Experiment “The Diet Fix”: Important message for those with eating disorder

I enjoyed my experiment on following the Diet Fix. Here’s my last summary.

However, I have learned something very important since then.

So, please, if you have/had eating disorder such as bulimia or binge-eating, read the message below.

eating-disorders-statistics-among-female-students-in-uae

What happened

In my past post, I wrote about my take on The Diet Fix by Yoni Reedhoff after about 10 days of (80%) following his principals.

Soon after that, I experienced a relapse a.k.a binge-ing.

Why this is an important message

I feel the OBLIGATION to warn fellow eating disorder recoverers the lessons I have learned from the experiment. Even if only 1 or 2 people read the post! I have corrected the course – remember it is different for everyone.

Why The Diet Fix was good

The Diet fix encourages:

  • High protein intake per meal (20g for main, 10g for snacks).
  • Preferably 6 meals a day to combat our evolution-based hunger. Meaning, don’t go hungry which will trigger bad food choices.
  • Measure, count (cals, proteins, etc). Repeat.
  • Meet the minimum protein and calories per meal (as opposed to restricting to a maximum).
  • ONLY do what you ENJOY while still keeping to a HEALTHY standard. Indulgences, fluctuations, all healthy and necessary part of life.

I did have good results from following a high protein intake – especially from breakfast through to afternoon. It did prevent mindless unhealthy eating at the end of the day. It also showed my protein intake was previously too low.

Why The Diet Fix for people with eating disorder

Numbers! Counting! Tracking!

Though the approach emphasizes on eating enough protein as opposed to capping at X calories (though that is also softly mentioned), counting is still counting. The danger of totally relying on external validators is that you can easily forget to listen to your body and learn what hunger and fullness feels like.

Intuitive Eating was what helped me, and many others, to stop the vicious cycle of binges.

About 2 weeks into tracking, I did slip back into the old mindset of watching out for the max calories (meeting protein quota was easy).  Quite sure that was the trigger for the subsequent binges.

How to correct the course

  • I set my tracker (myfitnesspal.com) to a ridiculously high calories goal. It takes the red (over calories) marks out of the dashboard.
  • I paid for the premium membership so I can set the macro as the most prominent indicator on my dashboard. Focusing on how I am doing in terms of Protein vs Fat vs Carb, and not calories.
  • Remembering the purpose of tracking – a non-judgemental view of understanding what I put in and how it affects my body.

And I still don’t care about the number on the scale. I care about what how my diet is affecting my health. Hope you are on the same page too.

Life Experiments

It took me a long time to realize the purpose of my blog is about life experimentation.

From health to parenting to career, we are doing that all the time.

Perhaps you have read a new approach to “productivity” (hot topic in the startup arena) and you are trying that out.

Perhaps you are checking out a new diet that promised to combat your diabetic problems.

Whatever you are trying to achieve, why not consider yourself a scientist?

HYPOTHESIS

DATA COLLECTION

ANALSIS

CONCLUSION

 

 

 

 

Experiment (update): The Diet Fix which has nothing to do with Dieting

Guilty as charged – a half-written blog post and a delayed follow-up.

So, here’s the result of this 2-weeks’ experiment on (more or less) applying The Diet Fix principles.

440px-myoglobin
3D structure of the protein myoglobin showing turquoise α-helices

 

The Diet Fix principles

If you already know about Yoni Freedhoff and his work, blog, and book, great. If you don’t (like me, a month ago), do google. In a nutshell, his approach involves:

  1. Weight management = Sacrifice/Torture = Failure
  2. Be realistic about your weight management goal – can you sustain that for life?
  3. Protein, protein, and protein (20g per meal and 10g per snack, 6 meals a day if possible).
  4. Track your macronutrient AND calories as an investigative tool.

 

Point 1 and 2 are nothing new to me. I have learned that through my own experiences. However, the importance of protein tracking is new to me. I just never got to the point of paying attention to protein – or macro-nutrients on the whole – to understand how it is a different mindset from calorie-only-tracking.

 

screen-shot-2016-10-04-at-10-41-16-pm

Here’s what I have learned/discovered/observed:

  • Protein does make a difference. I feel satiated, more energetic and alert (granted, the energetic part can be attributed to many things other than Protein intake, from placebo effect to better sleep).
  • Lower carb intake (more because I have been choosing high protein items as opposed to deliberately cutting carbs) makes a huge difference re: my fluid retention. Much reduced!
  • Meeting the MINIMUM (of protein and cals per meal) is a drastically different mindset from freaking out over the MAXIMUM ALLOWANCE of cals in my not-so-wise bulimia days. It takes the fear out of number tracking.
  • Yoni is right that satisfying, protein packed breakfast and lunch will naturally leads to a sensible dinner. There were a couple of days where I could not do “perfect” breakfast and there was a domino effect throughout the rest of the day.

 

Would I recommend The Diet Fix?

Yes, if 

  • you are ready to think about eating differently (as opposed to “following” a prescribed diet, or counting cals in a sour mood till the cows come home).
  • you are wise and understand health-management is a life long plan and not governed by that silly number on your scale.
  • you visit your doctor regularly and know that you are keen to keep things in check (no denial) – that means you are full-on confident about tackling obesity, diabetics, etc.

 

No, if

  • you fit none of the above descriptions.
  • you still think diet = minus X pounds.
  • you focus on weight as opposed to health.

 

If you have read/followed The Diet Fix, do share your thoughts!

 

 

 

 

 

Experiment: The Diet Fix which has nothing to do with dieting

+10 days ago, I read about this book The Diet Fix by this doctor Yoni Freedhoff who writes this popular blog called Weighty Matters.

As someone who has a well-honed BS radar, I gave it a shot (meaning, I bought the e-book with a barrel of salt).

It was a sound investment. At least for me.

There is absolutely NOTHING new in this book. But the way he has helped me get over a certain hump is immeasurable.

I will explain in my next post. Meanwhile, I am curious about YOUR main challenge du jour?