It has been a difficult road for the last 7 years between depression, anxiety and various eating disorders depending on the year.
I won't get into my past for the moment. Instead I will just describe my current situation:
I am finally have both my severe depression and eating disorder under control at the same time. (This hasn't happened in years.) I am on anti-depressants that work and my anxiety hasn't needed a medication in a month. My eating disordered behaviors have been totally stable for 2 months.
I am finally able to get into an exercise routine. (A healthy one, not over-exercising) I am happy and stable.
My only concern is my growing appetite. I am not bingeing because I know what that looks like! However, I am eating more than I know my body needs to perform optimally. Being in nutrition counseling for 7 years, I do know what my body needs.
Having an appetite I feel is getting big is a scary trigger for me. Also, I have gained a little weight. I am looking to lose 5 - 10 lbs gradually and that will be well within my healthy weight range.
So...the question is does anyone know of a supplement or possible cause and solution to the growing appetite??
First off, congratulations to you for all the progress you've made. I know that was difficult and it took you quite some time to find your balance. Your perseverance is commendible.
So you've just started exercising. And you're exercising at a wise level. I ave some questions:
What sort of exercise are you doing, and how much?
How many calories do you think you're burning during that time?
Are your clothes fitting differently?
For me, when I increase my level of exercise, initially I do get more hungry. I think that is to be expected. If I do more weight training, I get more hungry. The only way I seem to find satiety is to add more protein, especially after a workout. Usually, within a couple months of "eating up", my appetite settles back down again. I think it's just a matter of my body scrambling for extra nutrition to cover the workout. I have lots of excess fat on my body that is available, but my body doesn't want to give that up right away.
Also, with the weight training that I've done, I've gained muscle. But I burned fat at the same time. So over the last few months, parts of my body have leaned out (from the midsection down) while other parts have increased or show more definition (upper body). My pants are looser but my shirt sleeves are tighter. And my weight went up a few pounds, but it is now coming back down.
I have read that only obese people can burn fat and build muscle at the same time. If you're close to your optimal range, you may not be able to do both at the same time.
I am working out 4-5 times per week and it is mainly cardio. I am building up my endurance in jogging. Every workout, I spend 20-25 minutes on the treadmill and around 15 minutes on the elliptical. I also started doing an hour of yoga on Thursdays.
I'm not too sure how many calories I am burning per exercise because after the first few workouts, I stopped monitoring that closely (trying to cut ties with my eating disorder. If I'm not careful, I can obsess over calories in and out.) However, I'd guess I burn 300-400 calories per work out.
As for my clothes...there is no difference. No change in my weight (aside from the initial almost 10 pound weight gain a few months ago) or in how my clothes fit.
I do understand that beginning a workout regiment (which I started about a month ago) can cause an initial appetite increase, but with my history, it is a little scary and triggering to have a constant appetite. I have tried to increase protein, by adding snacks of Greek yogurt when I get hungry. I'm still hungry. LoL
You're so close to your healthy range. If you've been eating under your calories for maintaining weight in order to lose weight, you're probably close enough so that you can actually eat a little closer to your caloric level for maintaining your healthy range. You're working out on the elliptical, and very likely building muscle in your lower body as your clothes aren't getting tighter from your weight gain. That is good news!
Are you okay with eating actual meat? Because the protein in meat is going to be a more effective way to manage hunger than the Greek yogurt will be. It is higher in protein. I couch my workouts between two meals. About two hours before I have a light, nutritionally balanced snack, and within half an hour afterward, I have a light, nutritionally balanced meal.
At first I was pretty hungry after my workouts and bulldozed my way through the refrigerator, but my appetite has evened out recently and I make wiser choices. My post-workout meals are something like a 4-6 oz. piece of wild salmon and a green salad dressed with olive oil and lemon juice. I drink big on the water before the workout, and then a bit more before dinner. I don't eat starchy carbs because I'm a type 2 diabetic and manage it with diet and exercise. So no dessert for me, not even a piece of fruit.
But that's just what works for me. I still have a lot of weight to lose. My eating disorder was all about overeating all the time. It's nice to not be grazing all day, all the time, any more. I don't really know anything about eating when close to goal since I've never been there. I calculated what I think is going to be a maintenance level of eating when I achieve goal and then try to stay under that total of calories.
As I get closer to goal, my plan is to increase to maintenance, and then spend more time with my workouts until I achieve the body fat % I like. Shooting for 25%. Right now my lean body mass is at 152 lbs. In theory, if I maintain that, and factoring in my body fat goal, I will weigh 190 lbs. But it is expected that I will continue to lose lean body mass as I lose weight, despite all my exercise. I'll have loose skin that I hope with shrink, my organs are bigger now because I'm bigger but they will shrink a bit as well.
But enough about me! Hope this helps a bit. My experience is based on a body that is tall, muscular but also obese, and middle-aged. Not sure if that's relevant to you in any way. My best wishes to you!
One of the best things you can do is start strength training as well. For every addition pound of muscle you gain, your body burns 50 more calories at rest. So imagine you gain 5 pounds of muscle, lost 5 pounds of fat (which weigh the same but a pound of fat is MUCH larger on your body), this would leave at the same exact weight, but you would be much fitter, smaller, and would burn an extra 250 calories a day doing absolutely nothing! Amazing, really. That's why you see people who are very very toned and fit that can eat so much and not gain any fat, their muscles are simply ripping through those calories.
Don't focus on number, focus on your body composition and things will gradually become easier.
As for the food battle- learn to make vegetables your best friend. If I am truly hungry and want to limit (not overly restrict) I will make an entire bag of steamable veggies, like broccoli, and even if I eat the ENTIRE bag- only 100 calories.
Protein will also keep you full and help fuel your work outs, try to stick to chicken, turkey, nuts, beans, and fish.
Best of luck!
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