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ericwindmill

Transitioning to LCHF. Ravenously Hungry

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Hey folks. I'm transitioning to 50 carbs a day or so, and I'm looking for some insights.

 

I say transitioning because I already have some legumes and yogurt that I don't intend to waste. Even so, I've definitely stayed below 75g a day for a few days. 

 

So lets say for the sake of a foundation that I'm in about a week of low carb, and day 3 of very low carb. And I guess I'm entering this stage of "low carb flu". Previously, I was eating probably 150g of carbs a day MAXIMUM, getting most of those extras from oatmeal, fruit, and beans/legumes. 

 

The problem right now is that I can't be satiated. This is a meal I just ate about an hour ago:

 

1 Grassfed Beef Patty

1/2 Cali Avocado (sm)

1 cup or more Veggies

.5 tbsp (roughly) butter

 

That clocks in at just under 500 calories and Im still terribly hungry. Last month, I was eating carbs at 1 - 2 meals a day, (mainly legumes and oatmeal and sprouted bread), snacking on fruit, and eating almost no fat. (I was on the eggwhite/chicken/broccoli/carb/lots of cardio cutting diet)  But I was almost never hungry... even coming in at a daily total of 1600cals (I'm 6', 170lbs). 

 

Is this just my body adjusting to using fat energy? That's what I'm assuming... 

 

If so,  should I fight the pangs to prepare my body for reality, or just go all in and eat as much as I want during this transition period? I don't want to get used to eating 3500 calories a day, (gotta keep cutting - getting to my fighting weight) but I'm cool with doing it for awhile.

 

 

I should also add that so far today is the most active Ive been on my new LCHF 'diet', and maybe thats contributing? I've walked a few miles and gone to my boxing training for an hour. 

 

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1 hour ago, ericwindmill said:

Is this just my body adjusting to using fat energy? That's what I'm assuming...

 

Yep, sort of.  Those kinds of symptoms are pretty normal for anyone who's changing their diet drastically,  and it works the same in reverse: if you switch from a low-carb diet  back to high carb,  you'll find yourself having trouble with satiation for a few days.  I deal with it by ingesting a big chunk of protein,  whether chicken, jerky, or a shake.

 

 Would not recommend stopping the cut simply because you feel hungry.  That will just make it difficult to get used to cutting all over again.

 

One thing to watch for when eating low-carb and doing intense activity is the "wall." An hour or two into an intense workout,  you'll suddenly start stumbling and performing much more poorly,  not unlike the "wall" that runners talk about on marathons.  This is because your stores of muscle glycogen have run dry:  when you eat low-carb your body can only produce a minimum of glycogen for your muscles, which limits the amount of high-intensity work you can do. That's why high-intensity athletes, even paleo ones, tend to eat high-carb (usually by guzzling insane amounts of sweet potato).

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Ravenous hunger is a sign of low leptin (a hormone).  Leptin is released by body fat, the releases triggered by carb consumption.  Generally if you have a lot of body fat, plenty of leptin is released, even with little to no carb intake.  At lower body fat levels, you need to up your daily carb intake to a high carb diet, do high carb refeeds (frequency determined by body fat), or suck it up and deal with progressively intensifying ravenous hunger (as it progresses you will start to think almost solely about food (as it interacts with serotonin, you quite literally become insanely hungry), become extremely lethargic, and eventually lose the ability to perform sexually).

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