24 Jun

All crazy ramblings from yesterday aside I also discovered something else that could be potentially interesting over the last few days. During one of my misery days I decided that I was going to just eat whenever I was hungry, and stop worrying about weight. I seriously didn’t care if I was fat or thin I figured as long as I exercised, and ate good paleo food, I would be healthy regardless of my weight. So for that day I literally pigged out. I didn’t feel guilty about eating too much. I didn’t feel guilty if I ate 30 mins after I had already eaten. I just ate when I felt like it and didn’t distinguish between what those cravings were for. I just ate.

I can tell you it was extremely refreshing. It was also a big fuck you to the man (diet pressure), as well as been a very novel way of thinking about food for me. What I just eat…..whenever??? It felt great. But sure enough the old thoughts slowly crept back in. The ones telling me that I need to lose weight. I won’t feel good about myself unless I do. Now the jury is still out on this for me. I often wonder if I am losing weight for aesthetic reasons or for health. I mean is fat bad in and of itself, or is it the food we eat. Could it be possible to be overweight and be healthy. Certainly, many long term mortality studies seem to suggest so. In some of these studies overweight people were found to live longer than normal weight people (based off BMI). Fat people lived longer!!!

Man Im going way off track here. So, in short, I woke up with lots of energy and my mood was very elated from all the good food I had. It’s nice to have energy and not feel hungry. I even happily exercised because I had so much energy. But before I exercised I hopped on the scales. WTF!!! I had dropped a kilogram. I was down to 120kg (from 121kg). How can that be I had literally stuffed myself. But I went off to work and I decided that for that day I might just try eating when I am hungry again, making sure its healthy, and include some exercise. I checked out how much I ate and it was 3500 calories and my nutrients were higher than they had ever been. I was guessing somewhat as I had not counted my food.

Today I woke up, and to my absolute surprise I lost another kilogram. Down to 119 kg. Also my energy levels were skyrocketing. I woke up at 5:30am and started cleaning the house. This is NOT me. I looked forward to walking to work. I felt really really happy!!! My whole mood was so much more positive. Then my work colleague says to me today that she couldn’t put her finger on it but I looked noticeably better. I asked her to be more specific. She said she didn’t know but I just looked good, more healthy and happy.

Well today I started my new lab rat diet. I didn’t want to get off this buzz. So I decided why not just keep my calorie intake around 3500 calories. I just want to see whats going to happen. Still following the same rules I set – balanced carbs/fats, unprocessed and low density food. But I eat more. I did this and I didn’t feel too hungry, but I was more conscious of food. I was thinking about it a lot. Not real gonna die hunger but still a craving. Then I did a little mind trick. I said to myself ok just eat what you want for the rest of the day. Just eat if your hungry and eat until your full. This worked. My hunger vanished. Im sure that a lot of my hunger stems from the diet mentality and restriction. Yes this is an obvious one. But I always thought  that if I took the brakes off, my weight would maintain not drop. This seems to have been the case before. But then before taking the brakes off mean’t cheat foods.

There are so many questions that have come out of this experience. Should I just eat well, exercise, and be fat and healthy (and happy)? Should I increase my calories? Should I no longer count calories (yikes) and eat whenever I damn well please and perhaps my weight will drop, albeit, very slowly? Thoughts anyone. Come on you know you want too.


24 Responses to “EAT”

  1. Glen June 24, 2010 at 8:59 pm #

    Eating when I was hungry has worked for me. Down 25kg and still slowly falling. All I’ve done is focus on quality foods. Just focus on your health and forget about your weight and you may find your weight falls away by itself.

  2. Dan June 24, 2010 at 9:06 pm #

    Im becoming convinced by the minute.

  3. David June 24, 2010 at 9:37 pm #

    I have a sedentary job and workout in the evenings. Non-stop at work I pound vegetables, a few crackers, nuts, water, tea and coffee. It’s 5pm. Second day of this. I’m am definitely rocking at 100%. There is something to this for sure. I’ve had enough energy for 3 sessions with weights, 30 mins swimming laps, and 30 minutes of treadmill jogging. The moving body wants food. My weight dropped a couple pounds this morning.

    • Dan June 24, 2010 at 10:39 pm #

      Thats great man. I know what you mean!

  4. ElizabethG June 24, 2010 at 10:43 pm #

    This sort of works for me with one caveat: my satiety meter is a little out of whack. After years of wolfing food down at my desk and on the phone; and probably eating ridiculously fast because it felt like my blood sugars had dropped, there seems to be a delay in eating and my feeling satisfied. To circumvent this, I have to stop eating when I think I’ve had enough and not continue until after waiting for about 10 minutes. I do think the satiety meter is getting better with a low carb diet.

    • Dan June 24, 2010 at 11:01 pm #

      Well see thats the thing. I thought that too. But then I seriously ate and ate and ate everytime I thought about food. Then I reached a point where I couldn’t be bothered anymore because I knew I could eat whenever. I just sort of would eat something and then wait to see if I needed more.

  5. MNS June 24, 2010 at 10:55 pm #

    I feel like I could have written the last two entries that you wrote myself. I can certainly understand where you are, as I feel I am in exactly the same spot with respect to food, diets, etc. Thank you for putting it all into words so well.

    • Dan June 24, 2010 at 11:01 pm #

      haha thats great. Thanks. I think its a common struggle.

  6. Prue June 24, 2010 at 10:58 pm #

    Dan I like this idea. Forget about the rats!
    I’m a fan of listening to what my body’s trying to tell me. If huingry and craving, then eat as much of Paleo foods as you like.
    Scoffing down some scrambled eggs right now and it’s wet and miserable in Auckland today!
    Take care.

    • Dan June 24, 2010 at 11:02 pm #

      I had scrambled eggs this morning. It sucks we are out of the soccer. But undefeated so thats good.

  7. haig June 25, 2010 at 12:02 am #

    I’m happy you’re feeling better and seeing some good results! Can you describe what types of ‘low-density’ foods you’re eating? Are you munching on veggies whenever you get hungry, or something more substantial?

    • Dan June 26, 2010 at 12:28 am #

      Definitely something more substantial. I will start posting pics. Today I had some milk for breakfast, almonds for a snack, spinach salad with chickpeas and beef for lunch, berries for snack, scrambled eggs later, then I had soup with beef and liver. A LOT.

  8. Judith June 25, 2010 at 12:36 am #

    Go for it, Dan. Eat when you’re hungry and eat real food. I’ve eventually realised that the important thing is to focus on health, not weight or size.

    • Dan June 26, 2010 at 12:28 am #

      Im coming around to this idea too.

  9. Patrick June 25, 2010 at 1:18 am #

    I too have a mostly sedentary job and most of my exercise in the evenings. The weekends are different. At work I eat fruit & veggies at my desk for snacks and then do the best I canat the corporate cafeteria. I have not had any issues with having the energy I need when exercise time comes. But I am pretty stoked mentally about getting healthy right now so I’m putting more effort into maximizing my mental intake than my food intake. So far so good, but will I hit a wall that mental power alone cannot overcome?

    • Dan June 26, 2010 at 12:29 am #

      That wall I am still trying to overcome! Sounds like your doing well!

  10. tamikamaria June 25, 2010 at 3:10 am #

    I too have struggled with food addiction and my weight my whole life. I’ve found that the more I obsess with weight loss (tracking food, calories and nutrients) and when I weigh myself every day, the less likely I am to lose weight. When I say “Screw it, I don’t care.” it comes off relatively easily.

    I don’t know what it is, the stress? Cortisol because of the stress? A watched pot never boils?

    I think food quality is very important. I feel better eating meat, fruit, a few veggies (I hate them) and good fats like coconut oil. But I definitely think that mental stress, or lack thereof, is a huge factor.

    • Dan June 26, 2010 at 12:30 am #

      I know someone who this happened to too. When she gave up dieting she actually lost weight. Heaps of it. It was strange.

  11. Lindsay June 25, 2010 at 10:05 pm #

    This is exactly what Matt Stone was talking about and why I sent you to go check him out. He’s anti-diet and all about using higher calories to bring balance to the metabolism. Interesting take. 🙂

    • Dan June 26, 2010 at 12:31 am #

      I wont deny that he may have helped in my deciding to eat more calories and more carbs. But like I said I tried it for a day and felt great so decided to keep going. More just because I felt great. But I like what he says. He’s quite the controversial guy it seems.

  12. Primal Toad June 25, 2010 at 10:53 pm #

    Great post Dan. I am really liking the way you write your posts.

    This is another perfect example of where quality is better than quantity. Because you know you are eating real food you are much more happy. Being more energetic, waking up early and cleaning and feeling good all around gets your adrenaline going and allows oneself to burn more calories.

    I think this is why you are dropping weight. When you count calories you just stress out about it and feel down about yourself when you fail to reach your weight goal. Now, you careless and have that huge monkey off your back.

    Continue to do what you are doing – please. I am very curious as to how your weight will fluctuate over a few weeks time of you doing this. I wanna say don’t weight yourself everyday. Go for maybe once a week. But, continue to eat when you are hungry. If you eat a meal and then one hour later you feel like eating, then do it. Just make sure it is healthy food like you are doing now.

    I am very curious to see what happens!

    • Dan June 26, 2010 at 12:32 am #

      I agree. Im actually thinking of hiding the scales and checking in a month.

  13. Carla June 26, 2010 at 12:46 am #

    Dan, I really like this idea of eating when you are hungry and eating really healthy foods. It’s like when we were babies!!! We wouldn’t tell a baby “no-you can’t eat now, it’s not lunch time”!!!! If our body knows it will be fed when it’s hungry, perhaps we will lose that feeling of deprivation that comes from always trying to fight against eating. I really like this idea!!! I had a similar experience this week. Normally I do about 5 workouts a week besides being very active, I must burn about 2000-2500 cals a week in exercise most weeks. This week I did NO exercise and NO counting calories, and my weight is holding steady and I feel good. You would think that my weight would go up without the exercise, but it hasn’t. Weird, can’t explain it!

    • Dan June 26, 2010 at 10:01 am #

      I have tried this idea before but I guess I always tried to eat less. So I still had that diet mentality. No what I did was I tried to stop when I was full. But as someone said before (so brilliantly) – water never boils while watched. Well when you are paying attention to your hunger levels you are unlikely to feel full. So this time if I wanna pig out I just do it. I hope that this will just mean I don’t want to eat until later. It seems to be taking away the psychological aspect to it. Because sometimes I eat way too much and then I don’t want to eat for the rest of the day cause I feel gross.

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