Monday, June 22, 2015

Appetites and slowing metabolisms

This morning while I was driving to work I started thinking about the American appetite and the way we eat. We eat a lot. Our portions at restaurants are huge (most places). We consume so, so much.

I thought about the way people eat around the world and how we as humans have eaten for thousands and thousands of years. Then I thought about the recommendations for our 3 meals a day or our 6 small meals a day.

As I was thinking this, a story came on the radio (NPR) and it talked about how in Germany people eat local, seasonal foods. They don't expect to get strawberries year round. In particular, they were talking about when asparagus is in season. That story led me to thinking more about eating.

Humans are animals and for much of our evolutionary path, we ate like most animals - having to hunt and scavenge for it. I'm also sure we ate different foods at different seasons. We would gorge ourselves on succulent fruits when they were in season, eat more meat when the young of animals were easier to catch/find.  I could feel fairly certain that we gained a bit of buffer weight in warmer months or growing months, and lost our buffer weight in winter or non-growing seasons. Our availability of food was volatile, so when we had food, we ate and we probably ate as much as we could. Our bodies were made to deal with feast or famine. of course, on top of that, we moved a LOT more than we do today, but that probably was seasonal too to a degree.

So why then the hard and fast rules of when and how much to eat? How can intuitive eating be something we (most) of us can "really" feel or do because our genes are programmed to survive. If, in the past, we only ate to satisfy our palate and taste buds, we wouldn't last through winter!

Knowing this, why do we worry about slowing down our metabolism? We've probably been doing it for several thousands of years.  Oh, the worry is that we won't get enough nutrients in a day. How is that possible? We eat so much. People around the world eat less variety of foods and lesser amounts and yet they live long, healthy lives too. Hell, holocaust survivors not only survived the ordeal of near starvation, they are living long lives DESPITE the years of too little food. Most of Europe survived decades of scarcity.

Why do we insist that slower weight loss is better weight loss? Sure, you lose muscle with weight loss, but you would if you lose the weight quickly or slowly. Why do we insist on certain calories, etc.

There is so little PROOF on any of this and so much of the "proof" are lies. For every study I can find one thing saying is "right", I could find another that says it's wrong.

That is when intuition and thinking rationally need to come into play.

While I just said that studies are mostly bogus - this one here is interesting. It's more thought out than most mainstream blogs/writings and it's debunking a lot of commonly head beliefs.

Weight loss reboot: 5/18/15
Total weight lost since reboot: 22.5


  1. I read recently that intuitive eating has become nearly impossible because of the gluttony of food available not only 24/7, but instantly (via the microwave.) No one has to wait for anything. Our bodies were built to hunt food to survive, but when food is available 24/7, it ruins us. We weren't built to equip for that, but the psyche is still in the hunting mentality. They don't jive any more, like they used to when the supply was limited.

    1. I don't think we ever could intuitively eat. It's probably something that we can train ourselves to do, but it's not a natural process. I know I "TRY" to listen to my body. I won't eat up to an X amount of calories if I feel I'm satisfied. Conversely, if I'm feeling deprived and hungry, but I'm already at my calorie limit, I will eat more. So I do try to LISTEN to what my body is telling me, but I don't think this is a natural way of eating.

      Maybe my gluttony would have been a good thing a thousand years ago!