Episode 58: How to Eat, Part II
How many meals should we eat in a day – 3? 5? 6? It seems there are as many opinions as there are diet books. Learn how to bring structure to your intuitive eating, and enjoy your food more while you are at it. Plus, Renee answers a listnerer's question about how to drop pounds, rather than just maintain, when we eat according to our hunger.
Renée Stephens: Welcome to “Inside Out Weight Loss”. I’m your host Renée Stephens and together, we’re accessing and adjusting the control panel of your mind, body system. Bringing ease and joy to your weight loss journey, and fullness to the rest of your life. On today’s show, we continue with our series on How to Eat: by learning how many meals to eat in a day and when to have a snack. Isn’t my method, the Renée Method, all about “matching” as Peter was saying? So if we’re n… not hungry but we eat anyway, doesn’t that really throw us off? ‘How does this stuff makes sense’, you might be wondering. What am I talking about, “structure”, I thought it was this organic, intuitive eating process. Whenever hunger happens to strike is when we eat. All right, so that’s a little segue on sleep. I actually have some wonderful super simple snoozing strategies that I will get to at some point in this show. I never know when but, that will happen in a future date. ‘Cause there’re some great ways to lull yourself to sleep without having to use those very strong hallucinogenic prescription medications that are so popular on the market now. For my private clients, I give them a hunger scale, and I say that zero is famished, drop on the floor, fall down and ten is stuffed full like a Thanksgiving turkey. So…about a two, I would say a two to a three would be the right level of hunger. Remembering of course, that hunger is a feeling.
A special welcome to new listeners to the show: we’re so glad you found us. You might take a moment to notice what you’re hoping to find here. Jump right in to today’s episode and also I encourage you to go back to the beginning and start there by listening to the prologue, where you’ll hear my story. There’s a progression to “Inside Out Weight Loss” and you’ll certainly benefit from building a strong foundation by starting at the beginning. Then take your time to digest each episode, each concept, each tool. Also, consider joining the Yahoo group to support and be supported. There’s a link available at my blog at www.personallifemedia.com/renee, r e n e e. And if you like what you hear, if this approach resonates with you, you may want to go even deeper by purchasing the three guided journeys available for sale on my site at mindforbody.com, m i n d f o r b o d y dot com. Go ahead and take a moment to drop inside and check in, be present with you. As I share a moment of bliss, courtesy of blisstrips.com. Open the scrapbook of your life. Flip through the pages of your memory. Fond moments slipping from their resting place in the corners of your mind. These are the good events you choose to collect. Here’s a time from your childhood that was particularly delightful. Enjoy it again as the sights, sounds, images and feelings bubble to the surface. Or perhaps you come across a time not so long ago that, nevertheless, has been packed away. Let it come once again to light as you remember the details. What made it so joyful? What made it so special? Skim through the memories of so many special times. Remember the people, remember the love. Remember why these memories hold such a special place in your heart. And now, sprinkle that same delight, just around the bend, into your future. Behind the corners, in surprising moments and cherished experiences.
Perhaps you’ll find some on your naturally slender journey. And open your awareness and your heart to the presence of the fellow journeyers listening to this show across space and time. Send them your acceptance and compassion. And feel their camaraderie, their support, come back to you, magnified many, many times over. And take that moment to set your intention for today’s episode. What delight would you like to invite yourself to? What experiences would you like to have? Both along the way and after you arrive. My friend Heather Dominick of energyrichcoach.com, talks about the myth of arrival. The myth of arrival. That notion that so many of us have that life will be great when… Life will be great when we are skinny. Life will be great when we are fit. Life will be great when we are rich. When we have a boyfriend, when we have a girlfriend, when we have a spouse, when we have a child, when we have a dog, when we have a cat. Life will be great then, but what about now? We have these moments that we think, ‘Yes, if I can only get to that spot. Then, then I can truly start living, I can’t wait. And years go by in the process, until one day we wake up and we look back and we think, ‘Oh my goodness. What happened? What was I doing all that time’? So much, I believe, of the way we feel in our culture about aging. How people don’t want to know their age when they’re getting older. How we tease them about it. How we make all of these investments in looking younger and we hate aging, has so much to do with feeling like we haven’t taken full advantage of the life that we’ve already had. Feeling like, ‘Oh my goodness, I’m now thirty, I’m now forty, I’m now fifty, I’m now sixty and I had all these dreams and what have I done? What have I accomplished? I haven’t taken everything that I could and made the most of my life. I haven’t become what I thought I should become at some earlier time’, and so we feel badly about aging. Of course, the reality is that aging is quite a bit better than the alternative, if you know what I mean. I mean let’s face it. Nobody gets any more time at a particular age than anybody else. Everybody gets exactly one year at each age and if we don’t make it to the higher, more advanced ages, well then, we’re dead. So it seems to me that it’s better to grow old than not. And if feeling badly about growing old is all about regret… what if we just let go of that regret. What if we made a decision now, in this moment, to make the most of this day of our lives.
To really take advantage of it, to really invest ourselves in it, to be present to our day, to our experience, to the people around us, to pick up the phone and call someone that we love. Someone whose friendship we value and enjoy the fact that we have today, even if our body isn’t perfect. ‘Cause I got news for you, there isn’t a perfect body on the planet. Even the celebrities have flaws on their bodies, it’s part of being human. So, let’s let go of that “myth of arrival” and start enjoying the moment, now. So, go ahead and set your intention for today’s episode, and my intention, as always, is to enable you to achieve yours and to end the weight struggle. Enabling you to share and grow soul’s gifts. We’ve been talking about how to eat in the last episode and talking a bit about the naturally slender eating strategy, which I outlined in an earlier episode, early in the series. And I’d like to share with you a question that comes in from Peter. And Peter asks, “How do you lose weight if you’re trusting your body to match calories in with calories out. Won’t your body seek the status quo?” What I really like about that question is that it’s so common sense. It really shows that this listener is thinking about things and thinking things through. And, what’s the answer? If your body is matching calories in with calories out, as a naturally slender person does, then yes indeed, you will maintain your weight. So, naturally slender people, match their calories in with their calories out, whatever their metabolism is, as you’ll have learned in earlier episode perhaps and so they maintain their weight. But what of those of us who don’t want to maintain their weight. We want to release weight. In that case, our calories in must be less than our calories out. We need to burn more than we bring in, logically. This is basic physics, really. We need to burn more than we bring in so that we can use the stored energy on our bodies. So how do we make that happen being naturally slender, and the answer is actually quite simple. We do it, really, ultimately, through intention. Through directing our bodies, through directing our bodies to use first the stored energy that’s available before bringing us hunger. First we want to use the stored energy that’s stored on our bodies in the form of fat. It is in fact the easiest, most quickly accessed source of fuel that we have. It’s right there on our bodies, we don’t even have to go to the hassle of getting something to eat and chewing and digesting and all that kind of stuff, it’s right there. So we want to set our intention that our body do that first. And in fact, one of my guided journeys, the Appetite Adjuster helps with just that. By the way, if you’re interested in that journey, I certainly recommend that you start with the Sabotage Self Sabotage journey because it creates that wonderful foundation of inner alignment that allows this intention setting to happen. If you’ll remember from the episodes that we did on intention and manifesting we talked about how we must first clear, in order to create. So if you want to create a slim body, you want to clear first, you want to let go of all the emotional baggage around it, and then set your intention. Direct your body gently and easily through intention to release that excess weight. And of course use the naturally slender eating strategy and today, in a moment after we take a break, we’ll talk about more on how to eat and specifically what I, personally, do. It is time to take that break to support our sponsors. This is Renée Stephens and you’re listening to “Inside Out Weight Loss” on Personal Life Media.
Renée Stephens: We’re back now. Last episode, we talked about structure. We talked about how to eat and we talked about how structure brings comfort and predictability. Even that ritual is a structure. Why does every culture that ever there was have rituals? Because they’re comforting and they mark meaning and significance. They get us to pay attention to a shift or change and at the same time they bring comfort to that very change. It may be a change of a lifetime or it may be a simple change of the day. For example, brushing your teeth can be a ritual that marks a transition from bed to wakefulness. From wakefulness back to bed. From activity, mental or physical, to nourishment for example. We also talked about how it’s better for digestion to have regular meal times because the body begins the digestive process before we even put food or beverage in our mouths. And we began to answer the question of what to do if aren’t hungry at regular meal times. Isn’t my method, the Renée Method, all about “matching”, as Peter was saying? So if we’re n… not hungry but we eat anyway doesn’t that really throw us off? ‘How does this stuff makes sense’, you might be wondering. What am I talking about, ‘structure’, I thought it was this organic, intuitive eating process. Whenever hunger happens to strike is when we eat. Well, that’s a very good question, and the answer is that we want to manage our hunger. We want to finesse it; we want to make it be what we want it to be because we’re not victims of our hunger. Hunger doesn’t happen to us, you know it’s really pretty predictable. The amount of calories doesn’t vary that much from day to day. So… it’s pretty darn predictable. So… so what are we to do? And also, when we think about structure, I’ll just have a momentary segue here, when I’m talking about structure and schedules, I’m not just talking about meal times. I’m also talking about sleep and wake times. There’s quite a body of research that demonstrates that by having regular bedtimes and awakening times we do much better with our weight loss so we want to have a regular schedule of going to bed around the same time every day and getting up around the same time every day, weekdays and weekends. So that our body knows how to secrete hormones, to secrete digestive juices, to orient itself and to bring that comfort that the predictability brings. And to allow the freedom for us to predict our energy levels at a given time.
There’s quite an interesting research study where they deprived a group of college men of sleep for just about three days. And they found that those who were sleep deprived versus the control group, the group that got enough sleep, had significantly more cravings for sweet, salty, starchy foods and they were much more inclined to overeat than the ones who had had enough sleep. So sleep depravation is something to be avoided and regular restful sleep is something to be promoted. All right, so that’s a little segue on sleep. I actually have some wonderful super simple snoozing strategies that I will get to at some point in this show. I never know when but, that will happen in a future date. ‘Cause there are some great ways to lull yourself to sleep without having to use those very strong hallucinogenic prescription medications that are so popular on the market now. So much to share and so little time. Okay, let’s go back to eating structures. So, we’re getting the idea that we want regular meal times. So what does that mean? Are we to eat three meals a day, five meals a day, six meals a day? There’s someone to swear by each one of those formulas, if you ask enough people, if you read enough diet books, you’ll find someone says absolutely have to have six meals a day, have to have three meals a day, must be five meals a day. What are we to think? Especially those of us who have become disoriented or disconnected from what our body needs. So, I’m going to give you a formula that is very simple. And you must know me by now, if you’ve listened to some of these episodes, I love simple, simple, easy and effective are really my three criteria.
Okay, so… simple, easy and effective. How many meals are we to eat a day? What do I do personally? Personally, I always eat three meals a day and I encourage you to eat three meals a day as well. Eat three meals a day, is that clear? Eat three meals a day, maybe more. So we’ll talk about that “maybe more” in a moment. But why three, why am I saying three? If you look at every culture out there, I really can’t think of, and I’m sure some listeners somewhere will tell me of a culture where they eat less than three meals a day, but I haven’t come across one. In Spain they eat three meals a day, in France they eat three meals a day, in Argentina they eat three meals a day, in Asia they eat three meals a day. I haven’t come across a place where they don’t traditionally eat three meals a day. Now certainly, some people will be the exceptions, but three meals a day is the standard. So, you’ve got to think there’s something to it, that the body kind of likes that. I know my body loves that. When I was in Overeaters Anonymous, it was very militant about three meals a day and nothing in between. I did that for three years, it was very, very strict. I don’t do that anymore but I do eat at least three meals a day. Now, how do I know, how do you know how much to eat in a given meal. How are we going to figure that out, hmm…? They say that lunch should be bigger, breakfast should be bigger and dinner should be small because weight gets gained if we eat past seven p.m. or eight p.m. or whatever that particular myth is. Having lived in Spain where eating before ten p.m. is completely déclassé and the population, at least when I was there, was very slim. I can tell you that that most certainly is a myth. All right, you’re wanting to know the answer here. How do we know how much to eat. The right amount to eat at breakfast is the amount that will allow you to be nicely hungry by lunch. That’s it. So what’s the right amount to eat at lunch? The amount that will allow you to be nicely hungry at dinner because when you get to lunch nicely hungry, how much more will you enjoy that meal if you’re bringing an appetite? That’s where the expression, “Oh, I worked up a good appetite, I can’t wait to have my meal”, comes from. That’s where it comes from because have you ever noticed how much more enjoyable food is when we’re hungry?
So we want to eat an amount at breakfast that will allow us to be nicely hungry. Well, what’s nicely hungry? For my private clients, I give them a hunger scale, and I say that zero is famished, drop on the floor, fall down and ten is stuffed full like a Thanksgiving turkey. So…about a two, I would say, a two to a three would be the right level of hunger. Remembering of course, that hunger is a feeling. So, we want to eat the right amount at breakfast to be about a two level of hunger, two to a three by the time we float into lunchtime and the same for dinner. Now, you’re not always going to get that right, guaranteed. Sometimes you will make a mistake. I certainly do, naturally slender people certainly do. So, what do we do? ‘Oh my God, I under shot, I didn’t eat enough, now I’m starving and I’ll never make it through.’ Are we to suffer? See, this is the problem with too strict diet programs that say its twelve hundred calories a day no matter what because then we get really, really hungry and when you’re at a one or a zero, you’re suffering. So, and then you can’t eat enough because it’s not on the plan and ‘Oh my God, this is horrible and I hate dieting. Let’s throw the whole thing out the window.’ No, we don’t want to do that. So, if I get to a two and its ten-thirty in the morning and I have an hour and a half till I’m going to have lunch, maybe two, two and half hours; I need to eat a snack. So we eat a snack when we are really, really hungry. That’s the criterion. That’s all. When we’re really, really hungry we eat a snack. How much of a snack do we eat? That’s a very good question and because we’re out of time today, its one that I’ll answer in the next episode of “Inside Out Weight Loss”. That brings us to the end of our show today. Thank you for being present. For other shows on the Personal Life Media Network, please visit our website at personallifemedia.com. There is loads of amazing content to feed your mind, body, and spirit. And be sure to check out the blog on personallifemedia.com/renee. That’s a great place to leave your comments and answer some of the questions and share with others what your experience has been. Also, there’s a link to the Yahoo group at personallifemedia.com/renee, on the right hand column. Join the Yahoo group to support and be supported. It’s all completely free of charge and lister moderated. This is your host Renée Stephens and I am on a mission to eradicate the weight struggle from the planet, enabling you to share your soul’s gifts. Join me as we evolve the world by evolving ourselves. Take good care.