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    Traderjodie's Avatar
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    Portion size, mindfullness and cavemen

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    Hi everyone,

    I have been trying to synthesize all the great advice that I'm finding on this site. I have read in a few posts about smaller portion sizes and the benefits of mindfullness while eating so that our bodies have time to recognize satiety.

    I have had a problem with this in the past. It leads me to obsess over my meals, second guessing every bite to insure that I am truly "hungry." I know these food issues come from a nasty past with food. But I still have to deal with them.

    Lately, I have been wondering whether our ancestors every gave a second thought to portion size or "mindfullness." I know they faced periods of famine, but those were not a day to day occurances. There were periods of famine and periods of plenty. During the times of plenty, I imagine that they simply ate their fill without worry and ate again when they were hungry again. Or perhaps there were set times when the tribes ate together. I'm only guessing here, but I wonder if anyone has tried giving up on mindfullness and just eating freely of whole, simple foods and not worrying at all if you eat over satiety. Then not eating again until actual hunger sets in?

    That is my current n=1 experiment. My personal goal is health and strength first. Fat loss second. I will let everyone know how it goes.

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    Omni's Avatar
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    Good question,
    Me thinks they let their stomach's do the portion control, in times of plenty, but as mentioned sometimes there wasn't plenty.
    That's one of the reasons I like the Intermittant fasting (IF) protocol, not a strict rule, but as a general principle.
    By restricting the feeding window, 2-8hours, depending on what suits you, most days I only have one meal, sometimes two, and sometime a little bit of snacking around the place. Rarely ever eat before noon and usually my main meal is around 6pm.

    The IF allows you to really get in and enjoy a fully satisfying meal, rather than endless tit bits, that never fill you up, but just keeps insulin and glucose levels elevated, there are many health benefits to IF, but like anything with the Primal life, if you need to set timers and stop watches to stay within the guidelines, then you're not really being primal, there are no clock's on the savannah.

    I looked at a lot of indigenous and evolutionary data to just try get a feel of how our ancesters may have lived their lives, and with the abscence of refrigeration and agriculture, IF would likely been a part of normal everyday life.

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    If your smart, youd portion control wouldnt you? Unless you already had a shed load of food stockpiled, you could gorge now and then, but i think stuffing yourself is a modern world problem, food accessibility is too easy thus the gorging we tend to do and overeating etc. meal time should be a wonderful time of day, relaxing eating with friends and not overeating is a delightful experience. Eating slowly is one aspect i think just about everyone struggles with. Taking time to enjoy your food is one thing i hope to master one day lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Traderjodie View Post
    I wonder if anyone has tried giving up on mindfullness and just eating freely of whole, simple foods and not worrying at all if you eat over satiety. Then not eating again until actual hunger sets in?
    You are describing eating "W.H.E.N" -- When Hunger Ensues Naturally. This is likely the most natural way of eating.
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    I have never worried about what or how much I eat. (That's why I got so sick eating SAD.) After I learned enough of the Primal Diet I still don't worry about it. I eat until I'm full. If that's too much I will definately know about it. My stomach tells me loud and clear and I'm much less hungry for the next meal. If you don't think about it, you won't have to be mindful of it. Find something very engaging to think about. Learn Spanish, maybe. But definately stop obsessing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Omni View Post
    The IF allows you to really get in and enjoy a fully satisfying meal, rather than endless tit bits, that never fill you up, but just keeps insulin and glucose levels elevated, there are many health benefits to IF, but like anything with the Primal life, if you need to set timers and stop watches to stay within the guidelines, then you're not really being primal, there are no clock's on the savannah.
    This is exactly it. The endless tiny meals that always left me hungry and worse then that, anxious. If I require myself to be "mindful" and stop when I get to just the right point, I feel compelled to eat small, diety portions. Its just another way to sneak in calorie restriction. For me, its a recipe for eventual failure and binges.

    So here is my current plan:
    1) eat simple, whole, nutritious foods that are satisfying
    2) stay away from foods that trigger binges
    3) eat as much as I want at a meal....really as much as I want...without worrying about whether the amount is perfect.

    This may not get me a perfect body but it has to be a lot better then suffering with those tiny portions all day and stuffing myself at night.

    I like the idea of IF and I will probably look into it in the near future. But first I want to get comfortable just giving myself permission to eat.

    I hope it works!

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    From cleaning floors, to making love, mindfulness improves the experience. Do one thing at a time and do it well. Understand how the action improves your life. If you take the time to make a beautiful meal with the nicest, most healthful ingredients possible, it makes no sense to me to then shovel it down like a McBurger. But Grok most likely didn't have time for mindfulness as he was more about survival and reaction. He didn't buy the best cut of meat, he ate what he could catch. Mindfulness, to me, is a more modern luxury.

    But, different strokes for different folks. I have no issues with those for whom food is simply fuel. That's what's right for them. If I felt that way though, I'd most likely just pulverize everything in a blender and chug it.
    "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

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    Joanie,

    I think we are using different definitions of mindfullness. I certainly have no objection to savoring a good meal, good company or anything else. What I am talking about is the kind of mindfullness that asks you to continually analyze your feelings after each bite to make sure that you are truly still hungry and not eating for some other inappropriate reason. To me, that takes all the joy out of eating and ends up sabotaging me in the end anyway.

    On the other hand, I am having success with a different kind of mindfullness. It is finally hitting home to me that many of the foods that are simply blissful in my mouth for a moment (Mostly junk) make me feel terrible almost immediately afterwards. Fully embracing this realization is slowly helping me lose my taste for many of the things that plagued me in the past.

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    This is how I do it:
    Shop once a week. Eat all your fresh food first. Then move on to what's ripened. Then eat the stuff in the fridge before it goes bad. By Friday you're out of food and can have a fasted day before groceries. It's what we usually do. Same volume of food, eat most of it in three days (feast) and stretch the rest out (famine) as long as you can. Then you get to stuff your face and feel great, alternated with a pleasant pseudo/actual fasting time - during which you will also feel great because you're adequately nourished from days 1 through 3. Call it cycling or whatever you want. It works really well.

    Yeah, I was sort of eating disordered. But mostly malnourished. So take it as it is, from a person who grew up overweight and ALWAYS hungry, even when stuffed.


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    I don't think meals have to be dragged out for a whole afternoon to be mindfull of your food.
    When eating, I have a singular focus, I become absorbed in the meal, tastes, flavours, textures, I circle the plate and pick off morsels like a predator, and usually polish up any juices at the end, I don't drag it out for the sake of it, don't expect to get a conversation out of me, all my attention is on the food, is that mindful?

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