Despite taking in 3200 calories a day, I'm constantly hungry, to the point of obsession - I consider it a blessing when my mind is not drifting to thoughts of eating. I am actively maintaining a weight of 125-130 lbs at a height of 5'9" by running about 30 miles a week and staying relatively active besides, and I'm being urged to put on weight.
I've tried eating completely paleo; I've done high fat, low fat, everything; breakfast today was 2 lbs of chicken and 2 lbs of parsnips, and I was starving afterward. I have eaten several lbs of steak and still felt ravenous.
Unfortunately, I also often find myself intensely craving SAD junk; cereal, muffins, ice cream, etc. It's hindering my ability to progress in other aspects of my life.
I just don't know at this point...I want to be thin and I like the way I look, but do I have reason to believe that if I gave in and just ate to satiation (which I've found to be somewhere between 6000 and 8000 calories lol) until I put on significant weight that the constant obsessive thoughts would disappear, or at least become more manageable? This sucks, and I hate not knowing where to go. I don't want to fight myself, but I don't want to become fat again (note: used to be over 200 lbs).
I realize I already posted a thread like this, and I pretty much know what type of responses to expect at this point. It just feels good to type my feelings out :(
Fats average around 70g, but I routinely fall below 55g and as high as 105g. – Matt 4 hours ago
EAT MORE FAT!
I eat 60-70% of my calories from fat.
That means 100-115g of fat per day for my 1500 calories. So you need about 200 g of fat.
You are waaaay too skinny for your height/gender. I am a 5'6" female at 125 lbs, small build.
And over time, drop the artificial sweeteners. But focus on upping the fat first.
I agree with all the people who say increase your fat intake since it is calorie dense and fills you up longer than carbs without the addictive properties. There are many possible reasons for food cravings, such as bacterial dysbiosis, leptin/insulin resistance, nutritional deficiencies, and more. It seems like you aren't losing weight, so I'd recommend cutting back on the running temporarily and see if you gain weight. If you still have the cravings and start to gain weight rapidly it's likely you have leptin resistance to some degree, especially since you mentioned you had weight problems before. I just noticed in one of your replies to an answer that you drink 1-3 drinks with artificial sweeteners per day. That alone could easily explain your cravings. Artificial sweeteners are linked to obesity, and a study compared rats who had pure sugar to rats who had the sweeteners, and the ones with the sweeteners had bigger appetites and a higher percentage of body fat. I shadowed a dietitian over the summer and I saw many obese patients referred from doctors who were drinking diet soda every day as their source of water. So before you do anything else try eliminating those first and see if your cravings go away, then increase fats while decreasing carbs. I know it's easier said than done but in the end it's worth it.
I'm guessing the typical responses will be along the lines of needing more details about what you eat!
2lbs of chicken and 2lbs of parsnips is missing not only fat but a whole bunch of other micronutrients, a deficiency in any one of which could be driving hunger. Or it could be thirst.
Craving SAD junk sounds odd if you're eating clean too. I'd say try eating to satiation on strict paleo, with good balance making sure you get the full range of veg, protein and fat. I'd be surprised if you felt like you wanted to do that every day. It could just be that you're 1000 calories 'behind' and you're not allowing yourself to catch up, like with sleep, and if you eat til you're sick one day on a variety of paleo foods you'll be able to move on. Why not? Imagine you just bagged a mammoth.
It sounds like you are addicted to carbs and would do well trying to rein them in for a time. If you cave, you are quite likely to go towards "skinny fat" and then regular fat again. You might try replacing many of the carb calories with real fat for a time, until you can get control of your cravings. Even though you like the way you look, perhaps your body thinks it is too thin, and maybe it is right this time.
I used to be this way too. I ate a lot (1000+ calorie meals) and was still craving snacks 2 hours later. Then I tried intermittent fasting (IF). If you haven't heard about it, check out the threads here on Paleohacks (there are several). It was hard for me for a few days, with strong hunger pangs during the 16 hour fast. But now, I'm fine and I don't need feel the need to eat every few hours. I eat two meals a day and I rarely snack and I'm not hungry between those meals. I think I used to eat upwards of 2500 calories and still hungry, but now I'm doing IF and I'm getting by on about 2000.
I agree with the eat more fats, and would add on average a 5'9 female should weigh between 130-160 depending on frame and BF%, a 5'9 male would need to weigh between 150-170, again dependent on BF% and comp. It would seem to me, unless you are extremely small framed and fine boned, some more weight would be beneficial to you.
I have had a similar experience with being constantly hungry when I am working out on the regular. Something that has helped me is to maximize the nutrients in the foods that I eat. I believe that when the body is constantly hungry, it is often due to some missing nutrients rather than the need for more calories.
For example, eating a largeish portion of liver (say a pound) tends to completely satisfy me and kills my appetite for several hours at least. The same is true of greens like kale. Pastured eggs can have 5x or more the nutrients of supermarket eggs, and I find them a lot more satisfying. I also find grass fed beef more satisfying than grain fed. Paleo foods are generally higher in nutrients than SAD foods, but some Paleo foods are higher than others.
Many Paleo folks avoid vegetables, which I really don't understand because they are a great source of nutrients. Enter everything that you eat for a week or two into FitDay and see if you are low on any nutrients. I did this and was somewhat surprised to learn that, even though I ate what I thought was a very good Paleo diet, I was seriously low (like less than 50% of RDA) in magnesium, manganese, calcium, vit E, and a few other things. Rather than fill in these gaps with supplements, I try to eat foods that are high in these nutrients, which is primarily vegetables, fruits, berries, and nuts.
Stop torturing yourself, eat as much as you want for a couple days and eventually you will normalize out to a reasonable calorie intake. I guarantee you won't be able to eat close to 8000 cals and if you do you'll probably do it for a day or 2 before losing your appetite. Your calorie counting and restricting is just making the problem 100 times worse, forget about calories for a week and just eat a variety of whole foods to satiation.
You obviously have an irrational fear of gaining weight, at your current weight you are borderline underweight and I promise you won't gain back to 200 pounds overnight :)
Forget about restricting, eat whatever you want provided its a whole food. You eat a lot of protein(over 250g if you eat 4lbs of lean meat) which could be an issue, try decreasing that and replacing it with carbs or fat. Its pretty obvious why your hungry if your running 30 miles a week.
It too bad everyone else is just supporting your anorexic behaviour by telling you to limit even more(carbs)
I just posted a question myself and the crux of that one is that I find fatty beef does the best job of suppressing my appetite. Personally, I don't find chicken, eggs or veggies do anything to lessen my appetite although they are delicious food.
As I said, I'm not assuming it'll be a miracle cure for you but fatty beef shuts my appetite right down--I practice IF and I don't feel a twinge of hunger until well into the next day.
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