I think it’s safe to say that we are now deep into Holiday Season. There are parties, gatherings and special treats and drinks showing up on every corner. We are surrounded by food and drink excess, which is why I’d like to talk about the concept of Feast and Famine (This is also called Intermittent Fasting and I will do another post specifically about it soon.)
In much of the developed world we live in a state of constant feast. We are told that we need to hit a certain amount of calories a day, that we need to eat three-square-meals (or more) and that we need to make sure to balance our plate with all of the food groups. We have access to lots of processed foods that actually encourage eating more than they provide satiety. People count calories, count points, and count pounds to try to combat the effects of this food glut. Even when trying to follow the advice of the “experts” we find ourselves fighting a loosing battle – the overwhelming amount of food wins.
Our bodies do not know how to deal with this. We evolved in a state without stable access to food. Seasons changed, so did our food. We moved from one place to another, our food changed. One year was drier than another, we had to do with less. One day we had meat or found a grove of edible plants, the next day we couldn’t find anything. We evolved to cycle through periods of feast and famine (this does not mean starvation however.)
The concept of Feast and Famine as “a diet” has started gaining momentum in the last year or so. This is a double-edged sword. It’s great to get this information out there and encourage people to question the concept of constant grazing, however it should not and does not give you license to “just eat whatever” on the higher calorie days. You still need to eat real, whole foods.
I think understanding the concept of Feast and Famine and how it played into our evolution is extremely important but I usually caution people about jumping right in. If you are used to eating many meals a day and eating highly processed, highly refined foods (grains, sugars, crap meat, man-made fats, etc.) applying the Feast and Famine concept to your current eating habits will be very difficult. Instead begin by cutting out the crap food and focusing on real, whole foods. You will find that you are naturally fuller for longer and if you listen to your body you will probably move (without trying) into a state where you no-longer crave “three-square-meals” a day.
What do you think about the concept of Feast and Famine as it relates to how we eat or how we should eat?
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