Saturday, October 23, 2010

Turning down the volume...of food. Finding my eating Zen.

I discussed a few weeks ago how, in my opinion, at some point calories do count for something. As I was sitting down last night in a local steakhouse and choosing a nice 10 oz. ribeye (rare with steamed broccoli and salad....yum) - I thought about how far I have come from my pre-change state. It was actually  pretty powerful to think about what and how I used to eat versus what I currently had on my plate.

Not just at a steakhouse - but at any restaurant I was always concerned with how much (volume wise) I could get, always worried about feeling full, and always had an insatiable appetite. For example in this steakhouse the typical meal used to always include a starchy appetizer just for me (nachos/loaded fires), the biggest steak 18oz+, two sides usually processed/starchy (mac and cheese/fries), and then a nice sweet desert. So roughly three full size plates of food altogether - without even looking at the macro levels of carbs/proteins/fats it was a holy cow thought!

The one plate in front of me that held everything for dinner - what have been an old me appetizer! The thing that still amazes me today is that the one plat was enough to completely sate my hunger and still 12 hours later I am just waking up with some coffee with no hunger at all. If a doctor, book, blogger, friend, etc... had told me at my heaviest that I could be completely satisfied on so little food - I would have thought they were nuts.

Another example is last weekend I smoked almost 20 pounds of brisket which yields a little over half that finished so ~ 10 pounds. Old me would have been able to polish most of that off by Friday. I ate brisket for every meal I had last week and ended up freezing enough of it yesterday for at least another two weeks. It tasted the same as before (super delicious) - I just am not as hungry, eat less often, eat less, while being completely satisfied. I was amazed as I looked in the freezer...huge difference from before and also a nice change in the grocery bill for the next few weeks.

In the super obese state I was constantly hungry and now I am constantly satisfied. Even on intermittent fasting periods and days I am a functioning normal person - so far away from a ravenously hungry food seeking mess. Eating this volume - which is what is helping to finish my weight loss and will be in the range to maintain - feels like I have achieved some sort of Zen state where my body is right again. I am not sure if I am explaining how powerful the the change is for me - all I can say is I fell "FREE!"

If your out there - it is so worth making the changes again I'll repeat my message - it does not have to be a herculean effort! Take a phased approach - in the end it comes down to whole real food, and some very moderate activity to get you on your way.



  1. Isn't paleo wonderful like that? This morning, I cooked up two strips of bacon, mainly to render out some bacon grease so I could sauté some veggies. But after I finished the bacon, I was distracted by some housework... Next thing I knew, it was dinnertime! Going by calories, I had eaten less than a third of what I used to consider 'a decent breakfast', yet the fat sated my body so thoroughly that my hunger completely dissolved. A couple of days ago, I fasted from dinner to dinner purely by accident, and didn't feel a single twinge of hunger. Blood sugar control and an understanding of what true hunger is (as opposed to mouth hunger and hedonism) can really change our eating habits, and health, for the better!

  2. It is amazing! I get some weird looks when I tell people that I can skip meals or "only" eat a 6 oz steak and be satisfied. They all have that conventional wisdom - don't skip meals, if your x size you should each x at each meal....

    It is so crazy sounding to me now that I must sound crazy to them...really though it makes sense when you put our evolutionary path into the equation.

    To me the proof is in the results and my personal well being! I almost wish I had blood sugar readings of the old me so I do a comparison to now. I was so ravenously hungry all the time it must have been a wild ride.