Friday, October 7, 2011

October 7

Progress and Thoughts
I should note a new low on the scale today - 184.6.  I am losing almost 2 pounds per week for the last 5 weeks using the ideas I found in "Eat to Live."  That surprises me, because I have been eating a very healthy vegan diet now for almost 4 years, and my weight has remained stable for about the last 3 years prior to the diet.  I did  lose some weight last October, but not nearly so much, and I had more to lose then. I thought that I would be doing this challenge primarily for others, but it turns out to have benefitted me greatly.

Angela raises a very good and interesting question.  Why did I stop at too high a weight and remain stable if I was eating all healthy foods.  I think that the answer has to be in my hunger drive.  Most people will go down to a truly healthy weight eating what I eat.  My wife is more liberal than I with her food, eats all she wants, and is very trim.  She always remarks that I eat such a large quantity of food.  I thought that this was just my appetite, and that I was a guy.  I didn't think that there was much more to be done.  I was what Dr. McDougall call a "volume eater."  I didn't seem able to do anything about it.

Reading "Eat to Live" was a real revelation for me, even though Jeff Novick had said much the same thing to me.  There was something about seeing in print, and the logical flow that Dr. Fuhrman set out that really got my attention and gave me hope that I could do something about my "volume eating."  My first task is to discover what true hunger is.  It is clear that despite my clean diet, I was still experiencing toxic hunger.  Part of this may be due to my fear that I would not be able to achieve adherence to the diet.  My defense was to keep my stomach full all the time lest I find myself hungry in the presence of bad and addicting food.  I need to get over that.  I am not going to tempted by cake and ice cream or anything SAD, and I'm confident of that.  I have done a 3 day fast just for discovery and assure myself that I could forbear.  However, as soon as I started eating again, it was in the old familiar way.  I could have used that fast to adjust to eating in response to true hunger, but did not understand the concept as well then.

So my first task is to absolutely not eat when not truly hungry.  My next task is titrate the amount I eat each meal so that I can find out how much I should eat so that I am hungry at the  next meal time.  So far, I like eating 2 meals per day.  Dr. Furhrman says that this is actually better for me than 3 meals per day, although 3 is ok too.  But studies show more longevity with less frequency of meals with the same total calories.  This also gives my body more time in the catabolic state, so it should be healthier and better able to cope in general.  I am lucky if I find myself liking 2 meals per day.

I know that I can maintain this.  One benefit of eating clean for the last 3+ years is that I did not experience too bad symptoms when I did experience my toxic hunger.  So it isn't that bad waiting for the true hunger.  Somebody on SAD might be having horrible symptoms, as I did when I first went healthy.  It will be interesting to see where the weight loss starts to plateau, and what that means for my blood sugars etc.  So far it feels better being even these 10 pounds lighter.  I thought I was destined to stay in the mid 190's forever, but apparently not.  My thanks to Dr. F.  I want to investigate his forum after this challenge is over.  I know that he is speaking at Dr. McDougall's next Advanced Study Weekend, and I would love to see him and hear him speak, and even thank him if I get the chance.  I wonder where I will be with my weight and health by February.

I see that my blog stats are going down a bit, and I don't wonder why.  What I am doing is so simple and boring that it may be hard to stay awake looking at what I eat.  That is the idea.  Make it simple and boring and you will succeed.

As always, I started with a large bowl of chopped greens.  Topped with a mixture of raw veggies (tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini) and beans.  I added some leftover chickpeas from last night, then a spoonful of ground flax seed, some walnuts, and some strawberries and blackberries.  As room on the plate allowed, I finished the bowl of veggies and added a Japanese Sweet Potato and a scoop of brown rice (the only kind of rice I eat).  Pictures will follow below.

Again, I started with a large bowl of greens topped by a scoop of brown rice.  This was topped by the steamed veggies - broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, black beans, bell peppers.  I added some walnuts and a Japanese sweet potato (not pictured).  The extra veggies and rice will serve for a picnic tomorrow, which is our monthly birding visit to Heritage Oak Winery in Lodi with naturalist David Yee.  Highly recommended for anybody in the area.  Great wines, and I am sure to have some if for no other reason to support our friend, Tom Hoffman, the vintner who makes his wilderness property available for birders.

2 meals were fine for me today, and I seem to be settling into a pattern.  I am still learning about hunger, and am now experiencing at as not being unpleasant at all - certainly not the unpleasant feeling of toxic hunger.  The reason that I think toxic hunger is such a big deal is that Dr. Fuhrman says that virtually everybody who has been overweight experiences and responds only to toxic hunger and never reaches true hunger.  That is just about everybody!



  1. Bob,

    Thanks, this blog is very helpful and beneficial for me. Thank you! I was wondering about your comment (I don't recall if it was here or at McD forum) that you always have brown rice ready in the rice cooker. Did I get that right?

    I was wodering how long you keep it in there? Morning to evening - overnight?

    Just wondering..


  2. Marty,
    I make the brown rice in the morning and keep in warm mode until night. It will keep the rice warm for 24 hours, but we turn it off at night, or if we remember, after our last meal. The next morning, we repeat the cycle.

    Saturday is a good example of why we always have it ready. It was a very busy day and we were running late. We needed a quick bite before heading out for a long evening. We just took a big scoop of rice and mixed in some chopped greens that we usually have pre-prepared. That way there is never any reason to resort to processed foods.