Work Out in the Mornings but Not Hungry in the Mornings


africangie

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Hi!  I'm new to this forum, so I hope I'm doing this right.  I am on Day 7 or so of W30, and I find I am really hungry towards the end of the day.  I exercise intensely first thing in the morning (Insanity).  I prefer to work out on an empty stomach.  I have eggs and veggies with some fat for breakfast post-workout, but I'm just not hungry enough to hunker down with three eggs plus two veggies, etc.  (I'm full after two eggs and some veggies).  I have a filling lunch (chili, coconut cream "sour cream", veggies) and a comparable dinner (steak or chicken, oil-based sauce, veggies, maybe 1/2 a sweet potato or some small roasted potatoes).  But I eat dinner early (5-5:30 PM) to get my kids down for the night, and I get super hungry three hours later, when I've still got a couple hours of grown-up time.  I figure my body needs the energy, so I have a compliant snack.  From what I've been reading, that's not recommended.  Would I then be better off just having a small second dinner?  I can forego the coconut, macadamia nuts, and raisins snack if I can have smaller serving of what I had for dinner.  Thoughts?

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For sure eating a balanced plate of leftovers if you are hungry is better for your body overall than nuts, coconut and raisins.

 

My thoughts would be that you cannot actually "make up for" a reduced meal at breakfast with your meals later in the day.  Breakfast sets you up for the rest of your day and could very well be the cause of your hunger at night.  Learning to eat breakfast in a proper quantity is something you'll want to work on.  Make your meal fit our template (linked below) and eat as much as you can, pack up the balance and take it with you to eat again as soon as you can.  Your body will learn to expect a template sized meal for breakfast!

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Not being hungry in the morning is often a symptom of hormonal rhythms being off. One of the fastest ways to get your rhythms reset is to actually eat a substantial breakfast within an hour of waking. 

 

Intense exercise can depress appetite for a short time. I wonder if you could experiment with eating some lean protein immediately after you finish your Insanity workout. I typically eat a can of tuna as my post-workout protein. Then get a shower and dressed for the day. Then eat breakfast - as much as you can. 

 

You need extra nutrition on days that you workout, so you are due 4-5 meals on workout days. 

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Thanks, everyone, for your input!  I really appreciate it!  I should add a couple explanatory comments: First off, I actually am hungry first thing when I wake up, but I learned years ago that working out on an empty stomach is optimal for fat-burning and weight loss (I did Body for Life and lost 30 lbs., so my own success with the program convinced me - up until now? - of the veracity of this claim).  I should add that BFL's six small meals a day also became a model for me, as many (not just BFL) claim that smaller, more frequent meals is healthier than hunkering down with "three square meals."  Fast-forward several years, and I've got a ton of baby weight to lose and I join Weight Watchers.  Suddenly, my morning fast works in my favour b/c I end up with all these leftover points at night to enjoy a treat!  Again, the 58 lbs. I lost on WW cemented into my mind that my method was working.  

 

Ok, so then, to clarify what I said earlier, I wake up hungry, but I resist the urge to eat until one hour after my workout (also a recommendation of BFL).  When I do eat, I try to follow the template, but I'm just not hungry enough for three eggs, veggies, fat, etc.  So, I eat a bit less, until I'm full.  Maybe it's still the point counting WW in me, but the thought doing a diet/plan that's telling me to eat more than I am satisfied with (and more fat!) still seems so contradictory to what I've been told for so long! :)

 

I'm open to correction, even if it will take some time to break YEARS of doing things a certain way.  Thanks for your patience with me, everyone.  I appreciate your counsel and look forward to eating something soon.  I just got up and I'm hungry! :)

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Maybe it's still the point counting WW in me, but the thought doing a diet/plan that's telling me to eat more than I am satisfied with (and more fat!) still seems so contradictory to what I've been told for so long!  :)

I think herein lies your problem. You may well have lost weight on both of these plans, but you're here now, and I think in order to give whole30 a chance you have to give it the benefit of the doubt and stick to the guidelines to see maximum results. If you don't eat enough fat your body goes into hibernation mode & tries to store fat in case of future shortage. Then you're waking hungry but denying your body food - again sending the wrong signals to your brain. And when you're done training your appetite has been magically suppressed. Yes, there has been lots of research into the pros and cos of fasted cardio, but there has also been lots of research into eating fat to burn fat - I think you need to eat the fat, and give the latter a proper chance...

As for WW system of point counting & left-over points equaling rewards/treats.... sheesh, don't get me started on that...  <_<

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Ok, so then, to clarify what I said earlier, I wake up hungry, but I resist the urge to eat until one hour after my workout

This is a perfect instance where you need to listen to your body. Yes, lots of people workout fasted and nothing terrible happens to them. But there is a big difference between working out fasted and denying your body nourishment despite obvious signals and then forcing a workout in order to force that body to do something you want. This is how hunger cues get screwed up.

When I work out in the morning I eat a couple bites of something, not enough to even be considered a mini meal, just something to tell my body that we're awake and we're going to do something and then food is coming. If I wake up hungry, those couple bites become more than that.

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If you are going to do Body For Life, do BFL. If you are going to do Weight Watchers, do WW. If you are going to do a Whole30, don't mess it up by trying to blend it with other programs. Every detail of the Whole30 program has been designed purposefully to maximize your health and it works. I've been here for 5 years and despite eating more food than most people I know, I have not gained back the 30 pounds I lost starting in 2010. 

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Thanks for your tips, everyone!  I am not trying to do BFL or WW.  I am just so used to doing things a certain way that it's taking me a while to reprogram.  But I'm open and have been making changes.  I've been eating BF within an hour of waking, and I've been feeling good about my compliant food choices.  I'm 100% in with the Whole 30.  The past few nights I've even cut out snacking at night, even though I had a super early dinner and was awake 4-5 hours after I'd eaten (dinner at 5-5:30 PM, lights out at 10:30 or 11 PM).  I never thought I'd  be able to go w/o my night snack, but so far I'm doing ok.  I do feel like I eat a ton at dinner, and that feels weird, but if you tell me that that's the W30 way, then I'm willing to do this the way it's supposed to be done.  One more thing, though: Right after dinner, after my meat and my big pile of veggies are devoured, if I still feel hungry (or not quite full), I'm supposed to eat more, right?  Preferably fat, right?  So, does unsweetened toasted coconut and a small amount of nuts work?  It's not a snack in the evening, it's just something to top me off if I've run out of all the other food - I'm amazed at how much food I'm going through!  

 

Thanks again, everyone!  

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The Whole 30 is only 30 days but there are members who've adopted the Whole 30 as a lifestyle change.  These members may be riding their bike but their bike riding does not involve returning back to former ways that caused former problems.  


 


I'm not going back to my pre Whole 30 way of living that brought on/caused insulin resistance.  There is no badge or reward I will reap from doing anything of that nature.  Whole 30 will always be here for members who can off-road after 30 days with all kinds of variations on a theme but I've made a choice to just stick with the template.  It suits my blood sugar levels and no one is going to insist I must return to play foods, fast foods or deliberately engineered to be highly craved industrial foods.   My bike riding involves making my health a priority with a bunch of sugar avoidance for the long haul.


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Thanks for your tips, everyone!  I am not trying to do BFL or WW.  I am just so used to doing things a certain way that it's taking me a while to reprogram.  But I'm open and have been making changes.  I've been eating BF within an hour of waking, and I've been feeling good about my compliant food choices.  I'm 100% in with the Whole 30.  The past few nights I've even cut out snacking at night, even though I had a super early dinner and was awake 4-5 hours after I'd eaten (dinner at 5-5:30 PM, lights out at 10:30 or 11 PM).  I never thought I'd  be able to go w/o my night snack, but so far I'm doing ok.  I do feel like I eat a ton at dinner, and that feels weird, but if you tell me that that's the W30 way, then I'm willing to do this the way it's supposed to be done.  One more thing, though: Right after dinner, after my meat and my big pile of veggies are devoured, if I still feel hungry (or not quite full), I'm supposed to eat more, right?  Preferably fat, right?  So, does unsweetened toasted coconut and a small amount of nuts work?  It's not a snack in the evening, it's just something to top me off if I've run out of all the other food - I'm amazed at how much food I'm going through!  

 

Thanks again, everyone!

If you are hungry after your dinner of meat and veggies, I'm wondering if you are remembering to include fat with the meal? Nuts and coconut is fine but not the optimal choice for every day use. Do you add fat to your meals?

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If you are hungry after your dinner of meat and veggies, I'm wondering if you are remembering to include fat with the meal? Nuts and coconut is fine but not the optimal choice for every day use. Do you add fat to your meals?

Hi ladyshanny!  Yes, I do.  I put coconut cream/butter on my sweet potato and chimichurri sauce on my steak.  So, do you seldom eat coconut and nuts straight, as opposed to a component in a meal?  It's just so yummy, safe, and healthy that whether I use it to top my sweet potato or eat it afterwards, I just enjoy it so much.  And it feels like such a good choice considering all the bad choices I've given up.  (Not that I eat a ton of processed foods normally, since I live overseas where I don't have access to all the junk that's easily had in N. America.  But I like a sweet treat now and then).

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The Whole 30 is only 30 days but there are members who've adopted the Whole 30 as a lifestyle change.  These members may be riding their bike but their bike riding does not involve returning back to former ways that caused former problems.  

 

I'm not going back to my pre Whole 30 way of living that brought on/caused insulin resistance.  There is no badge or reward I will reap from doing anything of that nature.  Whole 30 will always be here for members who can off-road after 30 days with all kinds of variations on a theme but I've made a choice to just stick with the template.  It suits my blood sugar levels and no one is going to insist I must return to play foods, fast foods or deliberately engineered to be highly craved industrial foods.   My bike riding involves making my health a priority with a bunch of sugar avoidance for the long haul.

 

I'm glad you've found such a wonderful lifestyle that helps maximize your health and wellness with the Whole 30.  I am doing the W30 just as a challenge to myself, and to take a break from Weight Watchers (counting points can be a pain), but not because I've ever suffered from problems with my gut or blood sugar levels.  I've got a gut of steel!  Nothing seems to make me feel sick.  Which is a good thing, b/c I live overseas and have traveled a ton and wherever I go, I seem to fare well and rarely get tummy problems.  That being said, I like my sweets and am enjoying the way in which 10 days on the Whole 30 has broken my cravings.  Sure, I'm still tempted, but when I see my husband reaching for cookies while we watch TV together at night, I feel so free to just chill out w/o needing to eat anything, not even a "healthy" "low-points" food (popcorn with Cholula hot sauce was my favourite!).  Once I get off Whole 30 (since I am pretty sure this won't become my lifestyle), I intend to eat a lot better and avoid sweets a lot more than I did before.  I'm thankful for all the feedback I've received on here already and for the lessons I'm learning through this process.  Thanks again! :)

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Hi ladyshanny!  Yes, I do.  I put coconut cream/butter on my sweet potato and chimichurri sauce on my steak.  So, do you seldom eat coconut and nuts straight, as opposed to a component in a meal?  It's just so yummy, safe, and healthy that whether I use it to top my sweet potato or eat it afterwards, I just enjoy it so much.  And it feels like such a good choice considering all the bad choices I've given up.  (Not that I eat a ton of processed foods normally, since I live overseas where I don't have access to all the junk that's easily had in N. America.  But I like a sweet treat now and then).

 

I'm no expert, but that sounds on low side fat wise to me... The oil you're using to cook in really doesn't count toward your fat intake and I'd imagine that the coconut butter/cream is the same. I'd maybe add a half an avocado or a handful of olives to your meal. Upping the fat will lessen your cravings for sweet treats which is essentially the coconut you're finishing off your meal with - kind of like a dessert..

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I'm no expert, but that sounds on low side fat wise to me... The oil you're using to cook in really doesn't count toward your fat intake and I'd imagine that the coconut butter/cream is the same. I'd maybe add a half an avocado or a handful of olives to your meal. Upping the fat will lessen your cravings for sweet treats which is essentially the coconut you're finishing off your meal with - kind of like a dessert..

jmcbn, you're right, my coconut topping off my meal may serve as a bit of a dessert.  I've come a long way (I used to need a real dessert after lunch and dinner!), but sometimes it does hit the spot.  I don't have access to avocados where I live (in Senegal), but I can get olives, which I haven't incorporated into my W30 yet, maybe b/c I've never used them much except for a tiny addition to pizza.  I added some coconut cream (a spoonful or two) to my breakfast the morning, so hopefully that helped, too.  Thanks for the reminder and tips!  That's helpful.  

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africangie it sounds like you're doing great and asking the right questions. I'm curious about the produce/fat/meat choices in Senegal but that would get me OT. :)

 

As jmcbn wrote, you might want to keep an eye on both your fat (as in add more!) as well as your "feeling peckish" after finishing a meal. As you progress further on your whole 30, you'll start to recognize when the fat in your meal was too low - you'll feel a certain kind of mental/physical hunger/lack of satiation cue after you've eaten. This is a different kind of hunger than genuine "I need more food".

 

Which leads me to my next point: eating nuts/something sweet (fruit, coconut etc) as a snack after a meal. It's a healthier choice than SAD stuff, but instead of thinking of it that way, re-frame it as "Why am I hungry-ish when I've already eaten a while ago?" The more you dig into what's triggering this, the better you'll understand what your body needs; when your sugar dragon is sneakily rearing and/or food boredom. Unlike pretty much all other diets, whole 30 is meant to re-align your physical *and* mental pathways with your body so you can truly understand what's going on and to build a healthier, more whole you. Suppressing feelings, triggers, signals etc. (which we do on traditional diets) are conventionally embraced ie. "toughing it out" and ignoring hunger/anger/monkey brain. Whole 30 is the opposite - it tries to get you to listen and become aware of all the signals your body sends you. The tricky part is interpreting it all and understanding how it applies to you, so you can embrace the best choice(s).

 

ps. I totally get snacky when my fat is too low or missing in my meals. :)

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So, do you seldom eat coconut and nuts straight, as opposed to a component in a meal?  

Eating nuts straight (and something as sweet as coconut butter) can be triggering of all sorts of snacky behaviours.  Hand to mouth eating, sugar dragon, fake hunger, that "need" for "something".  

 

Your fat sources may seem limited in your location but you can eat fattier cuts of meat (properly raised, please), make homemade mayo, eat whole eggs, drizzle with finishing oils, serve with handfuls of olives etc.  

 

I'll be curious, when you finish your Whole30 successfully and then reintroduce foods, if you still think you have a gut of steel or if you end up with weird results and go "Oh, THAT'S why I have a runny nose/itchy skin/bummed out mood etc."  ;)

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"Your fat sources may seem limited in your location but you can eat fattier cuts of meat (properly raised, please), make homemade mayo, eat whole eggs, drizzle with finishing oils, serve with handfuls of olives etc."

I just had THE most delicious (& compliant) roast pork belly & steamed prawns served with carrots and courgettes roasted in almond butter.... and that was from a chef in a restaurant willing to listen & cater to my needs. There are many healthy fat sources out there if you're willing to think (& look) outside of the box...

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