I'm three weeks in to a 30-day Paleo challenge, and I'm finding that I have to eat LOADS of food to feel satisfied. And then a couple of hours later, I'm hungry again. I'm mainly eating meat and vegetables, with a bit of fish, a fair amount of fruit, and almonds every other day. Sweet potatoes are the only starch that seems to satisfy me, but I don't eat them every day (maybe I should)?
My husband, on the other hand, who eats the same things as me, is never hugely hungry and seems to have even energy levels.
Does it have anything to do with body fat percentage? I'm 26, 5'6", 108ish lbs, between 18-20% body fat, and pretty active (I'm a yoga/Pilates teacher). My husband is 5'11", 180ish lbs, not sure of body fat percentage.
I'm pretty sure I need more starch than I'm getting, but just wondering why I seem to need more than my husband. I don't want to lose weight btw.
Forgive me if this is a stupid question, I'm just trying to understand why some people seem to feel great on VLC and others don't.
I don't know your goals but VLC doesn't work for me - I must to have carbs to maintain or I literally can't keep the weight on and my muscle growth stalls. I also do not subscribe to "fat will solve everything" way of thinking, it doesn't work for me - tried and felt horrid, so after much tinkering have managed to find a good spot.
Sweet potato with breakfast in addition to lean protein, veg, fruit. Dinner is usually tuber with veg, lean protein. Fruit before bed. A sheep milk yogurt. Snacks will consist of jerky, avocado, chopped veg, maybe a hard boiled egg. I cut out nuts, dried coconut, and dried fruit except for the occasional dried fig or date. Fats that I use for cooking/dress salads with a very light hand: avocado/mac/butter/tallow/duck, et al.
I can't tell you want to do as every body is different, but IMO play with amounts and ratios, add some carbs in. Squash, beets, carrots - mmm.. roast them! I eat a_lot and am now satisfied with my current combos. But I still definitely tinker, I think it's fun, and am happily fed. EDIT --> Forgot to add that dark chocolate is in there somewhere :)
Note: I'm 5'7 and 126ish, low body fat, muscular, CrossFit and lift 4 days a week. AKA: lean, strong, fast, and mean :) (not really mean but it sounds good)
There is no reason to be VLC unless you are trying to lose weight or correct disease or metabolic syndrome. You should eat the amount of food that satisfies you. Try upping your fat intake and see what happens.
It's probably a combination of activity level, insulin sensitivity and inherent biochemistry.
Personally, I'm like you, I do better on moderate carbs, and not a whole lot of carbs from fruit (maybe 1-2 servings a day). I eat lots of sweet potatoes and plantains, a good deal of root vegetables like turnips, carros & beets and some white potatoes and sometimes rice or tapioca. Theoretically I'd be OK with a little bit of starchy corn (like an occasional corn tortilla), but in practice it bugs my stomach to no end. Experiment and find out what works for you.
I would think it would be pretty hard to be a yoga / pilates instructor without carbs...I can't even manage being a yoga student without at least 25-30% carb, (although I did eat less when I was still trying to lose weight). Obviously your mileage may vary, but I wouldn't go to VLC without a good reason. I eat potatoes nearly every day, and lots of veggies & fruit.
But still, you can experiment with different foods to find what satisfies you. I personally find that breakfast (and particularly eggs) makes a huge difference in my hunger levels for the rest of the day -- if I eat 2 eggs + meat + fruit in the morning, I'm much less likely to be snacking in the afternoon, regardless of what I have for lunch. That might not work for you, but play around with different foods and see what happens. And as Annie suggested, make sure you're getting plenty of fat.
People have different reserves and different hormone levels and different genetics (and different expression). There's so many reasons not to expect people to react the same to a given situation. Plus it can take weeks to adapt so flexibility can play a big part in how different people appear to cope in the short term. From what you've said, it sounds like you're probably missing out on fat. You don't have as much available as your husband, and you may not be as well-adapted to burning what you do have, and it's quite possible you're just not eating enough. Are you putting on weight? A lot of people who think they are eating loads actually aren't eating as much as they think. Maybe you're just misintepreting the cues and you're not actually that hungry. If you stop eating earlier, are you struggling to get on with your day? If you're hungry a couple of hours later do you eat more then? If not, does the hunger go away? Depending on how dramatic a change in your diet this is, your body may just still be working these things out. Also, a lot of people get stuck between eating lots (100-150g) of carbs and eating none (less than 30g). Regularly eating just some will make it very hard to adapt as your body will know they are available and keep demanding more. Still, 3 weeks really isn't very long. I wouldn't over-generalise about how either you or your husband will feel next week!
You also can eat more high caloric food, like nuts. You could increase your almond intake, but better maybe add other types of nuts (walnuts etc). And eggs are good, like the previous poster said. I eat 2 per day and I can live on that for half a day if I have to.
I do a lot of sports, 10 till 15 hours a week of yoga/dancing/acrobatics/strength training etc, and the only way for me to don't lose weight is to eat nuts. Other foods like fruits also help, but my stomach can only handle a certain volume of food, so in time of high caloric needs, I eat 100 to 200 grams of nuts a day (which make 500 to 1000 calories).
Sometimes I still feel hungry though, but it is more an 'emotional hunger': I just want to eat something because something is bothering me, or I'm doing things I don't like.
If you have lots of muscles (I haven't got them :( ), you need more calories to sustain them, that might also be a difference with other people. Then you might have the need for things like potatoes & rice, and that is ok. If your body uses it right away and relieves you of hunger, you can add some.
When I started Paleo I had no issues switching over because I already ate high protein and medium amounts of carbs and vegies so I was able to cut back on the carbs and eliminate the grains, leumes easily. My wife on the other had was a huge bread/tortilla eater so it took her a few weeks to transition over to a healthly paleo diet. Since your only 3 weeks in, I would say give it more time and ensure when you do eat carbs it is only the healthiest. Stay away from those nasty grains, legumes and sugar especially high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
Carbs for Exercise 1 Answer
Starchy vs Non-Starchy Vegetables 2 Answers
Dangers of Low Carb! 5 Answers