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How does one know the right quantity of food to eat?
Posted by: iandthou ()
Date: October 12, 2015 05:41PM

I have been struggling with knowing how much I should eat. So far I have worked with three perspectives on this but am not sure which one is correct.

This is a complicated post, but I'd be grateful if you could share your knowledge and experience about this

1. The ayurvedic recommendation. For 1 year before I went on a raw diet, I tried the ayurvedic diet to suit my ayurvedic constitution, which is vata, although that is largely irrelevant in this case. The ayurvedic books said one should eat 2 'anjalis'. One anjali is the amount of food one can hold in one's palms when one holds them cupped in a fairly open gesture. 2 anjalis for the main meal of the day - preferably lunch, and 1 anjali for 2 minor meals - breakfast and dinner.

Following this on a cooked food diet seemed to work fine as far as my weight goes, but when I changed to a raw food diet, I started thinking this is too little. One, I lost a lot of weight, which may or may not be healthy. I have a small frame so sometimes I doubt if having a low weight is really a sign of a problem. Two, after three months or so I developed some cravings for cooked food and for fatty foods. Even when I eat these things I do not binge, I only eat until my hunger goes, so I think these are cravings coming from dietary deficiencies caused by eating too little. I have particularly fat, sodium and possibly zinc in mind. Three, often I still feel hungry after having eaten 1 anjali. For these reasons I am not sure about following this perspective on a raw food diet.


2. I wonder if one can just follow hunger. I feel I am craving things I need. Even though sometimes I crave fatty foods, for the most part I have a distaste for unhealthy foods - processed, fried foods or foods with too many simple carbohydrates. I also feel I am developing an intuitive sense for what is healthy and I enjoy the taste of these foods. Also, my sense of hunger lies much more in sensations in my esophagus than anywhere else, and certainly not in headaches or dizziness. So I wonder if I am close to real hunger although not quite there fully.

Given all this, it might be a good idea to follow my hunger and eat as much as my hunger demands. Doing this, sometimes I exceed my daily calorie requirement according to my basal metabolic rate - about 1500. Also, I am growing a little paunch, which doesn't seem to be a healthy thing. And I feel hungry at night at times, although not as hungry as in the day. Real hunger, from what I have read, rarely comes in the night. So I am no sure if this is the right strategy either. The natural hygiene authors stress that most of us do not know real hunger, so I may just be following the wrong sensations.

3. I can just try to eat according to my basal metabolic rate which is 1500 or so. If I eat according to this, I wonder if I will get enough nutrients. Also, it is not easy to know whether one has eaten enough or too much until I log on to cronometer dot com or another such website and put in everything I have eaten. But by then I have already eaten it. Finally and most importantly, I feel a little averse to this mechanical way of doing things and would rather trust my understanding of things, as in option 1, or my intuition, as in option 2. For most of history people did not have devices to measure calories, and I don't think they got it wrong when trying to eat what their body needs.

What do you think? Any thoughts or advice would be helpful.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/12/2015 05:46PM by iandthou.

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Re: How does one know the right quantity of food to eat?
Posted by: rawgosia ()
Date: October 12, 2015 11:56PM


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Re: How does one know the right quantity of food to eat?
Posted by: iandthou ()
Date: October 15, 2015 12:19PM

rawgosia Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Here are my thoughts on this topic:
>
> Calorie counting or Hunger? - a tutorial
>

Thank you. That is a long article, let me take some time to read it fully and respond.

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Re: How does one know the right quantity of food to eat?
Posted by: suvine ()
Date: October 15, 2015 06:50PM

I remember when I had no control of my food voice.

Just dont listen. Go by your hunger, and do not eat everything on your plate either....every bite the food tastes less better and less better, know when to stop.


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Re: How does one know the right quantity of food to eat?
Posted by: iandthou ()
Date: October 16, 2015 05:39PM

suvine Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I remember when I had no control of my food
> voice.
>
> Just dont listen. Go by your hunger, and do not
> eat everything on your plate either....every bite
> the food tastes less better and less better, know
> when to stop.


That sounds like good advice. Thank you.

I didn't understand "Just don't listen".

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Re: How does one know the right quantity of food to eat?
Posted by: chat ()
Date: October 19, 2015 03:15AM

I think cravings and hunger are very different things; one can have a craving for a particular food but actually not be hungry at all.

Eating too much food few years ago is what brought me to raw diet actually. And at the time, I also tried the solution which for the most part worked very well.

I found one of the most plain tasting but fairly nutritious food: soaked rolled oats, a food that I've never used to have a craving for. This became the measure of my hunger: whenever I thought that I'd like to eat something (and "something" would usually be a particular food, whether consciously or subconsciously), I thought of the rolled oats: would I like to eat some of those? IF the answer was: "No thank you very much", I wasn't hungry smiling smiley

No idea how scientifically correct this approach is, but it did help me to stop eating like a dinosaur.

>Banana ice-cream rocks!<

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Re: How does one know the right quantity of food to eat?
Posted by: bluespixie ()
Date: October 19, 2015 02:15PM

Chew your food, stay hydrated and eat till you feel satiated.

Keep logging your food. If you're finding yourself hungry... EAT.

How active are you? If you have a sedentary lifestyle, change it, and you won't ever need to be counting calories.

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Re: How does one know the right quantity of food to eat?
Posted by: iandthou ()
Date: October 19, 2015 04:31PM

bluespixie Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Chew your food, stay hydrated and eat till you
> feel satiated.
>
> Keep logging your food. If you're finding yourself
> hungry... EAT.
>
> How active are you? If you have a sedentary
> lifestyle, change it, and you won't ever need to
> be counting calories.

Thanks. I do tai chi twice a day or so for half an hour each. At present that's the only activity I have, apart from walks and yoga once or twice a week.

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