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What do I do when I'm just not hungry?


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Let me preface this by saying that I am an overeater both by nature and by lifelong habit. But sometimes, no matter how I am eating (complaint/not), I am just not hungry. This is rare (maybe one meal per week?), so I don't really pay it any mind. I've been coping by having an apple with a little almond butter and moving on. As an overeater, "not eating enough" is not a real concern - it just never rises to that level.


But this happens with more frequency when I'm eating 30/Paleo/Primal. Come lunch or dinner time, sometimes it will be mealtime and food just sounds gross - like, nauseatingly so. Maybe, once every two or three days? Eating when I'm distinctly not hungry goes against what feels right to me, so I think I need some help here.


I can't be the only person to have had this happen, right?


- How have others dealt with it?

- Any suggestions for go-to foods when it's mealtime and you just can't stomach the idea?

- Any other words of wisdom?


Starting my third 30 on Monday, and trying to plan for contingencies. (first 30 went well, second was derailed by the sugar dragon on day 24).

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It is okay to skip a meal if you are not hungry unless it is breakfast. Not being hungry at breakfast is a sign of problems with your hormonal rhythms. Eating breakfast within one hour of waking is a powerful method of getting your hormonal rhythms to where they need to be, so it is important to eat breakfast no matter what. 


Lunch and supper are not as critically important, but it is important to look at any reason you might not be hungry and make adjustments. Reasons that might leave you not hungry "on schedule" for your next meal might include: 1) eating your previous meal late, 2) eating too much at your previous meal, or 3) eating a snack between meals. These are all something you can do something about before your next meal.


If you are feeling nauseous about eating because of any of these three reasons, I think it is best to delay your meal or skip it entirely rather than eating a snack. Eating a snack in place of a meal means you are going farther off course from what your body truly needs. 

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I suffer from migraines.  I have to eat pretty much 100% clean in order not to get them. That's pretty hard to do especially around the holidays.  And usually when I migraine hits I get pretty severe nausea (sometimes I throw up sometimes I don't) but most always I do not feel like eating.  But I do know the importance of having something in my stomach.


Sometimes it's just basic bone broth.  Once the nausea passes I like to get down some scrambled eggs and sweet potato. I have found that these are pretty easy on my stomach.  I don't enjoy the meal too much but I generally feel better and it will most always stay down.


Food aversions are pretty common - even when things are going great.  The key is to figure out if it's really a food aversion or food boredom.  Food aversion is a little harder to deal with as you generally really don't feel like eating.  But eating regularly will keep your hormone levels even.  So it is recommended to eat a template meal - even if it may be a mini one.  So find something that agrees with you (hint you want minimum of protein, vegetable and fat)

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Oh, these are definitely things I needed to hear, thank you.


I think when I'm non-compliant, it's more often food boredom. But I have had a sensitive stomach since a particularly bad bout of food poisioning five years ago (never been the same) and I get nauseated very easily ever since. Eating clean helps, as do probiotics, but I've had to adjust to the new normal none the less.


Thanks for that distincition between food aversion and food boredom, by the way. Very helpful to conceptualize.


But when I'm eating paleo-compliant, it's often that I'm just not hungry - still feeling satiated from the last meal. This happens when I'm eliminating snacks, when I'm eating on a normal time schedule, and when my meals aren't generally all that big - certainly no bigger than the template, often a good bit smaller. The only thing I can think is that the addition of so much animal-based protein (my non-compliant diet has maybe one portion per day) keeps me satiated for longer than usual, and the way my body adjusts is by signaling me that I need less of it.


My previous 30/paleo/primal experiences have had me less and less hungry in general as the time wears on. But I've never been exercising regularly through them before, so maybe that will change?


I have been working out on an empty stomach for a few months now, due primarily to the timing involved - I can't get up, eat, and be adequately digested by the time my 6am classes start. But I'm going to try starting my day with a portion of nuts first-first thing and see if I can adjust to that - dense protein fat and calories without a lot of mass in my stomach, I'm hoping. [My "real" first meal (post-WO) is 60-90 minutes after the workout because I have to shower and get to work before I can eat it - eating at the gym or in the car just isn't reasonable.]


So skipping, if I must, is not entirely verboten? That's helpful. Also, the suggestion of a mini-template meal is good. My apple with almond butter example would be what I would have in lieu of, say, dinner if I was un-hungry, but it really isn't covering all of the template bases. I am very fond of the Nom Nom Paleo Spicy Tuna Cakes and keep them in the freezer (for work day breakfasts) - I'll have to see if I can come up with something similar to keep on hand for times like these.

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Your tuna cake example is a better one than the apple/almond butter since it's closer to W30-template.

But, I would just skip the meal rather than feel you need to cram the calories in. Only danger is if you get too hungry (hangry :)) later and end up binging and/or eating non-compliant stuff.

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