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Old 03-20-2012, 11:01 AM   #1
Sally Brown
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Out of control appetite

I'm now into 2 months of crossfit. i can tell i'm gaining some muscle, but not really losing any belly fat, and that's my main concern. I've been trying to eat Paleo. at my first box, the coach told me to be on a 1700 calorie diet if i wanted to lose weight. At my second box, coaches are telling me I shouldn't necessarily count calories. Some days it's easier for me to stay in 1700 range, others it's nearly impossible. After heavy lifting days, or intense WODs, i get so ravenous and that sometimes runs into the next day. So i can't really do portion control. How key is that to losing weight and belly fat? I sometimes eat double portion of salmon and veggies, followed by a protein bar or something just cuz i'm so starving. is my overeating what's keeping me from losing the belly fat? or should i listen to my body and give it the nutrients its craving? anyone else have a problem struggling with suppressing appetite with a kicked up workout regimen?
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:45 PM   #2
Christopher G. Woods
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Re: Out of control appetite

Stubborn belly fat has more to do with insulin and cortisol levels than caloric intake. The most likely causes are that you are either consuming too much carbohydrate or you are not getting enough sleep.
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:22 PM   #3
Dimitri Dziabenko
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Re: Out of control appetite

I'll make this in point-form:
- Belly fat isn't really that stubborn for women, hip/thighs are VERY stubborn though.
- Paleo: Should automatically be "low carb" unless you're going nuts on the fruit or eating buckets of carrots, so you're probably ok there.

Reasons you might not be losing:
- Overeating. WODs are short, if you sit around the rest of the day, you're not burning that many calories, so without creating a deficit, it just won't come off at any kind of reasonable pace.
- Cortisol from hard dieting/overtraining. Can cause MASSIVE water retention around the belly. Sometimes people find that relaxing and taking a break from the diet actually flushes the water out and they become leaner. I am always surprised at people trying to up their intensity/volume while being in a caloric deficit when they don't have the ability to recover, it's pretty funny actually that they think this is optimal.
- Women can shift around a lot of water weight naturally (up to 10lb), whereas fat loss is at best 1lb a week, so even perfect diet, you might need 10 weeks to see results if you are unlucky.
- If you are insulin sensitive, you will lose more weight on a relatively higher carb intake.

Being hungry:
- Protein is the most filling of all nutrients, something to keep in mind.
- If you are dieting and only eating 1700 calories a day, doing the whole 6-7 meals a day is not a good way to go, unless you consider a 200 calorie meal to be satisfying. Doing 3-4 meals a day might help.
- If you think your diet is pretty perfect and you are not overtraining, then it might really just be hunger from dieting. Hunger sucks. If everything else is dialed in, and you've tried upping the veggie intake (to get more food bulk) and you're still struggling, then you can always suppress your appetite with something like norephedrine (Dexatrim for example).
- As a most extreme of resorts, some people use Ephedrine/Caffeine/Tyrosine, which is a fat burning combination that also absolutely demolishes hunger. THIS IS A LAST RESORT AND ONLY IF YOU HAVE TRIED EVERYTHING ELSE. And even then, most people don't wanna take drugs to not be hungry.

Last edited by Dimitri Dziabenko : 03-20-2012 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 03-20-2012, 03:39 PM   #4
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Out of control appetite

How tall are you and what do you weigh now? What does your training look like?

Being ravenous after workouts is pretty normal. You can deal with it by timing your meals so that you eat a big meal right after a workout, while keeping total calories low; by eating more overall; or both.

It's actually pretty hard to overeat on salmon and veggies. I'm more concerned about the protein bar, since many of those are mostly sugar.

Ignore Dimitri. Taking speed to keep your appetite in check is a really dumb idea. Since he's usually a pretty sharp guy, I'm shocked that he even suggested it. My opinion is that diet pills of any kind should only be considered if all else fails, if you have a medical need to lose weight, and under a doctor's supervision. If you're continuously hungry, you've probably created too large a calorie deficit.

Katherine
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:26 PM   #5
Dimitri Dziabenko
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Re: Out of control appetite

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Originally Posted by Katherine Derbyshire View Post
Ignore Dimitri. Taking speed to keep your appetite in check is a really dumb idea. Since he's usually a pretty sharp guy, I'm shocked that he even suggested it. My opinion is that diet pills of any kind should only be considered if all else fails, if you have a medical need to lose weight, and under a doctor's supervision. If you're continuously hungry, you've probably created too large a calorie deficit.
Awww, all my health-conscious points above that got sidefaced by one offhand remark about how the EC-stack blunts hunger. In my defense, I included a cautionary remark and said it probably should not be done, and when done, only as a very last resort (and I meant that, hence capitalized).

On another note, Katherine is right: the average protein bar is basically glorified candy. I do think you can overeat on Salmon though because it tastes amazing and has lots of fat (healthy fat, but still fat).
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:31 PM   #6
Sally Brown
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Re: Out of control appetite

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Originally Posted by Christopher G. Woods View Post
Stubborn belly fat has more to do with insulin and cortisol levels than caloric intake. The most likely causes are that you are either consuming too much carbohydrate or you are not getting enough sleep.
i at most eat one piece of fruit a day, and i'm limiting my carbs to mostly veggies and what's in the protein bars/powders. how much sleep do you need? i shoot for 7, realistically get 6, and fit in a 50-min nap during lunch (that equals 7?). then i catch up on weekends, oversleeping probably
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:40 PM   #7
Sally Brown
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Re: Out of control appetite

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Originally Posted by Dimitri Dziabenko View Post
eating buckets of carrots, so you're probably ok there.
i actually was eating buckets of carrots, because it's low in calories and it was paleo-approved. i stopped now though.

and i'll give up my protein bars; i know they weren't good and are high in calories, but didn't think they were that harmful.

I get so confused about calorie counting. some people here say if you're hungry, as long as you're eating good food, then eat. and i got so tired of being hungry all the time, that i guess i've been eating too much to lose weight, especially as i DO just sit around all day for my job. I guess it's back to calorie counting. and no, 200 calorie meal is DEF not satisfying. i think i'll take ur suggesting, and skip the eating every couple hours, and try and hold out for bigger, more satisfying meals. and yes, hunger sucks.
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:49 PM   #8
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Out of control appetite

Well, if you're eating strict Paleo, it's hard to overeat and counting calories is less important.

But if you're snacking on protein bars, you're not being strictly Paleo and can blow up all your hard work in a matter of minutes.

So you can have the protein bars, or you can eat as much as you want, but not both.

My advice would be to keep the fruit, salmon, and veggies, eliminate all processed foods, and just eat when hungry for a few weeks. At that point you can decide whether you need to be more careful about portions.

Katherine

Last edited by Katherine Derbyshire : 03-20-2012 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:06 PM   #9
Chris Mason
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Re: Out of control appetite

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Originally Posted by Christopher G. Woods View Post
Stubborn belly fat has more to do with insulin and cortisol levels than caloric intake. The most likely causes are that you are either consuming too much carbohydrate or you are not getting enough sleep.
Or are overtrained which can most certainly occur with CF.
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:12 PM   #10
Robert Walsh
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Re: Out of control appetite

You could try intermittent fasting to get a baseline of what true hunger feels like. Before I tried a couple 16+ hr fasts, I had no idea what it felt like to actually be hungry. I was eating simply out of habit and would typically overeat.

Also, as recommended, it is really important to get insulin levels under control and get off the crack (sugar).
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