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What am I doing wrong?

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Hello all! I'm a paleo newb who is struggling with hunger. Thank you for giving this a read!


So I started a paleo ISH diet this week. I feel I am eating a ton yet get hungry quickly. I previously lost 75 lbs so I dont think my issue is an adjustment to healthy eating. I try to eat nutritious foods and when I add the calories up I wonder why I am hungry... for background I am a 180 lb girl in her 20s who is trying to lose weight. I go to the gym four days a week. The exception being this week due to exams. I know I get a lot of veg. Probably a whole bag of spinach a day plus carrots, peas, mushrooms, avocado. For fruit usually a larabar or pb and dates AND either two banana or one and some berries. I don't see how I can lose weight going like this...


Today I ate 

a bit of quinoa (maybe a serving), a chicken thigh I cooked in oil with seasoning, mushrooms, carrots, peas, with a touch of French dressing (I know... processed) on top.


Then I made an omelet of two eggs, ham and bacon (like 160 cal of bacon and then ham too), cooked in butter, mushrooms, spinach, feta, half an avocado.


I was hungry so I kept drinking water. Then two coffee with some whole milk and a lara bar. 


Then for dinner I had a smoothie. This old jacked guy at the gym told me to add protein powder so I don't get hungry. It had two bananas, peanut butter, a ton of spinach, like half a serving Bob's Red Mill protein powder, unsweetened almond milk. Drank it up. And a mug of tea. 


A couple hours later and I was RAVENOUS. I couldn't focus on my studies. I tried drinking water... so I went home and just polished off a hugeeeeee steak. It was like .25 kg. I cooked it in olive oil and butter. 


I'm trying to eat less processed foods. I know ham and bacon aren't good. The foods I eat are not grass fed because 1) not available near me 2) im a uni student... usuallly too pricey.


I feel like when I add my calories up, I should be full. But then I get hungry and pork out. It's only been four days but look what I did to that steak hahah


I'm thinking my breakfast was 400. My lunch was probably like 600. My snack was like 300. My smoothie dinner was like 550. My second dinner was probably like 650 calories or more... This is a total of 2500 calories in ONE day. Am I not eating enough of some nutrient? 


Advice please!! 



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If you're trying to lose weight, you will experience hunger sometimes.  That's normal, especially if you are obese and have a history of "yo-yo dieting" (way up, way down, way up again). Your body is used to eating a lot and it doesn't want to stop.


Additionally, if you are cutting grain and starch, as you will on a paleo diet, you may experience more hungry feelings than usual until your body adjusts to a lower carb intake.


WIth that said.... given your health history, if your ravenous feeling doesn't go away after a few days of paleo, then I would consult a doctor if I were you.  You might have a hormone imbalance or some other health issue that causes extreme hunger.

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Hey! Thank you for the response. I don't have a history of yoyo dieting. I lost the weight and have kept it off for probably 4 years. Granted, I had feebly tried and not stuck with it before my success. Having said that, I think my body has gotten used to healthy eating. I think what helped me lose the initial 75 lbs was the dramatic shift. My body was probably like yesss thank god spinach... My goal is to lose 20 pounds and get to 160. I am just confused because people seem to never count calories and eat a ton on this diet and lose weight? How in the world is that? Can I ask, how my food choices look to you? I'm waiting to weigh myself at the one week point. Thank you again! I will bring it up to my doctor at my physical if the issue persists.

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Your food choices look fine, though you might be eating more protein than you need.  How's your exercise?  if you're not doing intense workouts like your "jacked" friend from the gym, you may not need to eat like him.


You are taking in a lot of calories, especially from fats, which is generally fine on a paleo diet.  If you didn't measure all that cooking oil, peanut butter and dressing, you might be eating even more than 2500 kcal.  But if you want to lose weight, there's still a question of input vs output.  Many people lose weight when they switch to paleo because their extra calories were coming from sugar and starch, and paleo cuts most of those.  But if you eat the same amount of calories as before, you're not likely to lose weight even if your source changes from carbs to fats.


Try walking 30 mins a day or starting a basic workout routine, and start keeping track of what you eat and how much.  And be patient.  You are only a few days in, so it's too early to tell how this is going to work long term.

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Hi, how's this going? I have a few thoughts about your issue. First of all, if this is your first week of eating significantly less carbs than you were before, it's pretty normal to go through a ravenous period where you keep being hungry no matter what because really you're craving carbs...but that tends to pass after a few days. 


I think what you're eating sounds fine, but if you want to try to tweak it a little, you could consider avoiding borderline not-paleo foods like dairy and quinoa, at least while you get your bearings.  Smoothies are also questionable if you feel like you might be eating too much - they can be paleo, but they can also be an easier way to consume a lot more calories (and not end up feeling as full) as chewing the same amount of solid food. 


I would consider those changes, but also give this a little time and see how you feel after an adjustment period. Some people really do seem to be able to eat as much as they want on paleo, while others still decide to limit portions, which might be metabolic differences or it might be the fact that "paleo" can cover some really different ways of eating. You don't have to be strict about it, but I think the whole30 plate guideline image that you can find if you google it is a good place to start - 2/3 vegetables, with slivers of healthy fats, fruit, and protein about the size of your palm. Most people can probably eat meals like that as often as they're hungry and still end up with pretty low body fat, especially if they're getting in some movement.


(When you do weigh yourself, keep in mind that you might be building muscle while you lose fat, especially if you've changed your exercise routine, too.)

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