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Mindful Bytes: Volume Eating

This is a simple concept that probably won’t take long to explain.

All the other journeys I was on, I massively changed my eating behaviours. I didn’t focus on the importance of turning them into habits, so they never lasted, but that was also because I found the sheer amount of change hard to maintain.

I made huge changes to what I was eating, and huge changes to how much I was eating. Both the foods I ate were totally different, and portion sizes were too.

Since September 2018, I’ve been really concerned about not having this health attempt fail, as it always has. So I was much more focused on eliminating hunger vs losses on the scale.

But I’m a volume eater, and I always associated big hunger as just part of the journey that needed to be tolerated. Eliminating hunger became a brand new goal for me and it meant approaching this differently. To get full I had to focus on large portions of protein, fruit and veg, and there simply wasn’t room for the starches and treats I typically planned in my eating.

What emerged was something unexpected. This anti hunger goal meant I hadn’t really reduced the amount of food I was eating, but WHAT I was eating was vastly different.

That was a lot less change than I had typically attempted.

It seems so obvious now. I don’t have to change everything massively, I can still eat ALOT of food, but what I’m eating needed to be completely different.

This volume eating focus made a huge difference in eliminating that deprive/binge cycle, increasing consistency, and still really moving the scale. All of that, and I wasn’t eating that much less, but it was certainly plant and protein based 95+% of the time.

It honestly felt like I was cheating the system. Who knew you could get healthy without being hungry??? Bizarre!!!

Now, can you over eat healthy food? Of course you can. But 95% of the time, I’m protecting some kind of indulgent eating pattern that is requiring me to eat less food to accommodate it. Example: Eating low pt/ low calorie chip replacements for snacks, some other low cal cracker with lunch, a potato with dinner, and some store bought low cal ice cream for dessert. For me that’s a double whammy, that much starch/sugar makes me hungrier and to accommodate that and be in a caloric deficit I need to eat less food. To battle that hunger I eventually start eating more fruit, and when the scale stops moving, it’s really common to announce “I’m over eating fruit, I need to cut back fruit”. I could replace most of those low cal indulgent choices with more filling options, but subconsciously I protect all those choices and blame poor old’ fruit.

For me, the path to sustainability meant finding a way to still be a volume eater and lose weight. That meant eating much healthier than I had on previous journeys, but these healthier choices meant I had actually changed less: the volume of food I was eating was close to my old unhealthy lifestyle, it was just plants and protein 95%+ of the time.

If you’re a volume eater like me, pull some of those nutritionally sparse foods out of your choices so you can really get full on healthier food. It’s made my journey far easier.

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