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overeating?


scma

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I am on Day 12, and I am worried I am eating a ton of high calorie food, plus topping it off with nuts. I'm not stepping on the scale per the "rules" but I don't feel like my body is changing and I wonder if I'm just eating too much. I often feel like I'm not satisfied unless I eat a handful of nuts after lunch and dinner. I also need a snack (which tends to be nuts or fruit, just out of convenience) mid-afternoon. Before this I ate a lot of carbs and sugar, but I've done pretty well with the cravings not being vicious. I don't eat fruit as a substitute for sugar or dessert, it's only when I need something fast and it happens to be available.

For reference, I do barre and yoga workouts 3-6 times a week. I weigh about 125. Also, I just started eating 3 eggs at breakfast instead of 2 (which works awesome).

breakfast: 3 fried eggs over ratatouille, all cooked in coconut oil, strawberries and blackberries, coffee with coconut cream

snack (it was past noon and I had another hour till I could eat): apple, plus got an iced green tea at Starbucks while I was out

lunch: beef chili with jalepeno slices, almonds

snack (absolutely stomach-growling starving at 5 PM): spiced cashews

dinner: 8 oz strip steak, whole baked potato w homemade mayo, lettuce salad w evoo and balsamic vinegar

snack (around 10:00) - handful of almonds

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I don't think you're overeating. If you're hungry, you should eat -- Whole30 is not about deprivation or starving yourself, we want you to eat plenty of nutrient-dense foods to support your activity levels. If you look at the meal template, it lists a range of amounts of food, and it's absolutely okay to eat at the upper end of that, and even more if you need to. There may be days when you're just really hungry, and that's fine. Eat. If you end up eating twice as much food one day, but you eat it because you're really hungry, not because you're bored or angry or whatever, it's fine. If you're not sure if you're really hungry or if it's cravings or some kind of emotional response, think about if you'd eat something bland and kind of boring, like plain steamed fish and broccoli. If you'd happily eat that, you're probably really hungry. If you wouldn't eat that, but would eat cashews or an apple or chocolate instead, really think about why you're wanting food, because it's probably not true hunger.

Anecdotally, many people find that having fruit with their breakfast leaves them more hungry the rest of the day -- as in, even if they have exactly the same breakfast two days, but one day they add some fruit, so they're actually eating a bit more, they find themselves hungrier and more prone to cravings the rest of the day. That's something you can play with and see if it makes a difference for you -- try having your eggs and lots of veggies and fat and leaving off the fruit with that meal and see if it makes a difference.

If you aren't able to go 4-5 hours between meals pretty easily, your meals need some tweaking. You don't mention how much vegetables you're eating, but it should be lots, and remember that cooking fat often stays in the pan and isn't consumed, so it's definitely okay to add more fat to your meals. Maybe try some avocado or olives with your meals, or mayo or other sauces or dips.

I don't know how you made your chili, I know some recipes do have some vegetables in it, but if yours didn't, you probably didn't have a plate full of jalapeno slices, so you probably needed more vegetables there.

If you need a snack between meals, try to have protein, fat, and vegetables, or at least two of the three. Fruit on its own can cause a spike and then drop in blood sugar levels, leaving you more tired, more hungry, and more likely to reach for more fruit to try to get your energy levels up. You could carry jerky or Epic bars or pouches or cans of tuna with you, some single serve pouches of olives for fat, slip a ziploc bag of vegetables like carrots, celery, bell pepper strips, jicama, snap or snow peas in your purse so you have options if you think there's a chance you may be out and need something. (I just realized I'm assuming you're female and carry a purse. Sub briefcase, pocket, cooler, or whatever works there instead if they're more applicable.)

Also, keep in mind that on days you do workouts, you should be having pre- and post-workout meals in addition to your regular meals. Pre-WO is most important if you're working out first thing in the morning -- you want to eat something within an hour of waking up. It can also be important if it's been several hours since you last ate and you feel you need to eat a little something to keep hunger from affecting your workout. It should be protein and fat. A hardboiled egg with a little mayo, chicken thigh and guacamole -- doesn't need to be a lot, just a few bites.  Post-WO needs to be lean protein eaten fairly soon after your workout to aid in muscle recovery, and optionally some starchy vegetable. Again, it doesn't have to be a full meal size, just a few bites should be fine. This article explains a little more about that.

You don't have to eat nuts, in fact, they're not the best fat source -- they're easy to overeat, they can be hard on the digestive system, and they don't have the greatest omega-3 to omega-6 ratio. They are easy to grab when you're in a hurry (part of why they're easy to overeat), but if you plan ahead, you can have other options on hand, and again, when you get your meals right, you'll find it easy to go 4-5 hours at a time between meals and won't need the snacks.

Finally, you aren't even halfway through your Whole30 yet. Relax, follow the meal template for all your meals, and give it a chance.

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