I'm already working on my progress becoming an intuitive eater for 10 days now and yesterday I finished the second principle of the book "Intuitive Eating": Honor your Hunger.
The authors write about a study from Dr. Ancel Keys during World War II. 32 healthy men ate the first three months what they want. In average they consumed over 3000 calories a day. After that they were eating only 1500 calories for six months. The symptoms were:
- decrease of the metabolic rate by 40%!!!
- the participants were obsessed about food
- eating styles changed
- phases of bulimia, depression, apathy and excessive exercising
These findings are pretty similar to symptoms of chronic dieters. Isn't it crazy that diets are actually allowed and that they don't even need a disclaimer like "Dieting causes weight gain." or "Dieting will decrease your metabolic rate."?
Another topic is low carb. So what Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch are telling in the book is, that carbs are "the golden standard food energy of the body". There is just a limited storage of carbohydrates in the liver (glycogen) that helps to supply glucose in the blood when the level is too low. But that also means that we have to fill up this store every three to six hours. If the body lacks carbohydrates protein mainly from the muscles will be used to convert it into energy. So the reason why people lose weight on low carb is because they use their own protein tissue as fuel for energy. And since protein contains only half as many calories per pound as fat, it disappears twice as fast. I really liked their quote:
It's like taking wood from the framework structure in your house to use as fuel in your fireplace. The wood will burn and provide necessary fuel, but it does so at a high price. You begin to lose the integrity of your structure!
That was something I really didn't know and I think it's a important information, because out there you only get people saying you should eat low carb, because carb are bad and prevent you from losing weight ect. And there is the other side talking about how good it is to eat tons of carbs (high carb low fat) and calories. It has something of a religion. And what you eat is what you are believing in. I might have changed my "diet religion" into "my body knows best religion" and I'm working on believing in my body and that it gives me signals what I need or not.
But of course the main part of this chapter was to realize when you are hungry and of course to eat when you are hungry and I understand that some people struggle with that, especially when they have stressful jobs. I usually never have the problem, when I get hungry I will find something to eat because I stop functioning. :D I can't concentrate when I'm studying, I can't train in the gym when I'm hungry and I can get quite grumpy after a while. But my mum told me yesterday that she had such a long day with meetings and a funeral and that she couldn't eat all day so when she came home she had such a big portion and felt almost nauseous after dinner. And that's also a topic in the book that if you wait too long until you are eating you are much higher on risk that you will over eat or even binge eat. I experienced that when I do babysitting. We usually eat dinner together around 6 pm and then I finish work at 10 pm and when i have to change the metro at the central station I always want to eat something with high carbs and/or sugar. :D
And the last thing I wanted to talk about from the book is the introduction of the hunger scale. This is a helpful tool to identify your hunger but also your fullness. I would say I struggle more with fullness, so sometimes I just eat so much that I feel stuffed and this scale can help you to find the right balance. This scale is from Corinne Dobbas (a website you should check out!!), but if you google it you can find a lot of other hunger scales which are pretty similar.
Some other thoughts I wanted to share today:
I feel like I already make progress. Yesterday I craved something sweet but it was fruits I was craving and usually I'm just craving candy which I think is a step in the right direction. Later that night I wanted to have an ice cream but the ice cream machine of the shop was broken. Usually I would try to finde something else to substitute it but I was totally fine to go home without anything. For some people that might sound silly but for me it is something new and I realize that I can start trusting my body again. :)
I wish you a wonderful weekend!
See you for the next principle! :)