Lean eating

I Can Make You Thin is a lean approach to eating (excuse the pun). Instead of eating a set amount at regular times, you eat when you feel hungry and stop when you feel full.

This is an implementation of the lean principle of a ‘pull system’. Pull systems occur in other places in real life. You wouldn’t go to the petrol station to fill your car up until the petrol gauge was near-empty. You wouldn’t keep on putting petrol in after the car was full. Toyota uses Kanban cards to let producers know that a piece of material is needed. Until the card is received nothing is produced. You check what needs buying each week before you do your shopping (although some of us do better at this than others). Overproduction is an important source of waste.
In the same way, with this ‘un-diet’, hunger is a Kanban card that let’s you know that it time to start eating. When you start to feel full, you stop. The other ideas in the book are directed at changing behaviours to support this. For instance most of us are pretty bad at paying attention to our bodies when we eat. We stuff the food into our mouths whilst we focus our awareness on something else. This makes it pretty hard to know when we’re hungry or when we’re full, until we are so completely stuffed that we’re going to be sick if we eat more. In this system, you s-l-o-w down the speed at which you eat and eat each mouthful consciously. In this way, you stand a much better chance at realising you are full before you stuff another mouthful in.

I’ve had a lot of fun over Christmas, eating whatever I want and still losing (and then maintaining) weight. This is in stark comparison to previous Christmases where I followed a Seefood diet religously: if I saw food I ate it.

I notice a couple of things from this different approach to eating. Firstly, I eat a lot less food but I don’t get hungry. Secondly, the proportion of times that I eat ‘bad’ food, e.g. high fat high sugar food, is much higher, although in food weight I reckon I eat about the same proportions as before.

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