Since going paleo I have had a greatly reduced appetite. Before, if I went more than 8 hours without a meal my stomach was rumbling and I’d end up in a horrible mood until the hunger pangs were satisfied. But after paleo, I just don’t get those “I need to eat” feelings anymore. Even with exercise I don’t feel hungry very often. Most of the time I’m eating because I know I’m supposed to, not out of want.
If I was just looking for weight loss I guess this would be great, but I’m looking for increased strength and overall “look better naked.” I know that working out in a caloric deficit is not particularly conducive to either of these goals, but with no appetite I find myself under eating a lot as of late.
For example, I offer you my yesterday: Wake up at 5:00
Take the dog on a 30 min walk. (around 5:30)
Drive to work, work (desk job) for an hour or so, then go get breakfast (around 7:30) Breakfast: one “serving” of scrambled eggs from the hospital cafeteria and some coffee with heavy cream in it.
Work for a few more hours until lunch (around 1:00) Lunch: Baked chicken thigh with two servings of spinach casserole and an ice tea.
Get out of work at 3:30, head to the gym
Lift weights (Stronglifts 5X5, Squat, Bench, Barbell Row) and finish with some isometric core exercise.
Leave Gym and meet a friend for 2 beers.
Get home (around 6:45,) take the dog for a run/walk in the park (1.75 miles averaging 4.5 mph, dog limited)
Wife gets home around 8:45, we eat dinner Dinner: Some mini-quiches that I made. Roughly equivalent to 1 egg with some spinach, tomato, ground beef, and bleu cheese in each one. I had 2, but only because I knew I needed to eat something.
That’s it. The volume of food is fairly typical of what I’ve been eating recently. (Breakfast today was about the same, but I added one of the mini-quiches and had ice tea with heavy cream instead of coffee.) I haven’t done the math on it yet, but I don’t think that I ate a very substantial volume of food or calories.
Does anyone have any advice on how I can stimulate my appetite back a little? Or do yall think I’m eating enough and need to just let my body let me know when I should eat?
I believe in listening to one's body (unless one is metabolically deranged then it can be more difficult to get a clear signal from the body). I think you are eating enough and need to just let your body let you know when you should eat. This is how I live and my appetite can vary week to week or month to month, even seasonally, I eat a lot less during the summer months even though I am way more physically active, but my weight does not change. Not sure how long you have been paleo but the body adapts and re-organizes at different rates for different people, plus you body may have reserves it feels it needs to burn off before you appetite changes or it may be needing fewer calories as it heals something you may not have been aware of.
The Paleo diet significantly reduces my appetite. I am just not that hungry, can easily skip meals, even before or after workouts. I never get the blood sugar crashes or the "dying hungry" feeling. I also have more energy, and more even energy, all day long. It's very counter-intuitive.
Curiously, I haven't lost a lot of weight, maybe because what I'm eating is more "dense", or perhaps (wishful thinking) my body composition is automagically changing... more likely the occasional cheats are keeping my weight up 10-15 pounds or so.
I am 41 y.o. and work out 3-4 times per week. I usually have one big meal a day (lunch or dinner). A typical day is coffee + 1-2 Tbsp cream (about 60-80 calories) or one egg (about 100 calories). Lunch is usually a salad with a hard boiled egg and some other protein salad bar items (chicken breast, etc), or some leftovers from the previous night, probably 400-500 calories tops. By the time dinner rolls around at 8pm or so I have usually eaten < 500 calories in the day. I'm just not hungry during the day, even if I walk or work out, except maybe some munchies at 4-5pm which I can satisfy with literally 3 or 4 nuts.
This must be half or less of what I used to eat when it included things like bagels, toast, oatmeal, fruit, yogurt, etc.
A heavy dinner would be something like 10-12oz of protein (steak, fish, chicken) and a green vegetable (broccolini, chard, spinach, kale, brussels sprouts). Including some wine it might be 1000-1500 calories for dinner, my daily totals are probably < 2000, though I don't count them carefully. Even during a "big" dinner, usually I have about 8 or 9 bites and start to feel full.
Eating anything sugary or starchy without food value like crackers or rice actually makes me hungry, it is strange to eat a snack and then feel hungrier afterwards, but that is what happens. I feel that this would only make me gain weight and put me on the insulin roller coaster so I don't do this. If you wanted to stimulate your appetite, you might try this.
I feel great in almost every way so I see no reason to change, but I do find it curious that I feel like I eat half what I used to and am less hungry as well.
Are you still losing body fat/have more yet to lose? If you are, I wouldn't worry so much that you have a low appetite. Your stored body fat is being mobilized, and supplying the calories you need. Things might even out on their own. 5'6" and 150 is not a big person, but depending on your composition, you could have 15 lbs or more of fat to burn off before you're really lean (I'm assuming you're a man).
However if you're very close to the composition you want to be, then you definitely need to make an effort to eat more food, appetite be damned. More starch will help with that for sure. And just making an effort to eat more generally.
Personally a paleo-style diet has the opposite effect on me - especially low carb, I was starving all the time. Starch is satiating. But I have always been too thin, and lean.
im in a very similar boat.. I find when I go too low carb I don't eat enough. try adding more sweet potatoes/ starchy veggies and you may see a change.
Here is a great blog about how you can be in ketosis even with a moderate carb intake (possibly where you're at)
"So we have three ways to make the diet ketogenic:
1) Make Wilder’s “ketogenic ratio” high by eating a lot of fat, very few carbs, and not too much protein. 2) Supplement with the ketogenic amino acids lysine and leucine. 3) Supplement with coconut oil or another source of short-chain fats.
If we do (2) or (3), then the diet can be ketogenic even if it has a fair number of carbs."