A 45-year-old fat man trying to find his inner skinny dude.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Eating a lot

Here's what I find, periodically, when I don't track my food regularly.  I can eat a lot.  Years ago, my doctor, who was also my friend, told me she found it very hard to eat 2000 calories a day.  She was a little tiny woman.  I told her in all seriousness, I could do that at lunch.  Dinner for sure.  She was amazed.

Three years ago, when I started Weight Watchers and lost the first 50 or 55 pounds, I realized I had been eating a lot.  I also realized that when eating good food, I was rarely seriously hungry.  Some hunger, sure, before meals, but not starving.  (I actually like feeling hungry.  It makes me feel as though I'm eating appropriately.) 

When I don't track, I end up eating a lot.  But I don't want to.  I see "diet articles"  and ads for diet plans or products talking about how much you can eat if you only eat xyz.  It's true that you get more volume if you stay away from heavily processed food.  Two hundred calories of chicken takes up more space than two hundred calories of candy. 

But I don't want to eat a lot.  The Weight Watcher meetings I most disliked were the ones in which people talked about recipes and figured out how to eat lots of food at the lowest possible point level.  Some people need that.  I rarely did, if ever.  I just want to eat normal amounts (I know, I know--what's normal?) and be happy with it.  If I listen to my stomach, I know that I don't have to eat tons.  That's because I don't get that hungry.  I feel compelled to eat the most when I'm overtired or agitated.  (For example, last night, when my dog was at the vet overnight, I ate a lot (and I didn't beat myself up over it.)  He seems to be fine. :))  I don't want to feel like that.  I want to eat when I'm hungry until I'm not.  That's it.

Another promise I see a lot is that you can lose weight without hunger.  This might be true, but not from taking a pill or eating a magic something-or-other.  In my experience, as I eat less, I become used to less, and I don't suffer.

What's the point?  When people focus on eating a lot even when trying to lose weight, I think their focus is misplaced.  It's not about the food.  It's about why you're using the food the way you do (like using it to deal with the stress of a sick pet).  I've seen blog posts from people who say they're binging and can't stop.  That amazes me.  If you're in the middle of a binge, stop.  Pay attention to what's bugging you. 

Food is fuel.  Eat what you need.

Without hunger.
Look how much you can eat.


  1. I dislike those volume-centered meetings too, where folks seem to compete at eating as many zero pt foods as they can. Seems to be less of that nonsense with the new plan, however.

  2. I haven't been paying attention to the new plan. I wanted to see about counting calories and go from there. We'll see how it goes. I think WW is a good plan.