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Always Hungry... and questions about fiber and veggies


Kris1007

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I just discovered this magical place called Nerd Fitness about 2 weeks ago and love all the information I've received so far, however I am very new to Paleo and have some questions...

 

I'm about 2 weeks into cleaning up my diet, gradually going Paleo (still eat sweet potato, dairy, oatmeal and sweetened tea/coffee). I used to eat TONS of carbs; at every meal and most snacks. The carb/sugar withdrawal has been difficult, because I've been feeling more hungry than ever before. I never had a sweet tooth before, and now just seeing a picture of a piece of cake makes my mouth water. Being hungry all the time makes me want to eat more, and I find that my portion sizes at dinner are bigger (although all protein and vegetables and some starch). My weight has always been okay (5'5", 120lbs, but only working out 2-3x/week), however I'm terribly worried that all the increased portions of veggies and protein (~50-70g/day) are going to make me gain. I mean, I've steered clear of real bacon, ground beef and egg yolks for the past decade, and I feel so guilty eating it!!!!

 

Has anyone else had issues with gaining weight unintentionally? Especially because they are eating larger portions compared to pre-paleo? Or do I need to be strict with portion control and eat cashews or something after dinner?

 

 

Also, on a different note, I need breakfast vegetable ideas (besides sweet potato). I can't have just bacon and eggs every day. Or would a fiber supplement be adequate/beneficial?

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Has anyone else had issues with gaining weight unintentionally? Especially because they are eating larger portions compared to pre-paleo?

 

Keep in mind, there is only one thing that matters when it comes to fat loss/gain, and it's your calorie balance.  If you're eating more than you're burning, you'll gain fat regardless of the kinds of things you eat.  Your body simply doesn't care: energy is energy.  Paleo's thing is to "trick" you into a caloric deficit by taking away energy-dense, easy-to-overeat foods and replacing them with things that don't have as many calories per gram.  However, it's a myth that you can go paleo and eat as much as you want without care.  Again, energy is energy.

 

Increasing your veggies/protein doesn't have to mean eating a ton of calories.  I'm eating 1,000 calories less than I need per day (in an effort to shed fat quickly), yet I'm still getting well over 150g of protein.  Then again, I'm not paleo.  Is Greek yogurt paleo?  That stuff is incredibly protein/calorie efficient.  And I love blackberries for fiber (not a veggie, I know).

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If you are concerned about gaining weight, the simplest path is to just monitor the amount of calories you are eating vs the amount of calories you are burning. Cutting out the simple carbs is going to go a long way to keeping you from gaining, so you shouldn't have an issue unless you are severely overeating.

 

My advice would be to just give it some time and see how your body reacts to the change in eating before worrying yourself too much about the potential for weight gain. If you start to notice the pounds adding up, you can cut your eating back to compensate

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I would say give it a little time. Your brain and body might adjust to the new foods and your appetite might level off. You might also not be eating as many calories as you think if you're basing your diet around vegetables and lean meats. If you notice significant weight gain that sticks around for several weeks, then do some calorie counting and adjust accordingly. 

 

What's makes a vegetable a breakfast vegetable? In my life, if you eat it for breakfast, it's breakfast. My breakfasts often involve a lot of re-purposed leftovers (meats and veggies). I keep veggies pre-diced in the fridge for quickly tossing in a pan in the morning (and fully or partially cooked sometimes, depending on the veggies). I bulk cook on Sunday, but generally don't make anything specific for breakfasts - but I will make extra of some things (meats and veggies) or dice extra veggies while I'm at it, and set them aside for breakfasts. It all gets tossed in a pan in various combinations, and if I want it to be breakfast-y, I top it with an egg. 

 

An example morning:

Yesterday I woke up and tossed some leftover shredded, roasted sweet potato in a pan and stirred it around til it was warm, then slid it on a plate. Then I put a little bit of butter in the pan, and put in a few tablespoons of onion (pre-diced and stored in tupperware in the fridge), stirred it around a few times, and added in kale and spinach (the pre-washed, ready to eat stuff) and a little bit of water, a few red pepper flakes, and sprinkle of salt, and let them soften. Then came chunks of pork chop (Thursday night I had made pork chops for dinner, and cooked an extra one, then cut it in bite-sized pieces so it was ready for rapid reheating). After about 60 seconds, I tossed in about 5 cherry tomatoes that I had cut in half (using the lid of my pork-chop leftover container as a makeshift-cutting board since it was going to have to be washed anyways). After about 5 stirs, I slid it all onto the plate next to the sweet potato. Then I put a little bit more butter into my pan, and cracked in an egg. I broke the yoke so it would cook quickly (I don't like runny yolks), sprinkled it with salt and pepper, let it cook most of the way, flippped it over and immediately turned off the heat (the pan is still hot, so it will finish cooking the egg without drying it out accidentally). I poured my second cup of coffee, grabbed some salsa out of the fridge (I'm Texan), slid the egg out of the pan on top of the kale mixture and chowed down. 

 

Total time was less than 10 minutes, and I ended up with one small skillet, a spatula, a knife, a thing of tupperware, and my plate and fork to wash. 

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@Vintage - I'm coming round yours for breakfast! :P

Kris - You'll find that you get "withdrawal" symptoms when you suddenly cut out carbs, and you crave them like mad. If you really want to go paleo, just stick it out and ride the wave.

If that means over eating for a couple of weeks, then you know what? Just do it. If your goal is to make a change for life then you can afford to take the time to work through this phase of the change and then adjust your calorie intake to create a deficit once you've got the diet sorted.

Also, don't think that you *have* to go paleo to eat healthy. Yes lots of people on here follow the paleo diet, but it's really about you and finding a balance that you can stick to.

As for breakfast... Best advice I can give is to try and get your head around the fact that there is no Breakfast Food. There's just food. It's only in the west that we have this idea that we should eat differently in the morning to the rest of the day.

I try to make each meal (breakfast included) as balanced and healthy as possible. Plenty of greens, protein, lots of veg, and a source of good fats. Yesterday's breakfast was a salad of spinach with chicken, ham, avocado, toasted pine nuts and plenty of veggies. But I don't usually eat anything quite as extravagant as that for breakfast. ;)

Gosh! Sorry, just realised how long that post is. It's the food.... I just love food so much! :D

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For starters: "(still eat sweet potato, dairy, oatmeal and sweetened tea/coffee)"

If you want these gone, going cold-turkey can sometimes be easier than gradual reduction. On the other hand, nowt wrong with any of this even on a Paleo-ish diet, as long as it's controlled. Go cold-turkey until the sugar cravings stop and then reintroduce any obviously non-problematic foods later. MadPict eats oats and dairy, I still eat sweet potatoes and I was able to reintroduce dairy after three months without it. Look up elimination diets in the context of food intolerance for advice on how to do that successfully.

 

Next, leafy vegetables and low-sugar fruits (cucumbers, for example) have so few kcals that it won't make much of a difference even if you eat 5kg of salad a day. Carby vegetables and high-sugar fruits are often the pitfalls of Paleo dieters when it comes to kcals. Also, your body won't convert protein into energy unless it's at a kcal deficit or store energy as fat unless it's at a surplus. Protein's highly unlikely to make you gain fat at all.

 

Next, don't worry about protein-rich foods with fat. That's how meat comes packaged in the wild. Just don't go eating a bowl of egg-yolks unless you're suffering a kcal deficit. To go from eating protein with the fat cut off to eating fat with the protein cut off is out of the pan and into another pan, if not into the fire.

 

Next, if you do any degree of endurance-based activity (workouts much over an hour, walks for over 2h, jogging, conditioning sessions, etc), you will need more carbs. Some people run well on keto. Some people run well on keto with endurance. Even the majority of these people need the odd refeed. If you feel hungry all the time and you're low-carb, see if you're doing enough activity to need semi-regular refeeds.

 

Finally, Paleo isn't be-all-and-end-all. A very good starting point, so stick at it, but don't feel much guilt if after a while you find yourself doing better on oats than on parsnip, or digesting dairy. Your body is your body and may be equipped to deal with things that others' bodies aren't.

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