How to Eat Less, How to Eat More?
Of all the species of life on our planet, only human beings are confused about what to eat, when to eat and how to eat. There are clear reasons for this. Hunger and satiety are signals from the body/brain regarding nutrition. But through the combined forces of the food industry and agro-business, both the signals and our response to them have become distorted. Now, rather than fueling ourselves with nutrition, we’re simply feeding ourselves with carbohydrates, and the consequences of this on the global level are disastrous.
Fortunately, cutting through the confusion is easy: to be well, we need to eat less of the foods that provide little or no nutrition and more of the foods that promote health, strength and vitality.
How to Eat Less and When to Eat More
Eating is simple. It’s important that whenever we’re stimulated to eat, the food that we put into our mouth is:
- High in Healthy Fats
- Rich in Complete, Quality Protein
- Low or No Carbohydrate
This is valid for all meals of the day, breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as snacks.
The best thing we can do to resolve the issue of when to eat is to jump out of the box and release all preconceived ideas about what constitutes our standard meals and eating times. Quite simply, we want to eat when we’re hungry! The goal is to become so fine-tuned to the signals that we receive from our bodies that we’ll reach for the wholesome, natural food that we require, regardless of the clock. Bacon and eggs are fine for lunch or dinner. Left over roast beef and vegetables are perfect for breakfast.
And if you’re not hungry, just skip a meal and wait until you are.
The most important thing to do is get the excess carbohydrates off the plate and replace them with quality protein and healthy fats.
Eat Less Carbohydrate
A balanced, nutritious meal is composed of protein, plants and healthy fats. Carbohydrates don’t rate a mention. “Aren’t they important?”. Yes…and no.
Carbohydrate, along with protein and fat, is a macronutrient. We need the macronutrients in large doses in order to be healthy. Micronutrients and phytonutrients we need in smaller quantities. But there are two things to be aware of:
1. ‘Essential Carbohydrates’ don’t exist.
There are 9 essential amino acids, and several essential fatty acids including Omega 6 and Omega 3. ‘Essential’ means that our bodies can’t create them; we must obtain them from the diet. But there are no essential carbohydrates. Humans can live on a minimal to no carbohydrate intake for prolonged periods and have done throughout history. Whilst we do need a basic amount of glucose, the body has very elegant ways of storing and accessing energy. What’s more, we can manufacture energy through internal processes known as gluconeogenesis and ketone production.
2. A ‘large dose’ isn’t as much as you might think.
We only need between 0 and 150 grams of carbohydrate a day.
- Between 0 and 50 grams a day ketones will be produced for energy.
- Between 50 and 100 grams per day weight loss will be easy.
- Between 100 and 150 grams per day ideal weight will be maintained
- Between 150 and 300 grams a day – the normal range for sugar-burners – weight will increase slowly but surely, year after year.
- Over 300 grams per day – common for those who drink alcohol and/or sweetened, gassy beverages such as Coca Cola – the risk of developing a Lifestyle Disease is high, if not a certainty.
The Best Way to Consume Carbohydrates
We can easily obtain all of our carbohydrates through a large variety of vegetables, salad and a little fruit. In this way, as well as the carbohydrates we’ll receive a bounty of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Remember that the simple carbohydrates that come from cereals, legumes and sugars are poor in nutrition, and their anti-nutrients block the bioavailability of any goodness that they do contain.
If you’re filling up on simple carbohydrates, you’re pushing nutrient-dense food off your plate.
Eat More Protein and Healthy Fats
Creating a balanced and nutritious meal is easy. In fact, your mother or your grandmother was right when “Meat and 3 Veg” was the standard evening meal.
A healthy meal consists of
- Quality protein sourced from animals for complete amino acids
- Salad and vegetables for vitamins, minerals and fibre
- Healthy fats for essential fatty acids and long lasting satiety
Create a colorful and imaginative meal using the Rule of Thirds:
Fill your plate with
- 1/3 Quality protein sourced from animals
- 2/3 Vegetables and salad
- Enough healthy fats for satiety until your next meal.
If you don’t feel like you’ve eaten enough or if you’re hungry between meals, reach for healthy fats.
Healthy fats include: Macadamia Nuts, Coconut (Coconut Oil, Coconut Milk, Coconut Chips, Coconut Flakes, Grated Coconut, etc.), Olives, Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Lard, Clarified Butter, Avocado, Dark Chocolate with at least 85% minimum cacao, Nuts and Seeds in Moderation.
Satiety and Hunger
Don’t be scared that if you switch to a low-carb diet you’ll feel hungry all the time. The opposite is true. The feelings of satiety and hunger are governed by hormones including Insulin and Leptin.
We’ve already looked at these in earlier posts, but let’s do a quick revision.
The simple carbohydrates of cereals, legumes and sugars quickly raise blood sugar levels, which results in high blood insulin. Constant high carbohydrate consumption and high insulin production leads to Insulin Resistance and Leptin Resistance. Under these circumstances, the body can’t access stored fat, and the cells are unable to receive nutrients. Because of the lack of nutrients, the body/brain thinks we’re starving, which triggers the sensation of hunger.
When a Sugar Burner is hungry (and a Sugar Burner is always hungry) it’s a desperate hunger that overrides willpower. Metabolically unable to burn the energy in the fat cells, the body/brain is manipulated into craving and consuming more carbohydrates. This is the trap of the Sugar Burner.
In contrast, when a Fat Burner is hungry the body/brain doesn’t switch into panic. There’s no craving for carbs.
- Hunger is simply a manageable message from the body that nutrients are required.
- Satiety is the signal that the body has received enough nutrients: we don’t need to eat more.
So the Fat Burner, on feeling hungry, is motivated to create a meal consisting of healthy fats, quality protein, vegetables and salad. Having eaten, the appetite hormones respond positively, energy levels are stable, and the feeling of satiety lasts for hours.
Even when food isn’t available, there’s no drama. A Fat Burner is easily able to access the energy stored in the body’s various warehouses and is able to create energy through the production of ketones.
Everything runs smoothly when we decide to eat less carbohydrate, more healthy fat and more quality protein.