Friday, September 3, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds with the "pancake principle" or how "feel full" hype fails weight loss

For those who just tuned in, this blog explores how I lost 100 pounds and kept it off, without gastric bypass. Today we look at how understanding hunger (what it is and what it isn't) helps lose weight and how the "feel full" hype can fail weight loss. I'll illustrate, using what I call the "pancake principle", but first some background. 

"My 600-lb Life" is a show that that chronicles morbid obesity and weight loss after gastric bypass. A common complaint on "My 600-lb Life" and even in the comments in online Facebook groups about "My 600-lb Life" is that they can't lose weight with calorie restricting, such as on the 1200 calorie diet, because they won't get full. 

It's like feeling hungry is something to be avoided at all costs. People eschew salads for lunch, for example, because they aren't "filling." To which I say, so? That misnomer is part of how we get overweight in the first place. The road to obesity is paved with overeating in an attempt to feel full. But feeling full is not satiation of hunger. That occurs much earlier in the meal, but takes awhile for the stomach to recognize. 

Now to that pancake principle. When I made pancakes for my kids, they'd devour the first round quickly and want seconds, which went down more slowly. Because the pancakes hadn't hit their stomachs, they'd ask for thirds, which they couldn't eat because in the time it took to cook them, the previous two had filled them up. This pancake principle is part of why we overeat. 

We keep eating past the point of satiation because we fear hunger and (worst yet) we don't even know when we're full. And the more overweight we get, the more food our bigger stomachs need to feel full. Further, as we head toward obesity, we develop cravings which get worse the more overweight we get. But happily, those cravings subside as you lose weight. 

Part of how I lost 100 pounds by calorie restricting on the 1200 calorie diet and by deconstructing "cravings" (I've blogged about that earlier. I was surprised when I first began calorie restricting, how much I could eat on the 1200 calorie diet. After weight loss, I can eat salads, or even just a big box of spring mix and feel satisfied (actually really good because of all the minerals and electrolytes!) 
Even my rascally cat Mordecai (R) (who seriously overestimates his own hunger LOL) now thinks lettuce is a treat! His brother Moishe is not so convinced! 😂😂😁

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