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Eating EVERYTHING in sight!!!!


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I've been doing pretty good with my diet for the past couple weeks.  My main focus right now is to stop eating refined sugar.  Hi, my name is Doug, and I'm a recovering sugar addict.  And no, I don't write that for comedic effect...I seriously LOVE anything sweet.


ANYWAY, I've been doing well with my diet.  A little cheese and peanuts/peanut butter has crept in here and there, but nothing too major.  It's been about two solid weeks and in the last couple days, I've had an insatiable appetite.  I've been reaching for food all the time.  I've not caved and gone back to my old habits.  Is this sort of thing normal?  Is anyone else experiencing the same thing?  How do I curtail this psychological hunger?

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If you are trying paleo, make sure you are eating enough healthy fats and proteins. They will keep you full and satisfied much longer that empty carbs and only veggies. 


Try real nuts or seeds instead of peanuts/butter. Almond butter, cashew butter are good examples.

USS & NBAC Masters swim coach

Current: lifter, runner

Former: triathlete, cyclocross racer, NCAA swimmer


Current games: Borderlands 2, Runescape, Star Ocean, Dragon's Dogma

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Hey Doug, :)


You know, this really sounds like carb / sugar withdrawals. If you were previously a sugar lover, and now you've moved to healthier foods, you may be getting some blood sugar issues as a result of the transition. Blood sugar is quite closely linked to appetite, and is indeed largely controlled by the hypothalamus in the brain, which regulates blood sugar using the hormones insulin and glucagon and sends 'hunger' signals when it senses blood sugar may be 'low.'


When these refined, processed sugars go into the digestive tract, they're absorbed into the bloodstream super fast and the high levels of sugar, plus refined form they're in, plus the immediate 'hit' in our bloodstream makes our hypothalamus initiate an unnaturally high insulin response (this being the hormone that reduces sugar to achieve blood sugar homeostasis). Our body does this so that we don't go hyperglycaemic due to the high level of sugar now in the blood from these foods. Then, once that insulin has brought down this blood sugar, you'll likely get a 'crash' and crave more. Basically these foods make our insulin levels do this /\/\/\/\/\ rather than this ------- and the repeated too much / wrong type of sugar > high blood sugar > large insulin response > low blood sugar > crash > craving > more high / wrong sugars can initiate a vicious cycle with overactive insulin, or even insulin resistance and a touchy hypothalamus (which subsequently sends our appetite all over the place.) 


Your body is adjusting, and you're not eating this level / type of sugar any more, but your insulin may still be a little sensitive because you haven't yet adjusted to these more healthy, lower GI foods and your body was also used to receiving these easy sugar fixes and now it simply isn't getting them. = withdrawals and that could be why you're getting these cravings, and why you've noticed the insatiable effect on your appetite. Your hypothalamus plus sugar-regulating hormones are out of whack and it'll take a bit of time, plus a consistent stream of healthy, lower GI foods to get them back to normal. 


Ok, so what to do about it...eat lean proteins. These will suppress your appetite, stimulate a glucagon response, rather than an insulin response, and level out your blood sugar. Protein also digest 4 x slower than these sugary carbs, so it'll give you a sense of fullness for longer. It also has a very calming effect on the hypothalamus which affects our appetite and satiation levels (pipe down up there...) The best protein I've come across for doing this is plain chicken breast. Salmon fillet also works pretty well. These stop all this nonsense in its tracks and let me get on with my life. Also a good idea is protein first thing for breakfast to set up good foundations on the blood sugar front for the rest of the day. 


Maybe try lean proteins and see if it helps with the satiation issues, or if you simply must have something with sugar in it, opt for fruits. These contain natural sugars that we were designed to eat and don't stimulate the same kind of crazy insulin response that the processed and refined ones do. 


Hope some of that helps!


Very best. 

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