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Old 01-22-2011, 08:40 AM   #1
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Monstrous Appetite

I've been maintaining a 60lb loss for a few years without much effort. I never eat pasta or bread or rice or potatoes at home, but I'll have ice-cream a few times a week and I eat carby foods at restaurants a few times a week as well.

But something has changed in the past few months. I starved myself down to 15lb below my normal weight. I've done this before, only to gain it back. I gained it back again this time, only now the weight doesn't seem to be stopping at my normal 142lb maintenance weight. I'm struggling to stay under 150lb and I'm scared.

I think some kind of switch has been flipped and my fat cells are back in storage mode like when I was obese. I can't stop eating, and I'm deathly afraid of ever feeling hungry or tired from not getting enough food. And I'm constantly eating.

I'm trying to get back on track and keep my carbs really low. I've been eating lots of eggs and hamburger with peppers, spinach, and salsa. I'm cutting out dairy and nuts and wine all together. But I can still eat huge amounts of plain hamburger. I'm scared I'm going to keep gaining just from eggs and hamburger. There are a lot of calories in 2lb of hamburger and I can easily eat that in a day.

To be honest I've been cutting things out slowly, and I have stopped gaining. I've been 145 for a few weeks now. I'm thinking about cutting out the vegges and salsa too, and just eating eggs, hamburger, garlic, salt, and pepper for awhile. I want to do whatever it takes to stop thinking about food all the time and being scared of being hungry.


trdl;

I need reassurance that eventually just eggs and hamburger and spices will make me lose my appetite. Has anyone here ever done VLC and failed to lose their appetite? I'm scared I'm going to continue to want to eat pounds and pounds of hamburger.
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:19 AM   #2
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I understand your panic because although I lose very, very slowly, I can gain very, very quickly--and it's a tough train to stop once it gains speed

I have gone VLC and failed to lose my appetite. I have gained on just meat and eggs because, like you, I can eat enormous portions. What helps me is to restrain myself (i.e., experience a little hunger) and keep portions in check, along with 20g carbs or less. After a short while, I get used to eating at that level and don't experience much hunger. I know that's heretical thinking on this board, but it's the only way I can manage, as I don't really ever lose my appetite.

You may be like me. There is no way that I could maintain if I ate ice cream and restaurant carbs "a couple of times a week." I plan to maintain on 30-50g of carbs, mainly from vegetables.

Anything like ice cream would be a very, very occasional thing (like once in 3-4 months).
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:30 AM   #3
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Sherri, you have done a great job maintaining your weight. I also think it's great that you are facing your problem head on at this point and not going into denial, as so many of us have done. That's really the first step is keeping in tune with yourself and taking steps to correct any problems before then get to be a 100-pound weight gain.

It's hard to know exactly why this is happening to you (hormones?), but I think you're trying something that might work. There are no guarantees, though.

Unfortunately there are people, such as myself, who are hungry almost all of the time, even on zero carb, and it can lead to overeating. The only time I am not hungry is when I am gaining weight. So I have had to adapt by figuring calories into the equation. About 1600 calories is my limit for not gaining weight, so I just try to maintain below that (still trying to get it right). It's more of a challenge to have to do that, but it will work. You just have to experiment to find your calorie needs, and then figure out what food will fit within that. You may or may not be hungry sometimes, but at least you won't start gaining.
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:05 AM   #4
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You may want to look at trying L-glutamine to help some of those cravings. How much
fat are you eating? rember 1/2 of the protein you are eating is converted to glucose.
If I over do the protein my blood sugar goes up just like I ate carbs. You may want to have your blood sugar tested too.
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:16 AM   #5
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Leo and Mermaid I appreciate you being honest. Everyone talks about no appetite on low carb, but it's not always true. I read Good Calories Bad Calories when it first came out and it's what really solidified me on LC. But in his new book, what makes us fat, the part that really was new for me was where he says it can take 18 months to lose your cravings for carbs. I think this is heart of it for me. When I first lost weight I kept my carbs under 20 and controlled portions for at least a year. After that I got away with being more liberal and maintaining. For whatever reason that freedom has slipped away from me. I'm about to blow up again and metabolically I'm probably right back where I was when I was over 200lb. It's a hard fact to face that I have to low carb and portion control again. But it's good to be told to stop trying to find the "trick" that will make me not hungry so I don't have to do the work. If I have to give this another year to get back to the easy maintenance I was at, so be it.
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:21 AM   #6
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Sherri
I have no advice just wanted to let you know that I totally relate to what you are saying about the "switch". I was almost at goal ,not craving carbs and all of a sudden I could not get full no matter what or how much I ate. At first I tried just eating more low carb foods but soon began eating carbs again. I am totally out of control now and am fighting to find what works. I hope the things you are trying work for you.
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:25 AM   #7
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E.W. for me protein stays around 15-20% without any conscious effort. Even when I'm eating tons of hamburger, I'll naturally stop draining off the fat or eat more eggs or avocado. If I'm going to overeat it will be with more fat. I start eating bacon and pork roast and adding fat to it. Just thinking lean protein sounds dry and gross. But I can eat a LOT of fatty food right now. I desire it.
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:30 AM   #8
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jeaniem! Yep we are in the same boat. I'm just coming to believe there is a hard won state beyond ketosis that we can get in with this way of eating, a place that can take a year to reach, but be lost in a few months if abused. Time to relax, focus, buck down and face facts. We know we can get where we want to be. We did it before. Put in the time.
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Old 01-22-2011, 11:10 AM   #9
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Sherri, I am so sorry to hear about the problems you've been having. Like Leo, I could never get by with having ice cream a couple of times a week, & I have been maintaining on 50 to 100 NC for a year now. I do eat bread & potatoes at home where I can control portions & always with plenty of protein, but I am afraid to eat carby meals in restaurants. Their portions are huge & it's too difficult to know just how many carbs you eat. You might be interested in doing a web search for leptin & grhelin. They are harmones that along with insulin play a part in appetite & fat storage. Leptin acts on the hypothalamus which contols appetite, and after decrease of fat during weight loss, the Leptin levels change. I can't remember if it's up or down, but it it increases appetite. In the article I read, scientists say they are thinking this may have alot to do with why so many people have trouble maintaining weight loss.
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Old 01-22-2011, 06:34 PM   #10
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Sherri, I am having the same problem. I have cut out all the carbs I can and am just eating meat with a little cheese and HWC. I still have to control my portions.
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:17 AM   #11
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Hi, Sherri. It might be you need something in that hamburger and the hunger is for a specific kind of nourishment. I find beef fat especially nourishing and satisfying.

In case this is of use:

I maintained well for ten years after having lost 50 pounds. Then, something changed. I started gaining without having changed my WOE. I had to go from LC to VLC and make many more changes.

It took almost six months of eating VLC for my body to adapt well enough that I felt satisfied with my meals, and content and well only eating those meals.

I had to take out all foods that caused allergic symptoms or unpleasant reactions. What that meant, for me:

- no sweets or anything that tastes sweet (sugar/fruit/artificial sweeteners)
- no packaged/prepared/refined foods
- no grains
- no nuts/seeds or their oils (no PUFAs)
- no nightshades
- no egg whites (allergic reactions)
- no chocolate (allergic reactions to unsweetened chocolate)
- rare and limited use of decaf coffee (no regular coffee ever)
- no alcohol, not even in cooking

Limiting dairy to butter, cream and yoghurt made from cream (both light and heavy cream.)

Increasing intake of saturated fat and egg yolks.

Keeping protein at .8 - 1 gm per Kg of weight. (Sometimes a bit more.)

Keeping Omega 6 low and eating wild salmon, mackerel, sardines and herring for Omega 3.

Only using highly purified water for drinking, tea, and cooking. (I use a Berkey with the extra cartridges that remove fluoride.)

I keep my carbs just under 20 now. Eating more carbs than that triggers a false appetite, for me, as well as giving me the symptoms of having eaten too many carbs.

Some supplements which help me: Vit D, magnesium, Evening Primrose oil, coconut oil, selenium, zinc, vitamin/mineral complex, Vit. K, and cod liver oil. (Some find extra chromium or tyrosine helpful.)

----

Using an elimination diet and keeping records of what I eat and how I feel after I eat (either that day or for days afterwards) has helped me very much.

The Failsafe diet is one of the elimination diets I have used.
----

Dr. Richard Bernstein's book, The Diabetes Solution, explains how eating constant amounts of protein and carbs from breakfast to breakfast, lunch to lunch, etc., from day to day keeps blood sugars stable. Eating foods which do not raise the blood sugar too much or too quickly is key to not having too much insulin in response to the blood sugar. (Insulin is a hormone which controls fat storage.) He explains very specifically how adding carbs causes many problems. His recommendations for CHO are 6-12-12 for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
----

Dr. Kurt Harris', blog, PaleoNu, with his clear recommendations on the "Get Started" page, and the whole website, explaining the science behind those recommendations, has been a source of immeasurable help to me.
----

It took this many steps, with much reading, and thinking to find a WOE that fits me well. I feel better than I ever have in my life and am able to control my weight with small steps. I enjoy my food and look forward to my meals. I do not eat foods not in my plan. I do not miss foods which I don't eat.

I wish you joy in your steps and continued success.
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Best wishes for happy, healthy LCing.

Last edited by Auntie Em; 01-23-2011 at 09:48 AM.. Reason: corrected error
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Sherri* View Post
jeaniem! Yep we are in the same boat. I'm just coming to believe there is a hard won state beyond ketosis that we can get in with this way of eating, a place that can take a year to reach, but be lost in a few months if abused. Time to relax, focus, buck down and face facts. We know we can get where we want to be. We did it before. Put in the time.
Girl, you just said it all.
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:49 AM   #13
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Auntie Em - you are one amazing person to have the foresight and diligence to get to the place you are now. I am awe inspired!

If I have too many carbs in a sitting, I will find myself hungrier than usual. The carbs come from broccoli and cauliflower (almost always steamed and served with butter). So I will be within my 20g limit for the day but the majority is consumed in one meal and that creates the problem. I do sometimes consciously choose to do this any way.
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:53 AM   #14
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I think that Dr. Bernstein says that no more than 12 gms of carbs at one sitting is best.

I find that helpful to me.

Last edited by RealFoodLiving; 01-23-2011 at 09:55 AM..
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Old 01-23-2011, 07:36 PM   #15
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the appetite suppression comes and goes, in my experience. I have had long periods of being hungry all the time. just have to tough it out.

after losing a bunch of weight, sure, your body is primed to gain it back. it will work hard to get you to eat more to do that. it thinks you have been exposed to famine, right? it doesn't know you did that on purpose and could eat more anytime you want. it thinks the crops have failed and getting food needs to be your chief priority for the near future!
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:34 AM   #16
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Update: After 4 days of mostly egges and hamburger with a little salsa and peppers I'm not sure if I'm actually eating less, but I'm not thinking about food as much. The annoying intrusive thoughts about food are mostly gone. I don't feel like I'm in danger of blowing up again. Thanks to everyone who replied.
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:47 AM   #17
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i wish i could give u constructive advice, sherri.

i am down 68.2 lbs. i need to lose another 160 lbs at least to be in the neighborhood of goal weight. That does not worry me. However, i also am hungry too often, in spite of very low carbing (ATKINS PHASE I). I play all the head games to keep myself from overdoing the quantities. I use the WW point system to keep me in line. But sometimes i need to have MORE. I really just deal with it on a day by day, sometimes moment by moment basis. I am too motivated to go off the deep end this time, and i am willing to experience a certain degree of hunger rather than overdo the quantities. When it becomes INTOLERABLE, then i must allow myself some additional food. I hope, Sherri, you find the answers you seek. I think this perpetual hunger we share is tied in with LEPTIN. There is also some comfort that we are not alone in this. Keep in touch with us. Love & Profits: FLATFERENGHI
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:04 AM   #18
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Sherri, I'm glad you are doing well.
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:20 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Sherri* View Post
Update: After 4 days of mostly egges and hamburger with a little salsa and peppers I'm not sure if I'm actually eating less, but I'm not thinking about food as much. The annoying intrusive thoughts about food are mostly gone. I don't feel like I'm in danger of blowing up again. Thanks to everyone who replied.
Good to hear.

And flatferengi, I agree and can totally relate. KUTGW.
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:10 PM   #20
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Ladies- a couple of suggestions for controlling insatiable unreasonable hunger: do exercise and don't consume any alcohol. Those two things for me are key. Even if I eat on plan, even VLC, I can still want more food than most people. If I go for about a 20-30 min. walk it will rein in my hunger. Staying away from all alcohol even "good for you" red wine, helps me control hunger and cravings. HTH
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Old 02-07-2011, 05:29 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Sherri* View Post
Has anyone here ever done VLC and failed to lose their appetite? I'm scared I'm going to continue to want to eat pounds and pounds of hamburger.
Sherri,

First, if you aren't doing it already, monitor your food intake with something like ******.com. Sometimes when we think we're doing low carb, we really aren't as low as we believe we are.

Second, after doing some reading, I discovered that excess protein may give the same glucogenic response that carbs do. I don't know if this is true of everyone, but it certainly was in my case. I was eating over 120gm of protein in a day and was in a 4 month stall. When I dropped my protein down (1gm for every kg of ideal weight) to 60gm per day, I started losing again.

As far as the 'hunger', I've gone as low as 0 carbs and it didn't matter how much or how little I ate...the hunger never went away. I never reached that point of satiety that so many talk about. That's why I recently had Lap band surgery. I knew that if I couldn't get this hunger under control, I wouldn't be able to lose this weight even on low carb because even on low carb the hunger was driving me to eat too many calories.

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Old 02-07-2011, 05:35 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by walkthebeach View Post
If I go for about a 20-30 min. walk it will rein in my hunger.
I read a recent study (this last year) where researchers said that while exercise may be good for you for various reasons, it's not necessary to lose weight...and the reason is that exercise generally increases the appetite, causing people to eat more afterwards. I'm sure there are exceptions, but this is my experience as well.

It's one of those YMMV.

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Old 02-07-2011, 06:41 AM   #23
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Sherri, I sympathize with you. I read all of your post and all of the posts in this thread, and though the schools of thought vary on what could be stimulating excess hunger (and how to control it), I FIRMLY believe that there is no one clear-cut, be-all-end-all cookie-cutter answer to these questions.

What works for one may or may NOT work for another, because our bodies and our metabolic types and genetics are ALL different. Factor into that equation someone who has 50+ lbs to lose vs. someone who only has 15-20 lbs to lose, and their needs and responses to macronutrients and such are gonna be different.

All that said, I am one who has never done well on VLC. (To digress a minute, VLC means 20 or under to some people and 50 or under to others -- again, it's all relative.) If I drop carbs below 30 for a long stretch of time, I get increasingly hungry, irritable, tired, fuzzy-minded -- the list goes on. I like to sum it up with one word: Balance. I lose balance. Again, that is why I have had to tweak and tweak and tweak to find the right fit for me. I do best at "controlling appetite" nutrition wise at around 50-75 carbs (not net) daily. (I'm not even going to address my carb rotations because that's another story for another day).

I also find, like Walk the Beach, that mild, short cardio helps to control my hunger, such as a walk. I can be hungry, ready to eat anything I can get my hands on, and if I do 15-20 mins of light cardio, I can hold off eating for at least another 1-1.5 hrs. I understand that this approach only works for some people. But maybe you're one of those people.

Hunger has ALWAYS been a huge, huge issue for me in controlling my weight, and this is both when I was exercising a little or a lot, regardlesss, I fight hunger. It wasn't until I began entering food in ****** to play around with the right BALANCE of numbers that I began feeling satiated. I have also found that due to the interaction of hormones (leptin, cortisol and adrenalin, ghrelin) that it helps greatly to allow myself to have a high day in calories at least once a week to keep my hormones happy and "harmonious."

I am very near goal (I gained 8-10 lbs over the fall and holidays due to depression/stress/etc, mostly from my mother's death), and I also know that being this close to goal, no exercise at all is not an option for me, nor is ignoring calories.

Bottom line: I've always wondered the same thing as you said: Why do I still have an appetite when I have gone VLC (under 20!), even for weeks at a time? Where is that "appetite suppression" everyone talks about? It's just not that straightforward for MY body type.

I wish you the best.
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:54 AM   #24
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Since I posted on here, I have given homeopathic HCG a try and it seems to help enormously with my appetite. Most people do the 500 calorie Simeon protocol with it, but I am finding that you can do it with higher calories too (and low carb) and it really helps to control hunger. I'm not trying to promote it or anything, but it's a wonderful discovery for me. I have used homeopathics for many years so I feel comfortable with its safety, especially since it is made in a reputable US lab.
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:04 AM   #25
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Quote:
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Sherri, I sympathize with you. I read all of your post and all of the posts in this thread, and though the schools of thought vary on what could be stimulating excess hunger (and how to control it), I FIRMLY believe that there is no one clear-cut, be-all-end-all cookie-cutter answer to these questions.

What works for one may or may NOT work for another, because our bodies and our metabolic types and genetics are ALL different. Factor into that equation someone who has 50+ lbs to lose vs. someone who only has 15-20 lbs to lose, and their needs and responses to macronutrients and such are gonna be different.

All that said, I am one who has never done well on VLC. (To digress a minute, VLC means 20 or under to some people and 50 or under to others -- again, it's all relative.) If I drop carbs below 30 for a long stretch of time, I get increasingly hungry, irritable, tired, fuzzy-minded -- the list goes on. I like to sum it up with one word: Balance. I lose balance. Again, that is why I have had to tweak and tweak and tweak to find the right fit for me. I do best at "controlling appetite" nutrition wise at around 50-75 carbs (not net) daily. (I'm not even going to address my carb rotations because that's another story for another day).

I also find, like Walk the Beach, that mild, short cardio helps to control my hunger, such as a walk. I can be hungry, ready to eat anything I can get my hands on, and if I do 15-20 mins of light cardio, I can hold off eating for at least another 1-1.5 hrs. I understand that this approach only works for some people. But maybe you're one of those people.

Hunger has ALWAYS been a huge, huge issue for me in controlling my weight, and this is both when I was exercising a little or a lot, regardlesss, I fight hunger. It wasn't until I began entering food in ****** to play around with the right BALANCE of numbers that I began feeling satiated. I have also found that due to the interaction of hormones (leptin, cortisol and adrenalin, ghrelin) that it helps greatly to allow myself to have a high day in calories at least once a week to keep my hormones happy and "harmonious."

I am very near goal (I gained 8-10 lbs over the fall and holidays due to depression/stress/etc, mostly from my mother's death), and I also know that being this close to goal, no exercise at all is not an option for me, nor is ignoring calories.

Bottom line: I've always wondered the same thing as you said: Why do I still have an appetite when I have gone VLC (under 20!), even for weeks at a time? Where is that "appetite suppression" everyone talks about? It's just not that straightforward for MY body type.

I wish you the best.
Twyla, YOU ROCK. I heart you.
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:13 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealFoodLiving View Post
Twyla, YOU ROCK. I heart you.
Me too!!! I just have a really hard time reading her font....fo some weird reason it's much smaller than everyone elses.
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:19 AM   #27
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OMG! Her font is shrinking too!!!
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:46 AM   #28
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low carb, no appetite suppression

Hiya

I am like Twyla/watch me shrink.

I get no appetite suppression on low or very low carb.
I can eat many more calories on low carb and not be satisfied, than on a higher carb ( healthy carbs) mixed diet.

In other words, I can eat less on a mixed healthy diet and be satisfied, than on a low carb diet.

This year I have also found that staggering calories helps tremendously
toward losing weight while still feeling good/not too hungry.
ie, one high day , one low day..
or a few low days- then a big re-feed,
or whatever system works for you.
Staggering the calories has kept my metabolism high while still losing weight , and not being particularly hungry.

Now I know these things dont suit all, but for me they have really worked;
and I have experimented with every diet under the sun for 25 yrs.

good luck

Nola
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:09 AM   #29
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My font is shrinking too?



Just now getting back online, and I read those comments about my font and it made me laugh. I've been admonished for SCRAWNY font before. Go figure, because on MY screen, this font that I use is way BIGGER than the default font that most people on this board use. It's visibly larger, wider, etc.

By the way ..... meaningless trivia here: One way to enlarge scrawny fonts/pics, etc. (I use this because my eyesight is not what it once was): Do a CONTROL + (plus sign). It makes your screen bigger each time you do that key combo.

Oh, who cares.

But back to the point: This whole "VLC will eventually lead to little or no appetite for everyone"? Huh-uh. Not. Glad to see there are others stepping up to the plate to claim exception.

As for me, it was finding balance. Lots of trial and error, patient people on these boards helping me, etc. but I finally got it mostly figured out. I've learned, as is supported by the Schwarzbein Principle: "One imbalance creates another imbalance."

Again, Sherri, best of luck to you.
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Old 02-07-2011, 01:14 PM   #30
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You might want to see if your thyroid is slowing down. It happens to a lot of us!

Nutmeg
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