Even though I try to keep you updated about my nutrition and how it changes with time, as I get more experienced, I gather more knowledge and become more conscious about my choices, lately a lot of people are writing me messages, asking how I eat. When I share my menu and the fact that I eat 2-3 times a day, most are being surprised how I manage to eat in such big intervals, yet my mind is not constantly preoccupied with thoughts about food.
That is why I decided to share, in a more detailed way, my personal transformation, as well as the change in my nutrition habits.
How many meals a day?
The myth about eating 5-6 meals a day, has pretty deep roots- i.e. the myth that you should eat often, but in smaller quantities. If you “preach” the same, do not let that bother you, because that is where I started , as well!
I think that there is nothing wrong with a person who is trying different things. There is nothing wrong with getting the opportunity to observe the consequences of your choices- either positive or negative. This helps you gather valuable experience and profound knowledge. The more our knowledge is a result of our own experience, the more we learn how to filter the truth from the myth, the reality from the illusion.
This is true for everything in life and it is exceptionally true for the world of working out and healthy nutrition.
If right now, you are eating 6 times a day, I am sure that the thought of eating just 2-3 times a day, raises your pulse, and forces your heart to beat harder, while your mind is being filled up with fear… that you will die from starvation.
Truth is that even if you do not trust me right now, you can absolutely start eating just three times a day, and still feel great. I guarantee you can do it! Everything that determines your success is the condition of your mind and the approach you have.
Often times we let ourselves, to attach our own identity, to the common notions and convictions about what is supposed to be right.
We “educate” our mind to control our emotions and our behavior, by directing us on a path, where we make just the choices that correspond to the prebuild notion about life.
Everything that diverts from these convictions, is being denied immediately and we never give it a chance.
That’s exactly what I used to do.
How did I start eating just 4 meals?
I used to eat 6 times a day and I was convinced that the key to achieving your goals is this approach. It is a fact that I achieved my goals, that had to do with my appearance, but that was about it.
When I used to eat 6 times a day, food wasn’t just fuel for my body. It was the center of my life and everything I did revolved around it. I was constantly walking around with my Tupperware. I was constantly tracking the arrow of the clock and I was eagerly anticipating my next meal.
When you eat multiple times, in smaller quantities, you practically never get enough satiety and your mind is constantly preoccupied with thoughts about food. Every meal is just a slight beguilement to your body’s needs, but it never leads to full satisfaction.
Here, I will save the scientific explanations about insulin, glucagon and all hormones that have a key role every time we eat or every time we choose not to eat.
Are you being honest with yourself?
Just be honest with yourself and think about it.
You eat 6 times a day! Be honest!
How often do you think about food?
How often are your thoughts preoccupied with what time it is or if it is time for your next meal?
How often do you finish your subsequent meal, but you wish you had a couple more bites, because you are still hungry?
Don’t tell me! I know the answer, even if you are not being honest with yourself.
What made me change?
By realizing that it is not normal to revolve my life around food and fill the space of my mind with just thoughts about food, macronutrients, hunger and appearance, I decided that this was an indication- that something is terribly wrong.
That is when I decided that I will decrease the number of my meals to 4.
Shock and terror! You wake up. You have a breakfast, then you have lunch and your third meal is approaching… your pulse is rising again- you will have just one more meal until the end of the day, and you are used to 6 meals.
Your mind panics that after your last meal, you will get hungry again.
You start wondering how you will survive until the next day. As if, when you get hungry you couldn’t just open the fridge and eat. As if somebody places a padlock on it, after your forth meal and then, even if you are dying from hunger, you are not allowed to get from the precious fridge resources.
It sounds epic and that is how it feels… when you allow your mind to be your master.
Thus, during the first week, I experienced these strikes of panic- they came from the fact that I will have just four meals. It turned out to be a piece of cake. Actually it brings some kind of freedom. I didn’t need to walk around the University or my workplace, looking like I am about to go to expedition in the mountain, and took all my provisions with me.
Besides that, it once again turned out that habit is what we are attached to and what we are afraid to let go.
The habit of eating 5-6 times a day, gives us comfort and security, that everything is planned and predictable. Exactly this habit is what takes away the real meaning in life. It takes a way the pleasure and the adventure of greeting every day, by opening the door to insecurity, unpredictability and allowing them to challenge you- to give you an opportunity to experience something different.
How could you go to the cinema at 7p.m., when you are supposed to have your fifth meal around 7.30 p.m. It would be better if you decline that offer and stick to your schedule.
How would you allow yourself to spontaneously go somewhere, when you haven’t prepped all your food? After all you might die from starvation, your muscles will disappear just seconds after you’ve missed your next meal. It is a risk too big to be taken. It would be far better if you stay at home and stick to the schedule…
I think that you already get it…
Like every habit, that you approach with enough conscious presence and the mindset that YOU are the one who chooses to eat 4 times instead of 6, I managed to get used to it. I needed just a couple days, when I eye witnessed the fight between my mind and the choice I made. A couple days when I had to educate my mind about my new habit and my new conviction. Soon, four meals were the most natural way of eating.
Sure, the more you decrease the number of meals, the more you should increase the quantities, so you can meet your body’s energy needs.
If you decrease the number of meals, but you fail to increase the quantity and keep eating scarce amounts of food, you will definitely feel bad; your mind will definitely keep on being obsessed with thoughts about food.
That is why freeing your mind and improving the way you feel, comes when you reasonably approach your nutrition.
What made me decrease my meals even further?
I kept eating four meals a day, for a long period of time. Then, as a consequence of the circumstances and my schedule, I couldn’t have one of my meals, at the time I was used to.
That’s when I decided that I will give a shot to just three meals a day. I was tempted by the idea to free my mind from the food planning, food timing and so forth.
I will note, that parallel with the reduction of the number of meals, I was becoming more conscious and more aware of myself and my reality; it was parallel with the process of getting the freedom from food, as being the main source of emotions, entertainment and a mean to fill every emotional gap. This led to the decreased need of eating, in order to provide myself with emotions. In turn this helped me start eating, just so I can give my body enough energy and what it needs in order to function properly.
That is how I started eating three times a day. I once again increased my portion size. The first couple days, I was once again feeling the slight fear and nervousness, that it might be difficult. But this time I had the confidence, that I successfully managed to go from 6 to 4 meals a day, and three meals shouldn’t be a problem.
Soon, I’ve already forgotten that there were a time when I used to eat four time. I started feeling better, because I was eating bigger quantities and I was getting enough satiety. Besides that, my mind got more freedom, because I didn’t need to make great plans about when I will have time to eat or if I will have time to prepare my food.
I completely stopped thinking about my next meal, and looking on it as a celebration. I began approaching food as a pleasure, that I got when my body needed energy. During the rest of the time, I was free to think about other, more meaningful things.
I had energy to do them and my mind was directed towards executing them, and not towards my next meal or the arrow of the clock.
I will stop here, because as you know I love writing and I could write a quarter of book, in just 2 hours. In my next post, I will share with you how I transitioned to fasting; how I felt in the beginning, how I feel now and how I “manage” to skip my breakfast.
How many times a day do you eat? What is stopping you from decreasing the number of your meals?
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