Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

Tell Me More
Stay Connected
August 01, 2012

When Listening to Your Body Doesn’t Work

By Mark Sisson
267 Comments

Hunger largely comes down to perceived energy and/or nutrient insufficiency. Your body thinks that it needs more calories and more energy, and hunger sets in to get you to eat the food that contains those nutrients. Now, if perception matches up well with reality – if you truly do need more nutrients – things are good. You need some food, you eat some food, and you stop when you’ve had enough. In this situation, listening to your body is a good idea. That’s what all those Primal people (including me) are talking about when they tell you to “just listen to your body, maaaaaaan,” because for those people, it truly is that simple. Eliminating the excess carbs, the refined sugar, the grains, and the processed seed oils while adhering to the other Primal laws regarding exercise, sleep, stress, sun, and all the rest was enough to right the ship.

But that’s not everyone. Sometimes perception does not match up with reality. Sometimes your body thinks it needs more nutrients when it really doesn’t, for a variety of reasons. This isn’t actually an example of your body lying to you, since your body “believes” what it’s saying, but the end result is the same: you eat something that you really don’t need. It’s a bit like how your friends and family who worry about you eating all that fat and protein try to push bran muffins and whole wheat pasta on you. They’re operating under a fundamentally broken set of assumptions, but they mean well.

So, why does this happen? What’s going on when someone’s sense of hunger is broken? When doesn’t listening to your body work?

When you can’t access your stored body fat.

Body fat is stored energy; it’s long-term, slow-burning fuel that our bodies love to use, and should be able to use very well. But what happens when you can’t burn it very well?

You burn sugar instead. After all, you need energy from somewhere, and research shows that those who have the most problem with hunger – the obese and the formerly obese – burn more carbohydrate than fat, whereas those who generally don’t have much of an issue with hunger – the lean – burn more fat than carbohydrate. Problem is, our ability to store glucose as energy is inherently limited and dwarfed by our ability to store fat as energy. We can store pounds and pounds of the latter, while the former is perpetually scarce. We can keep only around 100 grams of glucose on hand in the liver and 400 grams in the muscles, depending on their size. That won’t last very long, and once it’s used up, you need more food – especially if your ability to burn body fat is impaired. When you need more food, you get hungry. If your body is used to burning sugar, you’re going to crave sugar. The resultant sugar craving is very real, because sugar is what you “need,” but it’s not what you need.

So, if you’ve had success losing weight with Primal eating, but still have trouble curbing your appetite, this could explain why –  you may not be totally fat-adapted. You can, and likely will, but it will take time.

When you’re insulin resistant.

Remember how I said insulin is an indicator of nutrient availability in Monday’s post on carb feeds? Heck, some have even gone so far as to call insulin a “satiety hormone.” After all, it can cross the blood-brain barrier into the brain, where it interacts with various systems to tell the body that food has been ingested and is currently digesting, and that maybe you don’t have to eat for a bit. Of course, that’s only the case if you’re insulin sensitive. If you’re insulin resistant, your body/brain won’t get the message that insulin is trying hard to convey.

Thus, insulin resistance promotes hunger. You eat, and insulin is released, but your body tells you to eat some more despite the much-ballyhooed ability of insulin to act as a satiety hormone.

When you’re addicted to junk.

What if you weren’t actually even phsyiologically “hungry”? What if your body didn’t think it was missing nutrients or fat or carbs – but rather it just wanted another hit of that sweet, sweet junk food? Last week, I showed how our brains and bodies respond to pleasurable, tasty foods by secreting endogenous opioids – brain morphine, really – that, together with dopamine, cause you to want more of whatever food triggered those secretions. This wasn’t a problem back when we only had access to real, whole foods like meat, plants, fruits, nuts, and roots, because those foods didn’t act as hyperstimuli of our reward systems. They caused modest, appropriate opioid and dopamine responses in the brain, promoting repeated consumption but not compulsive overconsumption. Fast forward to today and it’s a very different world full of people doing odd food-related things that make absolutely no sense:

People eat cans of Pringles and become immediately disgusted with themselves for doing it. They’re repulsed by the Twinkie even as it makes its way into their gaping maw. They throw up in their mouth at the thought of  McDonald’s “chicken” nuggets, yet find themselves in the drive-thru after work, ordering a value meal despite themselves.

It’s crazy on its face, but it actually makes perfect sense at the same time, because our natural reward systems have been hijacked by a constant barrage of delicious (but gross) food. You want the stuff even if you currently have no physiological need for calories.

When you are compelled to eat junk, don’t listen to your body. Eat something Primal, something nourishing, something that approximates what you’re craving only using real food. So, if you want some Sour Patch Kids, grab some raspberries. If you want a Big Mac, go for a grass-fed burger over salad.

When you’re experiencing reactive hypoglycemia.

Normally, you eat some food, your blood sugar goes up, insulin rises to take care of the nutrients, the nutrients are partitioned to their respective holding places, your blood sugar normalizes, and all is well. You’ll get hungry again, only when you need the food, when your body truly needs an input of energy. In some people, however, eating food (especially carbs) causes the pancreas to secrete an inordinately large amount of insulin, way more than you actually need. Your blood sugar drops from its postprandial high, but the insulin goes above and beyond, and your blood sugar continues to plummet past “normal.”

Your body implores you to “eat, eat,” even though there’s no real need for added energy; it’s just that your low blood sugar is indicating a need for caloric energy. In people with well-functioning metabolisms, lower blood sugar generally matches up with a need for calories and nutrients. In the reactive hypoglycemic state, the two do not match up. Hunger is constant, but you’re not really nourishing yourself. You’re just eating to push up that blood sugar.

In one sense, listening to your hypoglycemic body is working, because eating carbs raises your blood sugar and you feel better. But in the long run, it isn’t working, because you’re eating more than you need to eat, you’re gaining weight, and you’re not fixing the situation. Sticking with foods that don’t elevate your blood sugar to such dizzying heights (protein and fat) should give you better control over your blood sugar.

When your sleep is bad.

I harp on the importance of sleep all the time, and I’m going to do it again here. Lack of sleep isn’t just bad for alertness, circadian rhythm regulation, stress hormone secretion, bags under the eyes, exercise performance, etc., etc.; it’s also a potent appetite stimulator. Furthermore, not sleeping also worsens glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, meaning when you do (inevitably) eat, it won’t sate you and you’ll be more likely to store it as fat. You’re also more likely to eat junk when you don’t sleep, because it increases the brain’s susceptibility to food stimuli.

When you’ve had a bad night’s sleep and your body is craving food, eat. Don’t fast, because that’s just heaping one stressor on top of another. Eat something you know is good – pastured bacon and eggs, a Big Ass salad, some sweet potato. And get some sleep, so it doesn’t happen again.

In all these situations, we are faced with a decision to make: do we listen to our bodies and feel “better,” or do we ignore them and do what’s “best” for us? There are no easy answers. If you’re not yet a fat-burning beast, you’re in for a rough time. If your blood sugar gets low enough, you might faint. Ignoring your body’s cries to eat something probably isn’t a good idea in that situation. If you haven’t slept, you should probably eat, but not junk. At some point, however, saying “no” to your body’s signals or figuring out how to fix the broken machinery that’s precipitating the messages is going to be necessary. That’s where something like the 21-Day Total Body Transformation, which removes the guesswork from all this so that you follow an established framework, or the 90-Day Journal, which provides a foundation for doing your own “formal guesswork,” comes into play.

Your body may appear to be working against you, but it’s doing it’s best. It’s responding to perceived physiological needs, even if those perceptions are misguided and confused. Whatever you do, don’t despair. Don’t give up. You’ve got a great community here, folks who’ve been there and back again, folks who can help you get things moving in the right direction.

In future posts, I’ll be discussing some other instances where the body’s messaging should be viewed with suspicion, so stay tuned.

Now let’s hear how you guys have dealt with confusing hunger messages in the comment section. Until next time, take care!

Subscribe to the Newsletter

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

Leave a Reply

267 Comments on "When Listening to Your Body Doesn’t Work"

avatar

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Anthony
Anthony
4 years 1 month ago
PatrickP
PatrickP
4 years 1 month ago

I lasted 5 minutes.

Billy
Billy
4 years 1 month ago

I lasted when his head bobbled like a ragdoll at the 14 second mark.

Mike
Mike
4 years 1 month ago

Thanks for the link. I am listening to it, and I find all science-based information useful. For example, the part where he says the problem with meat, if there is one, is neither the fat content nor the protein, but the bacterial toxins. Interesting. I’m not going to be going vegetarian any time soon 🙂 but I’m willing to listen to any serious point of view. You can’t stop listening after a few seconds and then say it’s nonsense.

Paul_S
Paul_S
4 years 1 month ago

Dr. Joel Wallach used longevity as the benchmark. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIuAvFett0w Science based.

Paul_S
Paul_S
4 years 1 month ago
Dr Wallach explains that if you double your carbs you need to double your dose of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. Besides the 8 part video linked above. Check out Dead Doctors don’t lie. Doctors follow their own advice and live to an average of 56 years of age. Dr Wallach eats 6 eggs a day. Dr Stephen Dr. Phinney eats less than 50 grams of carbs a day. The science is behind Mark Sisson and his Primal blueprint. I am also a big fan of Mark and his excellent work. Thanks Mark! Vegans, not so much. Cholesterol is… Read more »
Sally
Sally
4 years 1 month ago

I lasted 2 minutes – he lost me with the egg…

Michelle
Michelle
4 years 1 month ago

I listened with interest up until he described the study looking at the damages from animal fat….and the study used sausage & egg mcmuffin??? Honestly, there is soooo little animal meat in there after processing and way too much trans fat and sugar that cause and effect (the suggestion that animal fat is the problem) cannot at all be demonstrated. It actually makes for poor science! It also totally destroys credibility.

Kenny
Kenny
4 years 1 month ago

……..not to mention all the GMO soy 🙁

Michelle
Michelle
4 years 1 month ago

I listened with interest up until he described the study looking at the damages from animal fat….and the study used sausage & egg mcmuffin??? Honestly, there is soooo little animal meat in there after processing and way too much trans fat and sugar that cause and effect (the suggestion that animal fat is the problem) cannot at all be demonstrated. It actually makes for poor science! It also totally destroys credibility. No wonder people are confused!

chelsea
chelsea
4 years 1 month ago

Yes, the doctor who is trying to help people and donates most of his earnings to charity is obviously a quack that reads 2000+ scientific articles a year. OBVIOUSLY. And the guys who run these websites begging you to buy crap and eat meat are in it for your health. Come on, I know you’re smarter than this.

Kenny
Kenny
4 years 1 month ago
Chelsea, I’ll take the guy with the visible agenda over the guy with the hidden agenda any day. Furthermore, I’ve done the standard US low fat/high carb diet, the strict vegan diet and the primal diet. Primal diet works best for me. Believe no one, research everything, come to YOUR OWN conclusions. Matters not how much Paul Newman Foods gives away, I still won’t eat his ‘olive oil’ dressing that lists canola oil as the first ingedient. Besides, you can do Sisson’s program without buying anything from him. All you need to know is posted on line. Yep, it’s the… Read more »
Deuce
Deuce
4 years 1 month ago
Maybe we’re not “smarter than this”, but we are “healthier than you”. Nobody is making you believe anything you don’t want to. Why are you so hellbent on throwing stones at our unassailable results? Results that destroy anything that doctor says, regardless of how much money he gives to charity? Results that by this doctor’s own system of measure embarrass the outcomes of his own prescribed nutritional course? What is that your measure of scientific proof? How much a doctor gives to charity? Are you sure he isn’t doing so to ease a guilty conscience? Come on, I know you’re… Read more »
Bek
Bek
4 years 20 days ago

The problem I think with this main stream thinking is that he is either a) getting a kickback from Monsanto, or b) doesn’t completely understand the science behind feedlot animals vs. grass fed animals. The two are not comparable, and therefore our bodies do not react the same to them. Most people eat your feed lot store bought processed meat. Part of the Paleo lifestyle is to promote grass fed, antibiotic/hormone free animals. Mark has posted on the VAST difference between the two as have other Paleo sites.

Chris Butterworth
4 years 1 month ago
I like the details behind why/how different bodies work differently. I’m in the easy fat-burning camp – lots of swim-bike-runs longer than an hour will do that to you! But this gave me a better understanding of just how hard it can be for someone who’s still in the sugar-burning phase, and what they’ll go through in their journey to being a fat-burner. To fight hunger when I’ve needed to, I’ve used: drinking water (or heavily diluted juice-water), eating carrot chips (carrots sliced big enough to be shaped like potato chips), and allowing myself one-two bites of something better –… Read more »
Graham
4 years 1 month ago

For me, there’s not much better than a few spoonfuls of my homemade guacamole when I get hungry at in inopportune time.

Of course, a high fat snack will keep you from getting hungry sooner and It’s super duper delicious.

rob
rob
4 years 1 month ago

The big challenge is to be able to switch back and forth from carb burning to fat burning at a moment’s notice merely with the power of your mind.

Anon O'mouse
Anon O'mouse
4 years 1 month ago

Can you do that? I mean, personally? If so, how?

SK
SK
4 years 1 month ago

Ha! I’m doing this RIGHT NOW.

j
j
4 years 1 month ago

smart arse

Bagwell
Bagwell
4 years 1 month ago

Great article, makes perfect sense!

Ara
Ara
4 years 1 month ago
Awesome info! I am a self-diagnosed hypoglycemic. However, when Atkins came out I ‘discovered’ that if I eat fat and protein for breakfast instead of a bagel and sugar-laden coffee, that my symptoms abated. Question: am I really hypoglycemic or is the body simply not conditioned to consume so many simple carbs? I notice that my husband who can eat bagesl, cookies, and donuts for breakfast, lunch, and dinner never suffers the low-blood sugar attacks that I experience when I eat a high-carb meal (which I never do anymore since learning of this condition). So, there must be something to… Read more »
Shary
Shary
4 years 1 month ago
There is such a thing as nutritional food types. Your husband may be more of a carbohydrate type and is therefore more able to cope with a junkfood diet without immediate ill effects. I tried going vegetarian a few years ago, having mistakenly thought it would be a healthier way to eat. It didn’t work for me AT ALL. I felt weak, tired, and just plain crappy. I was hungry constantly and literally craved red meat. I subsequently found out that I’m a strong protein nutritional type. After incorporating more protein into every meal, as well as cutting out sweets… Read more »
Carla
Carla
4 years 1 month ago

Shary,

I had the same experience when I went raw vegan back in 2007 for 9 months. I felt OK at first and quickly slipped into feeling weak, tired, horrible periods (heavy and painful), hair loss, etc.

I thought I was doing OK eating a lot of plant based proteins, but that wasn’t enough. Though I’m not a fan of red meat, I craved grass fed steak and oysters the entire time and I don’t even LIKE oysters!

Christine
Christine
4 years 1 month ago

Oysters(and other “shell” fish) are a very good source for zinc. It is also found in red meats. Zinc deficiency leads to fatigue, hair loss, slower healing etc. You were probably deficient in zinc.

Paul_S
Paul_S
4 years 1 month ago

Rare Earths Forbidden cures Drs. Joel Wallach and Ma Lan

Chromium deficiency associated with low blood sugar pg 307

Vanadium deficiency associated with hypoglycemia. pg 412

My graying hair and varicose veins are the idiot light for my copper deficiency.

There are 17 other minerals proven essential to live long and prosper. Our soils were declared deficient in 1936 and its gotten worse.

Rachel
Rachel
4 years 1 month ago

I hate how much low blood-sugar (40 – 70) makes me want to eat. I’m getting better at ignoring the mad cravings and adjusting my insulin dosages, but still, it’s more art than science. I keep fruit around the house now (apples, canned pears, strawberries) to help.

Chris
4 years 1 month ago
I am finding this too Rachel with type 1 diabetes. The trick is to slowly adjust the insulin. Having very minimal carbs during the day, makes me require drastically less long-acting insulin both night and day. It’s an accummulative effect that requires constant monitoring. I find the longer I do without carbs though, the less and less insulin I require. I know as type 1 diabetes I will always require insulin injections, but it’s amazing how eliminating carbs has been the only thing to drastically reduce the amounts. Following the recommended dietry guidelines for diabetes management was constantly putting up… Read more »
greg
greg
4 years 1 month ago
I 2nd that Chris. I’ve been type 1 for 23 years and do the following to figure our where my fasting blood sugar is. I’m personally on a long acting (Lantus, 2 injections daily, 11am and 11pm ) and a short acting (Humalog). I find that to judge what amount of long acting I try to get my blood glucose down to ‘normal’ level before I take my morning lantus injection, making sure my short acting is near it’s peak it so shouldn’t interfere/reduce your blood glusoce after you start your fast. I then fast at least til 6pm and… Read more »
Jonas
Jonas
4 years 1 month ago

Very interesting indeed. I’m a skinny guy with a pot belly and my insulin is insanely powerful. As long as I eat strict primal everything is hunky dory, but if I fall of the wagon you have to tie me down and lock me in a padded room when my blood sugar/insulin craze starts.

Erin
4 years 1 month ago

Jonas, being skinny with a pot belly is often a sign of compromised liver function, as is poor blood sugar control. Supporting your liver health might be really helpful for you.
A lipotropic liver supporting formula along with good liver detoxifying herbs would be some things to consider.

Paul_S
Paul_S
4 years 1 month ago

There are 60 minerals needed to keep our systems in tune. We pee and sweat them out every day.

Our soils are depleted so we can’t get them from our foods. I buy mine and it helps control cravings.

Rhonda the Red
Rhonda the Red
4 years 1 month ago
This post needs to go in the “Get Started” section for people struggling in the early days. I have personal experience with this kind of ravenous, unstoppable hunger and it’s a bear to fight. Looking back, I think most of mine was firmly rooted in the “sugar burning only” mode my body was in. I would literally crave bags of candy, and sometimes gave in because it was “fat free”–thanks but no thanks CW! I am part of an entire generation of women who are dying too young because of that whole low-fat, high-carb craze that made us hungry, fat,… Read more »
MissJenn
MissJenn
4 years 1 month ago

+1 on posting this in the “get started” page!

Tami
4 years 1 month ago

+2 on posting this on the Get Started Page. This was hugely helpful for me.

JLB
JLB
2 years 10 months ago

+3

Frank Sales
Frank Sales
4 years 1 month ago

Your body giving a false message can also work the other way. I went on a one week, no carb, meat only diet (Dukan) and had absolutely no appetite during it, even though I was in serious calorie deficit. What’s the biochemistry behind that?

croí
croí
4 years 1 month ago

Mark,
Can you do another post on this? I too find that I have the same problem. Sometimes going low carb, I am just not hungry at all. And yes, the don’t eat method can work, but for how long? I could go literally days of not feeling hunger.

melv
melv
4 years 1 month ago

i have the same problem…eat a meal of eggs and sausage and i could go all day and not get a hunger response.

i know i need more calories but i don’t get hungry. i’m not over weight and don’t need to lose any…why don’t some of us have an appetite? are we getting anywhere near enough nutrients when we don’t get enough calories?

BJML
BJML
4 years 1 month ago
+1 to this comment. I work 12 hour shifts as an RN; I try to eat protein/fat/berries or sauerkraut or something vegetal before work. I often won’t get a break until very late-like 4/5 pm. I have noticed that I can go all day and not feel hungry. I have also done weight lifting sessions fasting, so I think (after about 10 weeks primal) that I am fat adapted. Yet I still have questions about whether it not I should eat. One, if I don’t get a break at all, I’m eating at like 8 pm and going to bed… Read more »
tcseacliff
tcseacliff
4 years 1 month ago

I am having the same issue. I am never hungry, eat only out of habit.only egg breakfast.?? still gettign fatter by the day?

deby
deby
4 years 1 month ago

I have the same issue. In fact, after breakfast (2 eggs, veggies, meat) I am sick for hours. Not eating junk – only eating primal. Seldom hungry, not losing weight. I am forcing myself to eat and tend to get about 1500 or so cal per day.

Michelle
Michelle
4 years 1 month ago
I did a weight training diet that was very low card, protein high supposed low fat but it did include a little animal fats. It was a weight & measure thing to build muscle & lose body fat. I also had to eat the set amounts 5-6 times a day and it nearly killed me to eat the volume of food required (and i hate salad so picked the cooked veggie options instead) I lost too much weight and did not build as well as I had hoped as I just could not train enough. Prior to that I ate… Read more »
MKK
MKK
4 years 1 month ago
I have the same concern. Actually this is the reason I don’t do primal anymore – it totally and completely shut down my hunger and I became concerned that I was malnourished because my food intake was so low. With no appetite, I just couldn’t bring myself to eat that much. This went on for months (I thought if I kept with it long enough it would stop). I ended up about 10lbs underweight. It caused me to experience insomnia for the first time in my life (the insomnia hasn’t stopped even though I gave up being strictly primal nearly… Read more »
mars
mars
4 years 1 month ago

For the people who are experiencing no appetite from primal/paleo.. are you all working out regularly? Just curious.. I always work out in a fasted state (early morning) and am quite hungry afterwards.

EnglishRose
EnglishRose
4 years 1 month ago
I never have no appetite which is probaly why I’m skinny. I never get sick so never even lose it that way. I was even hungry giving birth. This is so whether I eat “clean”, whether I give up brown carb and eat primal or whatever. Even when I have very stressful days abroad giving 7 hour talks to stranges in obscure countries when you’d think nerves might play apart… I still want food. I look on with jealousy at the people who lose appetite but perhaps I just have an efficient body and should be grateful for it. What… Read more »
Eytan
Eytan
4 years 1 month ago

I never had a real issue with hunger, but I found that increasing my fruit intake increased my appetite. I could eat a lot more meat in one sitting when I had fruit in my diet, then when I took it out.

Food for thought.

Lizzy
Lizzy
4 years 1 month ago

What exactly have you been eating? Are you confusing primal with low carb? Because you can eat carbs and still be primal (sweet potato for example).

Anne
Anne
4 years 1 month ago

I just finished a Whole 30 and this was my experience throughout. No appetite or, worse, nausea but never real hunger.

Imogen
4 years 1 month ago
I would also love a response to this. I have the opposite issue. I have never been a high-carb-er, have difficulty eating enough, not too much. I just started eating a potato in the evenings because I have been very-low-carb-ing for a long time but not deliberately. If I don’t pay attention, I will eat between 15 and 35g of carbs a day. It takes effort to add in enough carbs to keep me from starvation-mode symptoms like hair-loss, low thyroid and adrenal exhaustion and the ridiculously long list of symptoms that go with that. I breastfeed as well, and… Read more »
j
j
4 years 1 month ago

imogen – thank you for linking and sharing. I’ve been avoiding the MDA for a few months because the seesaw of my experience was on one hand, great (lost weight, gained energy) but some other effects I was stumped by. Distressed by actually.

But Stefani’s blog looks fascinating. Thanks!

Stefani
4 years 17 days ago

Hi there! Please come by our community if you think it would help! We’ve got lots of self-love and health and nourishment on our minds, and would be happy to welcome you. 🙂

Anne
4 years 1 month ago

As someone who’s struggled with hypoglycemia, I appreciate these points. And thanks so much for pointing out that sleep deprivation screws with your body’s signals. I have a hard time remembering that when my cravings get out-of-whack.

Beth
Beth
4 years 1 month ago

Wonderful article!! I read it a few times to let it all soak in…Can’t wait to share this information!!

Happycyclegirl
Happycyclegirl
4 years 1 month ago

Ok, the Sour Patch Kids reference made me laugh. Wasn’t I just thinking about eating something sweet like that?

I ended up making a Blue Mango green tea instead.

Not quite the same, but certainly loads better for me than candy.

Lea
Lea
4 years 1 month ago

For myself, whenever I feel an intense craving strike, the first thing I do is think about what I have eaten in the last couple of days. More often than not, I’ve left something vital out. I only stock my refrigerator and cupboards with Primal foods, so lucky, the worst I can do is go on a black berry or almond butter bender for a few minutes. 😉

Scott
Scott
4 years 1 month ago

^ So true. If you think ahead even when the worst happens its not all that bad. I mean berries and almond butter are fairly self limiting in their own right.

jake3_14
jake3_14
4 years 1 month ago
Be careful with the almond butter. Like most nuts, almonds are high in inflammatory O-6 fats. Just 1 T of the almond butter has 1.9g of O-6 fats. No one knows exactly what a healthy amount of O-6 is to eat, but it’s a fact that in the 1930’s, Americans ate about 15g of O-6 fats daily, and there wasn’t yet an epidemic of inflammation-based diseases (arthritis, heart attacks, certain cancers). The O6:O3 ratio in the 1930’s was already 8.4:1, while our Neolithic ancestors ate a 1:1 ratio, as far as we can tell. Given that we were probably born… Read more »
Paleo Bon Rurgundy
4 years 1 month ago

Eat a tasty meal and sleep? Twist my arm why dontcha!

Groktimus Primal
4 years 1 month ago

I think you need to copyright “Big Ass Salad” 🙂

Nancy
Nancy
4 years 1 month ago

I was thinking the same thing 🙂

Stormi
Stormi
4 years 1 month ago

It is amazingly powerful to know how to listen to your body! I’ve experienced the hypoglycemia and cravings since I have PCOS. Going primal has allowed me to listen to my body and begin healing myself. This has been one of the most important changes I have made in my life and cannot imagine gong back to a SAD diet or lifestyle.

leida
leida
4 years 1 month ago

Lots and lots of protein. Fat does not satiate me at all. Also, avoiding at all costs combining carb and fat. That’s a recipe for eating twice as much as lean protein and carb. I really, really tried with fat, but just like sugar, it is a caloric no return nutrient for me. I feel the best on meats without added fat, skim dairy and no sugars (no fruit as well), but eventually I get depressed.

Tom B-D
Tom B-D
4 years 1 month ago

I won’t go as far as what you say, but I found when I upped my protein intake, it seemed to get me to satiety more decisively. My protein intake actually was a bit below what PB recommends and I didn’t realize until I tracked for a while.

The other thing along with lack of sleep is too much stress. I got some bad news today and found myself reaching for chocolate and more chocolate…

Kristin
4 years 1 month ago
So important…sometimes I slip up and my body DEFINITELY lets me know it isn’t ok…I get really grumpy with gluten, my gut nearly blew up after snacking on some quesedilla’s the other day and other lovely side effects…oh and my 3yo goes CRAZY with gluten. My biggest challenge, is definitely the sleep…which is an issue that is caused at least in part by too much coffee in the morning … but my competing commitment is to be awake and present for my three kids and it just feels like a need so much of the time. Working on making enough… Read more »
Angela
Angela
4 years 1 month ago

Cook bacon in the oven (400 about 10-15 minutes) comes out perfect and no flipping required. Much easier when dealing with young wigglers. 🙂

Roberta Saum
4 years 1 month ago

Oh I love cooking bacon in the oven. We actually cook a whole pound or two that way (organic and no nitrates), store it in the fridge, and then heat it up as needed in a small convection oven (with a heater/fan in the lid). The Pyrex baking pan has to be soaked which is why I like to cook a big batch. We got rid of the microwave years ago.

rabbit_trail
rabbit_trail
4 years 1 month ago

Oh, I am so with you with having little ones and truly needing coffee. I’m drinking it right now, and it’s four in the afternoon here. I figure, I do what I can. I’ve got the food down, I’m getting there with the exercise and stress reduction. I’ll get there with the caffeine someday.

jake3_14
jake3_14
4 years 1 month ago

I sympathize on the sleep issue. I have the stress of long-term unemployment (10 mo.s and counting), and getting a full night of sleep has eluded me for months. My food is OK during the day, but come the evening, I’m prone to grazing. It’s been mostly paleo foods, and I’m grateful I haven’t packed on the pounds.

onewomanband
onewomanband
4 years 1 month ago

If I listened to my body I would lie in bed and eat bonbons all day.

rabbit_trail
rabbit_trail
4 years 1 month ago

Me too, except make that cheetos and chocolate frosting.

greenruby
greenruby
4 years 1 month ago

I know THAT feeling!!!!

Kitty
Kitty
4 years 1 month ago

Absolutely! Except for me I’d be in the contradictory situation of lying in bed, trying to sleep while guzzling yummy hot coffee!

Greta Blamire
Greta Blamire
4 years 1 month ago

Oh yeah.

LESLIE
LESLIE
4 years 1 month ago

+1 completely.

fitmom
fitmom
4 years 1 month ago

There are other hormones in play re: appetite, at least for us ladies.

I have at least one PMS day a month where I have to just ignore my body, because I get no satiety signals at ALL.

Dena
Dena
4 years 1 month ago

Yep!

DeeDee
DeeDee
4 years 1 month ago

I’m the same. Between one and four days each month, and it’s torture. Absolutely miserable unending hunger.

MissJenn
MissJenn
4 years 1 month ago

Me too!

Erok
Erok
4 years 1 month ago

My wife gets that day, too. We call it ‘steak day’. I use it as an excuse to go wild (paleo wild!) in the kitchen, making comfort foods, as well as trying out new creations. I basically don’t stop feeding her until she tells me to stop, or until I pass out.

mab
mab
4 years 1 month ago

You are a good man, Erok!

greenruby
greenruby
4 years 1 month ago

How sweet!

Bex
Bex
4 years 1 month ago

You are the man Erok!!
! Made me laugh out loud.

Tansy
Tansy
4 years 1 month ago

Erok, How do you feel about renting yourself out as a chef for paleo women, one or two days a month? Think we are all jealous of your wife!

Angela
Angela
4 years 1 month ago

Me, too!

Nicole
Nicole
4 years 1 month ago

Me too! For a solid week before the day, ALL I want to do is eat. And eat. All Primal stuff, because I am now happily creeping up on 4 months Primal, but STILL. I listen to the hunger to a point, but if I didn’t put on the brakes, I’d eat instead of sleep.

LESLIE
LESLIE
4 years 1 month ago

1 REALLY, you are so blessed. I have a week!

Rob
Rob
4 years 1 month ago

Wow! Great article there today .. I learned a lot and there is much about this that I need to get in my Primal Game. Thanks Mark!

Andrea
Andrea
4 years 1 month ago
I really appreciate how the last two MDA posts are about how paleo eating in itself is not always the perfect or final answer. Health benefits ensue even if weight loss does not, but for many insulin resistant people (including me) paleo is not panacea for weight loss. Understanding that carb cycling may be required, that estrogen loss along with fat loss can upset the hormonal balance for some time, and that cravings can still crop up even when a person is 100% compliant over a significant period of time (among other things), is necessary to get past the plateaus… Read more »
Anthony
Anthony
4 years 1 month ago
Most of us didn’t start our life eating this way, otherwise things such as sugar or grain cravings may not be an issue at all. We all bring a varied history into this life change and sometimes this history comes back to haunt us, in the way of cravings and temptations. If you never ate chocolate in your life, why would you be tempted to eat it, or crave it? Paleo/Primal is not supposed to be the “answer” to or for everything. But I can’t help noticing in my life, and others who comment here, the more they follow it,… Read more »
Becky
Becky
4 years 1 month ago
Two generations here to speak to this, Anthony! I raised my daughters with no sugar (besides the stuff in foods, because we didn’t know better in the 80’s), and only when they got into school were they introduced to it. And not by me! I wasn’t aware of grain issues and the rest until about five years ago. Point is: my girls never asked for cakes, donuts, etc. because they never had them. When I baked, I used honey, and it tended to be veggie breads and cookies with (shudder) unbleached, whole wheat flour. After they were exposed to the… Read more »
Alison Golden
4 years 1 month ago

I tend not to eat enough and have to constantly make sure I keep my intake up, especially greens so many of these points resonated with me.

I got so sick of hearing the ‘listen to your body’ mantra that so many people spout as justification for eating a brownie that once I told someone ‘yeah, like a addict’s body tells her to crave heroin. I don’t think so.’ We have to be informed and so conscious of what we eat if we are to remain healthy in this non-primal world.

Graham
4 years 1 month ago

‘yeah, like a addict’s body tells her to crave heroin. I don’t think so.’

perfect! I always want to say just because you want it, doesn’t mean your body is needing it!

Julie
Julie
4 years 1 month ago

Ok, I get what’s being said. I’m insulin resistant and I’ve been eating primal for 18 months and seeing a looooong, sloooowww improvement in my insulin and blood sugar levels. Cravings have gone way down. The problem I now have is craving fat. Just gave up dairy 3 days ago because I was abusing butter (grass-fed) and cream because I craved it all the time. What does this mean because I have no idea!

Jennn
Jennn
4 years 1 month ago

Love how you admit “abusing” butter and cream. I was there too. Finally cut it out a couple weeks ago. My skin had gotten better without it and worse with it. Now it’s better again. Can’t help you with your cravings but I do sympathize. I simply feel like eating most of the time. That’s how i got fat in the first place. Don’t know where I fit as far as insulin sensitivity goes, but I do know I have to count calories to not gain weight. Blasphemy, I know. Paleo 1 year. Good luck.

mars
mars
4 years 1 month ago

Counting calories is NOT blasphemy! I track EVERYTHING I eat on my phone with an app. Not only to keep calories in check, but also fat/protein/carb grams and fiber, sugars, sodium and vitamins. Just because we’re primal/paleo doesn’t mean we can’t overeat. I’m only 5’2″ so I don’t have a lot of “room” to overeat! Also, there is such a thing as too much fat and protein…

Nicole
Nicole
4 years 1 month ago

I track, as well! I like to make sure I am getting enough protein, and I’ve learned that my calorie count matters, too.

I abuse berries in heavy cream. Put on 3 lbs last week. I realized where my error was (sadly, but thanks to my app) and I have 2 down, and one to go.

Roberta Saum
4 years 1 month ago

I totally agree. Eating too much “good” food does not help a bit. Eating the right amount, having discipline, and giving yourself a break from food is good. My doctor had me stop eating processed sugar years ago because of adrenal fatigue and insulin resistance and I’ve felt great ever since. I’ve never been a fast food or snack eater so I’m not even tempted by that stuff. I LOVE simple home prepared food. I grew up on it and it’s stuck with me for 51 years 🙂

Stéphane
Stéphane
4 years 1 month ago

Agree -counting calories is not bad -unless that’s a real chore for you. I’m a total data hound… it makes me happy to enter what I ate, the exercise I’ve performed… my weight, in CRONoMETER (great web-based program)… and look at several weeks’ worth of data. You can extrapolate so much! What’s missing? Where did I go overboard? I was really crabby that day -what did I eat? What nutrient is missing? Fascinating. But my wife, for example, could’t be bothered, so I get it.

Lal Beral
Lal Beral
4 years 1 month ago

Maybe it is not fat, but dairy. I went through a period of serious cream and butter cravings. I could easily drink 2 cups of cream at a sitting and want more. I cut out dairy and switched to coconut oil and grass-fed tallow. Delicious, but I don’t CRAVE it like I do the dairy. There’s something special about dairy!

Clark
Clark
4 years 1 month ago

Sounds like a lactose or casein allergy-addiction.

Annakay
Annakay
4 years 1 month ago

Like you I just love double (heavy) cream. I can drink it from the carton and butter is delicious with lots of things. Unfortunately I have come to the conclusion that I will have to give them up.

Diane
Diane
4 years 1 month ago
While driving cross country I had time to observe what happens after I eat something. I ate only food I brought myself, and it was all low carbohydrate fare like pemmican or lettuce wraps. I kept the food in the back of my truck so I could only eat when I stopped for gas. Usually an hour or so after eating I would get really hungry for a while. Then it would subside. I wonder if that is reactive hypoglycemia? I’m finding that I’m fighting hunger right this minute and it’s about two hours after breakfast. Breakfast was meat and… Read more »
Carrie
Carrie
4 years 1 month ago

I find that, if I am eating enough fat with every meal, drinking a glass of water afterward staves off hunger. I feel like my body is telling me it needs water to process everything. That’s just me though!

Liz
Liz
4 years 1 month ago

the same thing is happening to me where I get oddly hungry about 2 hours after a meal. At first I thought it was because my meal was too small but even with a BIG meal it still happened and I’d be spooning almond butter into my mouth. Not a good way to loose weight, perhaps I’ll try and tough it out, and then feel satisfied once I start to digest. I think this may be the case since the hunger wanes off later for me as well.

jake3_14
jake3_14
4 years 1 month ago

I second the extra water protocol. My foods have a lot of water naturally (except the meats), so it’s easy to not drink enough with a meal. I make sure to get 1C of water down in the hour after the meal, and it’s helped with the post-meal hunger, both immediate and at the 1-2-hour mark. But like Diane, I have reactive hypoglycemia, and sometimes, chewing on two sticks of SF gum is the only way to cope.

Sarah
Sarah
4 years 1 month ago

Another time I’ve noticed ‘fake’ hunger is when quitting smoking. I’ve heard many stories of withdrawal symptoms being mistaken for hunger.

Ryan
Ryan
4 years 1 month ago

Help – hey guys, does anyone ever have the feeling after they eat that they’re never truly full? I’ve been eating Paleo for a while but occasionally (weekends) binge to get that feeling of satisfaction. It’s usually high carb crap and sweets. I can’t seem to kick it…which just isn’t me. Anyone else go through anything similar? I’d love to get over the hump!

Nicole
Nicole
4 years 1 month ago
I understand to a point. I find that (family) BBQs are the place where my satiated button gets lost. I’ll eat until I think I look like a glutton getting up to get more. Sometimes that’s on my 4th trip to the grill. I am not proud, but I’ve accepted this flaw, and my only solace is that everything I eat is still Primal. It must be due to my years-long habit of being very good during the week and being an animal on the weekends. Perhaps if you tried filling up (I cannot in good conscience suggest binging) on… Read more »
kimmypoo
kimmypoo
4 years 1 month ago

That’s totally me! If anyone has any ideas how to get over that, I’d love to hear’em.

Kamran
Kamran
4 years 1 month ago

I’ll be careful about listening to cravings when it comes to fast food/junk food.

But I have experienced good things after eating a pizza, or getting wings laden in HFCS hot sauce when I really felt I wanted it. The cravings to eat these things again are minimal for me fortunately. The bready parts didn’t do anything for me, and I had no desire to eat any more of it, which was cool.

Nathan
Nathan
4 years 1 month ago

Great read! I’ll be sharing this with everyone with whom I’ve been trying to explain the importance of understanding insulin.

Emily Mekeel
Emily Mekeel
4 years 1 month ago
I used to have really bad reactive hypoglycemia and now, even if I carb binge, I don’t get that problem and here’s why: Generally each day I stay in ketosis and I also do CrossFit. Breakfast is normally eggs/meat; post workout is normally a protein shake with almond milk; lunch is cold meats, cheese, olives, nuts/coconut; dinner is something meaty or very similar to lunch. When I stay in ketosis for more than three days, I see my satiety go WAY UP (as in I can’t make myself eat sometimes) and then if I have a high carb day, I… Read more »
JpGrok
JpGrok
4 years 1 month ago

After nearly two years of being primal and not really seeing much change in body fat (naturally skinny guy, slightly high body fat 18-19%) I have finally worked out that having a carb binge once or twice a week (after a big workout) makes all the difference. Hunger comes back, body fat goes down.

Your comment, “Alright, back to fat” is spot on. Low carb is great, but a carb refeed every now and then seems to reset the system.

Lorraine
Lorraine
4 years 1 month ago
Hi. Just read today’s post and the part about feeling faint because of low blood sugar jumped out at me. I’ve been pretty primal for a couple of years and have lost all the weight I gained eating low fat for years. My weight has been stable for about two years now and suddenly the scales are creeping up and I have been having moments where I get dizzy and almost pass out. Its scary. Makes me wonder if for some reason I have quit burning fat as fuel. The only changes I have made recently have been to cut… Read more »
Tina
Tina
4 years 1 month ago
Hey Lorraine, I don’t have a great answer for you except to note that if I overeat on fat, the scale starts creeping upwards. Have you tried intermittent fasting? Probably not a good idea if you’re having any dizzy spells, as Mark says, but you may want to try it. If you hate the idea of skipping a meal, you may not be fat-adapted yet. (This coming from a person who never thought skipping a meal was possible until a few months ago.) Maybe cutting back on the rice has stimulated some systemic changes that will hopefully be temporary. I… Read more »
Gene
Gene
4 years 1 month ago
Mark,long term reader, first time responder here. Long story short, we switched as a family to traditional/primal eating about two years ago (we eat a high calorie diet of 60-75% clean saturated fat, 15-20% protein, lots of veggies and few carbs) We experienced the amazing benefits of being fat burners rather than sugar burners long before we had ever heard of the concept. What you say here is true. No doubt. We quickly and easily lost a ton of fat, headaches and sickness disapeared, easily put on lean mass, felt SOOO much better, got control of our appetites and cravings… Read more »
jess
jess
4 years 1 month ago
I have been a very serious low-carber for years now and have had the same issue with feeling dizzy and feeling like I’m going to pass out. When your body gets low on fluid (low-insulin due to low-carb intake will cause you to hold on to far less fluid), you get dehydrated and don’t even know it. When this happens your blood pressure can get low and you will have issues like you’re talking about. Check your heart rate when this happens and see if it goes up. if it does, your body may be trying to compensate for low… Read more »
Kris
Kris
4 years 1 month ago
Pardon me for bringing up a sensitive subject, ladies, but I’m genuinely curious about primal women’s experiences here (or anyone with any insight as to the biology or anthropology of it). Every month during my wife’s period she develops an absolutely insatiable appetite. She simply cannot get full, she says. And it’s always for carbs – pizza, french fries, chocolate, cake, etc. So she can be “good” the rest of the month, but for one week she has seemingly no control over what and how much she eats. I mean, I guess she does, technically, but she says it’s really… Read more »
Abby
Abby
4 years 1 month ago
I’m a primal woman for over a year now and. However, after a few years of learning how my body works and balancing out my hormones, I personally don’t food craving like your wife during my period. If your wife is eating pizza fries etc, and I say this from my heart, she is not being primal just yet. And I believe Mark talks in the most recent blog about listening to your body. Sometimes people think hunger means more carbs or more food. Not always the case. When I did more supplementation and got the proper protein / carb… Read more »
Mary Anne
Mary Anne
4 years 1 month ago

Abby, this is a beautiful, thoughtful, and kind post. Thank you so much. I hope readers will take this to heart and practice the patience and practice you advise. For myself and my friend, we noticed the need for very high quality protein and alot of it; grass fed beef, pastured eggs; and tons of greens.

junebug
junebug
4 years 1 month ago
Yep, I always know when it’s about to be my time because I have intense cravings for sweets and chips (not sure if the latter is for the salt or the carbs) whereas I can go the whole rest of the month not craving either. As far as why, perhaps it’s because your body is expending energy shedding it’s lining so it wants to replace it as quickly as possible? Or it wants a boost of energy to start production on the next nutrient-rich one? Or it wants you to “bulk up” now so you have plenty of energy to… Read more »
Ava
Ava
4 years 1 month ago
During the luteal phase of a woman’s cycle, the body is preparing for egg implantation/pregnancy. While the body increases energy expenditure during this time, it also frequently demands more food (often carbs). There are biologial reasons for this — if there is a fertilized egg that gets implanted during this phase, the body is going to need all that extra energy to start growing that egg into a person. And you cannot assume that just because there is a period that there isn’t also a pregnancy — they are not always mutually exclusive, despite any mansplaining to the contrary. The… Read more »
Ara
Ara
4 years 1 month ago

Since the topic came up, I’ve noticed that my last 2 cycles have increased from 28 days (always like clock-work) to 35 days and then 42 days. I’ve been primal for only about 10 weeks. Is it the diet or is it coincidental? I’m 44 years old and have never given birth. My sister told me that not having children can cause early menopause. Thanks!

Diane
Diane
4 years 1 month ago
This has not really ever been my experience. Yes, there are times of the month when I’m a lot more hungry and times when I’m less hungry, but I’ve never felt driven to eat chocolate cake or other similar female binge foods. I therefore can’t advise from any real experience, but it might be worth it to NOT give in to such cravings and instead choose primal foods and see if that helps at all. As far as getting support from her female friends, I’ve noticed when a group of women get together they’re all really supportive toward each other… Read more »
Rokzane
Rokzane
4 years 1 month ago

It’s the hormonal flux each month that increases hunger and causes cravings. One option for your wife is for her to visit a bio-available hormone center to have a complete hormone panel done. She could be deficient in one hormone or have too much of another. They can help correct the imbalance, and in turn it will help to regulate her appetite and her moods during her monthly cycle. Hormone fluxes can start in the mid-30s. It’s very common.

Lauren
4 years 1 month ago

I think mark once did a Q&A (although, my bad, it could have been Robb Wolf) in which a connection between carbs and seratonin was made, relevant to hormone balance a certain points in the cycle.

Stacie
4 years 1 month ago
Personally, I think a lot of this is psychological, but some of it is hormonal. I’ve been there, when my stomach just feels like an empty pit. I’ve been primal for the last 3 months, and the first two months followed it to a T. I didn’t experience the weird cravings and the insatiable appetite those two months. The third month I fell of the wagon so to speak, and bam, the week before Aunt Flow I had a terribly difficult time not downing a loaf of bread and an entire pizza (hyperbole, but you get the point). Now, was… Read more »
Carla
Carla
4 years 1 month ago

This used to happen to me. Not so much the overeating part, but the carbs and sugar cravings. Once I stopped eating that way and got over the hump, I don’t experience that anymore.

I do have chocolate cravings, but I only eat dark, dark chocolate (80%+) or a certain brand of dark chocolate sweetened with stevia if I am really desperate.

I do tend to eat more greens because I tend to have low iron so my body craves that which is a good thing.

Nicole
Nicole
4 years 1 month ago
I remember Mark once posting something along these lines, I always remembered if I felt like I “needed” carbs it was just my silly body. I do, however, eat like an animal a week before my period. I am just HUNGRY, and always tend to eat more. I went on a dark chocolate spree once, and did not stop until I felt ill. That did it for me, and it was the last time I tried to stave of the insane hunger with chocolate. I just up the good stuff. I’ll up my dinner portions or eat more red meat… Read more »
Kris
Kris
4 years 1 month ago
Thanks everyone, for the great insights and for sharing your experiences. It sounds like we’re both kinda right – it’s a common though not universal reaction, that gets better for most women the cleaner their diet is. Pushing her to do stuff never works, especially with regards to diet, so as suggested I will just support her and hopefully she’ll figure it out one day. I would give her some grief before because of the unhealthy choices, but it just made her mad. A big part of it was just astonishment that she could really eat that much. I’d be… Read more »
shrimp4me
shrimp4me
2 years 11 months ago

Has to do w/ progesterone levels and how they affect basal metabolism–a woman’s BMR can be as much as 400 cals/day higher at end of cycle compared to the middle at ovulation time. A PMSing body is actually demending more calories–almost NOBODY knows about this. I believe it’s a survival mechanism–high progesterone levels during pregnancy would help make sure that mom and baby got enough to eat.

SHAMROCK
SHAMROCK
4 years 1 month ago

Everyone has an all powerful “Force” within them. For example, we have decided to forgo yohgurt before bed. So far so good, but after awhile we are in the dairy dept buying milk and the “Force” takes over, we go on autopilot, and drift toward the yoghurt…..not the nonfat stuff but the 300/cal super yummy yoplaits. Once the “Force” is with us we are next driven to the chip section….and on it goes.

Marcela
4 years 1 month ago
I had amazing success with Paleo for several months, until my period stopped and I went into a downward spiral of ice cream, cookies and whole baguettes drenched in olive oil. With a lot of the weight back, impossible cravings and a gluten belly, I am less and less a believer of the “all in moderation” statement. If some people can do it, great for them, but it is scary when I can go through a pound of cake with 80g of butter after dinner and ice cream. I am sure now that whole foods are the best I can… Read more »
Sally
Sally
4 years 1 month ago

I gave up dairy a month ago as I wasn’t getting the raw good stuff (just regular organic) and I was concerned about the eostrogen content.
I get bad PMS and thought it might help.
Maybe I’m being impatient but after a month without dairy I now have PMS WORSE THAN EVER! Cravings galore that I just can’t ignore! And I’ve been doing so well eating clean and primal for well over a coule of months most of the time.
I despair with this curse! I really thought cleaning up my diet would help but it just hasn’t at all : (

Tania
Tania
4 years 1 month ago

Hi Sally, if you have given up dairy have you replaced the fat you were usually getting when consuming dairy? I find that a few days before & during I need to up my fat quite considerably otherwise I suffer terribly too. I am dairy intolerant so I rely on coconut oil & avocados to reduce PMS. Just a thought.

Sara
Sara
4 years 1 month ago

Calcium is really important for preventing or helping PMS.

Carrie
Carrie
4 years 1 month ago

“When you are compelled to eat junk, don’t listen to your body. Eat something Primal, something nourishing, something that approximates what you’re craving only using real food.”

This is exactly what I do, and it feels SO much better than stuffing my face with oreos or ice cream.

Chet
Chet
4 years 1 month ago

Finally someone has put this important way the body functions (or malfunctions) into a logical, concise read. Great job, Mark and thanks so much!

Chet in Buffalo

Matt
Matt
4 years 1 month ago
The other night with Diners, Drive-ins & Dives on, the dude was eating a bacon chili burger. A big ass one. My wife looked at me and said, I want that burger. We have both been primal for a solid 7 months or so and I said I will think of something. She went out for a bit and when she came home I had prepared a big ass salad with a big ass Bison burger, topped with uncured bacon, avocado slices and a fried over-easy egg. Drizzle some olive oil and balsamic vinegar on it all and it hit… Read more »
Kitty
Kitty
4 years 1 month ago

I’ll be around for dinner tonight.

Ryan
Ryan
4 years 1 month ago

Definitely still a “sugar-burner,” and my lack of total adherence to the paleolithic diet is to blame. Even after I’ve eaten, I still have this underlying hunger that seems to only be satisfied by grains/carbs. I am athletic and slim, but I sputter out quickly after ~30min of endurance exercise and my sleep hasn’t been good.

Long story short… I need to kick it into gear and follow the paleo guidelines, ie – stop making excuses.

Best,
Ryan

Liz
Liz
4 years 1 month ago
I had this problem at first an I got over it and went totally primal (about 2 months now lost almost 15lbs!) by babying myself with foods that I never used to allow myself to eat because I thought they were bad for me. Example: a whole pound of Applegate farms bacon with guacamole to dip it in. massive omelets with tomatoes and onions. And steak, ribs, even Mongolian BBQ if you bring your own oil. I love eating like this but in hte past I though fat was so bad for me that I never ate more than maybe… Read more »
mars
mars
4 years 1 month ago

A pound of bacon isn’t good for anybody.

Teri Pittman
Teri Pittman
4 years 1 month ago

I find that I usually feel hungry when my energy is low. I try and eat high protein at that time and it does seem to help. For the guy that never seems full, I’d recommend that you try baking with almond flour. I’ve found almond flour products to be very filling. I use the Paleo Breakfast Bread recipe for our treat on the weekends. And, I have made an almond flour birthday cake. It was the first cake I’ve made where you could not eat more than one slice. You were just too full to have more.

Tina
Tina
4 years 1 month ago

This was me 50lbs ago. Listening to a body that was lying to itself. I feel certain that I have become fat-adapted as a result of going Primal. It has made such a difference in my life. I’m no longer a slave to constant hunger! A benefit I did not know I would receive when changing to what just seemed like a healthier, more logical lifestyle. How about the role of leptin in all this?

Thanks for this post. I will be sending it to friends who are in the miserable insulin-resistant boat.

Jeffrey of Troy
4 years 1 month ago

Also.. When you’re deficient in one or more vitamin or mineral (which most Americans are).

Chris
Chris
4 years 1 month ago

Ok, this is a burning question of mine I haven’t been able to find the answer to. I know there’s a big, “it depends”. What I’m curious about is: does anyone have any numbers for the amount of glucose burned during different types of exercise? How about glycogen?

Thanks!

Jenni
4 years 1 month ago
I wonder if nursing is another reason why the body is holding onto excess fat? I’m about 70 lbs overweight and we started eating primal last summer, I got pregnant shortly thereafter and we continued eating primally through the pregnancy. I only gained 12 lbs and after the baby was born, I had lost 12 so back to my pre-pregnancy weight. We are back on track now, after the recovery of a difficult birth (baby is almost 2 months). But the scale stays the same. I’m not gaining, but I’m also not losing, and I’ve been really hungry even though… Read more »
Sarah
Sarah
4 years 1 month ago

Have you read this page? http://www.marksdailyapple.com/nursing-primal-blueprint-diet/#axzz22Jwph7cZ

I’ve never nursed, but a lot of it really makes sense. I would say not to push yourself too hard until you are done nursing.

Heather
Heather
4 years 1 month ago

You do need a lot more calories while nursing an infant. If you are hungry – EAT. Just make sure it is healthy, primal food.

Lauren
4 years 1 month ago

Check out Primal Parents. They also have a recipe for grain-free nursing cookies. You need about 700 extra calories a day when nursing (not that it does me any good to know that, since I have no idea how many calories I’m eating, ever), especially fats, so there is some reason to be hungry while nursing. And it is widely reported that the body does not let go of the last few pounds (particularly hip and thigh fat, high in “brain fats”) as long as you’ve got a nurseling.

Kristen
Kristen
4 years 1 month ago
congrats on your new baby & good for you for breastfeeding! Babies need lots of calories/protein/fats from breastmilk & your body works very hard to keep up a good supply. Eat healthy food whenever you truly feel hungery during this time in your life- your baby’s brain & immune system are still developing & you want to be sure that you are providing the best. I’m still bf my 2.5 yr old & even though we’re down to only 3 feedings (before bed, 1x in night, & upon waking)I have found my weight loss to totally stall about 10lbs over,… Read more »
KarenJ
KarenJ
4 years 1 month ago

I stopped eating the sugar/carbs and the hunger subsided. But if I eat a little bit of sugar, it’s like I have to start all over again. That’s frustrating! But when not eating sugar or carbs, I don’t get any cravings at all and that’s cool!

Jason Harrison
Jason Harrison
4 years 1 month ago
I don’t think I’ve seen the answers to these questions yet, and this post seems appropriately relevant: How would you know if your muscles were fat or sugar burning? There is enough glycogen stored to get a marathon runner to the 20 mile mark of the 26 mile run, at which point they would bonk/ crash if they couldn’t draw on fat stores. However, running a marathon to test the fat/sugar burning of ones muscles seems to be a rather crude test. Especially for those of us who can’t run. Certainly if I eat only steamed potatoes, with no added… Read more »
EnglishRose
EnglishRose
4 years 1 month ago
I have had a very good start this time round with eating this way and felt so so much better until yesterday. Then ate 1000 calories of almonds and then today tonight had to buy some 70% chocolate 100g just to keep going. I was never ever going to get above 126 pounds again and it’s crept up to 148. I don’t feel right, clothes look awful, don’t feel sexy. I felt wonderful when I changed how I ate and I must make it last but it’s hard. My two new (large size) dresses arrived yesterday and they just look… Read more »
Jewels
Jewels
4 years 1 month ago
I am an insulin dependent diabetic and struggled with maintaining level blood sugars. I was on a blood sugar roller coaster!! This was before going primal!!! I am starting my 9th week of my new lifestyle and have “normalized” my blood sugars!! I have not had to take my fast acting insulin since beginning and cut my long acting insulin in more than half!!! My average glucose since starting is 107!! I feel soo much better and can’t imagine going back to eating SAD!! My body is functioning how it was created to function!! I do listen to my body… Read more »
Heather
Heather
4 years 1 month ago

Great post. I’d love to see more along these lines.

I have Addison’s disease and as a result, very messed up hormones. I’ve read lately that cortisol is necessary for converting stored fat into energy – and with my impaired production of cortisol I’m wondering if that contributes to my near constant hunger – I can eat and eat and eat and rarely feel full. I find that I need more carbs to just keep up my energy some days

nic
nic
4 years 1 month ago

Love primal, still pretty much a newbie (6 months). Been able to Intermittent Fast quite well and hunger is not much of a problem so I hope that I am burning fat, although the scales are not showing it. I do not lose weight easily at all. Interesting thing is that even when I try very hard to get into ketosis, I can’t seem to make to happen. What does that mean?

wpDiscuz