A Fistful of Food?

I’ve been reading lately that since the stomach, when unstretched, is about the size of one’s fist, a fist-size portion of food should be enough to make anyone feel full.

Well, she seems to feel it's enough, anyway.

Well, she seems to feel it’s enough, anyway.

Tonight I had at least two fists full of food, even if you consider them all mashed up (half a cheese sandwich, pasta salad, 1/2 c. ice cream) and I feel like pure dirt about myself. I absolutely hate myself right now. But I did not feel satisfied with just the one-fist size portion.

I’ve been having a rough go of this intuitive eating thing for the past couple of days – setting myself up to feel deprivation, mentally counting calories even though I keep telling myself to stop, staring at my gigantic abdomen with disgust, that one weigh-in (still haven’t gotten over that), thinking that I will ALWAYS be enormous because I will NEVER be able to eat the comparatively dainty portions I’m sure I should be eating.

And now there’s this whole fist thing.

What do you think? Sound off! If you’re a normal-weight person, do you usually eat about a fist size of food (one cup-ish) per meal and feel satisfied? If you’re not a normal-weight person, what are your thoughts – have you ever been satisfied on this quantity of food?

I’m trying to find more actual data – after all, if the stomach stretches, there must be a reason, mustn’t there? – and I’ll update if I find out anything new.

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10 thoughts on “A Fistful of Food?

  1. I’ve heard that too. So I think okay, if I put this plate of food into a food processor and blended the crap out of it like my body will do. Will it then fit into a cup. Maybe..cool tuck in 🙂

    • Ha ha, I like your approach, perthians.

      What I’m wondering is, if Wall-E crushed the food in his compactor, would it make a cup? Now THAT’S a “diet rule” I could stick to…

      Thanks for posting!

  2. A fistful? I think it matters WHAT food you have grasped in that fist. I found something that worked for me. A balanced approach to eating, where you train yourself bit by bit to eat differently. http://cookupastory.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/the-17-day-diet-starring-dr-mike-morano/

    Of course, it’s just one post. But there are links at the bottom and a book the good doctor published where he goes into details. I have no links to Dr. Moreno. I just liked his approach and the results. I bought his book of recipes, but you don’t need to. All you need is the grocery lists for the three phases. You can find recipes on the internet by searching for the ingredients. Anyway, I wish you all the best!

      • Right. But if we want to lose weight, we can’t keep eating what we have been eating, can we? We need to learn what foods keep us happily full the longest at the weight that keeps us healthy. I found the 17-day approach provides lots of flexibility to experiment, Once the first 17 days were up, I added back foods just a few at a time to see what happened. Eventually I reached the stable phase, where I could have a drink once in a while, some whole grain bread once in a while, and the occasional dessert. Sugar, alcohol, and refined flour are still dangerous foods for me. But i CAN have them on special occasions. Which is better than not ever having them – so not a TOTAL d.i.e.t… Best of luck!!!!

      • Hey, Vinny!

        “Right. But if we want to lose weight, we cant keep eating what we have been eating, can we?”

        No – and what I find with dieters (and with myself) is that we HAVEN’T been eating what we want. So if we’ve been dieting and then embark on intuitive eating, it’s almost guaranteed that we’re not going to keep on eating what we’ve been eating. Not even close. We’ve been eating low-carb, or we’ve been eating low-fat, or we’ve been eating vegetarian, or we’ve been carb-fasting and then carb-loading, or we’ve been eating “a sensible” pre-prescribed meal plan of X amount of calories and with X amount of veggies/grains/lean meats, or of unrestricted X with limited Y…or whatever plan we’ve tried.

        What haven’t we been eating, ultimately? What we come to discover our bodies want and need, when our bodies want and need it, and not a morsel more.

        Ultimately it is the restriction that gets to us. If we’re doing low-carb, we crave starches and non-low-carb fruits. We’d kill to get them. But then if we reverse this – even as little as a week later, hell, a couple of days later – we will be craving the low-carb meats and fats that we now can’t get…even if our stomachs are full, even if we’ve stuffed ourselves to the gills within the limits of that current eating plan.

        It is very, very psychological for some of us. No meal plan will work if we can not stick to it, and for many of us, the whole reason we can’t stick to the plan – any plan – is the psychology of starvation. Restrict something, and you’re telling your body there just isn’t enough. So you binge, and the cycle begins (or continues).

        This is not everyone’s issue, so my way of eating will not work for everyone any more than the plan you describe will work for everyone. That’s why it’s good for people to know all of their options.

        Unfortunately, I have already tried a plan much like the one you’re describing above (I read all the links) and it failed me. It may not fail the next person, so I’m glad for the info. Someone reading it might be helped greatly by it. We are all different. Thank you again for your input, it means a lot. And by the way, I’m thrilled that you found a plan that’s right for you. Keep up the good work, your body is singing and dancing inside right now from being treated kindly, in exactly the way you want it to.

        As an aside, interestingly, only a few days into intuitive eating, I don’t want as many carbs (nowhere near as many) and I have had actual, full-on, GOT TO HAVE IT NOW cravings for vegetables more than once, and for an apple once. When I prepared my ravioli “seconds” the other day, I wanted broccoli so badly I actually drooled looking at it in the fridge.

  3. I think I see what you mean. But what if your body craves alcohol (like mine did)? Don’t I have to retrain it to get along without? Not only does alcohol provide empty calories, it also screws up the liver functioning and fat biochemistry in your body. For me, it had to go. I do agree that everybody has to find something that works for them. But for you, when your body WANTS a carb – do you go for a healthy, complex carb? Or do you give it a cookie or some chips, instead? If psychologically you want a Twinky, and nothing else will do, do you give in to that? That’s the sort of thing where i had to draw a line. If YOU don’t, and you still lose weight, I’m very very jealous :).

    • Yes. When your body craves alcohol, you must do without…100% However, alcohol is not a food. 🙂 It is, technically, a poison.

      The treatment for non-food substances is very different from the treatment of something natural that is supposed to go into your body: protein, carbohydrates and fats. Though there are genuine addictive qualities to the act of dieting and binging (and those I am abstaining from 100% 😉 ), the substances themselves are not, as far as we know, addictive and if so, not in the same way as, for instance, alcohol or nicotine. (The jury is still out on modern wheat.)

      Right now: if my body wants a Twinkie, I give it a Twinkie (well, technically – so far, I haven’t craved Twinkies). I’m not drawing the line anywhere any more as regards feeding myself, teaching myself that *there is no such thing as famine* for me, in the modern world and undoing 35 years of dieting damage. So don’t be jealous. 😉 At all. I have literally tortured myself, starved myself into poor grades and knowing I couldn’t possibly go to college because I couldn’t remain standing that long without fainting nor could I concentrate enough (and this time on my own dime, not by public education), sobbed while stuffing food into my mouth, sobbed when I knew I couldn’t stop no matter what…because the cycle was still going on.

      So no. In no way do I, personally, at this time in my life, feel that was healthier in the way that a baked potato might be better than a potato chip. It wasn’t worth it, three-quarters of my life is gone to exhaustion, fainting, vomiting from an uncontrollable binge, and avoiding happy get-togethers because I knew I couldn’t stand to see the food there. Potato chips v. baked potatoes can in no way possibly ever come close to the damage I did to myself (including physically) through my three and a half decades of the diet-go-round. This began when I was 10 years old. I was starving before I got my first period. I was self-starving before I grew breasts. Before I’d ever had my first kiss. Before I was halfway through middle school. Think about that. That, I feel is the real illness – and it is a societal one. I can’t tell you how many rounds of applause this little child got for the amount of times her stomach growled.

      I am very, very short – much shorter than even the smallest women in my family. It’s very possible I stunted my own growth “eating a sensible” 1200-calorie a day diet as a pre-menarchal, active adolescent.After that, the damage continued, on “sensible” after “sensible” eating plan.

      ETA: Please also note that it got harder over time. I was very, very successful at keeping my weight down in these various means until about age 35. After that it got harder both physically AND psychologically. I have only recently hit rock-bottom where I realize that I can’t do it any more…ever.

      Don’t be jealous, just be aware. If you should ever need to relearn your own body via intuitive eating, you have it at your disposal. If you never need it, that’s wonderful, you have found what works for you.

      As for weight: who knows? I do know that so far, I haven’t gained…but before that, I was gaining, and gaining, and gaining, more each year. Sometimes more each month. Sometimes more once a week. If I can even halt that progress it will prevent me from becoming so obese I can no longer get around. Weight loss is of course important to me but halting the process of diet-binge-regain is more important for me right now.

  4. What a nightmare. I’ve dieted stupidly in the past too, and yoyo’d right back to the start. But what you describe is just frightening. I managed to find a balance, finally (I’m about twice as old as you, I think 🙂 ). I hope I’ve stopped the yoyo… and after a good year of stability maybe I have. I wish the same for you, too! As for what I think of sugar, wheat and addiction, check out http://cookupastory.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/wheat-is-not-satan-but-look-out-for-those-sneaky-little-sugar-devils/ and links. So many theories out there!

    • Thank you very much, Vinny, and by the way, I have serious doubts that you could possibly be twice my age…I’m 46, LOL!

      I will look at those links as soon as my head is in the right place. I’m pretty sure I know the gist, as I have in the past heavily studied the possibly addictive effects of (today’s) wheat, wheat-initiated illnesses that were not present pre-agriculture, and sugar. That’s why I said the jury is still out on wheat…I do agree with Taubes’ and others’ assessment of the heavily modified nature of modern wheat and the opioid(-like) tie-in.

      For now, I’m eating to hunger cues. One addiction at a time, eventually I shall beat them all. 😉

      Thank you again! Good health to you.

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