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Nutrition Diet, supplements, weightloss, health & longevity

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Old 07-04-2006, 11:56 AM   #1
Frank M Needham
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My diet has always been ok but at the same time sorta out of control. Rather I should say that I never had to control it. There is no problem with sweets though I do have a drink on occasion. Weight is 192 and height 5'10". I haven't had body fat tested but I'd have to guess that it is about 20-25%. This is after several years in a period of my life when everything went to hell and my health took a couple of big hits. Things seem to have leveled off now though after bottoming.

My main problem is that I just plain like to eat, not garbage mind you, good stuff mostly. Meat, chicken, eggs, dairy, vegetables, fruits and so on. And, due to my starting to work out again with Crossfit, of course my food intake is going up. With CrossFit it feels like I'm right on the cusp of getting back to being fit, and eventually that body fat will come down along with a return to fitness, I'm sure.

My question for you all is how do you keep that "I wanna eat" switch turned off when working hard obviously must increase the desire of your body for more calories?

This is one thing that I've never had to deal with. For example, at one time I had a job which required heavy work over the work day while at the same time walking about 14 miles on average. While in that occupation I was fortunate to have access to the dining facility and could eat whenever, and whatever, I wanted. Translation: I ate about 3 times a day while at work, and more when off duty. Never gained, or lost much either, from a weight of 183 lbs.
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Old 07-04-2006, 03:37 PM   #2
Elliot Royce
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It's absolutely amazing how little you have to eat in order to sustain your body if you choose good quality foods. The portion sizes we use in the US today are gargantuan. So, I suspect that your desire to eat is more mental than physical particularly since you say you're not in an incredibly physically demanding situation.

I'd recommend measuring your intake and output for 2 weeks using www.fitday.com. Chris Forbis turned me on to this and it's a very simple way to make sure that you're balancing your diet. I think you're going to find that you eat more than you think.

Then what you do is cut out the unnecessary calories which are usually the ones that prompt a desire to eat. I'm sure you realize that if you run out and eat an ice cream, within an hour you're going to be hungry again, whereas if you eat a steak with the same caloric content it will take much longer before your blood sugar level prompt hunger pangs.

Bottom line: my exercise level has very little to do with my hunger state. My mental state has a great deal to do with it. If you're grazing on good stuff throughout the day, you're not going to be starving.
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Old 07-05-2006, 05:23 AM   #3
Keith Wittenstein
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Frank

I am sure you have heard of the Zone Diet. I am thinking this is your cry for help. The answer, my friend, is in the Zone.

The magic of the Zone is that it not only improves health but "performance." That alone should be reason enough to try it.

Your problems and mine mostly stem from our hormones which control our moods and our eating habits and our performance. The Zone will help you regulate your hormones and thereby reduce your feeling of being out of control with your eating. It is definitely work. It definitely sucks for a while. However, after you get over the hump, it's awesome.

My rx for you:

read Enter the Zone, or at least CFJ 21.
read Lights Out
Start a food log of everything you eat and when you eat it. If you can journal other factors such as workouts, mood, weather and sleep even better.

Get cracking on the Zone! You're probably around 15 or 16 blocks. I would try 3x 4-block meals and 2x 2-block snacks.

Cover the windows in your bedroom and get 9 hours of sleep in pitch black darkness.

Getting more sleep in pitch black darkness will help curb your carb cravings and make the Zoning easier.
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Old 07-05-2006, 05:48 AM   #4
Frank M Needham
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Thanks for that link Elliot, I'll check it out. I realize the (dis) connection between how much you need to eat to sustain body weight and the desire to just eat for the sake of it. Thats just it, I'm not starving by a long shot and know it but it boils down to just wanting to eat! It is remarkable to me that you find little connection between your level of exercise and how much you eat. I find that when excercising regularly and fairly hard my food intake goes up in a corresponding way.
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Old 07-05-2006, 05:56 AM   #5
Frank M Needham
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Keith, I've been seeing refs to the Zone here and gave it a cursory look. Guess I'll have to give a more serious going over. Your observation about regulating the hormones is spot on and is something I've dimmly recognized and tried to grapple with (without the kind of success that I was looking for). One thing that really grabs me is to read that others seem to routinely get body fat down to 10%. That is something I don't think I've ever seen in my adult life. Maybe 10-15% but not below. Do others feel comfortable at 10% and not constantly hungry?
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Old 07-05-2006, 08:59 AM   #6
Elliot Royce
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Frank:

Keith is right: read the Zone stuff. I've never really had a problem controlling my hunger when I stay away from sugars. Give me one oatmeal cookie and away I go. Give me a beer or two and nachos are not far behind.

But if I stay away from sugar and alcohol, even without the zone, I wasn't pigging out. With the Zone, it's even easier.

I think if you stop to examine your diet and workout schedule and start to implement the zone, you're going to find that there is a disconnect between exercising and desire to eat. For one thing, keep in mind that real exercise actually only burns somewhere between 300-800 calories per hour. Unless you're exercising for many hours per day, that calorie consumption is dwarved by your metabolic use (2500-3500 calories for men). So, yes, I'm starving in the morning when I wake up -- that's due to the fact that I just burned around 800-1000 calories in my sleep without any offsetting food intake. But when I go work out intensely, I don't feel like eating for quite a while. And by the time I would be hungry, I've had a mix of protein/fats/carbs so that I'm not that hungry.

It does require discipline but it's not that hard once you get used to it.

On body fat, I'm somewhere around 6-8% and don't feel hungry all the time. If anything I felt hungrier when I was a lot fatter. Don't underestimate the hunger produced by swings in your blood sugar levels -- it's a compelling hunger that you can't defer because your body actually feels deprived.
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