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Problems with hunger

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  • Problems with hunger

    Hello all,

    First time poster here, hoping you can help me out a little! I've been eating primal for about two weeks, probably about 80/20. At first, I noticed a substantial decline in my hunger levels. Before then, I'd basically just been eating constantly, but after switching I could easily go from breakfast to lunch and lunch to dinner without snacking, which I hadn't done in forever. However, the past few days the hunger seems to be returning and I'm getting a lot of cravings for sweet foods - particularly chocolate and ice cream. Have any others experienced this? Is it something that I should just try to ride out the best I can?

    I'm 23, 5'3'', about 120 lb, female. I do about 3 hours walking a week plus 20 minutes cycling daily plus body weight exercises several times a week. I really want to lose body fat and gain muscle, but most of all I want to get my cravings for food under control. I'm worried that I'm slipping back to where I was!

    This is a typical day's food:

    1/2 egg + banana + small helping of berries for breakfast
    salad with can of tuna/piece of chicken or similar for lunch
    chicken curry/fish and veg/omelette or various others for dinner

    I tend to snack a bit when I get home from work (about 5pm), preferences being nuts, berries, trail mix, cheese, eggs and olives. I get about 1800-2000 calories a day.

    Any advice would be much appreciated!

  • #2
    Where's the fat? Carb cravings = not enough fat. Add three tablespoons of organic, virgin coconut oil. Get some grass-fed butter in there, too. Especially at first, you need to be eating plenty of fat. Also would say that your first meal of the day needs more protein. Go through Mark's blog post history first, and then threads in this section of the forum, and you'll see lots of tips about fat. Trail mix and berries need watching. Get serious fat and serious protein and you should be fine.

    If you like sorting the fly specs out of the pepper, run your daily food diaries through Fitday, or another of those web sites that gives you your nutrient breakdowns.

    Others will jump in here soon. There is more participation on weekdays.

    Welcome and may your transition go fast!


    • #3
      Thanks for weighing in slacker I guess I should have mentioned that my fat percentages hover around 50% of my daily calories. I guess the sources are mostly coconut milk, oils and butter, though I've also had quite a bit of dairy the past week. Adding some protein to my morning meal doesn't sound like a bad idea though! I'll definitely give that a go!

      Thank you!


      • #4
        That seems to be pretty high calorie for someone of your height and weight (I take in about 1500-1800 calories, am very active, and have 3 inches and 40 pounds on you!). Also, breakfast seems tiny. Get some avocado in there, and some bacon.


        • #5
          Why eat half an egg? Which half? What's the downside of eating a whole egg?

          Because that serving of egg is so small, your breakfast seems crazily high carb to me in ratio terms. If you want to kick the sugar cravings, try having NOTHING sweet for breakfast--no banana, no berries--for a month or so. Personally, I wouldn't have the banana later in the day either while sugar is an issue.

          Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
          Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food


          • #6
            I wouldn't worry about calories... the lower you go the more you slow your metabolism. I would just add more fat.

            Don Matesz ( says that one of his female students weighs 110 and eats 3000 kcal/day. Definitely cut out the fruit at breakfast. Fruit makes me hungry, too.
            Last edited by healthy11; 01-31-2011, 07:22 AM.


            • #7
              I think Lizch is dead on with the carb heavy breakfast. I'd try dropping the banana and maybe upping your half-egg to two eggs.
              Another option which I'm a fan of is skipping breakfast altogether. I find I don't get hungry as much later in the day when I don't have breakfast.

              For the chocolate craving, having a little piece of dark chocolate (I eat 85%), I find helps.


              • #8
                I think some days you are just hungrier, end of. Today I am starving. I am eating good stuff and trying not to fret. I can't think why I'm so hungry, (some people have said I need to repair, some its that i need fats etc) Whatever it is - i am just going with it, eating the "right things" and trying not to stress about it.

                On the other hand, as someone else told me "it depends if its a craving or true hunger". Of course, if I could tell the difference I might not be on here?


                • #9
                  Agree to cut the carbs at breakfast.
                  You may be experiencing hormonally related cravings. Best to eat some fat (coconut manna or cheese are my fave go-tos) and ride it out. It will get better!

                  I needed to go very low carb (under 20 net carbs) for awhile to "reset" my hunger signals. Something to try if the cravings don't go away.
                  Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
                  Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
                  Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article


                  • #10
                    If I ate berries and bananas for breakfast, I would be starving later in the day. Bananas are way too sugary for me - period. Berries in moderation are fine for me, but I would probably eat them later in the day and up my protein/fat count for breakfast - if I were you. Also, being fairly new to PB, you may need to eliminate fruit for a couple of weeks until the carb cravings go away. I eat fruit sparingly - a few pieces per week instead of my old diet of a few pieces per day.


                    • #11
                      Thanks for all the replies! Has given me plenty of food for thought

                      I'm going to try having a less sweet breakfast and see if it helps. I always want to eat a sweet breakfast, but maybe with a little effort I can wean myself off it. Today I had a 2-egg omelette with greens and some butter for cooking.

                      I do want to try skipping breakfast a few times a week, but I always seem to be starving in the morning. Maybe something to try once the other issues have settled down?

                      Oh, and I didn't mean I ate 1/2 an egg for breakfast - I mean one to two eggs! Oops!

                      Thanks again!