The Late Dinner

3 Jun

First of all I would like to say that I am glad that I wrote the farewell post at Darwins Table. When everyone commented I actually felt regret that I had to let it go. But I think it is for the best as it had turned into something different that didn’t sit well with me. I was coming up with pro paleo posts, and yet I was having no success. I needed a blog that was more sincere, more about moi.

I can also honestly say that I was completely surprised at peoples reactions. I thought that people would just not want to know anymore. That my failure would be against the whole ‘magic pill’ that is paleo. I was happy, well not happy, but relieved to find that other people were also finding that paleo was difficult if you did not account for other factors. Factors such as the addictive nature of food. I am going to be looking into the science behind it, but a lot of it is quite heavy on the neurobiology, so it will take awhile to wrap my head around it. I will probably even have some paleo science posts spring up now and then, and if I do I was contemplating posting them over at Darwins Table rather than here. But we will see.

Today was less hard than I expected. But then I expected that (haha). What I mean is that a change of eating is always easy at the start. My body hasn’t realised its back on a diet. I am not bored by the food yet. At the moment I feel like I am doing the right thing and that motivation is strong enough to push through any problems. Having said that after lunch today I still wanted to shove more food in my face. Not in a major way but a little bit. It felt that the hunger was from my gut not my head. But my whole ‘am I hungry’ thinking is so warped at the moment. I felt that maybe I was been tricked by that addict in my head – “this is real hunger, you know you should eat….anything”. Because I did not know whether this was true hunger I did not eat. What is getting me through at the moment is thinking that I need to do this properly for three months. By then I would hope that if this is an addiction of sorts that the cravings would have lessened. For now thats what gets me through.

Then the real challenge began. I was going out into the field to do some fish sampling. It was an hour and half drive away and I had to be there by 7.30pm. Which means I wouldn’t be back at my house until about 10pm. Of course I had forgotten my dinner hadn’t I! I really didn’t want to buy food as I knew there would be nothing I could really eat. Yet again that voice appeared. “Its already not working, you have made a mistake, just EAT”. I decided to tough it out. At some point I did go to a gas station to pick up nuts to keep me going. By that stage my stomach was grumbling (bulls eye – real hunger!!!!!). There were only peanuts. I had to eat something! So I bought a diet coke. Yikes! Yes a diet coke!! Definitely not paleo but low in calories and enough to keep me going until I got home.

So diet cokes aside I drove all the way down there and back and then made myself dinner at 10pm. I actually wasn’t very hungry the whole time. I mean I was not mentally hungry. It did make me think that when my mind is occupied on a task that I can actually have a very late dinner and my whole world won’t fall apart. Now this is no small feat for me. Dinner is MY meal. I am always hungriest at night. So to have a very late dinner the way I did is nothing short of amazing. This may be a good behavioural therapy trick for me. Eat a late dinner once a week. It will teach me that I can skip meals and I won’t die. I think this would be very beneficial.

So if you are interested this is what I ate today.

All my micronutrients were above the recommended allowance. This is only because I have just worked out my nutrient intakes and found that my calories were below 2000, my calcium was at 85%, magnesium 93%, and Potassium 82%. I don’t want to be eating less than 2000 calories a day as I want to minimise real hunger, and I want my nutrients to be way over the RDA. I want to battle with my mental cravings for now and if I am actually hungry or craving a nutrient, I will think my mind is playing tricks on me and this could seriously mess with my head. AND THAT is what I am trying to heal. So I am about to cook another pork chop and have a cup of yogurt and this brings me over the calorie limit (2300 calories) and all my nutrients over the recommended RDA. I know the RDA is probably full of flaws but its a good goal for now.


Breakfast: Yogurt/Berries

Lunch: Chicken Soup (chicken breast, celery, carrot, spinach)

Late Dinner: Pork steak, Broccoli, Potato, Almonds

Late Late Dinner: Pork steak, Yogurt


Fat48% (Sat 13%/ Poly 8%/ Mono 24%)

Carbs – 23% (137g)

Protein – 29%

In case someone is really paying attention. Yes carbs were a bit high. Im aiming for 100g or less. Again this could induce hunger so want to be on top of this.


4 Responses to “The Late Dinner”

  1. Prue June 4, 2010 at 12:08 am #

    Hi Dan.
    It’s so good to see you planning not just your food, but how your food will affect you emotionally.
    I’ve been a binge-eater too, (we can never say reformed!) so I’ll be very interested to read how your challenge goes.
    Keep up the planning.

  2. Dan June 4, 2010 at 12:30 am #

    Prue – I am interested to see what happens if not a little nervous.

  3. Cynthia June 4, 2010 at 8:27 pm #

    The “late dinner” approach sounds kind of like intermittent fasting. It’s a good thing and might help you distinguish real hunger from habit.

    My experience is that hunger passes rather quickly if I ignore it, but then again, what exactly is “real” hunger? What we think of as hunger might just be reminders due to the stomach’s “housekeeper” waves- stomach contractions when the stomach is empty that clean out indigestible particles. These waves occur every hour or so, and we interpret them as hunger pangs, when they really aren’t. They just remind us that our stomach is now empty, not necessarily that we need food. I learned about these waves when working on a project involving drug delivery systems that remain in the stomach, they have to resist the housekeeping waves.

    I don’t know if this helps with resisting unnecessary eating, since compulsive eating isn’t really about rational thought. But it sometimes helps me to remind myself that the rumblings are just housekeeping. Being distracted with work or other activities is a big help too.

    • Dan June 5, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

      I completely agree. I also agree it would have the same benefits. Basically training yourself behaviourally that feeling hungry is ok sometimes. I think it would be a huge help for me mentally.

      If my stomach is grumbling I do tend to eat then as this for me is the most obvious cue that I am getting hungry. But I was to fast then, of course, I would ignore it while fasting.

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