Paleo Plan

Hungry All Day? Snacking A Lot? Let’s Fix That.

confusedThis post may be relevant to you whether you eat Paleo or not. It doesn’t matter if you’re eating grains, sugar, dairy, and legumes or a Paleo diet, you may be suffering from the hungries all day. Here’s what you can do to fix it.

1. Eat more breakfast.

If you’re eating 2 eggs and 1 piece of bacon for breakfast and then wondering why you’re so blasted hungry 1 hour later, it’s because you’re not eating enough food. The first step in curing sugar cravings and hunger throughout the day is to make your breakfast big. Eat 2 eggs and 4 ounces of meat in the morning with some veggies (for an average sized person), all cooked up in some oil–coconut, lard, bacon grease–you know the drill. 1 piece of bacon contains 2 grams of protein, and those eggs only have about 6 grams each. Try to go for about 30 grams of protein in the morning. If you do this, I’m willing to bet that your hunger will decrease throughout the entire day and you won’t have such severe sugar cravings. I see it with my clients all the time, and they lose weight this way too.

2. Eat more protein in your lunch.

I can’t tell you how many people tell me they eat 2 eggs for breakfast and then a couple hard boiled eggs for lunch. Don’t you guys get sick of eggs? :) Eat meat instead. It will help keep you full. Don’t skimp on whatever else you’re eating just because you’re eating more meat, either. What you’re going for is 3 or 4 big-ish meals a day (I’m not talking to you intermittent fasters, so no peanut gallery in the comments, please).

3. Don’t be afraid of fat (or carbs)!

Throw your non-stick pan away. You only have it so you don’t have to use oil, right? Because once upon a time you were told that fat was bad for you. Well, it’s not actually bad for you (google it – I promise you it’s true), especially if you’re not eating trans fats or vegetable oils. Fat makes food taste good and it makes you full for longer, just like protein does. So eat more of it. And don’t be afraid of carbs, either. I wrote a post called “If You’re Craving Carbs, You May Just Need Some Carbs” if you want more info on that.

Did I just tell you to eat more calories at your meals? Yes, I did. But here’s the truth: you’re either going to NOT eat enough protein, fat, and carbs at your munchkin-sized meals and then be hungry throughout the day, snacking on unfulfilling things like nuts and candy… or you’re going to have reasonably sized meals where you take in enough food to fuel you for at least a few hours and not have cravings all day. The latter sounds way better to me. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re just not going to eat much today in an effort to lose weight, so you’ll “just have an egg and some lettuce for lunch.”

Fail.

Stop the constant mindless snacking. Eat smarter instead.

 

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24 Comments

  1. Before I did Whole30, I snacked all day long! Now I rarely eat anything between meals and I’m never starving. :)

  2. tlpilgrim

    So Im just starting Paleo. I read the first article and already this site is helpful. I dont eat enough breakfast!! I typically skip it, or just eat a little yogurt, or maybe just two pieces of bacon. About an hour later, I feel starved, weak and start snacking. Or if I hold out for lunch, by the time I get around to eating lunch I feel totally wiped out! And I never seem to recover after lunch! Breakfast will be my new best friend!

  3. brighteyed83

    Wow! I definitely needed to hear that! I feel like I could eat my arm by 12and I teach, so lunch is still a half hour away. I never thought of actual meat for breakfast, but it makes sense that waht fills me at 6pm can fill me at 6am. thanks!

  4. Elizabeth

    What about the red meat issue recently on the news…Any thoughts on that?

    • Neely Quinn

      Elizabeth – Which one? All of those studies have been debunked by Paleo people. If you have a specific study you’re talking about, I’d be happy to point you in the direction of an article written about the shortcomings of the study.

  5. Maria Victoria

    Hi there,
    Thanks for the great tips!! However, I am concerned about nitrates and bacon…how damaging will that be in the long run…if I choose to have 6 pieces of bacon along with 3 eggs and vegetables on the side every morning from now on in order to feel full longer?? Nitrates are unfortunately avoidable these days…even the companies who claim to have “all natural bacon” have some form or other of nitrates… :((((

  6. Maria Victoria

    I meant…Nitrates are unfortunately UNavoidable…:)

  7. AZDanetta

    Yes, I am hungry all day! I ate so much protein that I got an attack of gout. Now I’ve cut back on animal protein, but the vegetable protein is not nearly as satisfying and resembles carbs so much that I crave cookies all day long. Eating a lot of fat: organic peanut butter made with peanuts and salt, etc. Packing on the pounds despite gardening, cycling, hiking, ballroom dancing. Very discouraged by the “eat what you want, never be hungry, and lose weight” claims of paleo. Another disappointing fad?

    • Neely Quinn

      AZDanetta – I’m not quite understanding what you’re saying. Are you calling your vegetable protein (I’m assuming you mean soy and grains?) and peanut butter diet Paleo? Neither of those things is Paleo…

  8. Awesome advice! When I started the 6 week Paleo Challenge I never thought I could eat so much food and truly thought I would gain weight, but I actually lost a couple of pounds, didn’t have the cravings any more and have tons more energy. Yeah Paleo!

  9. Way over 60, been doin’ this for 3 plus years and….when I forget….I get the hungries..and everything is off kilter for the rest of the day; thanks for the “no nonsense” reminder!!

  10. I love this site; I am new to Paleo, my husband and I started on March 4, 2013 and love all the recipes I tried on this site. I have a lot of weight to lose and have lost 10 pounds. what advise can you give me to keep the loosing streak going?

    Both my husband and I are both type 2 diabetics and our blood sugars have dropped he is not taking any insulin now. But want to continue loosing weight and keep the blood sugar down.

  11. I tested myself today… I didn’t eat as much as I normally do for lunch (protein wise) and I went nuts for food at dinner. CLEARLY eating protein works!

  12. Andrea

    What are your thoughts on Stevia as a sweetener?

    • Neely Quinn

      Andrea – I don’t have a problem with stevia itself, but most of the stevia sweeteners are made with maltodextrin, dextrin, or some other corn derivative. I don’t like that much…

  13. Sandra Zajaz

    Do you have breakfast before or after excercise ?

  14. Hi, Neely,

    Do you have a Stevia sweetener that you recommend? I’ve been using NuNaturals, and didn’t realize that maltodextrin is a no-no.

    • Neely Quinn

      Dixie – Not really. I’m not really a stevia user because the “clean” stuff is a bit bitter for my tastes. I’d just give the pure stevias a try and see what you think. Or get a plant yourself and use the leaves for sweetness?

  15. Yogurt? Peanuts? Those aren’t Paleo, are they? Sweeteners? Protein shakes?
    Those aren’t Paleo, either.

  16. Candice H

    I am new to Paleo and I eat a ton. I am hungry all the time. I eat 3 eggs and veggies for breakfast and am hungry 2 hours later. This is why I am trying the Paleo Plan. But, I also think I may be gaining weight on this and that is scary.

  17. Hi, I’m rellaaaaaaaaaaaaaatively new to Paleo – I mean I do my best to avoid a lot of processed food, cook a lot of my own Paleo meals throughout the week and eat fairly well (I think). But I find that I’m hungry. I don’t mean a little bit, or every so often – I mean a LOT. Every 60-90 minutes is most common.

    Admittedly, perhaps I don’t eat enough for breakfast (1/3 cup of oats prior to training and then 2/3 cup of oats with almonds, chia seeds, cacao nibs and strawberries after) but even when I tried the Zone diet for a while (which, incidentally, I couldn’t maintain because I was starving hungry all the time) I would eat a cup of oats with a cup of milk and some raspberries as well as 2 eggs and 2 slices of bacon… And an hour-90 minutes later I would be RAVENOUSLY hungry again. I snack fairly constantly throughout the day – fruit, paleo snacks with high protein – and eat vegetable dense meals… Any advice? I can live with it in all honesty, it’s just a pain being constantly hungry!! :)

  18. Janine

    Hi,

    I have a question. I followed your advise and so far it’s working great, no cravings, no snacking. I had breakfast at 6.30 am and now it is nearly 12 am but I do not feel hungry at all. Should I have my lunch anyway or should I wait until hunger kicks in?

    Thanks for your blog, glad I found this article!

    Janine

    • Neely

      Janine – In general, I tell people to follow their hunger cues. However, some people’s hunger cues are all messed up and their bodies don’t give them proper signals that they need to eat. One major factor in that is caffeine and cigarettes. Both of those things suppress hunger, so just be aware of that if you use either of those things. Other than that, just wait til your body says, “Eat!” and then eat :)

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