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  1. #1
    gazb's Avatar
    gazb is offline Junior Member
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    Primal Fuel


    I'm fairly new to the Primal thing and have been a bit on and off (was going well, then I had a pizza and beer fuelled camping trip...), but over the last week or so I've really been trying to stick to it.


    One thing I miss about "conventional" meals with a starchy carb source is that they really satisfied me and made me feel full, at least for a couple of hours. I just don't get that with Primal meals, unless I eat tons of fruit and veg and nuts, and then that puts me over the 150g carbs per day (particularly with more filling fruits like bananas, which pack a lot of sugar, but even the berries add up). Otherwise I stay hungry after the meal, and feel even more hungry after 30 minutes and an hour.


    I'm aware that fats fill you up, so I'll often go for higher fat protein sources like eggs and red meat, and I'm generous with the cooking fat (butter, until I get my hands on some decent lard and coconut oil) and olive oil on salads and all the rest.


    Is it just that I equate the blood sugar / insulin rush of a high carb meal with "feeling full", and I just need to get used to the diet?


    For background, I'm fairly active (weights 3x per week, walk or cycle at least 4 miles most days, and do HIIT once or twice a week), I'm 6'4" and just under 200lbs. I don't particularly need to lose weight, but at the same time a six pack would be nice :P. I know the 150g is a general recommendation and maybe I need to eat a bit more because of my size? I've always been quite a big eater; a few years ago I'd easily put away 5 or 6 full platefuls at a buffet, my appetite's not quite up there these days but as I'm saying I still feel hungry a lot, so everyone's always said I must have a very fast metabolism.


    So do I need to just get used to it as I say, or should I just listen to my body and fill up (on Primal foods of course!) rather than worrying about numbers?


  2. #2
    SerialSinner's Avatar
    SerialSinner is offline Senior Member
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    Gazb your body needs some time to adapt to a low carb diet. What you are experiencing now are probably sugar cravings, which tend to be independent from your actual food intake (you might be mechanically full, but still crave sugar or starch). Your current appetite levels are probably being distorted by prior high carb intakes.


    Sugar cravings will soon disappear and you will feel perfectly satiated with meat, fat and vegetables. just give yourself some time to allow your appetite to stabilize and you'll be fine.


    In the meantime, if the cravings are too high, consider using some artificial sweeteners to help you in the transition. Good luck.

    “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
    "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

  3. #3
    westernman's Avatar
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    Due to your size Gazb, you probably should be eating more protein. Dont get drawn into thinking you need more carbs, just try to structure you nutritional timing a little better. Firstly because your really active, maybe alittle too much so, keep your fruit intake to after you train, the higher intensity stuff like the weights and HIIT. You shouldnt be trying to fill up on fruit at any other times otherwise this will just fuel your cravings. Eat as many veges and protein as you like at meal times and eventually this type of eating will reduce your appetite. Remember taking on sugar at the wrong times is going to induce hunger, and that includes fruit. Protein, fat and vege at meals, other carbs after training.Hang in there, it will get easier, you wont regret it.


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    OnTheBayou's Avatar
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    Yeah, there's something comfortable about stuffing yourself with real mashed taters and butter and/or gravy and then letting the insulin spike put you to sleep!


    The advice above is good. I no longer have that comfy feeling, but am definitely full enough. Keep up the fats, the protein, the veggies.


  5. #5
    gazb's Avatar
    gazb is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the advice people, it's appreciated. I'll try to cut down on the fruit and save it for post workout -- I could easily eat fruit all day, and of course CW fools us into thinking that doing so is healthy -- and just try to get used to the cravings rather than giving in.


    Regarding eating more protein, I do try for the 1g/lb, but find it difficult (and expensive!) to reach unless I'm having a few protein shakes per day on top of my usual food. I guess I can always take boiled eggs with me to work to snack on etc..


  6. #6
    OnTheBayou's Avatar
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    gazb, here's a thread I started and is still going on the amount of protein one might need. Last night I posted the final comment at the time on page 2 about basing protein requirement on Ideal Body Weight, not what you are. This knowledge came from a bariatric physician. Take a look.


  7. #7
    NorthernMonkeyGirl's Avatar
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    Gazb, I'm not on a strict eating plan but when first "weaning" off carbs I first swapped things like potatoes for more starchy veg such as parsnips, sweet potato, beetroots, swedes.

    I found it helped to take the edge off the hunger/cravings whilst moving in the right direction.


    I'm still getting used to the fats but enjoying it! Crispy chicken skin, mmmmm....


  8. #8
    gazb's Avatar
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    I swear I've started enjoying fats like chicken skin, bacon fat, etc. more now that I know they're healthy! For example I used to cut the fat off bacon because I couldn't stand it, but now I enjoy it! Must be psychological; hopefully I'll eventually go off sugar/carbs then....


    So this evening I ate a BIG primal meal. I'm full, almost to the point of feeling sick, but I still feel a bit of a craving for something sweet like fruit. Completely illustrates the "you might be mechanically full, but still crave sugar or starch" point.


    I guess it's not surprising really to be getting cravings; for the last year or so, when I was trying to "be healthy" but before I got into Primal, I cut out a lot of the obvious things (sweets, cakes, etc.) but still ate lots of fruit and a ton of grain based carbs. I had no trouble whatsoever losing the desserts, but that's because I was filling up on equally bad grains instead.


  9. #9
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    What I'm about to say is a little bit antiprimal, but you sound like a classic carb type in the metabolic typing system. Based on our individual genetic heritage, we have all adapted to eat different things. Picture eskimos eating rice all day, picture east asians eating beef all day--each would make the other sick. Similarly, some of us metabolize different foods differently.


    The classic testing for metabolic typing involves questions like 'what meals make you feel full?' If a fat/protein heavy meal doesn't make you feel full, you might be a carb type. Not to say that this means you should eat processed grains; it means you should eat whole grains and fruit along with a proportionally smaller amount of protein and fat. Anyway, look up Metabolic Typing, William Wolcott, Underground Wellness, or any Chek institute affiliate.


  10. #10
    OnTheBayou's Avatar
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    I find myself in a sort of alternate day pattern. One day it's a struggle to not clean out the fridge, the next day I'm way below 2000 cals and I'm not even thinking of food.


    Then the next day.........


    I'm OK with the average of that!


    If anyone has a reasonable explanation, I'm all ears.


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