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One Meal a Day - Solving Overeating

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 02, 2012 at 1:31 AM

Hi everyone,

So I've known about paleo/primal for over a year now. I can't say that I've gone longer than a few weeks fully primal, but I try to incorporate the mindset and paleoesque eating into my everyday lifestyle. I've struggled with ~10 pounds up and down for the past 2 years...which developed into disordered eating (exercise purging and calorie obsession). I went from my all time low at 115 5'5 (terrible eczema, amenorrhea for 2 years, bad hair quality, general depression) to about 150-160 in the span of a year(freshman 40!). I know the weight gain was much needed, but once it started packing on... I started bingeing more and more! Likely due to my body's crying for more calories and unhappiness about gaining weight...what a vicious cycle.

Anyway, I digress. This overeating thing has been with me for about a year, and I always overeat on SAD foods. I'm aware that its usually triggered by boredom and unhappiness (about my weight, ironically). I've gotten better at telling myself "no, I'm not hungry", but it's still a struggle.

I'm considering 1 meal a day approach to eating for a few weeks. I know through experience that I am much less likely to binge in that one meal if I know I should be getting all my nutrients in. That meal will also be a family meal, meaning good company and nice home cooked food. My mornings and evenings will be covered by coffee with cream (store bought...really can't help myself), and some eggs/nuts/fruit if I'm hangry... in moderation.

I'm really looking forward to these weeks in helping me overcome my eating habits by making me more conscious of choices and, at the same time, restricting the type/amount of food I can have. It's kind of hard to eat over 1000 calories in a sitting of leafy greens, meat, and some fruit. Not saying that 1000 calories is enough for living, but I want to explain that eating 1500 calories of crap is EASY PEASY, whereas 1000 of healthy noms is pretty dang hard.

This is not meant to be a complete lifestyle change, rather a method of getting back to normality and possibly restoring my body to the healthy, happy 140 pounds and 6 pack I've never fully appreciated.

I just wanted to get some suggestions and opinions on this approach. Any tips for getting started, staying on track? Is this even a decent approach?!

PS Don't worry about caloric intake, couple o' eggs, salad greens, avocado, broccoli, tuna, and a piece of fruit should be good for the day. Don't forget the cream!

** i do yoga a couple times of week, walk several hours a week (daily at least 1 hour), do 10-40 min of bodyweight/up to 50 pd weights 5x a week ... moderate to high intensity)...just in case you need that information :)

Fb55b5754728e8de2287617a501003b1

(45)

on September 02, 2012
at 03:44 PM

For a few weeks though, I then plan on splitting it up into breakfast and a late lunch at 4. I've found that those meal times work very well for me, if you don't count the bingeing relapses. Of course, at the same time, I'm going to continue to address my mental issues about food and hunger. Talking to yourself really does work! You just have to be persistent. It's ridiculous that I'm letting FOOD get the best of me!

Fb55b5754728e8de2287617a501003b1

(45)

on September 02, 2012
at 03:42 PM

I agree that eating when hungry is the best option! It usually works very well for a few days, and then there's a sort of "relapse" and I'm back to degrading myself about how much/what I'm eating. Like I said, vicious cycle. I know the thought of "oh one meal?! YOU CAN EAT A CRAP LOAD AND NOT WORRY ABOUT A THING", but I've recently realized that I'm only truly hungry at that time of day (between 3-5) and I eat the healthiest meals then. Evening food is only a slight hunger that can be ignored but I choose not to... ahaha. I feel that one meal a day will allow me to recognize true satisfaction.

23a240b30b8622fed011ccbd4054fac2

(489)

on September 02, 2012
at 05:17 AM

I just did that yesterday, too. Wasn't planning on it, but it just happened. Usually I only have two meals a day, lunch and dinner. I would say try a big meal a day for a couple week or try cutting up your meals to two a day. And have the mindset that those are the only times you will eat, and don't graze. The trick is once you get your body used to eating at only a certain time each day, your cravings will most likely lessen. And keep busy!! I struggled with overeating too but once I got my body used to eating at noon and 6 only, I don't get hungry at any other time. Good luck! :)

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4
99bd7f8b1170a1e9e56b93d9d53b51cc

(193)

on September 02, 2012
at 08:33 AM

I also experimented with this approach to deal with my binges, but found that because i was putting a lot of focus on this one meal, with my conscious saying that it could be as big as i wanted as i hadnt eaten all day, would mean that i would end up eating a ridiculously large meal (just because i could). Even though it was fully paleo/primal friendly, the sheer amount of matter going into my body all at once was putting a stress on my digestive system, and to add, the more i got used to this pattern, the more i could, and would want to eat in one sitting. It became obvious that in trying to tackle my binge issue, i was doing precisely the opposite - waiting all day to binge in my one meal - and although it was not ever amounting to enough calories to worry about, it was not helping my mental attitude towards binging. I have since found that a focus on eating when actually hungry, and savouring each bite rather than mindlessly wolfing food down to fill a void, allows my body and mind to stay stable throughout the day and i dont have such a mental focus on food and eating. I also used to eat very quickly, and if i was still hungry after the plate was empty, i would instantly hurry to the kitchen to make more in order to avoid any feeling of emptiness. Once i slowed down and actually gave the meal the respect it, and myself deserve, to take this time to stop and enjoy feeding my body and giving it the energy its asking for, at the end of the plate, my body will have started responding to what i gave it and i feel satisfied. There is no fear of hunger, and i know that i wont have to fill myself up to the brim because i wont eat again for 16/20/24 hours. Once you give up the sheer amount of mental focus on food and eating, you can find a freedom within your body to trust and know that you don't need to binge - there will always be another meal to enjoy ahead.

Fb55b5754728e8de2287617a501003b1

(45)

on September 02, 2012
at 03:44 PM

For a few weeks though, I then plan on splitting it up into breakfast and a late lunch at 4. I've found that those meal times work very well for me, if you don't count the bingeing relapses. Of course, at the same time, I'm going to continue to address my mental issues about food and hunger. Talking to yourself really does work! You just have to be persistent. It's ridiculous that I'm letting FOOD get the best of me!

Fb55b5754728e8de2287617a501003b1

(45)

on September 02, 2012
at 03:42 PM

I agree that eating when hungry is the best option! It usually works very well for a few days, and then there's a sort of "relapse" and I'm back to degrading myself about how much/what I'm eating. Like I said, vicious cycle. I know the thought of "oh one meal?! YOU CAN EAT A CRAP LOAD AND NOT WORRY ABOUT A THING", but I've recently realized that I'm only truly hungry at that time of day (between 3-5) and I eat the healthiest meals then. Evening food is only a slight hunger that can be ignored but I choose not to... ahaha. I feel that one meal a day will allow me to recognize true satisfaction.

0
872e070c104d70d10d2bd79602c3940b

on September 02, 2012
at 03:34 AM

It's sort o f like intermittent fasting. I've been doing the same type of thing for the last week, just got back to semi normal today. I'm realizing that waiting till you're actually hungry is better for me, then i'm more aware of boredom and over eating. It's not something for the long run, but do it for a week so you can pick up on your body's needs and such.

0
68294383ced9a0eafc16133aa80d1905

(5795)

on September 02, 2012
at 01:54 AM

I just did it today. The topic thread caught my eye.

Finished dinner last night around 8:30 PM, got up today around 10, had some stuff to do throughout the day, including a walk in the early afternoon. Made a grand meal around 8 PM.

I don't have the same issues and by no means is this a daily thing, but it was just a random occurrence today. I think many people could benefit from it. It really goes to show how much of eating tends to be driven by stress of daily tasks or boredom.

23a240b30b8622fed011ccbd4054fac2

(489)

on September 02, 2012
at 05:17 AM

I just did that yesterday, too. Wasn't planning on it, but it just happened. Usually I only have two meals a day, lunch and dinner. I would say try a big meal a day for a couple week or try cutting up your meals to two a day. And have the mindset that those are the only times you will eat, and don't graze. The trick is once you get your body used to eating at only a certain time each day, your cravings will most likely lessen. And keep busy!! I struggled with overeating too but once I got my body used to eating at noon and 6 only, I don't get hungry at any other time. Good luck! :)

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