Satiety

 

“If you want an easy to remember way to measure your food…count it in pounds. “How many pounds of meat did I eat today?”. Simple.” – John Welbourn

 
One of the common issues people typically face when switching over to a paleo / primal diet is the issue of satiety. Namely, since we’ve eliminated a lot of our normal caloric sources, and likely drastically reduced our carbohydrate intake, you’re probably noticeably hungrier after meals or generally find it more difficult to feel “full”.
 
We need to first understand that the notion of “satiety” is in fact a hormonal and neurological signal that comes from the brain and the gut. It’s fairly complex and multifactorial, and also typically operates on a time delay. For example, if you’ve ever gone on an ice cream bender, you are familiar with the feeling of going from hungry to uncomfortably stuffed with seemingly little notice in between.
 
If you find yourself constantly hungry throughout the day, here are some tips to help combat your insatiable appetite. First, start by increasing your protein intake. For athletes, especially those looking to gain strength and build muscle mass (read: everybody), shooting for 1 gram of protein / lb. of bodyweight is great number to shoot for. Your next line of defense is increasing your fat intake. Think more eggs (eat the dang yolk!), cooking with butter, ghee, & coconut oil, snacking on nuts and almond butter, and throwing avocado on everything as a few suggestions. Lastly, look at increasing your starchy (roots and tubers) carbohydrate intake- think potatoes of all varieties, squash, yams, and white rice. If you are training hard, you need your quality carbs. Eat ‘em up!
 
Here’s the last thing to keep in mind: if your body composition is good, your performance is good, and you feel good, don’t worry about how much food you are eating. Some people have big appetites, and that’s just fine. If you are eating a ton of food, but things are going well for you and you aren’t piling on the body fat, then don’t fret over calories or portion sizes. Focus instead on your results and body composition.
 

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