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The "Less = More" theory

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Old 04-13-2007, 12:00 AM   #1
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Default The "Less = More" theory

I've been doing some random viewing of the 3fc blogs and what intrigues me in a few of them that I have read are how little some of these gals are eating! I read a few of them and thought "Dang, I would be starving after only eating that in a day!"

So that got me to wondering what leads us to feel that way. I know when I was younger, there were diets I tried that I used that same mentality...the less I eat, the more I'll lose. Do you think it is an age thing, where as we get older we start to view foods in what is healthy and what is not as opposed to how much or how little we eat? Does it have nothing to do with age? It kind of blows my mind that on so many levels we still think that a lot of deprivation is how to get the job done.

I'm not judging anyone and maybe if someone only has a few pounds to lose, that is maybe the way to go (though I kind of doubt it, knowing what I know now). I just can't help but wonder that as soon as a person loses their weight by eating very little, as soon as they start trying to eat normally again, the weight is going to come right back.
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Old 04-13-2007, 01:27 AM   #2
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I would tend to agree with the age theory for the most part, and then also people just wanting a quick fix, even if they know deep down it probably isn't the best thing for them. I can't tell you how many friends have come to me saying "I'm taking X diet pill so I can get thin for the summer" and other unhealthy ideas about weight loss. I think a lot of it is ignorance. I think the more that people seek out information, the more they realize the true keys to losing weight and keeping it off. I know personally that I eat TONS now, it's just that I eat different things than I used to. Whereas I used to eat an jumbo combo meal at a fast food place, I now fill my plate up with tons of veggies and other nutrient dense foods.
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Old 04-13-2007, 03:44 AM   #3
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I can't really say for myself. I know it's had a lot to do with nutrition education i've gained over the last few years, especially being online. There was no such thing when I was younger. Would it have made a difference? I'm not sure. I would hope so, but maybe it's just that old adage "when the pupil is ready, the teacher will appear".

I do know that looking back my self image was so distorted. I have some beautiful pictures in high school and I only remember feeling like the ugly stepsister, especially with a mother that was hounding me all the time about my weight. I developed earlier than many of my peers and was ridiculed for that as well. Not a good combination. I was willing to do just about anything and the only thing I knew at the time was to starve and run. Another really bad combo. Things just seemed to snowball into early adulthood. It wasn't until I was divorced, on my own in school again and looking to better my future that I attempted this again without the fear and self loathing.
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Old 04-13-2007, 05:20 AM   #4
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I think I have to disagree with you a little bit. I don't know who's menu you are looking at, what they are eating or # of calories but I am certain that as a society we have become very used to having huge servings and less doesn't seem like enough. We are a super sized society! I remember going to my favourite Italian restaurant and we'd have a basket of bread and butter, a garlic bread with cheese, soup or caesar salad, a huge entree and dessert and that was a normal meal. Hey no wonder I am 100 lbs overweight! I don't think it depends on the quantity of the food but the quality and the # of calories. Also in my own personal opinion we are such a sedentary society, we just don't need that many calories to stay healthy. I don't know anything about #'s of calories, I try to eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full and if that means it is a smaller portion then what I am used to eating then that is probably a good thing.
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Old 04-13-2007, 07:59 AM   #5
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Kimberly, I can't really comment because I'm really not sure when you say
"too little" how much you actually mean. "Too little" can run the gammut in some people's minds, but not health and nutriition wise. So can I ask you just how many calories you are talking about when saying "too little". I am definitely curious.

At this point not knowing the actual number you are talking about the only thing I will say, is that when I first started tracking my calories and for me this was a MUST because just cutting back and watching myself was not facing reality for me, it is quite eye opening. It's just not volumes and volumes of food. Our bodies just don't require it. It ISN'T necessary. Although I really do feel I get an awful lot of food for my calories - thank goodness for my love of veggies!!!
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Old 04-13-2007, 10:06 AM   #6
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I agree I think with our sedentary lifestyles we need much less food than some people may think. If you're exercising at a moderate effort, you may need more calories, and I think your body will give you cues as to what it requires. That's one of my focuses in this, is to learn to listen to my body. Before I ate to fill time, fill an emotional void perhaps, and also of course because I was hungry. Now when I eat I try to be mindful of how I feel...and generally I can be satisified on much less than previous.
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Old 04-13-2007, 10:14 AM   #7
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Well I will say if you told me 5 years ago what I'd be eating now, I'd think you were crazy. I think what really helps me are the following things

1) High fiber foods
2) High voume foods
3) Protein rich foods
4) Healthy fats
5) Whole grains

Those are foods that really help you eat less because they don't tend to induce more hunger. I'm also satisfied with less these days. One thing that is true is that the less we eat, the less we eat, the more our stomachs accomodate our eating patterns.

One funny thing is I remember the days when I could go to a restaurant and eat an appetizer, meal and dessert. These days I'd be lucky to finish my share of an appetizer and not be full.

So I don't really know if you are talking about girls that are starving themselves or those that just eat a lot less than the "average" person. Of course the "average" person is obese.
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Old 04-13-2007, 10:39 AM   #8
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When I was younger I always felt that diets should hurt. In fact dieting was a kind of punishment I was forced to inflict on myself because I was a fat=bad person. If I wasn’t miserable and starving, I wasn’t doing it right. Of course I never lasted on diets and always ended up crashing and burning.

On the other hand, some people need a whole lot less calories than other people. Just to maintain your basic functions as a 300-pound person you need a whole lot more than someone at 150, regardless of whether either of you are trying to lose weight. That definitely needs to be taken into account when looking at how many calories someone is eating.
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Old 04-13-2007, 10:40 AM   #9
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I always used to say that I have a bottomless pit of an appetite. I could just eat and eat and eat. I was never satisfied. Looking back I really think I was kidding myself. I didn't have a bottomless pit of an appetite, I just didn't recognize or care to recognize what full and satisfied felt like. I'm sure back then I would have gotten along just fine with what I am eating now. It's just when you finally stop to think about and CARE about what and how much you are eating that you kind of have to put the brakes on the big appetite theory. And then you realize that all that food is totally and completely not necessary. So I believe I always had a normal appetite, I just didn't have a normal view of food and it's proper role in my life. We really and truly don't need all that food to function properly and survive in the world. In fact I am functioning MUCH better on WAY less food.
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Old 04-13-2007, 12:13 PM   #10
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Well, just for an example, there was one menu I looked at that really struck me as too little. I just tried to locate her blog again but I failed to bookmark it. What I remember very specifically was that her breakfast was cheerios and skim milk and her dinner was a tuna sandwich with not a whole lot in between and her latest post had been about binge eating and being hungry. It struck me enough that I left her a comment and mentioned that though I was fairly new at this, I wasn't sure she was eating enough. I recommended that maybe she post at her frequented forum to get some feedback from some folks who have been doing this for awhile.

While I do think when trying to lose weight you definately do have to cut back on your calories, I still think you can make it overkill, especially if you are finding yourself hungry most of the time. I know with making better choices of what to eat, I can eat enough to satisfy my hunger, which puts me out of so much danger for binges!

I totally agree that we live in a supersized society! I am so often shocked to go out to eat, order something healthy and then see how huge the servings are and doesn't matter if it is salad for your entree! It's still massive and generally more than I can eat. Then of course, you have so many people who grew up with mom and dad saying "You don't waste food" and there you have one of your problems. With bigger servings in this day and age, and the mantra of your parents in the back of your mind, it's no wonder so many people battle their weight. (of course there are many other issues as well.)



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Old 04-13-2007, 12:19 PM   #11
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Oh something like that, I understand. That girl is probably in the starve/binge mode. I've been through that where you starve yourself one day but then binge the next. It is a really horrid place to be. If someone is starving, then they should know that they can't maintain that way of eating. Although I will say when I was in college, my eating habits were out of whack. I know there is the "freshman 10". My "freshman 10" actually involved losing 30 lbs or so because my eating was just out of whack.
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Old 04-13-2007, 01:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotTheCheat View Post
When I was younger I always felt that diets should hurt. In fact dieting was a kind of punishment I was forced to inflict on myself because I was a fat=bad person. If I wasn’t miserable and starving, I wasn’t doing it right. Of course I never lasted on diets and always ended up crashing and burning.
I think this is what a lot of people thing a diet should be. There are still tons of people out there who are planning to make a lifestyle change to lose weight instead hoping for the quick and fast approach by whatever means necessary. My mom is still in this mindset. The last time she tried to lose weight she was looking to eat around 800-1000 calories a day. I asked her if it was something she could do the rest of her life and she told me no she just wanted the extra 40+ pounds she gained after quitting smoking off and then wanted to work on losing the rest of the weight she needed to lose.
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