I’ll be the first to admit – I’m enjoying Chief-style eating. By Chief, I of course am referring to sporadic 180 commenter Chief – the One and Only. Chief has advocated since his first appearance here that one feast per day is all a person really needs, and that
this practice is congruent with many traditional cultures (not that I really care about traditional cultures’ eating habits, but that was part of Chief’s reasoning).
So by Chief-style, I’m referring to glorious buffet-style eating to the point of maximal fullness, followed by not eating again until I am really hungry (usually sometime the following day). At first I was resistant to this idea, as buffet-style eating has always shown to increase the number of calories people eat when eating to appetite. Best put perhaps by the server where I ate today when I told her I was trying to muster up the courage to eat some rice pudding even though I was already stuffed. She said, “you have to. It’s a buffet!” Classic. But lo and behold, it makes you more full, and less hungry later.
I’m now living at the beach close to Sarasata, FL, and Sarasota, being heaven’s waiting room and all, seems to have a $10 all-you-can-eat buffet on just about every corner. I’m taking full advantage of this. Between Troyer’s Dutch Heritage (there’s a strong Amish presence in Sarasota – Amish paradise?) and the little Indian buffet I hit Friday and about an hour ago, every possible food urge I might have is being fully and thoroughly satisfied. It’s like Thanksgiving feast every single day.
My interest in this type of eating began back in July when I started following RBTI. In RBTI, it is believed that eating most of your food midday and then eating light in the evening is superior. While this is debatable (certainly from the standpoint of body composition), the powerful
impact of eating with a long semi-fasted period each day really caught my attention. My appetite, and many others that I communicated with, was really beaten down by this practice. Suddenly, I was losing weight to appetite with no macronutrient restriction of any kind – and eating plenty of hyperpalatable food that anyone would consider “fattening.”
I lost 20 pounds, and recently threw in some exercise to complete my return to a more lean and muscular physique. Only now I’m much more muscular than I was the last time I was at single-digit body fat (I’m actually not too far from being back at single digit body fat levels at the moment).
All the while I have noticed no adverse consequences from a metabolic standpoint unlike other times I have lost weight over the past couple of years (which was always temporary). And the results I get from exercise seem to be superior as well, with no revolt like I was getting a year ago – like inability to sleep and feelings of carpal tunnel in the wrists and forearms.
In short, when I eat absolutely anything and everything that I want to the last bite of sickeningly-sweet rice pudding, and then have a nice fast afterward, I get leaner. And my appetite gets lower, not higher, as I get leaner. So obviously this approach, for me personally (and for advocates of this approach like Johnny from Lean Saloon and Martin from Leangains), has some ability to change the normal homeostatic feedback mechanisms that control body fat levels.
Effect on leptin? The known increase of growth hormone induced by fasting? Who knows. Whatever is going on is clearly interesting.
So that’s an update on what I’m doing. Doesn’t exactly make for interesting blog fodder. “Hey uh, eat whatever you want and uh, uh, then don’t eat for a while.”
But hopefully you find this just as relieving as I have. No macronutrient, fatty acid, amino acid, starch vs. sugar, or other masturdebates necessary.
These lunch feasts of mine? Although I don’t keep precise track, when I have tried hard to estimate caloric intake, it usually runs right around 2,000 calories or slightly higher. Today I managed to choke down 1 plate of salad, 3 plates of Indian food, a bowl of rice pudding, and a 16-ounce orange juice.
Breakfast is usually a bowl of cereal and a couple pieces of fruit. After lunch I haven’t been eating much of anything, and haven’t wanted to. The only thing I have eaten is a couple of dates during the late afternoon dip that can sometimes hit after these epic buffet pigouts. But I expect to overcome this slumping tendency. Today I feel really good actually. Clear-headed and energized straight through the post-buffet period (PBP).
While my first impression of intermittent fasting (if you want to call it that – partial fasting or quick fasting or something seems more accurate to me), was great skepticism and concern, I’m at least open-minded to it now. But I’m sure there are contexts in which it can be highly detrimental (paired with say, carbohydrate restriction, done by an anorexic, combined with long-duration exercise, and many other individual factors), so don’t try it blindly if you have an inkling to see what it does for you.
Be warned – not everyone can go long periods without food. They just don’t have the glycogen storage capacity or adrenal strength to do so – something that is best restored by lots of rest, eating tons of foods with an emphasis on carbohydrates, and occasional sessions of high intensity exercise (which stimulate the body to increase glycogen storage capacity).
Note, I wouldn’t be too deterred by any changes you experience during the first few weeks of doing it. Reducing meal frequency is a big and tumultuous transition for the body, and it can come along with lots of low metabolism/adrenal stress symptoms until the body adjusts to the regularity of a new eating schedule.
Anyway, hope you found this interesting.