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V hungry on LCHF - where am I going wrong?

(19 Posts)
Clearlynotmyname Wed 17-May-17 10:21:00

I've been doing LCHF for about 3 weeks now. Have really got into it and stuck to it rigidly, been counting carbs etc on myfitnesspal. Staying under 22-25g carbs per day, eating plenty of fat (average 120g), and only minor calorie deficit (1700 when my maintenance level is about 1750).

But I'm starving all the time! Constantly thinking about my next meal or snack, much more so that when I was on carbs. And I read all this posts from people who have no appetite at all on keto envy

I know I'm in ketosis as I check every so often with those strips you wee on. So where am I going wrong??

Gallavich Wed 17-May-17 12:09:59

Are you losing weight?
As far as I understand you shouldn't need to count calories as well as carbs so maybe you just need to eat a bit more?

BeyondStrongAndStable Wed 17-May-17 12:11:35

How much water are you drinking? It needs to be 3 litres a day minimum.

BeyondStrongAndStable Wed 17-May-17 12:12:37

(Positive result on keto sticks is possibly a sign you aren't drinking enough - your urine should be so watered down that even in ketosis you get a negative grin )

Clearlynotmyname Wed 17-May-17 12:34:06

Thanks for the replies.

Galla - I'm not sure! Have been weighing myself but my weight fluctuates by about 3kg normally so it's hard to tell. I've been at the lower end of normal since starting LCHF though, so maybe a bit.

My worry is that if I don't count calories I would just eat and eat and eat!

I'm not looking to lose lots of weight anyway, just a couple of kg that wouldn't shift after DCs. And then also doing LCHF for all of the other health benefits. But, I am struggling to do high intensity exercise on it, and that combined with being hungry all the time makes me want to jack it in!

Beyond - oh that's interesting. And no I definitely don't manage 3l! I do try and drink around 2l though. Using the low carb bootcamp page that seems to be right for my weight. I will def see if upping the amount I drink helps though.

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Wed 17-May-17 12:38:35

IME on LCHF you do eat and eat at first, but your appetite tails off after a few weeks.

Definitely up your drinking. If you're hungry, first have a hot drink, see if it satisfies. If you're still hungry, have a snack. I always have a packet of pine seeds or biltong in my pocket, and hard-boiled eggs in the fridge - just in case! Celery sticks dipped in mayo are also an excellent snack.

Clearlynotmyname Wed 17-May-17 12:43:09

Thanks Goody, that is reassuring. DH told me I should stop feeling so hungry after the first week or so. I'm still waiting!

Good snack suggestions too, they sound better than what I have been snacking on pepperamis

BIWI Wed 17-May-17 22:20:23

List out what you've been eating and drinking over the last few days, and let's see if we can help smile

dustmotesinthesun Thu 18-May-17 08:55:25

I think the lovely thing on this woe is you can eat. Calories are rather irrelevant. Are you getting enough veg? Enough protein?

Clearlynotmyname Thu 18-May-17 08:57:13

Thank you Biwi!! smile

Yesterday:
Breakfast - chia porridge made with coconut milk, almond milk & cocoa
Lunch - homemade chicken liver pate with seed crackers (both from keto cookbook), salad with lettuce, tomato, avocado & caesar dressing. Small amount (10g) of 85% chocolate
Dinner - courgette ribbons with smoked salmon, cream cheese and cream
Snacks - some slices of ham, a few pine nuts, celery and cream cheese, pepperami blush
Drinks - 3 teas with lactofree milk, water. Total liquids about 2 litres

Day before:
Breakfast - seed crackers
Lunch - similar to yesterday, but with blue cheese instead of avocado, and 1 slice low carb bread instead of crackers
Dinner - kale, mushrooms, spinach & prawns in a coconut milk, coconut oil & spice broth (from keto cookbook)
Snacks - some pecans, a tin of mackerel in oil
Drinks - same as yesterday

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Thu 18-May-17 16:18:27

BIWI is the expert, and I defer to her, but I would cut out the carb replacements: the chia porridge, seed crackers and low-carb bread. Personally I don't find them satisfying.

I prefer to have a good fat-loading for breakfast. It really keeps me going well. My favourite breakfasts are:

Fry sliced courgette or asparagus in masses of butter, then break a couple of eggs over and finish off either sunny-sides-up or roughly scrambled.

Scrambled eggs made with equal volumes of eggs and Helmans mayo.

Fat 'n' Fibre smoothie made with lots of low-carb fresh green veg, chia or flax seeds, a teaspoon of miso, a teaspoon of undiluted tahini, almond milk, and either a very generous glug of olive oil or a small can of coconut cream.

Clearlynotmyname Thu 18-May-17 19:52:29

Thank you for your advice Goody, I do see your point although sadly I can't face eggs every day for breakfast, and I just can't do green smoothies at all. Though the scrambled eggs made with mayo sounds yum, I have to try that!!

Also, forgive me if I am being dense but I don't see how your examples are hugely different in terms of nutrients? Chia porridge is seeds and fat (coconut milk) - similar to your smoothie except the veg. Ditto the crackers - all seeds and fat (coconut oil). And the bread (which I hardly ever have) is mostly eggs and flaxseed.

It is generally in the afternoon I am ravenous - tends to be worst at 3pm, exactly the same as when I was on carbs. I was desperately hoping that would go away on LCHF.

I'm so close to giving up - I had such high hopes but now I am just tired, dizzy and hungry ALL the time, plus losing no weight to speak of sad

BIWI Thu 18-May-17 21:44:14

Tired, dizzy and hungry would suggest two things to me - firstly that you're not eating enough fat and second, that if you're drinking plenty of water, that your electrolytes are out of balance, so you need to be consuming more sodium, magnesium and potassium.

From your meals, it looks to me like you're not really eating enough:

Day 1

Breakfast - chia porridge made with coconut milk, almond milk & cocoa

This looks OK, although I'm not sure how much fat there will be in this? Without knowing what brand of coconut and almond milk you're drinking, it's hard to know. But you should be making sure that you're eating more fat than protein

Lunch - homemade chicken liver pate with seed crackers (both from keto cookbook), salad with lettuce, tomato, avocado & caesar dressing. Small amount (10g) of 85% chocolate

Again, not sure how much fat you're getting here. I don't know what's in your seed crackers.

Dinner - courgette ribbons with smoked salmon, cream cheese and cream

This doesn't sound like much food - but again, without knowing your portion size it's hard to comment!

Snacks - some slices of ham, a few pine nuts, celery and cream cheese, pepperami

This sounds like quite a lot of snacking; it's also bringing processed food into your diet, along with smoked salmon which is also a processed food.

Drinks - 3 teas with lactofree milk, water. Total liquids about 2 litres

I don't know how much you weigh, but 'about 2 litres' does imply to me that you haven't really drunk 2 litres! Getting enough water is really important. (And hunger is often wrongly interpreted as thirst, so you should always drink more when you feel hungry!)

Day 2

Breakfast - seed crackers

Why only crackers?! No wonder you're getting hungry. This isn't a WOE that's about deprivation.

Lunch - similar to yesterday, but with blue cheese instead of avocado, and 1 slice low carb bread instead of crackers

Sounds to me like you're introducing carbs/carb substitutes instead of protein and/or fat.

Dinner - kale, mushrooms, spinach & prawns in a coconut milk, coconut oil & spice broth (from keto cookbook)

How much fat did you use here?

Overall, I suspect that you're not getting enough fat and protein, and you're probably overdoing the carbs. Forget MFP - it's not really that accurate.

Your meals should be based around fat and then protein - and only then carbs. Forget the carb substitutes.

Make sure you're drinking plenty of water, and also get more sodium - drink a hot drink made from Oxo/Bovril/Marmite. And also eat salmon, avocado, spinach and full fat yoghurt.

And make sure that your portion sizes are decent! This isn't about starving yourself.

Clearlynotmyname Fri 19-May-17 10:05:54

Hi Biwi, thanks so much for your input, so helpful!

It sounds like there is definitely something in the water & electrolytes thing. I do struggle to drink enough, always have. I need to have a bottle surgically attached to me! I should have also mentioned muscle weakness, especially during exercise (even more than before), which would also imply electrolytes? I was a marmite fiend before LCHF, clearly my body is missing it...

On the MFP topic, I know it's not for everyone, but I simply can't trust myself to get the macros right without it. Yes there is a lot of incorrect rubbish on there, but I am very anal careful about entering everything correctly, using the barcode scanner and checking against nutritional info on packets, so unless the packets are wrong I'm pretty comfortable that my carb and fat counts are right.

Because of that I'm not convinced that lack of fat is the problem in my case - I'm getting on average 75% of calories from fat (although admittedly probably too much of that is cheese). I could do with upping my protein though, will work on that.

I'll look at my meal portion sizes too. I've also been a snacker, find it hard to eat a big meal, then even if I do, still feel hungry 2 hours later. But that may well be a psychological thing left over from insulin highs and lows caused by carbs, so hopefully will start to get better.

I do stand by my keto crackers though!! They are fab, full of healthy fats (6 different seeds plus coconut oil), super filling and satisfying, with a nice salty crunch that helps me get over the loss of crisps. However, I'd be very happy to tell chia porridge and low carb bread to do one grin

BIWI Fri 19-May-17 14:00:15

By the way, if you've just moved to low carbing then you are likely to find exercise hard going in the first few weeks. Once you've been able to switch into fat-burning, you'll find it gets a lot easier.

And re meals and snacking, it's far better for your blood sugar levels to eat fewer times a day, rather than introduce more eating occasions. Every time you eat, your blood sugar levels rise again - and then drop, which could be causing you to feel hungry.

Like anything, though, this is a bit 'suck it and see' - you need to work out what's working for you. But I'd say aim for bigger meals, with more fat and protein, and try and stick to breakfast/lunch/dinner

Clearlynotmyname Sat 20-May-17 17:05:02

Thanks Biwi

Out of interest, what is the issue with the "carb replacements"? If they are made of standard low carb foods and not additives I mean, e.g. eggs, coconut oil, flaxseed, almond flour etc.

Is it to do with breaking the psychological habit around bread etc?

BIWI Sat 20-May-17 17:07:08

Partly that, but also because you can still end up eating a fair amount of carbohydrate - and you should really be getting your carbs from vegetables and salad.

(And some people have also reported that flaxseed bread has impeded their weight loss - although this seems to be anecdotal)

Clearlynotmyname Sat 20-May-17 17:08:31

Thanks!! And for the super quick reply smile

BIWI Sat 20-May-17 17:09:34

grin

You're welcome. Just happened to be snatching a quick 10 minutes of MNetting!

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