever considered that you may have low thyroid function. It's a lot more common than thought. I'd listen to some Dr. Ray Peat interviews because he has some really good health strategies. If in fact you have thyroid malfunction, exercise should be very mild otherwise it is counterproductive. I know exactly what you mean about the "always hungry" feeling and I was able to get a handle on it with some Thyroid glandular. Lita Lee pHd also has a new book (kindle version)called Thyroid and Enzyme Nutrition that is extremely helpful for any health issue. If your body temp is lower than it should be, you are in a pre-hibernation state, hunger precedes hibernation. I was able to break a 30 year cycle of an unhealthy relationship with food by getting my body temperature corrected.

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