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Battling phantom limb hunger

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  • Battling phantom limb hunger

    Hello everyone,

    I am relatively new to the primal way of eating (approx. 6 weeks). A huge challenge I am finding right now is managing my hunger and appetite around when I feel I should eat with when Iím actually hungry.

    Prior to finding the primal way my diet consisted of probably 80% grains. As a result I was constantly hungry and this was something I worked hard to avoid. I believed that skipping breakfast was a totally unhealthy thing to do. And if I did (skip breakfast or any meal for that matter)I would experience all the symptoms of low blood sugars and would end up feeling frantic for something to eat.

    Thank god that even after only 6 weeks of eating primal this I have not experienced since. My appetite and feelings of hunger is such a different experience for me now. Itís wonderful.

    However I am finding it very difficult to pull back on how much I am eating. I feel compelled to have 3 full meals a day with snacks in between and itís not my hunger thatís driving this! I feel like itís been engrained in to my brain all these pre-established rules around when a person should eat. Then combined with this feeling I have that I should avoid feeling too hungry or else Iíll end up feeling hypoglycemic and overeating Ė which is a pre-primal phenomena, I am finding it quite difficult to cut back.

    I want to experiment with trying to fast periodically but that really feels outside my reach at this point. And most importantly I want to learn to eat when I want to....not because I feel I should or because it's "time". I read everyoneís accounts of how little they need to eat now or sometimes how they just skip a meal and its not a big deal and I think based on hunger aloneÖI could do that too, but how do I stop my own thinking from screwing with me? Is this something that my body will sort out over time? It has only been 6 weeks and I am after all working to undo a 36 year old habit.
    Thanks so much for any comments or suggestions

  • #2
    I know a little of what you mean. All through my 20s I never really ate breakfast and then CW finally rammed into my head that I MUST eat breakfast. So when I started PB it was sort of hard to shake the whole 3 meals a day thing. But in experimenting with stuff to eat for breakfast on weekdays I wound just skipping breakfast again because I really found I wasn't that hungry.I took stuff to work to have for breakfast but just said to myself I would wait til I got hungry before I ate, and that wasn't til lunch time. Finally I just stopped worrying about whether I was eating breakfast.

    I would suggest first you just eliminate the option to eat snacks. Don't take them, keep them around, whatever. Just eat meals that satisfy. Then experiment with skipping breakfast. Or eat a good breakfast and see if you really need lunch. A lot of times on weekends I eat a nice breakfast and then am not hungry til dinner. I just don't really think about food much anymore unless I'm actually hungry. It just took some time.
    Breathe. Move forward.

    I just eat what I want...


    • #3
      It takes awhile, to be honest. You're right at the point (six week) when I became able to digest fats, and was also almost entirely grain-fed, just like you. You can begin to increase the amount of fat you're eating, as this will keep you fuller longer now that you are metabolizing it more effectively. When you do eat, add as much butter of other healthy fats as you possibly can to your food, so it keeps you full for at least six hours. I only eat once a day now, and it's about 70% fat on average. But I couldn't do that until about six MONTHS of eating this way. So give it time, eat more, and stick to the plan. You'll adapt.

      To be honest, my hack when switching from grains to whole, real food was constantly having nuts to eat. I was a bad snacker, but I think it saved me from breaking down and eating cookies during that early time.

      Definitely go for liver and bacon. Liver for all the B vitamins and minerals, etc. that will help you restore your tissues and stop the cravings. Your body is devoid of building blocks right now. I recommend a good half-pound of liver about twice a week until your body tells you to stop. You'll feel the nutrients' load, you really will. Bacon for the fat, choline, etc.
      Crohn's, doing SCD


      • #4
        What I'm trying now: Disrupt my normal day cycle so that the old habits and triggers don't quite line up with my current life. I'm getting up two hours earlier, going to work an hour earlier, etc..just enough disruption that the rote pattern can't be followed. So far it seems to be helping me.


        • #5
          When you feel like you need to eat and aren't hungry, get busy. Get active. Get your mind off of it.
          -Ryan Mercer my blog and Genco Peptides my small biz


          • #6
            I agree with keeping busy, or if you can nap/sleep. I can tell when i need sleep as I want to eat everything I can see.

            I've also used sunflower seeds in the shell to help with the munchies, not entirely sure how primal they are but they take forever to eat a large amount. Sometimes it's just the act of eating that can help get over that hunger hump rather than the amount you eat.
            I find your lack of bacon disturbing.


            • #7
              Increasing fat content in meals has helped me tremendously - I've gone from 3 large meals a day, plus snacks to mostly just 2 meals and no snacking. I've had to reduce my carbs simultaneously though as I'm still wanting to drop fat.

              I think there's a huge psychological element too - I know I used to have some kind of weird fear of being hungry, which often made me eat a meal even if I wasn't hungry, just because I was afraid that I'd get hungry later when I was somewhere I wouldn't be able to eat.

              I reckon the first thing is to get yourself to a point where each of your 3 meals takes you comfortably to the next, without the need to snack. That should help with any unease from being hungry. Then it's a case of trying to relax around mealtimes....if you're anything like me, it could be a long haul but perfectly doable.


              • #8
                I agree with spuggygirl: Add more fat. I tend to eat the bulk of my calories before 2pm. Sometimes I have dinner, sometimes I don't. Personally, I LOVE a huge breakfast with lots of meat and fat but there are also times I don't eat breakfast beyond a cup of bulletproof coffee-which, if you drink coffee, is glorious. Its an excellent way to get more fat into your diet while enjoying a warm drink.
                I will echo what other people are saying, that it takes time and there IS a huge psychological/cultural aspect to the 3 meals a day. We're told we should, end of story. And often people need to because they're not eating the right foods. When I upped my fat intake, I didn't want to eat between meals. But if you're feeling compelled to, carry a bag of nuts/jerky with you. Maybe add some shredded coconut. Oh man, that sounds really good..
                January 14th-306.2
                January 21st, lost 2" off my waist.
                January 30th-300.2

                Come to the edge she said.
                No, I'll fall.
                Come to the edge.
                No, it's too high.
                Come to the edge.
                I came
                She pushed
                And I flew


                • #9
                  I just don't really think about food much anymore unless I'm actually hungry.


                  • #10
                    I'm having the same problem, and it all really comes down to society. Lunch is at 12.30pm, dinner at 6pm etc etc it's all predetermined and has to be to those times.

                    Well that's just not me anymore, and i hate when i eat just for the sake of eating. You can eat at whatever hour you want, as long as your genuinley hungry. And eating some of the foods out there these days, you will be constantly hungry.


                    • #11
                      good idea,When you feel like you need to eat and aren't hungry, get busy. Get active. Get your mind off of it.


                      • #12
                        If you were malnourished before starting, it may be that your body is in healing mode and wanting as much of the more nutrition-dense foods as possible to replenish whatever existing storages there may be.


                        • #13
                          Thank you so much for all your comments and suggestions. I've found them all really helpful and supportive!! I think I'll slowly work through it. I've been cutting out packing snacks for when Im at work and while I experience a mild feeling of hunger between meals its not intrusive or problematic at all. In fact I find I can kind of ignore it all together which is a really nice surprise


                          • #14
                            "a cup of bulletproof coffee-which, if you drink coffee, is glorious. Its an excellent way to get more fat into your diet while enjoying a warm drink"

                            What is this bullet proof coffee? Anything with the words coffee and glorious in the same sentence sounds good to me!