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Eating paleo but still hungry

by 5 · March 25, 2012 at 09:19 PM

Hey Everyone,

I've been eating paleo for about 4 months now. At first I was always satisfied and feeling great. I still feel really good and healthier than I've felt in years, except now I notice that I am constantly hungry. And I eat A LOT (typical day: breakfast, snack, big lunch, supper 1 and supper 2). I also work out 4-5 times a week...nothing crazy excessive, just active every day.

I've heard to add more fat to my diet and have done that, but it hasn't really helped. I eat a lot of chicken in my paleo meal planning, maybe too much? Not sure.

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance,

G

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6 Replies

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37013 · March 25, 2012 at 08:34 PM

It takes 2 things to keep my hunger under control: good nutrition and a full stomach at least once per day.

It's harder than it sounds! I agree that chicken might not give you enough fat. When I have chicken I smear the skin with coconut oil and I eat both meat and skin; I frequently add a can of sardines or salmon to the day's menu to help balance fat types.

To get a full stomach without eating way too much density/energy/calories--whatever you like to call it--I have to include high-volume stuff like leafy salads, non-starchy vegetables, low-fructose fruit, etc. I need to eat enough of the high-volume stuff that I barely want my meat. Since it's healthy high volume, within an hour or so I don't feel over-full at all but my brain-gut axis is already happy and doesn't fire up cravings.

If I go more than 2 or 3 days without eating a high-volume meal, I start to have cravings for neo-foods. As long as I eat high-volume meals frequently, I'm only hungry for foods to complete my nutritional profile.

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552 · March 25, 2012 at 09:19 PM

Can you give an example of a typical day's food and maybe how you're training? What are you eating post-workout?

I get most of my protein from red meat. When I eat chicken, I usually have to eat a TON of it to feel satisfied. Usual meals would also include plenty of fat and some greens. Post-workout I make sure to have some protein, fat, and starchy carbs (sweet potato or butternut squash). Personally, I also find that snacky things like fruit and nuts seem to make me feel hungrier.

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610 · March 25, 2012 at 08:54 PM

I've been feeling much more reliably "full" after I started taking digestive bitters twice a day after meals.

It used to be that I could just eat and eat and eat and not feel full (or add any fat or muscle mass). My satiety signal, if it did ever kick in, (which it often didn't) never kicked in until 20-30 minutes after I had already stopped eating. (At which point I might realize I was totally stuffed).

I find that bitters seem to help my body decide that I can stop eating. I believe digestion has also improved. For the first few weeks I was taking bitters I was getting night sweats (I think because there were more calories available all of a sudden). It's been about 5 or 6 weeks now and I've actually added 5 pounds of muscle (which is quite an achievement for me).

I'm not positive, but I think I'm getting a better satiety signal now, even after meals when I don't take bitters.

Try taking a teaspoon of digestive bitters right after meals for a while and see if that doesn't help!

edit: I second the carbs thing. Getting a moderate amount of carbs from fruit (which I actually avoid now because they trigger my acne) and "safe starches" also helped me more sated.

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2945 · March 25, 2012 at 08:25 PM

I'm in a similar boat. I have always been a big eater, even before going paleo (fortunately it never ran me into major weight problems). I work out 5 days a week, and I often find myself hungry between meals or snacking every 30-45 minutes.

The simple answer to being hungry is to eat more. Especially if you're active, you're going to need more calories than you might expect. Like the other two said, carbs might be your friend here. If you don't feel like gorging all at once to stay full, just grab a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit between meals.

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1163 · March 25, 2012 at 08:03 PM

Protein will keep you feeling full for longer, but if you describe your chicken intake as "maybe too much" you're probably getting plenty. You might try adding some starchy carbs- I find that I don't really feel satiated unless I have some carbs with my meals. My usual sources are sweet potatoes, white rice, and bananas. If you're not down with more carbs, soups and stews do a really good job of stretching your groceries.

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3029 · March 25, 2012 at 08:02 PM

Chicken isn't fat, its pretty much exclusively protein. Also you may need more carbs?

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