Step 2: Eat and Eat Again Rule

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Step 2 – Eat and Eat Again Rule


[op_liveeditor_element data-style=””][text_block style=”style_1.png” align=”left”]Quick Summary

  • Eat as much as you want at any given meal, as long as you would be willing to eat that same amount 2-3 hours later.
  • Satiety = “the feeling or state of being sated.”
  • Consistently controlling the portion sizes and calories is an area that you should work to master, as overeating of calories and eating too large of portion sizes is the most common struggle I see with clients.
  • Appropriate portion sizes vary from person to person. The eat and eat again rule is a quick way to customize portion sizes to be just right for you.
  • Taking the time and attention to listen to your body’s hunger and fullness (also called satiety) signals is a key skill for long term weight loss success and weight maintenance.

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In vs. Out

Monitoring and controlling the amount of calories that we eat is a very important first step in weight loss. At the most basic level, weight loss is about calories in being less than calories out. Because it is so easy to consume food and calories and so hard to burn calories via exercise, we can’t just say that we are going to exercise away excess fat. Research studies that use exercise, and not diet, as the driving force for weight loss, all essentially show that exercise alone doesn’t cut it.

Should You Count Calories?

So we need to control calories. When it is time to do this, everyone’s initial reaction is to count calories. This is much easier with all of the various mobile/technology solutions available today compared to years ago when I used to lug around a 3 inch thick calorie counting bible, but at this stage in the game, you don’t need to count calories. The detail and minutia associated with calorie counting is a waste of energy, and we don’t need that level of detail in your diet plan at the moment. From a behavior/execution perspective, I’d much rather have you focusing your efforts on the bigger picture (in my opinion – more valuable) nutrition activities.

Eat and Eat Again Rule This is where the Eat and Eat Again Rule comes into play. As I described in the video above, the Eat and Eat Again Rule simply states that you can eat as much food as you would like, as long as you are willing to eat that exact same amount of food in 2-3 hours. In the video, I use a pizza as an example. I could easily eat that entire pizza, but there is no way that I could do it twice in a 3 hour time span, so eating an entire pizza fails the Eat and Eat Again Rule test.

This rule is so valuable for you because:

It is Individualized

By its definition, the Eat and Eat Again Rule is individualized. When my wife and I look at a portion of food and put it to the Eat and Eat Again Rule test, we will both get different answers (and we should). The Eat and Eat Again Rule allows you to customize food portions to what you need. It gets better as you use it too! As you continually use the Eat and Eat Again Rule, you will get better and better at knowing what your body needs to fuel itself. This self-monitoring and awareness of the food we eat is the holy grail of weight loss.

It is Flexible

The purpose of the 7 Step Weight Loss Plan is to get you started down the path of permanent and long term weight loss. Right now, we need to master the foundational strategies and principles that will help you lose fat – not just now and next week – but that will also ensure that you won’t need to lose this same weight again in 6 or 12 months. You don’t need a rigid solution that forces you to conform to an extremely detailed eating program. You need some flexibility to learn and understand what foods and situations in your life don’t work in getting you to your fat loss goal. The Eat and Eat Again Rule has a large amount of flexibility built into it already, as it isn’t about good or bad foods, it is about the size and amount of food that you are eating (we’ll get into types of foods in later lessons) so that you can put it into action in any food/eating situation in your life.

It Requires Honesty

This is one of my favorite quotes:


We often lie to ourselves about the foods that we eat, why we eat them, and how much we are actually eating. But we are just tricking ourselves, as there is no lying to your body. To get the Eat and Eat Again Rule to really work for you, you need to be honest with yourself about how much food you eat and how that makes you feel. This feeds right into the importance of self-monitoring that I mentioned a couple of paragraphs above. Who talks about honesty in eating? Pretty much no one. We’re talking about it because it is important. When you use the Eat and Eat Again Rule – be honest with yourself about the portions and then how you feel afterwards. It is okay if you misjudge how the size of a meal makes you feel a couple of hours later. Just adapt and put this new found knowledge into play at your next meal. Working to get better is the key, not being right every time.

You Need to Listen to Your Body

Most of us, myself included, live in a distracted world. Doing two (or more) things at once or being tempted/pushed to do two things at once seems to be the norm. This is especially true when it comes to eating. Have you ever sat down to a meal and by the time you realize what is going on you’ve already eaten your whole meal? This happens a lot when people are upset or stressed out. In his writings about mindful eating, author and Buddist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh talks about how, in these situations, we aren’t eating the actual meal but instead we are eating our stress. Think about this for a minute, as it is a good thing to visualize. Think about the last time you were stressed out and eating. Were you eating calmly? Probably not. You were most likely eating at a pseudo frantic pace, one equal to the stress you were feeling. This is not good. Hunger and satiety research in this area shows that when we eat distracted, either by TV, your phone, or a mental pre-occupation, we don’t sense the amount of food that we are eating and how it registers on our fullness meter. We don’t register it because, as Thich Nhat Hanh suggests, we aren’t eating the food – but the stress or whatever is pre-occupying us at that moment.

If you are actually going to use the Eat and Eat Again Rule, you can’t eat distracted. You need to listen to your body, you need to gauge how the amount of food you are eating feels while you are eating it, while estimating how it will make you feel in the near future. I really encourage you to actively put the Eat and Eat Again Rule into play in your diet. It is very simple on the surface, but as you can see from the different topics we’ve discussed in this lesson, it is a very sophisticated diet strategy.[/text_block][/op_liveeditor_element]


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