Low Carb Friends

Low Carb Friends (http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/)
-   Main Lowcarb Lobby (http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/main-lowcarb-lobby/)
-   -   Extreme hunger and halted weight loss (http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/main-lowcarb-lobby/796241-extreme-hunger-halted-weight-loss.html)

MintyToucan 02-03-2013 07:36 PM

Extreme hunger and halted weight loss
 
Here's a bit about myself. I'm 22 years old and I'm trying to lose weight after being put on heavy psych meds as a minor. I went from being 5'11/160lbs at the age of 14 (when I started the psych meds) to being 6'0"/>320lbs by the age of 18.

I officially went off the psych meds in October of 2010 at around 320lbs, and by March of 2012 I had already gone down to 290lbs with no change in my diet or activity level. At that point (after watching the documentary Fat Head and doing some research of my own) I began my (still very uninformed attempt) of a low starch, no sugar diet. As I type this post I'm at 225lbs, but I seem to be at a standstill.

Lately I've been getting EXTREMELY hungry, to the point where I'll fry up three pounds of hamburger meat, eat it in five minutes, and STILL be hungry. I don't eat any potatoes, corn, noodles, bread, rice, or junkfood with sugar. I also avoid legumes.

This past month or so has been annoying for me because my weight's been going back and forth between 220 and 230. I'd like to continue losing weight but I'm just so hungry.

I can't really post what my typical daily diet would be, but I can post the most frequent things I eat: ground beef, eggs, cheese, porkchops, unsweetened almond milk (0g sugar, 0g net carbs (1g fiber)), diet cranberry juice (1g of sugar per glass, I drink it for vitamin C), butter (I eat whole sticks of butter sometimes...) I was eating a lot of canned spinach at one point too (like a can a day) currently I have half a can every couple days.

If I had to guess, my average nutrient intake is probably 100-200 grams of fat, 25-75 grams of protein, and no more than 5-10 grams of carbohydrates (not counting sugar alcohols or fiber.) I'm also constantly extremely thirsty and I drink one to two gallons of water a day.

Anyway, according to my sister (who is a lot more informed in this stuff than I am) I SHOULD be in ketosis... (although she doesn't support some of the things I eat) I haven't actually checked with ketosticks or whatever, but I experience the symptoms (and hey going from 290 to 225 from march 2012 to february 2013 isn't too bad.)

I'm stuck. I think I might continue to lose the weight if I ignore my hunger and eat how I have been, but I shouldn't have to feel like I'm starving myself.

Also I currently sprint 45-60 minutes a day. (But it's funny, during many of the weeks of my weight loss I'd isolate on the computer for days on end and still lose weight.)

Liz1959 02-03-2013 08:30 PM

That's great weight loss! Good for you for getting off the meds too!
I wouldn't stress about being hungry beyond trying to identify a possible cause... Are you taking any new supplements? Is the sprinting new? That could be making you hungry. Maybe switch it out for 60 minutes of walking. Walk somewhere with hills if you want intensity. What is the cranberry juice sweetened with? Are you in an area where winter recently arrived? I always get hungry when the temps first drop for winter. We call it chili weather.
I love canned spinach. One can of vegetables a day isn't a lot. It's vitamins and bulk. Many days that's the only way I get vegetables. I also like to throw a can of drained green beens in the hamburger grease after I cook the meat. Mushrooms too if I have them. Yumm.
If you want to read a good book about your body knowing more about what it needs than you do, check your library for "Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It" by Gary Taubes.
Hang in there.

MintyToucan 02-03-2013 08:35 PM

Thanks for your reply. The diet cranberry juice is this:

http://i.imgur.com/x5BVVA3.png

It's sweetened with sucralose (not to be confused with sucrose, if I recall correctly sucralose is the generic word for Splenda.) I doubt sucralose is too good but I do avoid anything sweetened with aspartame. (If I drink diet soda I drink diet Shasta or diet Jones since they're sweetened with sucralose instead of aspartame. Hopefully it's the lesser of the evils. I'd rather drink stevia soda but it's so expensive.)

Liz1959 02-03-2013 08:43 PM

I hear you. Yes, that's splenda. I'm not crazy about stevia since everyone seems to add dextrose and maltodextin to it. Sometimes I just don't want to have to read the ingredients!
Is there anything that has changed? It might just be your body catching up.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the scale doesn't tell all. Sometimes a tape measure is more telling. If you are doing an hour of sprints a day, you may be building muscle, or retaining fluid.
Just don't stress about it.

svenskamae 02-03-2013 09:20 PM

Congratulations on your impressive weight loss so far. I'm going to treat the not-losing and the being hungry as separate issues, because they probably have different solutions.

On the scale not moving--many of us experience stalls or plateaus in weight loss if we have a lot to lose. Sometimes our bodies need some time to catch up to the change, but eventually start losing again. On Atkins, one of the most popular lowcarb plans, one doesn't technically have a "stall" until going over 6 weeks losing neither pounds nor inches. As that suggests, plateaus are common, and sometimes we just have to stay on plan and wait them out. Take measurements too and compare them over time; you may be losing inches even if you aren't losing pounds on the scale.

On being very hungry: I'd add more non-starchy vegetables. I eat a LOT of nonstarchy veggies, including huge salads (I mean mixing bowl full of salad) with salad greens, a handful of cherry tomatoes, and all sorts of chopped raw veggies (zuchini, green pepper, scallions, celery, endive, mushrooms, radishes, cucumber, etc.), tossed with homemade full fat dressing. Throw in some cottage cheese, cheese crumbles, sliced hard-boiled egg, and/or chopped meat for more flavor and to make a complete meal. That fills me up on my hungriest days. I also eat lots of roasted and sauteed non-starchy vegetables, cooked in butter, bacon fat, coconut oil, or olive oil. I subtract the fiber from carbs (because your body doesn't get nutrients/calories from it), and still end up eating a low number of carbs and calories from the veggies with all that veggie intake.

You may also want to up your fat intake (say, full fat dressing, butter pat on veggies, some cream in coffee). I find fat very satiating; it doesn't always make me feel "full" at the meal, but when it's an element of the meal, I go longer without getting hungry.

Once you are not experiencing so much hunger, it may be easier to ride out a temporary weight loss plateau (hard as that is, I know from experience).

thealything 02-03-2013 09:40 PM

I think you should count the sugar alcohols as part of your carb totals. A lot of people find that they are affected by sugar alcohols. I personally don't lose if I have them.

Mimosa23 02-04-2013 12:40 AM

On being extremely thirsty: You may want to get your blood sugar values checked... Extreme thirst can be an indicator of diabetes.

I would definitely go check with a DR before doing anything else!
For the rest, I would stay away from any kind of fruit juice. It adds unnecessary carbs.

AubernBear 02-04-2013 12:48 AM

Hello!

I get pangs of extreme hunger and thirst during the first 2 weeks (from the 5-6 times I've done this). I was always under the impression you were 'flushing' with the thirst, it could also be you're eating pretty salty bits - that'll also make you thirsty.

The hunger... I think alot of it is in my head, I do feel hungry but I know it's not going to be filled by low carb foods, it could also be carb craving - chewing gum is the worst for bringing on these tummy wrenching hunger spurts.

Keep drinking water (avoid diet coke where possible) and try to cut down on the 'fake' sugar products, definitely invest in ketostix - sometimes I do think this helps to keep the focus.

If you are exercising you may well be putting a bit of muscle on too, in it's place - try the clothes you've got to be sure you haven't lost an inch or two.

Best of luck,

emel 02-04-2013 04:40 AM

Shake up your plan a little.
I'd continue with the sprints. Are you doing any lifting? (I think you came at this through paleo/Mark Sisson, right?)

For your vitamin C, skip the cranberry juice and have a good serving of pepper strips, raw, with some nice olive oil or avocado oil on them, and a little salt if you want. (and walnut oil is both tasty and omega 3-rich if you can find it)

Instead of the butter, try some omega 3's. salmon, sardines, or mackerel or oysters. Another great filling, fat-rich source of omega 3's is walnuts. Measure out an ounce into a little serving bowl to avoid overindulging.

Could you use hardboiled eggs instead of some of your cheese? You could even devil them if you like them that way.

neneRN 02-04-2013 05:07 AM

Are you an undiagnosed diabetic? Severe hunger, thirst and excess urination are textbook signs. Would get it checked out.

Mimosa23 02-04-2013 05:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by neneRN (Post 16238276)
Are you an undiagnosed diabetic? Severe hunger, thirst and excess urination are textbook signs. Would get it checked out.

Yes. I already posted this as well. I am worried nobody else picked up on this.

Please go and see your dr. just as a precaution!

MintyToucan 02-04-2013 09:41 AM

Man... I really hope I'm not diabetic. It doesn't run in my family... but I know there are different types of diabetes so I'll get it checked out. Thanks for the replies, everyone. Not trying to cherrypick posts but there's a couple in specific I want to reply to:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mimosa23 (Post 16238143)
For the rest, I would stay away from any kind of fruit juice. It adds unnecessary carbs.

Really? I was under the impression 1 gram of sugar would be okay, especially because I drink it in the morning with a high fat breakfast.

Quote:

Originally Posted by emel (Post 16238247)
For your vitamin C, skip the cranberry juice and have a good serving of pepper strips, raw, with some nice olive oil or avocado oil on them, and a little salt if you want. (and walnut oil is both tasty and omega 3-rich if you can find it)

Oh... I never thought of that, thanks! Silly me though, I already bought all my groceries for this month so that's something I'll have to try in March.

svenskamae 02-04-2013 03:51 PM

If you want to get vitamin C from juice, put lemon or lime slices or a splash of the unsweetened lemon/time juice in water. Tomato/mixed vegetable juices (such as V-8) are better choices than, say, orange juice. But I'd agree that getting C from non-juiced non-starchy veggies is the best approach.

I'm glad you will get checked out for possible diabetes. I hope the diagnosis is negative, but if it isn't, remember that many diabetics have successfully controlled their illness and stayed well through a careful, healthy low carb diet; Jenny Ruhl's website and Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution book are good resources.

MintyToucan 02-04-2013 04:03 PM

I'm getting a blood test this week. Changes in what foods I'm going to eat are going to have to wait until March because I've already bought enough food to last me until March and I've hit the end of my grocery budget.

The remaining food I have for this month is tuna, cheddar cheese, ground turkey, ground beef, butter, and spinach. (And unsweetened almond milk, diet cranberry juice, spring water, and diet Shasta.)

So here's what I've eaten today:
  • Two glasses of unsweetened almond milk (~15-16 floz total)
  • One glass of diet cranberry juice (~8 floz)
  • 16oz ground turkey
  • 2 cans of tuna (~10oz total) with
  • ~3 tablespoons mayo
  • ~4 oz cheddar cheese

All of that was my breakfast at around 9:00 AM this morning, and right now it's 4:00 PM and I'm famished. (I've also had about half a gallon of water total and two diet Shasta rootbeers today.)

Is it diabetic-sounding that I'm hungry right now or is it based on what I'm eating? And out of the food I listed, what should I eat to satisfy my hunger? Also I've done just about no exercise today... I was planning on going out for a sprint in a few hours (but I'm worried it'll make me too much hungrier and wanting to eat 4 pounds of ground beef...)

Maybe the obvious answer is that I didn't eat lunch... but I ate such a huge breakfast that I can't think of a satisfying snack while I'm waiting for dinner time (and I'm not even sure what time I should eat dinner. I eat at such a random schedule, which I know isn't good.)

svenskamae 02-04-2013 04:53 PM

You are eating a LOT of protein but not a lot of calories. I just entered your food for the day (from your message) into a tracker, and got:
1274 calories
149 grams protein
12 net carbs
66 grams fat

That isn't a a lot of calories for someone of your size. And it's a really high ratio of protein to fat. Some diets are based on protein (Stillman), but a more common approach is high fat, moderate protein (Atkins). It's possible that you are hungry because your calories are low, or because your body is a bit overwhelmed by all the protein without fat to balance it. If you can do so--and I understand that you are working with budget constraints--try to up your fats and reduce your protein somewhat.

Use more mayo with the tuna. Saute the turkey in coconut oil. Can you buy some heavy cream and use that to make creamed spinach, or put some cream in coffee or tea or in a diet soda? Instead of buying very lean ground turkey, buy ground beef next time and stir in some sour cream.

I think that the volume of food and protein you are eating is generous, but you may need to up the calories (preferably from fat) to tame your hunger.

clackley 02-04-2013 05:02 PM

I agree - too much protein and not enough fat. The cranberry juice is fine in small amounts. If you are doing Atkins, your fat intake is what keeps you from being hungry.

MintyToucan 02-04-2013 05:04 PM

I'm not sure if this info helps, but the ground turkey I have (which is actually turkey sausage) says it has 20 grams of fat (6 being saturated fat) and 16 grams of protein per each 112 gram serving. (4 ounces, so quadruple that because I usually eat the whole 16 ounce package) My ground beef is 73% lean, 27% fat, and it says it has 30 grams of fat (11 grams being saturated fat) and 17 grams of protein per 112 gram serving. (I usually eat about 800 grams of ground beef in one sitting. I haven't eaten any ground beef today.)

Oh and I also forgot to mention I have olive oil. Usually I cook in butter or olive oil (I don't own any margarine or vegetable oil.)

svenskamae 02-04-2013 05:09 PM

I assumed you were eating lean ground turkey breast; yes, turkey sausage will give more fat than that. Still, I'd consider eating a higher ratio of fat to protein.

You also are eating very few vegetables. You may be hungry partly because you are missing some nutrients, such as particular vitamins. There is a theory that people will keep eating to try to be satisfied, regardless of calories, if they are missing key nutrients. Are you taking a multi-vitamin?

MintyToucan 02-04-2013 05:10 PM

I don't have any vitamins... I suppose I could eat half a can of spinach a day this month since I have about 15 cans left.

By the way, the almond milk I drink says it has 10% DV Vitamin A, 45% DV Calcium, 25% DV Vitamin D, 50% DV Vitamin E. I drink two glasses of that a day, so double those, and the diet cranberry juice I drink says it has 100% DV Vitamin C.

(I'm not sure how trustworthy the FDA's vitamin percentages are (in terms of how much the body actually needs) but that's the info I have.)

svenskamae 02-04-2013 05:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MintyToucan (Post 16239772)
I don't have any vitamins... I suppose I could eat half a can of spinach a day this month since I have about 15 cans left.

Definitely eat the spinach, preferably warmed up in your olive oil and with a pat of butter on top.

Given your budget constraints, do you think you might be able to get some food from a food shelf? Some of that will be cheap carbs, but you might be able to get some additional vegetables (such as canned tomatoes). Have you looked into whether you might qualify for Food Stamps/SNAP?

MintyToucan 02-04-2013 05:22 PM

I don't think I qualify for Food Stamps... it was my fault for buying all this month's food at once. By the way, I edited my previous post to include information about my nutrient intake from the almond milk I drink. (I have enough almond milk and diet cranberry juice to have two glasses of almond milk a day and one glass of diet cranberry juice a day until March 3rd.)

Hopefully next month I can figure out a better meal plan.

Strawberry 02-06-2013 12:38 PM

A whole stick of butter is a lot of calories. Dr Atkins specifically mentioned a woman who was having problems losing weight and he discovered she was eating a stick of butter each night as dessert. Once she dropped that, she started losing weight.

I'm inclined to agree with the suggestion above that you try eating more volume of low carb veggies to help fill you up, while not eating quite so many calories. This is not to say go to some other extreme of not eating high fat stuff too. Eating some high fat foods (but less than you have been) with some veggies may help fill you up better while lowering your total calories.

Quote:

That isn't a a lot of calories for someone of your size.
I disagree with the above statement. 1200 calories for breakfast alone is a LOT! Now granted, lunch was skipped, but add on dinner of another 1200 calories or more, and this may be too much for weight loss, which would explain why the poster is just maintaining weight.

readyfredy 02-06-2013 03:41 PM

I agree. I personally would not eat 16 oz of meat at one meal (unless it was a super special occasion).

Get some eggs. They are very cheap.

Breakfast - 3 egg omelet with spinach and cheese (and maybe 1-2 oz of ground turkey if you'd like). No juices/almond milk.

Lunch - Mini muffin "meatloafs" of The ground beef mixed with spices, spinach, mayo and egg. Spinach salad. (aim for about two small muffins and a large salad).

Dinner - 1 glass almond milk. 2 eggs sunny side up. Cheese sprinkled on top (1 oz).

If you can swing it - I would also buy some mushrooms and broccoli.

You can make stuffed mushrooms with some of the meat. You can also add broccoli as a different veg than spinach.

I think your portions are too large. You may do better with 3-5 smaller meals spread over the day.

svenskamae 02-06-2013 06:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Strawberry (Post 16243873)
A whole stick of butter is a lot of calories. Dr Atkins specifically mentioned a woman who was having problems losing weight and he discovered she was eating a stick of butter each night as dessert. Once she dropped that, she started losing weight.

I'm inclined to agree with the suggestion above that you try eating more volume of low carb veggies to help fill you up, while not eating quite so many calories. This is not to say go to some other extreme of not eating high fat stuff too. Eating some high fat foods (but less than you have been) with some veggies may help fill you up better while lowering your total calories.



I disagree with the above statement. 1200 calories for breakfast alone is a LOT! Now granted, lunch was skipped, but add on dinner of another 1200 calories or more, and this may be too much for weight loss, which would explain why the poster is just maintaining weight.


I was assuming that the 1200 calories in food that the OP mentioned was all that she had planned to eat for the day. If that was just one meal and was going to be followed by a large dinner, then that would be a different situation. :dunno:

Strawberry 02-06-2013 06:34 PM

Quote:

So here's what I've eaten today:
  • Two glasses of unsweetened almond milk (~15-16 floz total)
  • One glass of diet cranberry juice (~8 floz)
  • 16oz ground turkey
  • 2 cans of tuna (~10oz total) with
  • ~3 tablespoons mayo
  • ~4 oz cheddar cheese
All of that was my breakfast at around 9:00 AM
If I understood correct, this was all just for breakfast. I also agree with possibly spreading out food more during the day. For eg, having the tuna/mayo for lunch.

Janknitz 02-06-2013 06:46 PM

Please get your blood sugar checked. Lots of things can cause excessive thirst and urination, but it's better to be safe than sorry. All the other advice can wait until that is checked out. I'm talking see a doctor TOMORROW or go to urgent care.

My mother's doctors failed to recognize her excessive thirst as a symptom of diabetes. They absolutely should have because she'd been on massive doses of steroids for years because of a condition called polymyalgia rhuematica. She was drinking diet soda like a fish and constantly had to have a Mento in her mouth (she wasn't low carbing, obviously). When a doctor finally LISTENED to her and checked her blood sugar, it was 700--extremely dangerous, high risk of death. She was sent to the hospital by ambulance.

drjlocarb 02-06-2013 07:25 PM

I don't think 1200 calories for one meal is out of line depending on the second meal. He is 22 years old, 6 ft tall, and 225 lbs. If he ate another 800 calories at 5 or 6pm, that would only be 2000 calories a day. His BMR is 2000 calories a day.

I would split the morning meal into breakfast and lunch. Some people eat large meals to ward off hunger that might come later. See how splitting it works to get you through to dinner if you can't eat your second meals at 5 or 6pm. Save the tuna and eat it at 1 or 2 pm if you need it to get through to 5pm.

MintyToucan 02-06-2013 08:47 PM

>over 600 thread views
GOOD HEAVENS

Really, I appreciate everyone's concern about the diabetes... I'm actually still not going to be able to get a blood test until later this week. I do agree it's better to be safe than sorry, but unless anyone's willing to buy a plane ticket and fly over here to get me across town to the doctor's (hahaha) I'm going to have to wait until Thursday or Friday to get a ride. (I do not have a car.)

Neither my dad, my biological mother, nor any of my four grandparents have diabetes, so I'm assuming it's not the genetic form. Still, if it turns out I have the non-genetic form of diabetes after eight months of next-to-no sugar and over 50 pounds of weight loss, I vow to eat my hat.

Quote:

Originally Posted by readyfredy (Post 16244257)
I agree. I personally would not eat 16 oz of meat at one meal (unless it was a super special occasion).

Get some eggs. They are very cheap.

Breakfast - 3 egg omelet with spinach and cheese (and maybe 1-2 oz of ground turkey if you'd like). No juices/almond milk.

Lunch - Mini muffin "meatloafs" of The ground beef mixed with spices, spinach, mayo and egg. Spinach salad. (aim for about two small muffins and a large salad).

Dinner - 1 glass almond milk. 2 eggs sunny side up. Cheese sprinkled on top (1 oz).

If you can swing it - I would also buy some mushrooms and broccoli.

You can make stuffed mushrooms with some of the meat. You can also add broccoli as a different veg than spinach.

I think your portions are too large. You may do better with 3-5 smaller meals spread over the day.

:goodpost:
Thanks, that sounds amazing.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Strawberry (Post 16244579)
If I understood correct, this was all just for breakfast.

Yep, that was my breakfast that day.

Thank you for your replies, everyone. I'll try the 3-5 meals thing too. (And I'll try to keep it around 2000 calories. I wasn't even thinking about calorie intake.)

Arctic_Mama 02-06-2013 08:53 PM

Dude... Where are your fats and veggies? Way too much protein there, not nearly enough roughage in your menu. At your size I'd be doing a minimum of four cups of non-starchy veggies. I'd be starving otherwise. I'd also cut out some of the poultry and replace it with oily fish, but that's my personal preference for nutrients ;)

I second (third?) the concerns about pre-diabetes or diabetes, those aren't normal symptoms for someone reasonably adapted to ketosis.

Arctic_Mama 02-06-2013 08:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MintyToucan (Post 16239806)
I don't think I qualify for Food Stamps... it was my fault for buying all this month's food at once. By the way, I edited my previous post to include information about my nutrient intake from the almond milk I drink. (I have enough almond milk and diet cranberry juice to have two glasses of almond milk a day and one glass of diet cranberry juice a day until March 3rd.)

Hopefully next month I can figure out a better meal plan.

May I highly suggest picking a commercial plan instead of trying to make your own? So many other doctors and nutritionists have already done the work of balancing macros, supplementation, and energy deficits. Look into Kwaniewski or Atkins. Read the material. Follow it. Much easier than just trying to low carb your way and hope it work out. Some people have success with such a method, but most are long term dieters with a lot of tweaking experience.

If you re following a specific plan and I missed it I apologize, but basic DANDR or even Atkins '72 would address these subjects much better and with more reliability than just random tweaking. Lots of good ketogenic plans out there :)


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:32 AM.