Restrained Eating and Obesity

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In the book Intuitive Eating by Eveyln Tribole and Elyse Resch, a classic study on dieting psychology was highlighted (and reminded me of Napolean in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure).  In real life, I’ve been talking about this study a lot lately, because it is such an interesting example.  Here is the section in the book discussing the appetite dysregulation caused by dieting/restrained eating, with a quick video discussion on it.  Enjoy!  And if I don’t post again before the big day, have a great Thanksgiving!  I will probably not eat impressive amounts of food because I’m not on a diet, and overeating is not fun unless you are dieting – then it is orgasmic and food is so good you just can’t stop eating it!

“One of the classic studies involved fifty-seven female college students at Northwestern University.  The students were led to believe that the goal of the study was to evaluate the taste of several ice cream samples.  The actual purpose of the study was to determine how diet thinking might affect eating after drinking milkshakes.  The women were arbitrarily divided into three groups based on the number of eight-ounce milkshakes given (none, one, and two shakes).  After drinking the shakes, the subjects were asked to taste and rate three flavors of ice cream.  They were allowed to eat as much ice cream as they wanted and ‘taste-tested’ in private to guard against self-consciousness.  The researchers saw to it that ample ice cream was provided so that substantial amounts could be eaten without making an appreciable dent in the supply!

Here’s what happened.  The nondieters naturally regulated their eating; they ate less ice cream in proportion to the amount of milkshakes consumed.  The dieters, however, displayed a dramatic opposite behavior.  Those who drank two milkshakes ate the most ice cream – a ‘counterregulation’ effect.  The researchers concluded that forcing the dieters to overeat or ‘blow their diet’ caused them to release their food inhibitions.  With inhibition banished, restraint was eliminated and the dieters overate the ice cream.”  


  1. When I saw the email with the subject line, “How to get fat over the holidays” I was pretty sure it was going to be just a two word article: “Egg nog.”

    It’s sad that supposedly healthy events like Turkey Day 5Ks encourage you to starve and binge in this exact way.

    BTW, another Halloween was pwned by intuitive eating. I let the boy eat as much candy as he wanted on Halloween night and the day after. After eating about a dozen pieces, he literally pushed the bag away and has not been at it since.

    • Amen Nipper. Kids really respond well. Adults have trouble shaking those stupid ideas out of their heads. Kids just need a good hour of unadulterated candy eating and they are through with it. Was just visiting my 6-year old intuitive eating “project,” and with a freezer full of frostbitten ice cream, candy bars, and Halloween candy – she asked for oatmeal for dinner. And hasn’t touched a piece of Halloween candy since October 31st. Next video will be on feeding the kiddos.

      • Somehow I missed your comment, Jenny. Good to see you back :)

        Halloween candy… that’s what I suggested to a couple who are close friends to do with their daughter. Same thing happened. It works like magic! :)

        I was just at their house last night and that poor candy was still gettin’ no love.

  2. “In front” of the cam video :)

  3. great post and all too true, nice find Matt.

    I’ve found that when i restrict what i eat during the week, and then give myself an “eat whatever” day on Sunday, i eat to a level far beyond comfort. I eat just because i’m letting myself eat.

    I stopped that quite some time ago, but it had significant effects on my mind, as even yesterday (sunday was my typical “cheat” day) I found myself thinking about food several times during the day, even when I was full. I’m still getting over the consequences of former “diets.”

    The word diet disgusts me!

  4. It’s funny how following any sort of “rules”, even for RBTI, trips me into exactly these kind of eating patterns. Part of the trick there, I think, is to not experience the guilt/repent part of the cycle but just say oh, why did that happen?

    I was talking with Allison when I did my last RBTI test how I “binged” on an entire bag of home-made croutons and it was like part of the conversation didn’t make sense. Like what do you mean “binge”? Thing is, people stuff themselves all the time. Ever have an eating contest with someone? Is that binging? Ever eat a lot at a party or over the holidays because there’s a lot of good food? Is that binging? Only a restricted eater would think either of those cases is binging, so I think part of getting out of the diet mentality is actually getting rid of the word “binge”. A non-restricted eater eating too much of something would simply think “wow, I guess I ate too much of that. That wasn’t very pleasant.” And then they would move on to other thoughts.

  5. Great video and blog. It is fascinating! And I can relate also, after I was anorexic I was unable for years to know when I was feeling full or not, I had no idea how big a normal size dinner was supposed to be.

    I think this phenomena was why I overate for so long during RRARFing cause I’d been on the zero-carb diet for so long. Overeating was just totally perfect for that. I think it’s also something in the body that goes for it cause there is an opportunity. Just like fat cells keep a hold of fat after a long time of famine. Perhaps it’s some sort of psychological low metabolism relationship.

    I’m still in rehab. Thanks for reminding us about this stuff. I find it so difficult cause I can’t eat bread right now and because I’m forced to restrict it due to poor digestion, bread is all I can think of…

    • Damn that’s rough Lisa. I just had 4 pieces of toast in your honor.

      • she needs to read your post on furious pete….bwahahha

  6. Exactly Aaron. Awesome comment. Even thinking about how much you are eating or thinking much at all about eating beyond the basics toes the line of dieter thinking/mindset.

  7. OK, I get it, and that study’s really interesting. But what if you always had a restrictive mindset (food allergies from childhood, etc) and eating ‘more’ just causes discomfort (as well as psych disturbances)?

    I do think that your advice about eating big in the middle of the day and not at night/evening is right on, though. I’m in Israel visiting my family right now, and with the kosher laws too, they eat the meat at midday and just have a light meal in the evening. The older members of the fam are generally pretty healthy, and while I obsess and worry about fructose and omega 6, they enjoy loads of dates and tahini without second thoughts.

  8. haha… My girlfriend and I just went to my cafe i work at thanksgiving dinner at the brazilian grill Rodizio… She looked at me after dinner and was like you didn’t eat very much for all the unlimited food you can have. I looked at her and told her, if i was on a diet i would have killed myself eating there, but i am not and i just eat till i am satisfied… i never overeat anymore… its so much more comfortable!!!


  9. This is fascinating, but oh, so true for me! During my restricted eating years, I did tend to over eat when I allowed myself a bit of slack on the leash, so to speak. Since starting RBTI, however, both my husband and I have noted our complete lack of cravings–and he has a MAJOR sweet tooth! Food no longer feels like the enemy, but the healer. If I gain no other health benefit from RBTI than this, I would feel it worth every disconcerting moment of catching pee and stressing over the bi-weekly tests! I know there are things that are “not good for me” in my diet (like Marie Callendar’s pot pies) but rather than beat myself up over eating them, I try to limit my consumption to days when I really don’t have time or energy to come up with something “healthy.”

    I am learning that it is not only the conscious mind that works against me, but the subconscious as well. I may be able to convince my mind that a food is beneficial, and even give mental assent to eating it, but if I have developed an aversion to it through the years because of a negative association, no matter how hard I try to change my attitude toward it, I am unlikely to make it a regular part of my diet, despite the touted benefits. Likewise, if I have had a history of loving a certain food that is unhealthy to consume, it is difficult to clear my heart of the cravings. Certain smells may trigger it and suddenly I am eating it, even though I had no intention of doing so ever again!

    An example of how well RBTI has changed that for me: we were at a pizza place last week having a veggie pizza and salad for dinner. The waitress came out with an Oreo pizza to find the people who ordered it and passed it just inches from our noses. Wow, did that smell awesome!?! It was only a momentary whiff, but every melty, gooey, chocolate thing I had ever eaten flashed through my mind! Three months ago, I would not have been able to rest until I had something similar to that, and I likely would have eaten more than I was comfortable with–but that night, once the smell left, I never thought of it again until I read this post.

    I am still not warming up to okra, asparagus and carrot juice, but as my health continues to improve I am more willing to look at food as medicine instead of as pleasure. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy cooking and eating a tasty meal or dessert, but I don’t look at it purely for the flavor element anymore and more often than not I am worried more about getting enough to eat, rather than too much. That is a huge victory for me!

    • Yeah Ornery, that has been my experience with the light meal in the evening as well – which I think is the primary thing that triggers this effect. That and eating on a schedule so-to-speak, instead of eating strictly based on impulse. Of course I wrote something to this effect in the RBTI book – that food is not life or whatever. But it’s true. I think our society looks at food more and more like a form of stimulation and gratification instead of sustenance. Food shows are like my pet peeve.

  10. Oh yes, I remember very well the uninhibited feeling off being “off my diet”. And normally it was about this time every year at Thanksgiving that I started my winter weight gain, good timing Matty boy. If I do a one day fast I will still have the same urges to eat half my body weight in food like I used to but now I get full way sooner. Eating contests sure were a lot more fun back then.

    As far as the binging and overheating mindset, I still have problems with that. Also, fruit isn’t doing me so well anymore, especially acidic fruits like oranges and pineapples. I’m starting to get heartburn from eating them. WUWT?

    • The acid load from eating an excess of citrus can definitely F up a perfectly good white boy. I’m going nuts on the citrus at the moment and expect it to start screwing me up soon. But dude, there’s this place called Nokomis Groves down in Florida. It’s amazing. Just picked up a gallon of fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice and 1.5 gallons of fresh-squeezed OJ. And 10 pounds of the softest, shiniest, bestest citrus of all time. I’ll chalk it up to eating seasonally or something, and do a touchy feely post about that in the future.

      • fresh squeezed grapefruit juice= drinkgasm….that stuff is SOOO good, esp with half coconut juice

  11. The other day, whilst trying to remember to drink the freakin lemonade etc.. I took a spin back on the wheel to remember when ‘dieting’ entered my life. 15 years old. Including fasting, getting such low blood pressure that I could see stars just standing up and passed out on occasion. And oh, my, when I broke a fast 9 times out of 10 it was with a nice batch of Toll House home made chocolate chip cookies. All of them, and the raw dough. Yeah. This all while being an athlete and also a big fan of parties. And drinking.
    So yeah, restricting is my pattern, nearly life long. I remember earlier memories of feeling fat.. I was 8. Yikes.
    Rules smooles, eating what you want when you want it is my mantra at this point. And Turkey day is just another meal. No big whoop. It’s freedom of the best kind.
    love and taters

    • Hagberry-

      Have you tried the Tollhouse cleanse? I’m thinking of coining that and getting the elves or whoever makes those to sponsor me. I would guess that 9 out of 10 people doing the Master Cleanse or something similar would get a lot more health improvements by going on a cookie fast. Or I guess, less health destruction to be more accurate.

      • although it has been many years since I seized that yellow bag of love and made up a batch I am willing to be the Tollhouse cleanse guinea pig. Where do I sign?
        :=) xoooxxoxoxooo

        • been there done that, cookie fast seems like a good fast idea from the outside looking in. It was about as awesome as my version of doochian riders “30 bananas a day” attempt. ( all in one sitting ) I was sure i could hack 30 .. my brother was going for 35 lol.
          I can’t remember but I think I gave up at banana number 20 or 25 when the gag reflux started kickin in pretty hardcore. ( my brother gave up at banana 17 i think ha ha ) ( I’l have to find the video i made of it ) … but we were still quite hungry so we went and ate something else about 30 mins later. After that fiasco, i started thinking about 30 bananas versus 24 hours in a day and realized it would be shitty to carry a backpack of bananas around eating every 30 mins during say 16 hours one is not sleeping. way more annoying than RBTI lemonade people are complaining about. Also if doochian eats 30 to sustain his massive manly frame, what does it take for a big ass bastard like me??

          might have to revisit the cookie fast though i have some ideas brewing.

          • It would take a lot more bananas to keep you from wasting away than cookies. Cookies are full of wheat and eggs and butter and all kinds of other things that a grown boy needs.

  12. ah, a video finally! great post, but it’s so difficult to just NOT worry. even when I don’t worry, it’s on a very conscious level, telling myself I shouldn’t worry or else it’ll stress out my blah blah.

    for me though, it’s not so much about weight, its a lot about my skin. been having breakouts since I decided to include more carbs (esp white rice) in my diet, plus stopping my topical antibiotics and differin. I’m still trying to figure out whether I should give my skin more time to adjust to the changes i.e. it’s.. purging or sth; or whether it’s a sign that I shouldn’t be eating that way.

    (matt, I left a comment on your derma dharma post too. I think your approach to acne has definitely changed since you wrote that, please update ): will be incredibly grateful!)

    • This is my problem too. All discussion related to fat/carbs always seems to be centered around weight gain and obesity. I struggle just to keep on weight haha. (By that I mean I have an insanely high basal metabolic rate, not like some condition that makes me lose a ton.)

      I seem to have an easier time maintaining solid muscle tone and physique with higher carbs/lower fat, but doing so inevitably makes my skin go to shit. I don’t even get “acne” anymore, rather I’ll get an angry cystic type lesion rear its head right on my forehead or neck, which then takes 1-3 months to fade entirely… not pleasant. I do occasionally get some “pimples” though, often on my forehead or around my mouth.

      Anywho, It sucks, I feel much, much better on higher carb, lower fat but just can’t sacrifice my appearance. (I feel really, really good on both low fat and low carb together, but we all know where that leads…) WHAT IS A BOY TO DO

  13. @Lisa and Ela, Totally relate. Rrarf actually was the final step in my ED recovery. Finally letting go and saying “ok, I’ll eat whatever I want until I’m satisfied” and really listening to my body was so freeing. It got rid of my sweets cravings completely and allowed my metabolism to heal. Now I eat a really decent amount of food in balanced meals, and it all somehow seems to work. I noticed I was having more cravings while trying RBTI – that restriction was not good for me. Right now, due to TCM doc’s instructions to avoid much dairy, I’m waiting to see if the same thing will happen. But I still eat yogurt so hopefully not – my digestion is indeed better without the dairy. Allowing your body to dictate your eating is a very powerful thing.

    • Just on that topic – that’s exactly what I did when I went into ED recovery, said to myself, “right, I’m going to eat until I stop being hungry”… it took 2 months of RRARFing before I realised I wasn’t starving anymore! But at least the hunger did stop, I never honestly thought I’d see the day where I wasn’t obsessed with food.
      I always thought I was a true food enthusiast, turns out I was just really hungry :)

      • Yeah. It’s no coincidence that the dieting era has seen a swift move into the “Foodie” movement – most popular amongst rich white people who, coincidentally, have he most eating disorders of any ethnic or socioeconomic group. I too have discovered that I like food, but am no longer “passionate” about it.

        • Totally! I was a “foodie” too. I still sometimes say I am, and I’m sure I put more effort into buying food than the average person because I like to eat whole foods and organic as much as possible, but the truth is I can’t be bothered to look much at recipes or read the food section or anything anymore.

  14. Did you stick your camera up in some cobwebs in the corner of the ceiling? Spiders got a real steady hand. Interesting post, though I’m not sure where I fit in. I have never ever restricted calories on purpose (skinny enough to know better), I eat enormous plates of food (though now pretty much only at lunch) and almost never feel full, and I have never had junk food cravings for as long as I’ve followed your advice, but now doing RBTI, as soon as I take one bite of dessert, I want more, more, more to the point where I could easily put away a whole pie or tub full of cookies in one sitting. The only reason I don’t is because even stopping far short of this seems to crash my sugars pretty easily, whereas on days where I don’t have dessert, my post-lunch sugars seem to fare better. But then I get really excited to try dessert again the next day. So maybe I do have junk cravings now. I don’t know. All I know is, so far in my life, there is not a calorie-unrestricted diet in the world that can stop me from being too skinny.

  15. I never binged a day in my life until I after I fasted for the first time. It was at that point that I began the destructive practice of creating my own personal set of dietary “rights” and “wrongs”. I can totally relate to the subjects in the ice cream study. Any time in my life that I have followed rules of eating that were informed by my mind and not by the experience of my body, I would inevitably overeat and not be able to stop, i.e. binge. When I was eating only raw foods, I would binge on cooked foods. When I was restricting carbs I would binge on carbs.

    After living with such rigid dietary practices, it’s quite something to be able to eat all those foods you once thought to be evil again in moderation, with no urge to overeat being present.
    A big part of this for me was the complete utter failure of many of my dietary rights and wrongs and the subsequent disbelief of any dietary habits that were merely on a mental level.

    It’s not that fasting or any other seemingly over-restrictive practice is intrinsically bad, it’s simply your relationship to it. Fasting because you have ulcerative colitis and your body is rejecting everything you eat is bound to be more physically and psychologically healthy in the long run than fasting because you dislike your physical appearance and want to lose some weight.

    • Same with me Luke. I never had any right/wrong food mentality or behavior I would classify as binging until I started a restrictive low-carb diet. And of course it’s been a long time to recognize the behavioral patterns and loss of health, and an even longer time to slowly let go of that learned mindset.

  16. Shu – i experienced something similar to my skin when adding extra carbs to my diet. It seemed fructose/sugar aggravated it the most, but it eventually went away after a few months. The only change I made was to eat a little less several days a week, particularly in the evenings (like Matt is recommending).

    My speculation is that chronically having too many calories in the system prevents some sort of beneficial/cleansing process to occur, perhaps in the liver. No idea if there is evidence for this, but in my experience I seem to feel good when I wake up after having gone to bed on E or close to it. Not sure if I would feel that way if I did it every day though.

  17. Passed this on to peeps I know who really needed to hear this. Had emails when I got back in tonight from a few who responded with aha moments – which was really great to hear and I hope sticks with them. Wanted to say, on their behalf, thanks Matt. This was a really great piece on such an important topic. Like Orneryswife said, “Food no longer feels like the enemy” for some of them now.

    I love it when that happens – especially to people I know and I get to see it change lives. Wish for everyone who struggles with food (or anything) to have that kind of breakthrough. I always do what I can (and hope) to get through to peeps – in this context – and 180DH sure has been making that easier for me.

  18. All I can say after my years of experimenting with every type of diet is that I finally fucked up my health. Before I was eating quite CW kinda healthy, thing where good but not great, I banned wheat (gluten) veggie oils,fruits &sugar then I went Paleo high fat- mod carb, then high carb.Now my trigs are high & my glucometer just tell me Im diabetic! Yujuuuu!! all these without veggie oil, wheat,fruits,legumes.Could someone clarify me what the fuck happen? I got high trigs the minute I start upping my meat intake, when I was vegetarian my trig and ldl where really low.If fructose is the main offender regardig trigs, why did they skyrocket in a non fruit (or fructose) diet???
    I just dont know what to eat anymore..less meat, become vegetarian, vegan..WHAT??? Know Im scared of start eating pure shit because of my raped glucose tolerance.
    Does anyone here experience a similar situation??, I would be so grateful if you share it, I really soem sort of recomendation.

    Best for you all
    I was soo healthy before I started reading health blogs

    • Hi John,
      Fructose is not the main offender. I remember Mercola going off about fructose in his keynote address at the Wise Traditions conference and I know Lustig has a stick up his butt about fructose, but I think there’s more we don’t know about it than do know.
      I remember at the conference Chris Masterjohn was going on about some experiment he was performing to test the ability of some supplement or chemical to mitigate the effects of fructose and so he’d created a 60% fructose diet for these rats. Not only did the control group become lean, the experiment group became super lean, and none of them had signs of fatty liver. I don’t know that he ever figured out what happened.
      As far as blood sugar regulation, when I was low carb, I had high cholesterol, but I had low triglycerides and good HDL to total ratio. Unfortunately, my glucose control was taking a nose-dive as Matt has pointed restricting carbs will do. If you want better glucose tolerance, I would start including more carbohydrates in their natural form (including fructose), so that means fruit, corn, beans, rice, squash, oatmeal, root vegetables, etc.
      It’s difficult to get back in tune with the body after years of restricted eating. I know my health got F’ed up during my low-carb phase. I still don’t feel right or sleep right a lot of the time, but I’ve fixed my glucose tolerance and come a long way on my digestion. I’m hoping some day I will be back the way I used to be.
      Matt has more on blood sugar regulation and all the things that affect it in this post:

      • any other info on this rat experiment ? sounds interesting.

    • Hey John,

      I can relate to what you are going through. Eating unlimited amounts of starches and fats and meat is NOT self-limiting for me. I can continue to gain weight on such a diet until I cannot breathe at night from the fat on my neck choking me. In fact, that is why I stopped RRARF. But there are nuggets of reason in RRARF that do work. Here is how the big picture is emerging for me.

      AaronF is absolutely correct, it is not fructose. If you try eating nothing but fresh fruit and fruit juice all day you will quickly understand how that is correct. Your appetite will soon become very weak (how durianrider does it is simply astonishing to me).

      One thing to keep in mind is that raw food takes more energy to digest than cooked food. This gives raw food a slight caloric bonus over cooked food. Another thing is if you are eating some raw fruits and vegetables then you are getting nutrients (discovered and undiscovered) that are not in manufactured foods.

      From my personal experience I have found that it is very difficult to get enough energy from raw fruits and vegetables. The reason, for me, is that it seems to suppress my appetite. Adding at least one cooked food meal per day seems to be a minimum for me. But how do I decide what to eat in that meal?

      Again from my experience, I look at groups of people who appear to be lean and healthy and long lived (they must meet all three criteria) to decide what healthy food is. They seem to eat SOME meat and SOME fat and SOME carbs. They do not seem to eat many manufactured foods.

      This is as far as my learning has taken me. It is experimentation from here.

      So here is how my meals look:

      During the day–I eat fruit and drink plenty of water. No limit on either. I keep plenty available.

      Lunchtime–I eat a high carb/low fat meal (usually Chinese or Vietnamese). I continue to eat fruit and drink water as desired.

      Dinnertime–I make a smoothie with frozen fruits and fresh vegetable and fruit juices. I continue to eat fruit and drink water as desired.

      It is difficult to crave a doughnut when you are stuffing your face with sugary fruit all day. I’m still experimenting with lunch. The biggest problem with this is that it is difficult to make myself eat enough even though I feel like I’ve eaten plenty. That may work itself out over time.

      • Absolutely. The same could be said for meat. Or cream. Or potatoes. Or rice. Any single food. Make the diet monotonous enough and it won’t be stimulating enough to keep the appetite going. And weight loss ensues even if you are eating way beyond appetite. RRARF was really intended for those coming off of a standard American diet making a transition to whole foods. When you do this, all the “real food” is less stimulating than refined foods and you achieve the same effect. If you are coming off of a restrained diet of some kind, RRARF will be far more palatable and result in a big increase in appetite, not a decrease. It is ALL relative.

        Another thing you are missing in your raw food summary is that raw food is less digestible than cooked food. Eat the same number of calories of raw food vs. cooked food and you will see more weight loss on raw food because fewer calories are absorbed. Even gorillas only absorb 50% of the calories in the food they eat, and they break down raw plant matter a lot better than we do.

  19. Matt wrote:
    “I too have discovered that I like food, but am no longer “passionate” about it.”

    Exactly! BTW, it’s word-smithing like this that makes you so much better than me at getting the health/nutrition messages through to people. That’s why I just send them here now lol.

    Actually, when a person asks, I approach it in different ways and hope something gets through and sticks with them. Different things work for different peeps. Of course I always send ‘em to 180DH. And I also avoid the food issues altogether and try to show them how to find something they’re passionate about instead – the diversion approach – sneaky huh? :)

    Things that are meaningful to them. Things they enjoy (besides food lol). Things that are fulfilling (perhaps that void they’re trying to fill with food?). When they do, they find that they think way less often about food. And in fact, don’t think of food quite the same.

    When people discover their passion(s) – can be plural of course, I have more than 1 or 3 or 4 myself lol – it not only transforms life, it transforms the mind and the body too. It can be very healing on several levels. It’s like magic. And it’s quite amazing to see! And it never gets old to see it. That’s one of my passions :)

    Anyway, goes back to this…

    “…our minds are incredibly powerful. Our thoughts exert a far-reaching influence over our biochemistry. Likewise, our physical bodies exert a powerful influence over our thoughts and how we perceive things. It’s a two-way street.” -Matt Stone


  20. mmm I’m on a diet now… kinda… RBTI diet… And it’s pretty damn restrictive, even more since I have a high pH… But I don’t slip unless I mess up the eating schedule. I did at the beginning when I didn’t know enough, but not anymore… Now I can easily tell if I’m doing something wrong, (usually that means I’m eating too little calories or protein,) I will feel like I want to eat more after dinner, and I can correct the problem the next day by eating a bit more. That means no overeating / bingeing ever, not even for lunch. And I used to be a passionate binger. So, I think restrictive eating can work if it is in line with your body’s needs, like, apparantly, the RBTI way of eating is.

  21. x 2 what everyone said I did the “last meal” before diet thing before starting RRARF a refeed diet!! guess it comes from a 20 years diet mentality…I’m new reading 180 D, looking forward to the kiddos post as I can relate to mine since reading all of the material. We have always let them eat freestyle fascinating how they can leave half a chocolate bar on the table. Our 4 y.o. eats ice cream almost every night and never got bedwetting problem , he never gets sick while going to kindergarden full time, Our 12 y.o. daughter is the same her diet must be like 80% carb LOL, 5’4”, 110 pds while eating around 2500 cals/day. So all of Matt’s stuff makes sense just looking at them and their metabolism .

    Glad to have found 180 D. Cheers.

      • Hey Matt, I purchased your Diet Recovery ebook on November 16th, but I didn’t receive the download link. My credit card has been charged – can you please email me the link. Thanks! Jason Simpkins

        • Sorry about that Jason. Not sure what happened.

      • I love a good ice cream. Veggies. eh not as tasty but I eat em. :-)

        • thx for the info I guess these guys are lucky I’m reading this blog!

  22. Finally my giant post on the first day and a half of the Wise Traditions conference is UP!
    Find it here:
    More pics and video of all those you love and admire.. like Matt, Pippa, Rob A, Johanthan D, Aaron F, Chris Masterjohn, Denise Minger etc etc.

    • Nice. That’s interesting. After a week of eating citrus though I pretty much am hating it now.

      • according to my way of thinking (about eating), that means you’re now topped off with whatever molecule you needed.

        Btw, I got to your site from Carbsane’s site — though in the past I have enjoyed some of your youtube talks. I always appreciate a health approach that is not based on some advocacy, but wants to get at the truth instead.

  23. What happens when your intuition/lack of will power tells you to eat pizza 5 nights a week and to finish that other half of a sandwich even though you’re already full?

    • I have noticed no ill results from eating pizza 5 times per week. And I have noticed many benefits from eating the other half of the sandwich when I was full already.

  24. Darn you Matt Stone! Thanks to you bringing me to the ETF mentality, I was unable to eat more than one plate of Thanksgiving dinner. I had to force myself to even finish the first plate. All that delicious food that I spent all day preparing, and I couldn’t even eat seconds. Or another plate later in the day. Same today. This is the first year I haven’t gorged and I’m angry! Bah humbug.

  25. Hilarious Lorelei! :)

    I go to 3 different places for Thanksgiving dinner every year – call it a tradition I guess, but it saves me from having to choose 1 over the other 2 and offending anyone! :) But it’s hell trying to not offend anyone, not gorging on everything like everyone else lol. What’s really funny though is they always say something like, “You didn’t eat much, do you not like the food?” Just because I don’t pig out lol. And my favorite, “Oh are you on a diet?”

    I always have to laugh, cause I’m probably the only person there who’s not on a diet or not ‘trying’ to diet. I just shake my head and say, “No I’m not on a diet,” with a huge smile on my face at total peace. That’s when I get questions like, “What’s your secret?” I say, “That’s my secret. I’m not on a diet.” It always confuses the hell out of people lol! :)

  26. Another funny food story…

    One of my friends somehow got the idea that I eat turkey bacon – I don’t – but I guess she assumed it because I don’t usually eat pork and, therefore, rarely eat “real” bacon. So I must eat turkey bacon then, right? ;)

    Anyway, she always makes a special effort to get turkey bacon for me when I’m at their place for breakfast. She even made a special trip to the store one night that I spent the night – just for turkey bacon in the morning. I tried to tell her then but she thought I was just trying to keep her from making a special trip for me – which was true too lol :)

    Anyway, now I don’t have the heart to tell her that I don’t (usually lol) eat turkey bacon either. So I eat a couple slices of it just for her. No big deal. Makes her feel good that she cooks it especially for me – so it’s totally worth it! :)

    Well… now she’ll know if she sees this lol.

    • Big C, try the uncured beef bacon at Trader Joes. It’s might good. And not turkey. Or pork. :-)
      Loreli: sounds like you reached your limit! I ate a medium amount and had room for a nice slice of my fresh roasted pumpkin pie with homemade heavy whipped cream. It was fab.
      xo haguliera

      • Thanks Debs, I’ll give it a try. Love trying new stuff :)

        Your fresh roasted pumpkin pie sounds delicious! The pumpkin pie I ate (tasted) on Thanksgiving was made by Sara Lee I think lol. But the sweet tater pie I had later was homemade and yummy! :)

  27. Anyone seen Richard Nikoley’s latest video at He’s giving a talk at a PUA (pick-up artist) conference and he starts promoting the paleo diet and intermittent fasting. He says its “bullshit” that restrained eating will reduce your metabolism (about 30 minutes in, or 29.50) and talks about some studies that apparently prove it. Any thoughts on this Matt (or anyone else)?

    • Nikoley has hypothyroidism as I have pointed out in the past only to feel the wrath of his irrational anger. He thinks he is awesome because he has lost weight. There is more to health than weight loss. Most people who lose weight have a decrease in health, and typically gain more weight back after they lose weight. Not everyone of course, but that is very common. Losing weight is not proof of anything really, other than you lost some weight.

  28. About 31 minutes into Nikoley’s PUA video he mocks those who advise against going on a “starvation diet”.

    Matt, you are one of the bloggers who often warns of the dangers and ineffectiveness of starvation diets, so what do you make of Nikoley’s remarks?

    Good blog you have here by the way.

  29. I didn’t let my kids pig out on Halloween candy. I think some idea of self-control has to be instilled. I let my 3-year-old have one piece of candy in his lunch, and one piece after dinner, for the rest of the week after H’ween. I was going to throw the rest out on Saturday and I anticipated a fight or meltdown over it, but… he forgot all about it! At least a week later he asked me for a piece of candy and I said “Sorry, it’s all gone.” He looked kind of shocked and then got over it quickly. I think the trick is to just not make it a habit- let them gorge or dole it out slowly over a SHORT period of time.

    I am at a weird point after a sort-of Foodie phase (after an ED decade or two) that I have just lost interest in food, can’t ever think of what to make, have no interest in cooking, have no real cravings for anything in particular except sweets sometimes, and YET I am always physically hungry. This is leading to rather lazy eating habits, like stuffing myself with bread or cereal just to get full. I have no inclination to do anything WAPF-ey anymore, like ferment anything or soak anything. I wish I didn’t get so hungry, or that I could cope with it instead of feeling (psycologically) like I will wither up and die the instant I feel a hunger pang. I think being bulemic for almost 20 years gave me an exaggerated fear of hunger. But it has been years since I stopped that and basically decided to ETF. The pounds are starting to creep on. I think I need a little of the discipline I am trying to give my kids. It is a constant balancing act isn’t it?

    • Hi Tierney,

      With all due respect, you might check out some child development and psych materials to give you a better idea of the reality of a 3 year old. In grad school, I am happy to say a lot of silly ideas that had been passed on to me through family and popular culture were blown apart. One observation would be that you seem to be projecting on to your child certain capacity and behaviors that only an older human can manage due to the brain and its stage of development. In other words, discipline sounds great, but its something very different to you than to a child of any age. Also, my Mom lied to me as a child about innocent things, but I could always tell, my first memory being at 3 (about oatmeal!), and that has not been good for me or for my relationship with her. It may seem easier in the short run, but many kids are much more aware than adults give them credit for, and with the added burden that for them that they then believe they have to hide the fact that they know you are lying, and yet teaching them that lying is wrong… Just a thought..

      Also, it sounds like you are waiting for a desire or craving to signal to you what to eat. I have the same proclivity, if thats accurate. I also have a messy metabolism in that my cortisol levels are too high at night, so
      I often have no appetite in the morning. Ive found that when I know I will heal if I eat and give my system nutrition it needs to change my messy metabolism, I can overcome the lack of hunger/desire, and when I keep up with this for even a few days, I find that Im automatically eating breakfast, which means Ill be hungrier at lunch, and have few cravings later, like I used to.

      Also, at night before bed I drink a green mix that is super concentrated and it has cleared up heart palpitations, weak nails, trouble getting back to sleep, and more. And I am never hungry for this drink, but it has helped me immensely (Vitamineral Green from HealthForce) and its smooth and very easy to drink, even tastes mildly nice.

      So seeing it for me as a sort of correction from years of malnutrition, I feel like my brain needs to guide my stomach, and sometimes now I feel free and my system knows exactly what will be tasty and enlivening. I plan to get back to a natural freedom like Matt mentions, I just have to do the work with conviction..

      Best of luck to you.

  30. This is very true. When people diet their body knows it. The temptation to gorge is monumental. When we eat regular. gorging is no longer that appealing and painful at at that.

    post starvation hyperphagia at its finest.

    Great article, Matt.

  31. test

  32. mmmmmmmmmm ice cream…….. GET IN ME!

  33. Hi Matt, I understand diets don’t work, so how do I deal with my 11 year old daughter who is overweight. She would just keep eating the candy and not get sick of it? thanks!

    • I would have to see that to believe it. I have a short book coming out on this topic in a few weeks.


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