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appetite for carbs and fat

Blog Forums Nutrition appetite for carbs and fat

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    Part of the 180deg philosophy, as I understand it, is to listen to your body, the messages, instincts, and so forth. I’m trying to train myself to do this, but it’s not always as straightforward as I would like. Some nutrients are easier than others. Many consider protein to be extremely self-regulating – I find this mostly true (there’s only so much meat I can eat in a meal). Water is pretty simple too, drink when you’re thirsty. Granted, and as Matt has mentioned, we drink for many other reasons (stimulation, inebriation, etc), and I often have coffee, tea or wine for the wrong reasons.

    But what really gets me is carbs and fats. For my body, it seems like the more the better. How can I train myself to recognize when my body really needs these nutrients? Is it even possible? Yesterday, I didn’t eat any carbs: I felt at some points lethargic and stressed, but I couldn’t distinguish any signals that indicated carb desire per se. Natural starches, such as potatoes and sweet potatoes, are satiating, but sugar is not. Today, I ate a few dates (that’s a lotta carbs), but still had to apply willpower to stop myself from eating more. Fat is similar. Obviously, not by itself, but in combination with starches or sugars, it doesn’t really regulate appetite, and maybe even increases it!

    So, I guess, the question is: what signals does your body give you that you interpret at a need for carbs or fat? Or do you think that we evolved to seek out at much as possible?


    I also find that protein is the easiest macro to regulate–and it’s also the only macro that’s strictly necessary. Try including some protein with your fats and carbs and see if that helps you control your appetite.

    Another issue I notice is that my appetite is “turned on” when I eat one of the energy macros (carbs or fat). I might not crave them in the same way as protein, but when I start eating them, I will become much more hungry for them. Perhaps this is because the body can use either carbs or fat for energy, and so it waits to see what’s available before creating a specific appetite. It’s a regulatory system that works for a variety of food environments, from the high fat Inuit to the high carb Kitavans.

    Determining the right amounts of carbs and fats might rely on a different kind of self-observation than protein.

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