I'm struggling in a major way! I feel good on the paleo diet (and have for 4 weeks since I took it on) but my appetite has declined significantly and I'm a bit concerned. I've been forcing myself to eat because I know I can't live off 600 calories, but it's painful to eat.
My body-fat % has gone from 21-24% and my digestion is at a stand still. I can't figure out what's happening.
Breakfast: 1/2 cup berries, egg whites, chia seeds, 3 tbsp coconut butter, 1 tbsp coconut oil Lunch: salmon + cucumber, peppers, and celery Dinner: roasted vegetables with 2-3 tbsp coconut oil, 4oz chicken
And that's on a good day where I'm actually able to eat that much.
Any info you guys can give me would be awesome. I want to do this diet, because I believe in the benefits, I'm just not having much luck.
Don't force yourself to eat. When your body is ready for more food, you will know. It's perfectly OK. Really. Also, eat the whole egg. The yolk is where the nutrition is.
I wouldn't find the menu you listed appetizing. I mean no criticism at all, but my appetite doesn't like "diet" meals and that's what your list sounded like to me.
You might try simplifying your menu. Think 2 foods per meal, with at least one a high-fat food, and you can't do anything to reduce the fat content. Eat the high-fat food first, and it's okay if you don't eat the veggie if you feel full. Just make sure you start with the fat in a natural format rather than as an additive.
Breakfast = bacon and eggs (3 of each)
Lunch = chicken leg with skin (leg is thigh and drumstick) with a small sweet potato or
1/2 of a large one. Put 1 tbsp butter on the sweet potato.
Dinner = 6-8 oz of fatty beef such as chuck with visible fat, with carrots. Put butter on the carrots.
Repeat every day for a week with similar menus and see what happens.
If your calories and carbs are that low, you're likely in ketosis. Ketosis will suppress your appetite, and the deeper the ketosis, the stronger the appetite suppression. You're probably hungrier than you realize.
When I first went on Atkins (before Paleo), I accidentally ate so little due to ketosis that eventually I passed out on the sidewalk. When I plugged my diet into Fitday, I realized I was hitting maybe 900 calories a day, and it caught up with me (I also work out several times a week, so it was totally unsustainable).
I added sweet potatoes to bring my carb consumption up out of the basement, and was able to feel my appetite again. My weight loss stall also broke, not surprisingly, since my body was no longer in starvation/keep everything mode.
Add a little more fat, too, to ease constipation. And as others have said, eat the whole egg! There's nothing in the white except protein. The yolks are where the action is. :)
How are you measuring body fat? I'd be suspicious of a 3% change in 4 weeks, but on the other hand I'd expect most measurements to vary by at least that from day to day.
I'd also tend to more protein at breakfast time in any case, that's what leaps out from your example.
Aside from that, try not to fall into fixed mechanical thinking. Just because you're not hungry now doesn't you're doomed to eat 600 calories every day for the rest of your life. Try giving your digestion a rest, you'll know soon enough if you want to eat more. And if you stick to prioritising the nutritionally strong foods then appetite should be a good guide. Of course you can try and get things moving by having a really intense workout and not being afraid to feast afterwards.
How much of the lack of appetite do you think is the fact that you're constipated? It's hard to feel hungry when you're full of s---. I'd focus on trying to get things moving - magnesium, probiotics and/or fermented foods, and more spoonfuls of coconut oil.