As other have said here, eat when you feel hunger. I've been Primal for the past month and I've found that as long as I follow the Primal foods list, I am good to go. My diet is so vastly different now than a month ago, but SOOOO much better for me. Big omelet with peppers and onions and a side of bacon in the morning, a banana mid morning, grilled chicken on a salad with lots of veggies for lunch, nuts and an apple in the afternoon, then a big piece of meat and veggies in butter for dinner. Like another said, it's a different type of hunger, but I feel so much better, I don't crave sweets and have energy to work out at the end of the day.
Today I will: Eat food, not poison. Plan for success, not settle for failure. Live my real life, not a virtual one. Move and grow, not sit and die.
My Primal Journal
Good place to look.
Locavore (locally grown foods when possible)
Training consists of Muay Thai, BJJ, and weight training
Would like to be in good shape by my 35th Birthday (07-07-2013)
What may be hard to understand as a primal newbie is that you are likely misinterpreting various body cues (eg, drop in blood sugar causing you to feel shaky and need to eat) as hunger. I know this was true for me. That shaky, I-must-eat-now feeling is not actually hunger. It is a response to blood sugar changes. Once you've made the primal transition and are efficiently burning fat for fuel and no longer dealing with spikes and drops in blood sugar levels, you'll likely find that your interpretation of when you feel hungry changes drastically. I know it did for both me and my husband. I never get that shaky feeling anymore. Hunger for me now is more of a slight rumbly-in-my-tumbly (winnie the pooh reference there). And even when I'm hungry I don't have that feeling that I MUST EAT RIGHT NOW. It's a quiet sensation. I can easily wait a few hours until I can get somewhere with good primal food options instead of feeling the need to hit the vending machine.
I was the type of person who did yoga, looked first for natural solutions to medical problems and thought I was eating healthy (whole grains, low fat, etc). I considered myself very in-tune with my own body. When I made the switch to primal I was AMAZED to discover that true hunger is a completely different feeling than what I thought it was.
With this new and more accurate understanding of hunger, the idea of eating when I'm hungry and not eating when I'm not hungry is a very different experience, one that I could not truly understand before making the switch to primal. Now there are days when I'm not hungry at all and I choose to fast (without effort or hunger or feeling deprived). Other days I'm very hungry and I eat double or triple portions at a meal. These are both things I would NEVER have done during my CW "healthy" eating / calorie counting days.
Following my natural sense of hunger like this has allowed me to lose weight effortlessly and maintain that loss for over a year without any effort, calorie counting or feelings of deprivation. I truly can eat whatever I want and I don't have to obsess over portions or calories anymore.
A lot of people are just telling you to eat when you are hungry, follow your body. But if you are like I was when I first started, I didn't have a clue what that meant. I was always hungry, which is why I was huge!! So anyway, what I did to start learning about my body was cut out EVERYTHING that wasn't primal. That was my number 1. Then, I woke up and ate breakfast with a lot of fat and protein. (I think at first it was mostly a couple slices of bacon with eggs cooked in the fat) Then I monitored myself to see how I felt. When I felt hungry again, I ate. I was scared to eat, but I ate. I didn't think I should be hungry yet but I did it anyway and I made it primal (some meat over a salad of different veggies). Then I ate some nuts, and then a big fat, veggie, meat filled dinner. I did this for about 3 days and all of a sudden I wasn't hungry for the nuts.. Then a week later I really didn't want breakfast.. Then I ended up going to 1 meal a day every once in a while. Now, I am confident in listening when my body says eat/don't eat. It takes a little time for some us us.
I can appreciate that this is a lot of information coming from many areas, but if you take it slow and start developing a relationship with your body, it will tell you what it wants. Don't feel like you have to be an expert at listening to your cues when you possibly haven't been listening for years. Hope this helps!
My typical day:
Breakfast - none. I love not needing to spend time cooking/eating/cleaning up in the morning. I take fifteen extra minutes of sleep instead. I do generally pick up a cup of coffee at Dunkin Donuts - no sugar, just cream. I should be only using heavy cream, and DD uses light cream (or so I am told) -- but I consider this the 10% part of the 90/10 style primal I'm doing, so I don't sweat it.
Lunch - the Legal Sea Foods lunch counter downstairs makes these little tubs of chicken waldorf salad with chicken breast, blue cheese, dried cranberries, walnuts, and sliced granny smith apple. They are LOVELY. I have one almost every day, since they're mostly primal, under 5$, and I don't have to make them myself. To give an idea of amount, one tub is just under two fists by size. Some days, if I'm very hungry, I get two of them and make it through about half the second one. Once or twice a week I IF and skip lunch altogether, and just have black coffee or tea.
Dinner - I stay totally primal for dinner. Actually I stay totally paleo a la Robb Wolf for dinner; it's my biggest meal, so I figure it's also where being strict does me the most good. I buy grass-fed beef, pastured eggs, free-range chicken or pork or pastured lamb, 85% cocoa chocolate, etc, every week, and usually I have some combination of that for dinner. Sometimes a lot, some times a little. For instance, I wasn't really hungry day before yesterday, but it was time to end my IF, so I ate a few bites of my room mate's brisket and a couple of squares of dark chocolate. It was an extremely low-calorie day - that just seemed to be all my body wanted. Yesterday, on the other hand, I had tuna salad for lunch and then at dinner I ate approximately a pound of grass-fed ground beef in the form of two giant bunless burgers. I didn't feel like veggies so I didn't have any (except I did pick a tiny bit at my room mate's broccoli. We're food sharers in our house.) I feel like I eat a lot in general, and even I was impressed with the size of last night's dinner!
I think Jamilyn is totally right - it takes time to settle in before your body starts telling you true things about what you should do. At first, just eat as much as you need to whenever you need to of primal foods, and you're body will stop lying to you about things. After that... eat as much as you need to whenever you need to of primal foods! Unless your metabolism is extremely deranged, you'll likely find yourself having heavy eating days and light ones, and it'll all balance out.
|| Female, 5'4", 42 / SW: 370, CW: 273, GW: 130ish || Primal Journal ~ Merryish ||
Often one meal a day at 2500 calories more or less, sometimes another bite a few hours later if I'm hungry - which I'm usually not. But then sometimes I'll have coconut milk in the AM for energy, and I do carb reload after a major sprint day or just a lot of working out...and now that I actually KNOW what hunger is, it's easy to pass any stray craving that crops up.
But at first, I snacked on almonds a lot and ate a lot more than I needed to, I think my body wasn't using fat for energy very well and it took awhile. But getting most of my calories from animal fat caught on quickly and now I easily metabolize fat and get full the way I'm supposed to. Am I still a glutton? Sometimes. Am I at my goal weight and have that three pounds to gain and lose again if I feel like it? You bet.
My meals are getting frickin' huge. I eat a large plate full at every meal. Meat, potatoes, fat.
My breakfast is a cup of coffee. Some days I'll have a light lunch and a big dinner, some days I'll have a big lunch and a light dinner, some days I'll skip lunch and have a MASSIVE dinner. My big meals are a plate half-full of meat/fish/eggs and half with low-carb veggies. If I'm still hungry I'll steal a potato from my non-paleo fiance's plate! Some days I also have a piece of fruit for desert, although I'll often forget.
I feel like I'm eating A LOT, but I'm pretty sure I'm actually eating less than before. For a couple of months I've steadily lost 1 or 2 lbs a week.
I found the need to snack on nuts or fruit when I first started, as I got cravings for a few weeks. But now I eat ZERO snacks. Eat plenty of fat with your meals and you simply won't crave food as much as before.
Hey brightside Love the name!
Yeah, this site can get confusing, because we're all doing different things to experiment with our bodies, hehe!
I eat twice a day, three times if I'm really hungry. I've made meals that border on 800 - 1000 calories in one sitting. But then I don't eat again for 8+ hours.
For example: this morning, I had somewhere between 6 - 8 oz of chicken breast (skin on) that I made in the crock pot (whole chicken goes in there), with a side of roasted sweet potatoes, small pats of butter on top. Small side of paleo chipotle mayo on the side. That kept me full for well over 8 hours. Then, because I knew I wasn't going home to eat something after work (going house shopping!), I had some coconut macaroon type thing (which actually looked like a friggin' TURD), but it costs me $1 and had very few ingredients, mostly coconut meat, and some egg whites and honey. I downed kefir after that, probably 2 cups worth. Not exactly meat and veg but it helped