D389 Why I Don’t Use Portion Control

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Popular buzz words for dieting nowadays: portion control. I hate this phrase. While I understand it's good to eat smaller portions, I don't think it's good to eat set amounts of food. I think it's better to eat until you feel satisfied. On one day you might get more exercise, you'll burn more calories and your body will need more calories to function properly. The next day you might spend the day in front of the computer or watching television and won't need as many calories. There's really no way to know what your body needs except for going by your hunger.

We did go to my in-laws for Christmas. There was a lot of diet talk. My in-laws have been on the new diet since September. It is low-carb, but it is also low-fat and they are trying to keep their sodium intake very low. They don't understand that there are different kinds of salt and that our body needs salt. Especially if you have adrenal issues. It was frustrating for me, because while GAPS is naturally low-carb it is certainly not low-fat. Additionally, it is happens to be a low fiber diet. It is not touted as such, but many of the off limit foods are fibrous. There was also a lot of talk about fiber intake. Even the baby in attendance who was not yet one-year-old was being discussed and they were saying he needed more fiber. There were so many people talking about fiber and how it's needed in order to keep us “regular” that I didn't bother to say a word. In fact I wasn't part of the conversation, so I just left the room.

My father-in-law was trying to impart some words of wisdom to me. He was extolling the virtue of portion control. He was saying if the amount of meat on your plate was bigger than a deck of cards you simply don't eat it. I'm glad he wasn't at the table where I was eating Christmas dinner. I ate two chicken thighs and two chicken legs. As you can imagine this was much bigger than a deck of cards. The chicken was from Costco and it probably contained some illegals (ingredients not allowed on GAPS). In fact, for the next two days my sinuses were clogged which seems to happen when I ingest certain illegal ingredients.

But back to my subject, I have never understood calorie counting or portion control. Simply the reason being, how do we know how much food our body needs for the day? The other problem is that your body will adjust to less calories and your metabolism will slow down and hang on to those calories. I hate to admit it, but the Weight Watcher method of using points does seem to be a good idea. If you start out at say, 300 pounds, then you need more calories. If you decide to go on a starvation diet and only eat 1200 calories a day in your body is going to respond as if you have landed on a deserted island and there is a serious shortage of food. Weight Watchers has you start out at higher calories for your weight. I have never done Weight Watchers myself, but I know the you start with more points at the onset and as you lose weight your points are lowered. In this way you gradually take in less calories instead of eating a very small amount and triggering your body into survival mode.

With GAPS, you concentrate on getting good nutritious food into your body. There is no mention of portion control or calorie counting. For me, this worked out great. As the months have gone by, I have made a point to try to stop eating when I felt satisfied. Now let me tell you I have been trying to do this for many years – for at least a decade. However, I now understand due to the consumption of carbohydrates I was unable to stop or rather I had a difficult time stopping at satisfaction. Even when I did stop when I felt satisfied, I ended up with bloating which made my stomach feel very full and uncomfortable. I used to ask myself why I was doing this? Why was I hurting myself like this? Why can I stop before I was too full?

Also when I began GAPS, I had to eat many small meals or snacks each day. If I didn't, I would get shaky and nervous and grumpy and just feel terrible. In this last month, I have learned that it is possible for me to be three meals a day. This has made me so happy. No longer do I have to cart a bunch of food with me. All I need to bring is lunch! Sometimes I am hungry earlier so I eat a few bites of my lunch and then I'm good until around noon.

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