Monday, April 27, 2015

Meal Prep Mondays [Training Photos]

"Climb high not so that world can see you, but so that you can see the world."

Meal Prep Mondays [Why am I so Hungry all the time while eating healthy?]

NOX Training

So after last weeks 'Meal Prep Monday' Post I received a couple questions in my email as well on my facebook posts. All of the questions boil down to one basic thing, “Why am I always so hungry when eating healthy”?

More specifically, here is an actual word for word question I got on Facebook. 

I was thinking about what your meals look like recently and appreciate you sharing that. Since I've increased my work out routine this year I've been starving lately and have had to binge on Carls Jr (2 Western Bacons for $5) a few times recently just to tie me over. I usually have a modest lunch at work with spinach, cottage cheese, fruits, peanut butter sandwich, roasted almonds, and whatever my main meal is (left overs or a huge turkey sandwich). I look forward to your meal preps and improving my intake so I'm not starving as much. - Casey

Sound familiar? It’s pretty common, and it’s certainly frustrating. This same thing happens to me all the time and I have been trying hard to manage that and tweak my diet to help this because those bing-eating episodes can set you back to where you started and waste your efforts to eating healthy and becoming healthier. 

Here are some reasons why you might feel constantly hungry after switching to your healthy diet, and what you can do:

You're Not Eating Enough
This is, I think the main reason why you are not getting full or at least getting hungry shortly after eating your meals. Starting a workout program means that you are burning more energy than the average person just going through life… People automatically think that in order to lose weight or to become healthier that they must eat less. But this is the wrong mentality to have. So you’re going to have to eat more; but of the right stuff (the stuff you already mentioned you're eating except for the Western Bacons). 

Looking at a large serving of healthy food on your plate can be misleading, especially when it contains fruits and veggies: sheer volume on your plate is not a sign that your body is getting all the energy it needs. 

If your body needs 500 calories of energy, loading your plate full of spinach will not do even though it looks like a lot on your plate. This goes the same for most veggies and fruits. In order to total 2 Western Bacons worth of calories in form of healthy food is hard to imagine at first…but you might actually need a bigger plate or maybe even 2 plates to have the equivalent amount of calories. 

Vegetables have a whole lot more water weight, so they do not pack anything like the same amount of calories into the same space.

To illustrate this, think of one cup of flour. One cup of flour has the same number of calories as 4 cups of diced potatoes or nearly 15 cups of broccoli.

This might suddenly start being a problem on a healthy diet if you’re eating the same physical amount of food, but replacing energy-dense grains or junk food with energy-poor vegetables. Most junk food is dried out and full of sodium, meaning that they have very little water weight. This makes them easy to store without going bad, but it also means they pack a lot of calories into a very small space, since only a tiny amount of that space is water. Vegetables (even more energy-dense starchy vegetables like potatoes) have a whole lot more water weight, so they do not pack anything like the same amount of calories into the same space. So pile up the veggies high on your plate with more healthy food to make up for the discrepancies. 

A good way to help combat hunger when eating healthier: 
Increase portions of meat and eggs.
Increase use of cooking fats and oils.

Not Enough Carbs
This goes hand in hand with the reason above. Even independently of how much protein you’re eating, a low-carb diet is a common trigger for hunger and cravings. 
It is very difficult to get all of your carbs from fruits and veggies, especially when engaging in an exercise program. This is probably the main reason why you are hungry even after eating healthy meals. 
Here is what I do to combat this hunger…
Add in a higher carb source. 
A great source of carbs I like to have are Sweet potatoes, Yams, red potatoes, and Brown rice. 
These types of carbs are on the “Lower glycemic index” which means that they will take longer to burn and will keep you feeling full much longer.  Combine these carbs with your veggies and meats and you will be feeling full much longer…and will less likely want to bing eat just to carry you over to your next healthy meal. Insulin (the hormone that you produce to digest carbs) is a powerful signal for satiety, or feeling full.


Don’t give up on your healthy diet. You are on the right track but just need to tweak it a little bit. I would start out by adding brown rice, yams, sweet potatoes to your meals that you are already eating. Play around with how much you are adding and don’t get stuck to how much it looks like on your plate. Increase the amount of veggies on your plate since they don’t really contain much calories. Eating more of the good stuff will keep you from eating more of the bad stuff. Increase the cooking oils (ie olive oil) used to cook your meats and veggies. This alone will help minimize your cravings to bing eat. You can also split up your large meals into several smaller meals, so that you can eat more often to help keep your cravings down. 

Keep the questions or requests coming and I'll do my best to answer and provide the stuff I know.

Here is a meal that I made today that incorporates what I talked about above: adding yams and brown rice to increase my Carbs.

Today's Training
 2 x 1 power snatch + 2 full snatches @130# 
3 x 1 power snatch + 2 full snatches @140#

5 x 3 Jerks @160-170#

5 x 5 clean pulls 305#

1 x 6 Back squats @325#
1 x 6 Back Squats @350#
1 x 6 @375#
2 x 5 @390#
1 x 5 @400#

10x5 Muscle Ups

3 rounds
50m walking lunges
15 wallballs (50#)
50 sit-ups