4

votes

beginner and hungry all the time?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 25, 2011 at 4:08 PM

I've been doing a strict 30 day whole nine Paleo Challenge since Jan 3. For the first couple of weeks it went pretty well: some cravings, no major weight loss but I generally felt pretty good - no cheats but I do drink coffee. For the last week and a bit though I have been feeling really, really, really tired and hungry almost all the time. Yesterday I broke down and ate some bread and cheese and some potato chips (total comfort food for me). Before beginning this challenge I was a vegetarian for about 4 years (but I ate eggs and milk). I'm 143lbs, 5'4", I do crossfit 3 to 4 times a week and yoga once a week.

My questions: 1) Why am I getting this intense hunger 2 weeks into this switch? Will it end???

2) Did I completely mess myself up with my break down yesterday?

3) I would like to lose about 10 pounds - I have not lost any weight so far. Could this come later once my body is more used to this kind of eating? Or will I need to eat even less food?

Typical food intake

Breakfast - 2 egg omlette

Coffee with almond milk

Lunch - Green Salad with Tuna and an avacado

Snack - handful of almonds or walnuts and an apple

Snack 2 (I want to eat all the time) - beef jerky

Dinner - Chicken and veggies in a coconut curry

Snack 3 - Usually have sunflower seeds or something before bed

Any help would be really, really appreciated - I love the ideas behind the Paleo lifestyle, but I'm so ready to break down and eat a big bowl of rice and beans :)

Thanks!!!

E35d651e011b3ad72d22decf79537749

(143)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:46 PM

are you on the pill? Hunger, tiredness & no weightless fits that too. I found that I needed about 90 minutes less sleep when I was off the pill.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on March 09, 2011
at 03:42 PM

I think it's worth mentioning that everyone's requirements are different. I ate 1200 calories pretty strictly for 6 years and was never "starving" as a 5'2" 247lb to eventually 136lbs woman. I crossfit and do HIIT on that level of calories. I recently bumped them up to 1300/1500 per day and sometimes its hard for me to even eat that much. I think most people need to self-experiment with different calorie levels and see how they affect their weight and workout abilities to find their own "sweet spot".

5f0158c23fcb5636e57b4ce097784da0

(1386)

on January 26, 2011
at 04:51 PM

thanks for giving us the details :) i'd say if you have a busy life + 3-4x crossfit 1400kcals are WAY too low. as long as you're a "paleo beginner" it doesn't make sense to limit calories in any way, even if u want to lose some fat later on. i'd opt for around 2'000or more for now and then adjust later when appetite has stabilized. carb intake should be according to your activity level (100-150g). protein around 1.5g/kg, the rest is fat (like coconut oil etc). keep us updated how it goes :)

5d0283f9cf2480374a0b7df56b7f3d9b

(418)

on January 25, 2011
at 09:40 PM

lol definitely not pregnant.

Ce57a94251224f9696faf47f9ca630a0

(858)

on January 25, 2011
at 09:40 PM

I totally understand. If freaked me out for about six months, but then I just got over it. Reading a lot of Dr. Eades and 'Free the Animal' blog really helped bolster my fat confidence. :)

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on January 25, 2011
at 09:07 PM

Have you taken a pregnancy test? Hunger, tiredness & no weightless. Just a thought :-)

5d0283f9cf2480374a0b7df56b7f3d9b

(418)

on January 25, 2011
at 07:22 PM

Ok here is my breakdown from nutrition data: Calories 1359 From Carbohydrate 386 From Fat 640 From Protein 333

5d0283f9cf2480374a0b7df56b7f3d9b

(418)

on January 25, 2011
at 07:03 PM

hmmmm I'm so into crossfit right now I'd be sad to drop any days...

5d0283f9cf2480374a0b7df56b7f3d9b

(418)

on January 25, 2011
at 07:01 PM

Thanks for the detailed answer. It is good to compare and yes it looks like you are taking in a lot more fat than me. I'm going to add in some meat at breakfast too...

5d0283f9cf2480374a0b7df56b7f3d9b

(418)

on January 25, 2011
at 06:59 PM

Thanks! That is so hard for me - way to many years of fat avoidance. So it's good to be reminded to go for it :)

5d0283f9cf2480374a0b7df56b7f3d9b

(418)

on January 25, 2011
at 06:50 PM

I forgot that I usually have a strawberry, blueberry, banana, coconut milk smoothie with my kids in the evening. I should probably cut this too?

5d0283f9cf2480374a0b7df56b7f3d9b

(418)

on January 25, 2011
at 06:49 PM

Thanks for all the replies so far - I will most definitely work on adding more fat and protein and cut the nuts and fruit. As for calories I'm at about 1500 a day (I think my bmr is about 1400). I'm 35 and I have 4 year old twins and a very busy life if that helps at all :) I'm feeling like maybe the whole 30 was a bit to intense for me. Perhaps I need a slightly slower transition to Paleo? Maybe I will continue with no sugar, no grains but allow some dairy and some of the safer starches... Thanks again - this community is awesome!!

5f0158c23fcb5636e57b4ce097784da0

(1386)

on January 25, 2011
at 06:18 PM

well, how many calories do you eat on average with this eating pattern? go to http://nutritiondata.self.com , make a free account, fill in what you eat on average, and tell us the result :) (incl. macro ratios)

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on January 25, 2011
at 05:35 PM

working out makes you hungry.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on January 25, 2011
at 05:35 PM

i like the idea of less exercise too.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on January 25, 2011
at 05:34 PM

if you want to lose weight tho, skip the potatoes for now. i would do like jamie says tho, add more fats, and more protein. perhaps make sure you are eating a gram of protein per pound of lean body mass. if you eat enough fat and protein, your body will turn off the hunger mechanisms. i would actually drop the fruit for now as well especially since you aren't losing weight.

C86e08cc801e4fe7545102fd641f79e1

(125)

on January 25, 2011
at 05:16 PM

I forgot to add that I eat a lot of the more carb-heavy veggies, like carrots and peas. That has worked well for me and hasn't created any problems. That could also be a reason why I haven't craved grain, sugar, fructose, etc.

0dc1d63c3d5975f5115f535c6a90c9dd

(2283)

on January 25, 2011
at 04:29 PM

I'd eat more than a 2 eggs omelet, too. Add in more yolks and up it to 4-5 egg omelet cooked in a lot of olive oil or butter or coconut oil. The bottom line is health and longevity, right? Don't be afraid to eat more. It's your body's natural response.

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12 Answers

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3
C86e08cc801e4fe7545102fd641f79e1

(125)

on January 25, 2011
at 05:12 PM

Although everyone is different, I started paleo on the same day that you did (3 weeks ago!), so maybe my experience will be helpful for comparison. Just bear in mind that it sounds like I am older, fatter, and less active than you are--56, 5'5", 220 lbs. :)

My diet (see below) is a lot higher in fat than yours, and I've had no cravings at all after the first 48 hours. I am tired a lot, and when the tiredness gets really bad I take potassium, that seems to help. I also sometimes take magnesium, since otherwise I tend to have trouble sleeping. According to Taubes it is also important to keep your salt intake up during the adjustment period; his diet includes a salty broth. I've have no problem with that since I salt my food very liberally.

I am pretty out of shape and just quit going to Curves. I'm working on developing a more paleo-friendly home exercise routine based on Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint. So far it is way less taxing than Crossfit workouts, and I don't seem to have much need to refuel after exercise at this point in the program.

Since I've had bad experiences before with calorie restriction diets, from the start I made sure that I always ate when hungry and ate LOTS of saturated fat (coconut oil and butter) to keep from going into calorie restriction. (And I still lost about 15 pounds in the first two weeks; haven't weighed in this week yet.)

Before paleo I was hungry all the time and used to graze all day long, but shortly after switching I pretty much stopped eating snacks because I just wasn't hungry. In fact my biggest problem at first was that I was overeating to discomfort since protein is so dense and you don't need as much to fill you up.

My typical diet now is:

Breakfast: 2 eggs, 1 bell pepper chopped, 2 breakfast sausages, all fried in 2-3 tbsp coconut oil. (Maybe with 1/2 avocado or extra butter as well.)

Lunch: 1/2 lb fish or meat plus 2 cups veggies cooked in 2-3 tbsp coconut oil, sometimes extra butter or coconut oil

Snack (if hungry): dried turkey stick, avocado, or large carrot (whatever I'm craving)

Dinner: 1/2 lb fish or meat plus 2 cups veggies, all sauteed in 2-3 tbsp coconut oil, sometimes extra butter or coconut oil

So based on my experience, I'd suggest that you add lots more fat AND lots more food in general. If you're hungry, eat! Just make sure that you have good paleo food available to snack on wherever you go, including lots more fat.

Hope this is helpful, good luck!

5d0283f9cf2480374a0b7df56b7f3d9b

(418)

on January 25, 2011
at 07:01 PM

Thanks for the detailed answer. It is good to compare and yes it looks like you are taking in a lot more fat than me. I'm going to add in some meat at breakfast too...

C86e08cc801e4fe7545102fd641f79e1

(125)

on January 25, 2011
at 05:16 PM

I forgot to add that I eat a lot of the more carb-heavy veggies, like carrots and peas. That has worked well for me and hasn't created any problems. That could also be a reason why I haven't craved grain, sugar, fructose, etc.

4
0dc1d63c3d5975f5115f535c6a90c9dd

(2283)

on January 25, 2011
at 04:26 PM

It looks to me like you need a LOT more fat and some safe starches. Potatoes are fine. Butternut squash, sweet potatoes, taro, tapioca. Add oils in as well. Such as coconut oil, beef tallow, olive oil.

Just some suggestions.

0dc1d63c3d5975f5115f535c6a90c9dd

(2283)

on January 25, 2011
at 04:29 PM

I'd eat more than a 2 eggs omelet, too. Add in more yolks and up it to 4-5 egg omelet cooked in a lot of olive oil or butter or coconut oil. The bottom line is health and longevity, right? Don't be afraid to eat more. It's your body's natural response.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on January 25, 2011
at 05:34 PM

if you want to lose weight tho, skip the potatoes for now. i would do like jamie says tho, add more fats, and more protein. perhaps make sure you are eating a gram of protein per pound of lean body mass. if you eat enough fat and protein, your body will turn off the hunger mechanisms. i would actually drop the fruit for now as well especially since you aren't losing weight.

3
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on January 25, 2011
at 05:57 PM

As far as a Whole 30 goes, yes, that's down the tubes. The point of a Whole 30 is to eliminate those foods for 30 days. It takes that long for your body to adjust. You cannot give in to the hunger with foods that aren't allowed on the Whole 30. Eating more of the allowable stuff would have been a much better option. That's over now though, so you should restart immediately and make a commitment to yourself to push through the hard part. You can do it, you just have to want to.

Also, it is my understanding of the program, that you are not supposed to weigh yourself for the entire 30 days. Losing weight is not the point of a Whole 30. It's to reset your body on the right foods.

3
5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 25, 2011
at 05:44 PM

In terms of your questions, 1) Intense hunger, eat more of the correct foods. 2) Depends on how much you ate. Will slow things down, but unless you porked out and ate a loaf of bread, should be ok. 3) Zero weight loss = something's strange. You should have lost water weight (assuming you had a carb heavy diet before).

Are you feeling cold a lot? Looks to me like you're substantially under-calorie'ing (is that a real word? :) ) and your metabolism is going a bit wonky slowing down because of it. Ditch the nuts, ditch the apple, ditch the seeds, watch the veggies. Check what you eat more thoroughly. Zero weight loss at all tells me you're getting carbs somewhere (otherwise you'd have seen the water loss of a few pounds). Eat more eggs, eat more meat/fish, eat more fats. If you're having to snack, you're not eating enough in your meals.

You may think "Hey, I'll drastically cut my calories and lose even more" but the reality is your metabolism slows down accordingly, so it's a losing proposition. However, with a more palo diet, it's hard to eat too much. It can be done, but it's harder.

3
Ce57a94251224f9696faf47f9ca630a0

(858)

on January 25, 2011
at 04:37 PM

You need waaaay more fat. Don't be shy, it will be okay!

Ce57a94251224f9696faf47f9ca630a0

(858)

on January 25, 2011
at 09:40 PM

I totally understand. If freaked me out for about six months, but then I just got over it. Reading a lot of Dr. Eades and 'Free the Animal' blog really helped bolster my fat confidence. :)

5d0283f9cf2480374a0b7df56b7f3d9b

(418)

on January 25, 2011
at 06:59 PM

Thanks! That is so hard for me - way to many years of fat avoidance. So it's good to be reminded to go for it :)

3
9f2b5def0bc7fd8ad615637d1ffeb9ec

on January 25, 2011
at 04:31 PM

Your nutrition looks pretty good. I would recommend less nuts (esp sunflower seeds) and more saturated fat. Maybe more eggs in the omelet? Any fat is satiating, but the omega-6's in nuts are inflammatory.

Also maybe drop Crossfit to 2x/week and then one day of yoga. You definitely don't need to be hungry all the time to lose weight!

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on January 25, 2011
at 05:35 PM

working out makes you hungry.

5d0283f9cf2480374a0b7df56b7f3d9b

(418)

on January 25, 2011
at 07:03 PM

hmmmm I'm so into crossfit right now I'd be sad to drop any days...

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on January 25, 2011
at 05:35 PM

i like the idea of less exercise too.

2
976844bb16c0ab60ca2632aa5df149f8

(317)

on January 25, 2011
at 05:38 PM

I agree with all of the above, eat more fat and protein. I would do some research before you add in dairy products. Some bodies can digest them better than others, and remember thy all dairy is not created equal. (conventional vs grassfed, goats milk etc). Bottom line, eat more and be patient. Your diet looks good with a few changes. It hasn't been that long, you should see changes soon.

2
58987593d41d8a148c86690fd6a4ee67

on January 25, 2011
at 04:57 PM

I agree with the others. More fat! Animal fat mainly. But you should be liberally buttering your salads and using heavy cream instead of almond milk in your coffee. For breakfast I usually eat 4-5 eggs with 3-4 strips of bacon and what I like to call paleo cereal... Strawberries/blue berries (not a lot though) in 5 tablespoons of heavy cream. And at lunch I like to have green tea with 5 tablespoons of heavy cream in it. For dinner I usually have a big hunk of meat with buttered broccoli (3-4 cups, I need the fiber).

Go easy on the nuts. As they are antinutrients. Oh and I've lost about 4 pounds this week. All fat according to my fat caliper measurments.

2
154d799847153f5589f99496a9bdbb71

on January 25, 2011
at 04:38 PM

You're eating about 150 calories for breakfast. You could definitely increase that.

If you're tired and hungry, maybe you need some more carbs. Try a sweet potato, potato, squash, or something along those lines.

And if you are trying to lean out, the almond milk, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds might be counterproductive.

2
1dd5986edc44148c39247cfa61fbe881

(300)

on January 25, 2011
at 04:35 PM

With just a cursory glance...You need more fat and probably more prtoein - though without weights/measures, it's hard to tell. Fat and Protein are the triggers of satiety. Coconut milk, coconut oil, more avacado (careful with too many nuts and seeds...go for Macadamia and hazelnuts over sunflower seeds)

1
86a7abe4a54c4dc15ea44bacef00c5a8

on January 26, 2011
at 03:39 PM

Definitely, increase you fat intake. You can start by adding a TBSP of coconut oil to your coffee in the morning. Have a larger omelet in the morning with some bacon. Add in some green tea to help increase your metabolism. The coconut oil works in it too. Some more animal fats would probably help also.

With the energy issues, you may be low in iron or Vitamin D3. You might want to have your levels checked.

0
4c48d55b7c783df8010b8de74c3b3f99

on March 09, 2011
at 03:07 PM

at 1500 calories, you must be starving! I don't see how can you have any energy doing cross fit on that. I eat 2000 calories a day, I am 46, 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighed about 130 before I started paleo, and after about 5 weeks I was down to 124. I do not do crossfit but I get some exercise by riding my bike to commute.

I just think you need to eat more.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on March 09, 2011
at 03:42 PM

I think it's worth mentioning that everyone's requirements are different. I ate 1200 calories pretty strictly for 6 years and was never "starving" as a 5'2" 247lb to eventually 136lbs woman. I crossfit and do HIIT on that level of calories. I recently bumped them up to 1300/1500 per day and sometimes its hard for me to even eat that much. I think most people need to self-experiment with different calorie levels and see how they affect their weight and workout abilities to find their own "sweet spot".

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