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Coming into the program with few hunger cues


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Hello everyone,

I started my whole30 three days ago on Friday and I've read the whole30 book and have been browsing this website for more information and ideas.

A lot of the people here talk about their struggle with being hungry more frequently, but I have the opposite problem, I don't feel hungry that often.

I don't purposefully restrict food, but I've been an one meal a day girl for as long as I can remember. There are no psychological traumas related to food that has caused this, no one has ever called me fat or commented on my weight as a child, teen, or young adult so that is not a factor. I've just always heard everyone say that we should follow our hunger cues so that's what I do.

I know this program suggests that we eat three meals a day but I find that I'm not hungry for that much food. On my first day of the whole30 I ate 1/4 of a 10in Spinach Frittata and a peach as my only meal of the day because I wasn't hungry for the rest of the day and I didn't feel like preparing food that I wasn't hungry for in the first place. On my second day I felt no bad side effects from eating so little the day before, but I made myself eat three meals (another 4th of the frittata and strawberries for breakfast, protein salad with canned chicken, grapes, celery, carrot, and onion over baby spinach for lunch, and spaghetti squash with tomato sauce and ground turkey for dinner). I'm feeling a little more tired today, but still pretty normal. I have eating another 4th of the frittata and a banana so far. I need to eat the protein salad in about an hour if I don't want dinner to be at 10 or 11pm, but I'm not feeling hungry.

I used to eat a calorie bomb meal (lots of cheese, carb, fat, and sugar) as my only meal in the past, so I'm not underweight --just tired and sluggish all the time which is why I started this program. I know we're not tracking calories on this program (and I've never been one to really track calories anyway) but now that I'm not eating the high calorie fatty foods, I'm wondering if I should be concerned about how my poor hunger cues are going to affect my ability to get enough calories in a day.

Should I just listen to my sporadic hunger cues and eat when I feel hunger --trusting that they will regulate into something normal as the program progresses--, or should I eat three meals a day to "train" them into being more normal and to ensure I'm getting enough calories? I do have excess fat that I can use for energy, but according to the book, my body is not adapted to do that yet. Making myself eat three meals a day is not torture, it's just not particularly enjoyable either, so I'm not going to do it if you guys/the whole30 team don't think there's benefit in doing it or harm in not doing it.

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This might be a good thing to discuss with a nutritionist, especially if you can find one who is friendly to eating whole foods/paleo, to get more details on this.

I am definitely not a doctor or an expert, but because one thing that often happens, even in people who are eating three meals a day, is that they undereat while doing Whole30 -- usually completely inadvertently, they just don't realize how few calories there can be even in what often feels like a large volume of food -- I would suggest setting a time for 4-5 hours between meals, and eat something. Try to make sure you're eating some protein, some fat, and some vegetables each time, but if you cannot stomach a full meal in one sitting, the portions might be smaller than called for, but aim for that kind of ratio. I think your hunger cues will become more normalized if you are eating on a schedule anyway, I don't think waiting for them to just happen, when they don't appear to have been happening before, is going to suddenly start working. But again, I am not a doctor or a nutritionist or any kind of expert. I just know that undereating is not good for you, and this seems like a way to help ensure that you get enough food.

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Hello Shannon and thank you for your response,

I'll have to call my insurance company to see if a nutrition consult is covered or see how much the out of pocket cost is in the area, but talking to a professional is probably a good idea. In the mean time, I'll try to make sure I'm getting protein, fat, and vegetables in with every meal. If I understand correctly, cooking fat does not properly count as enough fat since some is left in the pan and divided up into however many portions I have?

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