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Calorie Count Blog

Resetting Your Stomach?s Internal Clock


By Erik on May 13, 2011 10:00 AM in Dieting & You

By Erik Fantasia


It’s noon. Are you hungry? Many of us have become conditioned to eat “by the clock,” taking our meals at the same time every day, with little regard to our body’s natural hunger signals. While eating on a set schedule is generally more convenient and socially acceptable, relying too heavily on your watch instead of your stomach can lead to mindless eating and overeating.

The Evolution of Mealtimes

Thousands of years ago, before the Agricultural Revolution, humans roamed the Earth, hunting animals for meat and gathering edible fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Food was scarce and obesity was unheard of. Our ancestors ate whenever possible as if their lives’ depended upon it. Many times it did – starving to death was a very real threat.

Advances in agriculture, food production, storage, and preservation have drastically changed the way we live as well as the way we eat. Most of us no longer have to constantly worry about foraging together enough scraps to survive. Nowadays, food is usually never more than a few steps away in the nearest fridge, vending machine, or drive-thru. And instead of facing constant shortages, modern food production results in a huge over-supply; the USDA estimates that 3,800 calories per day per person are produced in the United States.

In short, eating has transitioned from an important activity necessary for our continued existence into a routine everyday task we give little thought to. Set meals – breakfast, lunch, and dinner – are a convenient way for us to meet our daily nutrition requirements in a method that fits well with our work schedules and time commitments (see The Main Meal of the Day).

Recalibrating Your Hunger Signals

With such easy access to food served in several meals throughout the day, it’s likely many of us don’t know what hunger – true hunger – is. That said, billions of people in the world still face severe hunger and malnutrition, even with our overabundance of readily-available food here in the US.

Eating three solid meals a day has quite likely skewed our definition of “hungry.” The human body is capable of going many days without eating anything at all. In fact, many other carnivores and omnivores in the animal kingdom eat only a couple of times per week, or less. Eating a few hours later than usual may make you “hungry,” but chances are you are not actually “starving to death.”

Why Do You Eat?

Learning to trust your body and listening to natural hunger and fullness signals are some of the basic principles of the Intuitive Eating movement. It can, of course, be difficult to trust your own body after so many years of conditioning by external influences, including eating at set times of the day. It may help to ask yourself the question, “Why am I eating?” Ideally, you are eating to satisfy your hunger and not eating just because you want to eat. It’s a subtle difference, but an important one. Are you hungry? Are you bored? Are you stressed? Is it “time” for lunch?


Your thoughts…

Do you eat by the clock?


Calorie Count co-founder Erik Fantasia and his fiancée, Heather Curtis, are currently traveling around the world.  You can follow their adventures online with Facebook and their blog.



Comments


Great article with a lot of useful information. The big takeaway I received from this post was not a diet one, but more of a "social/political" answer that truly addresses why the US gives away so much foreign aid. As for addressing the issue at hand, you don't offer much solution. I would have liked to see some more information on what the body goes through when it doesn't have food for a whole day (considering you said we could "actually" go days without eating). It would be interesting ... not for planning that type of diet ... but the occasional fast.



My Thought: so many women and men who subscribe to this site, myself included, have dealt with an eating disorder. This article, if taken literally, can damage a system that has helped them get into a pattern of healthy eating. So what if that means having a snack between meals and breakfast, lunch, dinner every day. Diets and eating patterns are different for everyone.


True that. Every person has different ways of eating and different amounts and types that work for them as everything else in life. The trick is to find what works for you (or more to the point for your weight loss/maintaining strategy) and stick to it although advice should not be disregarded. Listen to it and decide if it might be usefull to you.



While I agree that sometimes people eat just to eat, I do have to agree with jkellyo that this could be taken the wrong way for someone with eating issues.  I think the fact that we don't have to have a set schedule is true, but I would argue that small meals throughout the day is a better way to eat than skipping multiple days.  (Might not have been intended, but it seems as if that was actually a suggestion!)  With small meals, you are never waiting until you are "starving" and then proceeding to gorge yourself.  I would argue that thousands of years ago, this is more how our ancestors ate.  You found a berry bush, you ate.  You found some nuts, you ate.  Eating all day as you found food.  And every once in awhile having a nice "steak" dinner after a big kill.  I understand your intentions, but I also would have liked to see more concrete solutions to the problem.



I have to agree with the commentors.  I have much more control over my eating when I eat by the clock.  If I wait until I am hungry, my choices are limited to where I am at the time, what is available to eat, the amount of time that is available, and not to mention, because I am hungry, I tend to eat more and faster.  Eating on schedule allows me to plan the time, place and amount of food consumed.



I am living proof of what this article is saying. I lost 115 pounds by learning to listen to my body.  I found I only needed to eat once a day and lost 60 pounds before I ever counted calories or exercised. Yes, I started at 242. My profile pic is at about 180. Today I am 128 and am eating twice a day in order to maintain it.

A LOT of people who come here are trying to loose weight because they are just old fashioned fat like I was.  There is nothing wrong with being hungry. If you aren't home when you get hungry, so what?? You will get there eventually and you will not starve. Kudos to Erik for learning to listen to his body. I do the exact same thing. If it screams "seafood", I eat it. If it screams" tomato", I eat it. Once in awhile, it screams "Big Mac", and yeah, I eat that too.



Hmm..I sometimes feel that I eat on a 'full' stomach...for example 4 hours may have passed since I last ate, but I still feel relatively full...but then I say "wait, isn't it bad to wait for more than 4 hours in between meals?" So I eat. Good or bad? I don't know.

 

Also, just ate an apple as a snack even though I had my lunch about an hour and a half ago. So, after reading this article, I'm asking myself WHY?

Now that I think about it, I must have been thirsty. But instead, decided to get an apple. It was a small 50-calorie Tesco apple, but still. 

 

I now know that I eat when I'm stressed, bored, studying (brain fuel)...and emotional. 

 

Maybe if I drink more green tea and meditate, I'll become calmer and won't feel the urge to constantly snack on something.



Two years ago, the very date was Jan 2, 2009, I was at the office of my Internist Dr. Mynra Carag West in Irving, Texas, and in response to my scary "atypical" angina (http://www.freemd.com/atypical-angina/overview.htm) that is essentially the "entrance ramp" to "heart attack city." "Lose weight," she said. "How?" I said, I have raging hunger all the time. She put me on to CR or the philosophy of Caloric Restriction--old philosophy, but it worked for me, Hmmmm what is "CR" I've been asked, well easy: 1. Got to commit to eating to live rather than living to eat. 2. Got to want to see your kids graduate from high school, college and be here to go to their weddings, 3. Got to want to look better, feel better and accomplish more with the rest of your life!  Yada... Then turn from the bad foods, to more of the good foods, to less calories by just a little, every day.  THAT is CR.  I would never have ever believed I would be an almost complete vegetarian today, more than two years down the road, but it's been dropping, meat, poultry and even fish from my diet that has "surpirse!" made me feel better and lose from 257 to 177 today.  Dr. West said to me recently, "Your body is now in and anti-diabetic state."  I replied, "Dr. West! How can that be, I live in Texas?" Type Walt Clayton into Youtube for a 2:22 min clip on CR, I"M NOT SELLING NOTHNG! Really want to help others find "health" like I have, again.  It is staying with it over time not a quick fix and then back to "Burgers and fries and shakes, O my!!"  LOL  Be healthy.



I go by calorie counting-I am currently at 245 and intake about 2500 cals a day to maintain, along with exercise-that way it doesn't matter so much as to worry about "Am I really hungry" as it is to worry about staying under my calories every day! However, I do agree, we are DEFINITELY spoiled and conditioned to eat for pleasure and by habit in the good 'ol U.S.!



Comment Removed

This is one problem with the advice of 5-6 small meals through the day.  You train your body to get hungry every 3-4 hours and don't get used to not having food in you.  Eating less frequently is working great for me.  You teach your body to accept slight stomach growling without it causing you to reach for a snack all the time.

I've recently started a form of intermittent fasting (www.leangains.com) where I basically eat 2 meals a day within an 8 hour window.  I eat slightly above maintenance on weight training days and significantly below maintenance on rest days.  I am getting leaner and holding onto more muscle than ever before by eating this way.



I am at 169 LBS (from 215 when i started on calorie count) and eating a healthy breakfast in the morning without being hungry have help me stay energized untill noon when I start feeling hungry again, having a set time kept me getting good eating habbits. That being said in favor of having set time for my meals, I got to a plateau in the 178 lbs and I did a week of very low calorie (about 500, apple, veggies and a little protein) and although dealing with hunger for a week was difficult at time, I must say that my body had enough energy for working and walking and operate at normal space (I could not go to the gym, which I usually do). I went through the plateau and got down to 169 without loosing to much muscle mass, and now I am back eating 3 time a day with an average of 1500 to 1800 calories a day with very littla hunger. Knowing that the body can go with lttle food for a whille is a good belief for me.



I think the bigtake away with this article is that you shouldn't eat for the sake of eating.  Listen to your body.  This is what I have done.  I eat when I am hungry.  In the past I have eaten just for the sake of eating something.  No enjoyment just eat until it is done.  Now I eat when my body tells me is it time.  And I eat what I have cravings for (limit on sugar and bad foods) there is something in the food my body needs.



For someone you is diabetic or insulitin resistance, this addage to skip meal times could be dangerous.  In ancient times the weak were meant to die off. Nowdays, I would say this advice is fine to teach young healthy people but not for all.

Yes, you should know what being truly hunger not just unsatisfied means, and not watch the clock.

When I eat a big breakfast and get busy, I often eat lunch late.  Same with dinner although I still have a small snack to keep my metabolism at maximum burn. 

Everyone is different so if this helps you fine; however to me this is just an opinion piece - no scientific studies just a little thwarted history that no longer reflects how we have evolved, either.



Good article that expressed what I've been thinking about. Lately, I've welcomed the pang of hunger because it proves I'm not overeating. Also, I know that the pang of hunger does not mean I'm "starving to death".

That said, our ancestors would have killed for a steady diet---in fact, they did. But, they didn't have to punch a clock, drive miles to work or all the other restrictive things that dictate our diets.

Unfortunately,  I have to eat at certain times. Breakfast is at 6 am, right before the 25 minute commute. Lunch is at noon and dinner is when I get home. I have been having a Muscle Milk for lunch for the last month and haven't died from starvation, though, and my daily calorie intake is 2200.

Gotta git to work. Stay hungry!



This article implies that humans can go without eating for days, without making it clear that they SHOULDN'T. I don't think it's sending the right messages, or at least, it doesn't make clear that we should NOT be starving ourselves.

I think this article could be triggering for someone with an eating disorder, and goes against so many articles published on this site that illustrate the benefits of frequent meals for metabolism, eating regularly to get essential nutrients, and fueling our bodies properly for the work it needs to perform each day.

When humans had to scour the earth for sustenance, their lifespans were also about 1/2 what they are today.

I am all for eating intuitively, and eating mindfully is a good thing, but implying that well, you're not really hungry, is destructive to some people, namely this paragraph: 

Eating three solid meals a day has quite likely skewed our definition of “hungry.” The human body is capable of going many days without eating anything at all. In fact, many other carnivores and omnivores in the animal kingdom eat only a couple of times per week, or less. Eating a few hours later than usual may make you “hungry,” but chances are you are not actually “starving to death.”

And that's not even getting into the whole, "Well are humans omnivores or herbivores?" debate...

This is the problem with trying to fit 5,000 words worth of information into 700. It leaves too much room for misinterpretation.



Foot in mouth Sorry I have to disagree with this article and agree with some posters that I see this writing causing some bad and unhealthy eating habits



I don't get hungry until late lunch or dinner and I am never hungry earlier than that unless I eat breakfast. It actually MAKES me hungry to eat before I naturally feel it. I've been a little confused about metabolism and when to eat so I tried to eat a decent breakfast. I gained weight and eating breakfast actually makes me want to eat more and in larger portions throughout the day. This article was very helpful and I realize that some people lose weight better eating a large breakfast and some(me) do not. I'll listen to my body instead. Thank you!



Original Post by: jkellyo

My Thought: so many women and men who subscribe to this site, myself included, have dealt with an eating disorder. This article, if taken literally, can damage a system that has helped them get into a pattern of healthy eating. So what if that means having a snack between meals and breakfast, lunch, dinner every day. Diets and eating patterns are different for everyone.

"Diets and eating patterns are different for everyone."

I think this is what the writer is trying to point out.



I think importantly that if you have bulimia or anorexia, you know you have to learn to eat regular meals, to stay alive and healthy. You can't listen to your body or your mind!

Diabetics, have to eat regularly as well. Common sense.

Those who have no food issues, yes, pay attention to your body in a healthy way. Hungry?...our options are to have a glass of water (we are often dehydrated and not necessarily hungry) and/or eat something healthy. I think the message is that there is a tendency in our North American lifestyle to consume way too much, when we don't have to. It's habit. Personally, I like the fact that we don't have to hunt, fish or find berries in order to stay alive...but we also don't need to buy so much food, that we end up throwing it our, or eating it so it doesn't go to waste.  Grocery shopping based on short term needs and healthy eating is an art!



Thanks for all the comments. I wrote this article from the standpoint of a chronic overeater that has lost touch with his or her body's natural feedback mechanisms (hunger, thirst, fullness, etc.), confusing this with mechanical eating which is triggered by external instead of internal factors - such as eating based on the time of the day.

Theoretically, if our bodies functioned properly and we listened to and obeyed these signals we would not overeat. Of course, some people's feedback mechanisms are broken past the point of easy overhaul, and in some cases eating mechanically - set meals at set times - is the best option.

I did not mean to say one or the other system is better or worse; we write occasionally about Intuitive Eating and I believed this article would be interesting to people following that movement. The real goal of this article was to explore the question, "Why do you eat?" For those suffering from EDs, the inverse question "Why do you not eat?" may also apply. In either case, the answers to these questions can be powerful tools for helping us overcome our problems with over/under eating.



I saw a story on the news last night talking about how much food is just thrown away by retailers simply because it doesn't look appetizing anymore. Why can't this food go to local soup kitchens, crisis shelters, schools, etc?



As most of these post say...listen to your body.  There have been times where I didn't eat anything for two days.  My body just never said "hungry".  I think those people that are crying foul on that, think that we're trying not to eat for two days.  Nope.  It just sometimes happens, but not very often.  It's difficult for me when the family all gets together in NH for2 weeks in the summer.  There's scheduled meals and if I'm not hungry, my mother doesn't understand that I don't want to eat.  Then out comes the evil stare.....



The government won't allow it.  It seems stupid to me but you can't even give food to the homeless shelters.  A crazy person could put LSD in it or something.



When I was told to eat 6 small meals a day, I just couldn't do it!  I wasn't hungry, and I practically had to force myself to eat.  I never lost a pound!  Today is my first day with Calorie Counter.  I think listening to my own body and it's needs are going to work out just fine. 

 

 



I didn't think the article was advocating not eating for days, it was more or less giving a history of eating/meal times and why we eat the way we do today.  It is unfortunate that so many people seemed to take it to mean something else and I hope that it doesn't fuel anyones ED. 

I took something good from the article and it is something I'm going to give a try again.  I too work an 8 - 5 job and my meal periods are somewhat dictated by that schedule, however, there are times that I am just not hungry on my lunch break and when 2 p.m. rolls around and I find myself hungry I try and take a short meal break.  It's not always convenient and hard to predict, however, I do try and eat this way on the weekends and I find that I often eat less often when I do it that way. 

I do have to wonder if not eating at regular intervals all the time if metabolism will slow???  I don't usually feel hungry in the mornings until about 9 a.m. but in order to eat before work I have to schedule it much earlier than that.  It's odd that after sleeping for 8 plus hours and not having eating anything since 7:00 p.m. the previous night that I wouldn't be hungry until 9 a.m. that is a good 14 hours or so.  It sort of confirms what is being said in the article. 



Too many people here are complaining that this article might be a trigger for people who starve themselves - well CC is NOT an ED site so suck it up.

Harsh? Perhaps. But many people who have trouble with their weight do so because they do not recognise or understand their body's signals and there are plenty of those people on CC who might find the information in the article useful.



If someone with an ED uses this to justify them starving themselves it is not CC's or anyone else's responsibility. They would find SOMETHING to justify it with SOMEWHERE. It is not my intention to diss anyone with an ED but this is a fact. A person with an ED who really wants to get better would avoid any site that has to do with weight and follow what their therapist says. Some might come to a site such as this but would leave discussions that make them think "ill" thoughts. I know, I used to be bullimic (been "well" for almost eleven years now). No-one can be watched 24/7 except in some kind of institution. Good luck everyone including those of you suffering such an illness. You can all improve on yourselves and YOU WILL.



Original Post by: doridv8

As most of these post say...listen to your body.  There have been times where I didn't eat anything for two days.  My body just never said "hungry".  I think those people that are crying foul on that, think that we're trying not to eat for two days.  Nope.  It just sometimes happens, but not very often.  It's difficult for me when the family all gets together in NH for2 weeks in the summer.  There's scheduled meals and if I'm not hungry, my mother doesn't understand that I don't want to eat.  Then out comes the evil stare.....


Actually several of the grocery stores in the area are always giving us things for our weekly soup kitchen. Thanks to their generosity we've been able to serve over 8000 meals in the past year and a half.



Ya know this is a hard one for me. I'm usually on the defense of the article when it seems as though there could be potential for the wrong message, but this one doesn't just have a misleading title to catch your eye.

Eating three solid meals a day has quite likely skewed our definition of “hungry.” The human body is capable of going many days without eating anything at all. In fact, many other carnivores and omnivores in the animal kingdom eat only a couple of times per week, or less. Eating a few hours later than usual may make you “hungry,” but chances are you are not actually “starving to death.”

This just sounds to much like, "oh you don't have to eat 3x a day, in-fact you can starve yourself and you won't even be starving to death." It sounds like it's promoting to skip meals if you can manage to ignore your first feeling of hunger for lunch. That way you will eat dinner(not lunch), you've eaten twice in a day and now look how many calories you've saved. What about the vitamins and minerals you missed out on?? Okay, that's fine if you have a 2500 cal. diet and that's cutting it down by 600-800 cals. This is not so good for the person who is eating 1200 cals. I think this is to tempting of a logic for those trying to recover from an ED and inappropriately worded. There are far to many people on this site who have come close to starving themselves to death and I'm pretty sure they looked for just this type of logic to justify it. And I used to be to busy on a regular bases and my feeling of hunger would pass, so I ate twice a day (a convenient diet method). The second time I ate (dinner) would be followed by so called dessert (3 bowls of capt. crunch), I felt like I had no control over that temptation, I couldn't even sleep, and I'm 5'8" and weighed 133. In other words I think this promotes binge eating as well.



To anneliebasson- One of the sites rules is to never promote under eating or diets below 120 calories. And I'm not saying that is what it's doing, I'm just saying it's walking a fine line IMO. I think it is definetly saying that going hungry is okay cause your not starving to death. And the last paragraph fades away from what the rest of the article is saying. With that the article would never truely be saying deprive yourself of a well balanced diet that meets your daily required nutrients, again IMO it's just a poorly writen article. We've read the same thing a hundres times over in differetn ways, it's all about the tactic in which the writer uses to catch the eye of the reader.



I meant 1200 cals- sorry



I can't tell when I'm hungry and, until recently with the help of CC,  I couldn't tell when I was full.  I guess I don't speak "body".



Hmm...  This is a bit trickier for those of us who exercise a lot.  Just because we're not "starving to death" doesn't mean we're not in need of nutrients to maintain muscle and energy.  I've learned to eat when I hit the point where:

a) My stomach rumbles (and not because I'm about to burp).

b) Aside from my stomach feeling hungry, my arms and legs also start to "feel hungry."  They feel sort of hollow and in need of energy refill.  I get this an hour after a spin class.

c) I am snapping at people for no apparent reason. 

 



I have listened to my stomach for some time and i think that is why im on a diet today.  The main time i am "hungry" is late at night, say after 8 or 9 PM.  So if i listen to my body and eat when im hungry i gain weight.  I heard that eating late in the evening is bad.  I have a normal 8-5 job, and im so busy with my kids after work, ie: gymnastics, baseball etc, so when im get home to rest, it's late and i eat, then go to bed- which everyone says is bad to do.  That's just me 'listening to my stomach". 



I think Eric I think you really should have put more information in the article.  I have heard we were also grazers which is why some claim the 6 meals are better (so instead of having a 4000 calorie meal for two days and breaking it up into twelve 300 calorie meals).  Personally I couldn't do the single meal thing anyhow, I would get sick.

I wish I had the original article I was reading.  But it claimed the body has two food eating programs.  One for famine and one for plenty and if your body is in the famine program it tells you you are always hungry because it doesn't know when the next meal is.  Conversely if your body is in the plenty program, then inuitive eating could work because your body isn't trying horde calories.

Salindor



I have to say nothing is wrong with a scheduled diet if that diet is based off when you tend to be hungry. If I just ate when I was hungry, I'd still be eating at these times. I actually did that and noticed it was no different except I had a tendency to actually eat more, not less. A schedule allows to me to think about what I'll eat and lets me eat healthier.

200-300 cal in the morning

300-400 cal lunch at noon

200 cal snack at 2:30

and dinner leads me to around 1200 calories total. It works great for me cause my stomach doesn't grumple often, it doesn't overfill me, and it's convient. Obviously people who are more active (and taller) than me would require more. But this works for me and I don't feel physically tired by it. 



I feel it is clear that the intent of the info in the article is to give a history of our food habits as a species.  I too realized at the start of the journey that I was confused between cravings and hunger and had to find out the difference for myself, as many have said, each person is different.  Something else not discussed here is the issue of nutritionally starving, as I learn to eat more healthy, I find eating the 'right' foods cause me to be satisfied with less, hence , i eat less and perhaps less frequently, However my body responds with better signals and is less subject to unhealthy cravings, previously confused with hunger.  One lesson I have taken from this sight, regardless of the different opinions, is the fact that people are asking the right questions and not taking opinions at face value, if this was an easy journey, we wouldn't be spending this amount of energy and time discussing it. I value each input from the editors as well as the commentors, as i learn so much, THANK YOU!!!!



I have done a combo of things to lose weight. At the beginning I did what my dietician told me to do: Watch portion sizes and eat 6 small meals instead of 3 big meals a day. I also switched to wheat everything, started supplementing quinoa for rice, and limited my red meat intake. Basically, I started eating better. The crazy thing was that, while it worked for a time, after a few weeks I didn't feel like eating that often. I found that a small spinach, cheese, black bean, wheat tortilla burrito totally filled me up, and I didn't actually feel hungry during "snack time".

So now I usually have 3 meals, but I eat them when I feel like eating them. Sometimes I'll eat a late lunch and not feel hungry enough for dinner, but I'll have something equal to a snack around "dinner time" so that I'm not starving when I wake up in the morning. Or I'll take a packed lunch to work with me, but I'll eat all of the things in my lunch box over the course of 4 hours instead of all in one sitting...

I used to eat out of boredom, but now I do a mental check. Am I really hungry, or am I just eating because there's nothing to do? This has significantly changed my relationship with food, and I'm healthier because of it.



I'm with the person who said that if they eat breakfast, they just want to eat all day. Its true, if I eat breakfast, I'm starving by 12, and if I eat, I'm starving by 4 or 5..and then I want to eat again at 9 or 10. But if I don't eat breakfast, I just don't hungry at lunch.  Worried about nutrition? Take a vitamin, folks. Your MD will be glad to go over your lab results with you.

None of us are wired the same way. If it works for you, Glory Be. I could never do Atkins, but my friend swears by it.



I lost 40 pounds in the last 2 1/2 years by eating right and exercising. Now my BMI is now 24.8 and body fat % is 10%. From a diet perspective, I eat the right stuff in small portions multiple times a day. By eating right (lean proteins, good fat, complex carbs), I automatically feel hungry ever 2-3 hours. So I actually understand what this article is saying.

I think intiailly you have to listen to your body's hunger signals and always eat right when you get those signals. After a while, your body automatically adopts a new and "healthy" eating clock and starts getting hungry at the same time everyday.

Here's some great advice my father gave me - always eat when your stomach goes less than 1/3rd its capacity; stop eating when your stomach goes more than 2/3rd its capacity. This strategy works wonders.



@yamisui - i am in the same boat.

a) "My stomach rumbles" - Great time to eat!!!

b) "Aside from my stomach feeling hungry, my arms and legs also start to "feel hungry"" - These are signs of muscle fatigue and glycogen store depletion. Your mucles are asking for protein and vitamin C and E and your liver is asking for sugar (preferrably fructose from natural fruit). I have a protein shake, a banana and a tangerine immediately after an intense workout. I am fresh as ever within 5 minutes :-)

c) "I am snapping at people for no apparent reason" - I you follow a), you should never reach this stage :-)



what worked for me is eating 5 to 6 times a day.  Something every 3 hours.  Alittle more for breakfast, lunch and dinner and not eating more than 2000 calories a day.   Along with some exercising.  I have lost 93 lbs.  Went from 250 to 157.  It took me around a year.  Eating slower helps too so you fill up easier.  Eating every few hours will keep your metabolism going. 



I went to the store after work to get some watermelon on this, the first day over 60 degrees, okay? People were walking around in t-shirts and shorts...fat people...lots and lots of fat people. I never noticed how fat people are around here.

Man, I'm never going over 175 again. I got 4 more pounds to lose to get to 170 and that's all, folks. Give me hunger over obesity any day of the week.



This needs to be taken down. I am recovering from anorexia and this is MAJORLY triggering.I think instead of the article focusing on humans in the past who tried not to starve to death and actually Did starve to death is completely irrelevant. I'm sick to death of people compaigning for the "olde ways" of yester year when human beings "roamed the earth". Listen, we aren't cave people anymore. And by the way, if you think obesity was unheard of, you are wrong. In fact there is more than one primitive culture where obesity was sought after heavily. Not to mention have you ever watched national geographic? Those african people who live in the bush dont have perfect bodies, some of them are overweight but wait, aren't they supposed to be "honoring their hunger signals"?

Point taken. If you are going to write a public message to people of all different mentalities and stages, you have to know what to say to get people thinking in positive ways about who they are in this century right now. Not only that but keeping our metabolic rates up by eating frequently enhances are abilities to burn calories and increases mental competency.

So I'd rather eat several times a day to keep my metabolism and brain functions running well than pretend I'm a cave man. Thanks.



I understand that totally but doesn't matter what we do as a CC community, they will get some way somewhere to hear what they want to hear, some site making them believe what they are doing is o.k. Please do not misunderstand, I am not trying to undermine or hurt anyone I just mean that CC placed this article with the eye on helping overweight people understand it is o.k for US to miss a meal and that we won't harm our body if we do that. But again I say, I totally understand  what you are saying. There is no way of saying one thing and it being o.k for everyone though. There is no pleasing (healing?) everyone.:)



I actually think using the clock to decide when to eat is better than relying on your hunger signals. I work in a pub and my shifts are usually either 11am-4pm, or 4pm-close, no breaks unless I ask for one (depending on how busy it is) and even then I only get 5-10 minutes. This makes eating very difficult. Do I eat my lunch at 11am before I leave, and then feel hungry again at 4pm? Or do I only have breakfast and stuff my face at 4pm to compensate? When I work late, do I eat an early dinner at 4pm, and then stuff my face at 1am when I finish? No. I can't not eat either (I could, but it wouldn't be healthy). I now make a concious effort to pack a healthy lunchbox, bring it to work and eat at a reasonable hour. Although I often feel guilty about asking for a break around 6-7pm when we're often just starting to get busy after 2 quiet/dead hours, I have to put body first. Otherwise, whenever I have a demanding job, it will rule over my life and body, and that is not good.



Oh, yeah...I guess my point was, that eating a set amount at scheduled times is better than 'foraging' (nibbling on food) on food all day, and better than stuffing your face when you're actually hungry.



No, actually, diabetics don't necessarily have to eat "regularly."  It all depends on what medications you're on.  If you're a medicine-free type 2, it's entirely possible that you can fast without any abnormal effects at all.  If you're on a tightly restrictive bolusing schedule, yeah, you probably can't just skip a meal unless you've asked your doctor for instructions on how to adjust your medication for that situation.

Even I can fast for reasonable amounts of time as an insulin-dependent diabetic without getting low blood sugars, although that's because my treatment is super flexible.

Diabetics, if you're trying to lose weight and your medicines are making it hard to change your diet because of resulting low blood sugars, ask your doctor about a different treatment plan!  There are lots of treatments which allow you more freedom to adjust your eating times and amounts.



Short fasts may be good for you: http://nutritiondiva.quickanddirtytips.com/benefits-of-fasti ng.aspx

I stopped snacking between meals and my migraines went away.



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