Full But Empty?

Food for Life distributes food on an internati...

A strange thing happened on the way to the cupboard…seriously.

I wrote the below commentary at BodyRockTv in response to a post in which a fellow BodyRocker had written about emotional eating.  I can’t say I’ve ever really been an emotional eater, I’ve been a big eater of the non-stop variety (just ask my friends), but the following is what came to mind.

Once I started to not only regimentally analyze what I chose to eat, but actually started to assess how those food choices made me feel, physically – in my gut and energy-wise, that’s when things really started to change for me.

I’ve attached a link to an interesting, short article for you to read, which in a nutshell talks about: how if the foods we choose don’t supply our body with the required nutrients for our system to function –  we keep on eating. The article is called: “More Food Doesn’t Necessarily Mean More Nutrition” byBrendan Brazier who is Vegan, though I don’t think we all have to be vegan to be healthy, (at least I’m not at that stage yet – don’t hold it against me), but I do believe that the information in the article applies to everyone as well as being helpful if we take a closer look at how and why we consume food.

“We are living in a very strange time, a time in which people who are overweight or obese can be (and most likely are) malnourished. Yet how can it be that a person who eats an inordinate volume of food can show signs of malnourishment? After all, isn’t food synonymous with nourishment?…” http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-health/more-food-doesnt-necessarily-mean-more-nutrition/

At the beginning of Brendan Brazier’s article, he talks about how some people can wolf down a loaf of white bread for example, and still not feel satisfied.  I had a similar thing happen to me enough times that I can actually tell which foods trigger this empty nutrient reflex!

I found a new brand of chips made with lentils and adzuki beans (no potato), I thought awesome, looks totally healthy – I’ll give them a try.  Got home, ate the whole bag.  Felt terrible.  Next day went back to the store in search of the same chips.  Bought two.  Got home, ate one bag…COULD NOT STOP, then opened the second bag and only stopped half way because my husband showed up and with a worried look on his face asked, “are you going to eat that entire bag?” (not knowing I had already polished off the first!).

So then, feeling really lousy, and not just because I’d eaten a bag and half of what I thought were healthy chips, but because they just didn’t sit well in my gut.  That was when I was just beginning to consider the relationship with Blood type and beneficial foods; so I cracked open the Eat Right for Your Type book…interesting: Lentils – AVOID, adzuki beans – neutral and likely the oil used was on my avoid list too.

Since then I’ve noticed that when I eat the foods on my avoid list this kind of nutty, obsessive eating pattern takes over me.  And it truly feels, as the article writes that my body is not absorbing any usable nutrients, so I just overeat in a manic way to fill up.  It is very strange indeed.  It makes me wonder if there is a place for the possibility of this empty nutrient theory for those who THINK they are overeating as a result of emotions. Could very well be that the food choices are simply not doing what the food is supposed to be doing in the first place which causes this vicious cycle?

By the way, since I’ve been eating from this approach, I don’t overeat, I end up eating regular sized meals and feeling completely satisfied.  (Satisfied and feeling full are very different sensations and important to learn the difference -it does take practice!) However, I do have to eat more often, every 1.5-2.5 hours.  As a result, I have to be VERY organized and have healthy food prepared in the fridge otherwise the tendency is to go to the cupboard and grab whatever is there.

I just had to add this in…If you have read My Log you will have noticed that I like to have a square or two of good quality-high-cocoa-count chocolate, often daily!  Long story short, I came across another brand made from acceptable ingredients (according to my needs).  I devoured the first square.  A-MA-ZING chocolate.  I was ready to post about it – tell the world- you have got to try this – kind of post.  But then I went back to the cupboard and devoured a second and third piece.  That crazy eating feeling was coming back – I COULD NOT STOP.  Within a few hours the bar was gone!  That bar should have lasted a week had I only had two squares each day.  This was not a case of will power or emotional eating.  Whatever was going on in that chocolate had triggered something in me and I had lost any sense of sanity…really.  So, of course after a few days I hunted down the chocolate bar again. Bought two.  Maybe it was a fluke – I might have been pre-menstrual.  Surely I could control myself this time around. BOTH were gone within two days.  I decided I would never buy that bar again.  I’ve gone back to my previous chocolate which doesn’t make me crazy, but satisfies me…of which I can walk away – we have a good relationship.

Does this kind of thing happen to you?  Maybe it has nothing to do with emotional eating or will power, but rather how our body reacts to the food.  So if we don’t react well to something, accept it, and like The Most Interesting Man In The World says on Success: “Find out what it is in life that you don’t do well, and then don’t do that thing”.
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5 comments

  1. Hey, found you through BodyRock as many others have 😉 I started reading the Eat Right for Your Type book and in a way it reminded me of Ayurveda. Since you practice Yoga I think you might have heard if it :). I can inhale a large bag of chips no problem but after I do it I feel so crappy and go figure, dry salty fried things don’t go so well with my dosha. (basic explanation but I hope you get me ;). After paying more attention to keeping my dosha balanced I found I am doing better. Sometimes the body does the most amazing and unbelievable things but it’s so sensitive and easily disturbed at the same time. Love your blog.

    1. Hi Carla,

      We share the same bag of chip eating talent!
      I think there is a reason we fancy the savory…for me it had more to do with having balanced iodine levels, which affected how my thyroid functioned. I believe my body naturally craved foods higher in sodium in an effort to balance out the lack of iodine.

      Yes, I’m familiar with Ayurveda and spent much time in my twenties researching and studying its roots and application. I had a client who was an Ayurvedic doctor and went to her for some time to try to balance my system.
      I think it’s a great idea to experiment with different theories in an effort to fine tune our individual system. I am less of a purist as I once. And since I’m Canadian I guess it’s only natural for me to take on the melting pot approach…a little of this, a little of that, in order to balance things out.

      Thanks for your comment!

  2. You make some interesting points. I’ll never forget while we were in high school and you sat at my kitchen counter and devoured an entire bag of potato chips!! I was impressed for various reasons.

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