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 :)
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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