Seeking Advice from Seasoned No-S'ers

No Snacks, no sweets, no seconds. Except on Days that start with S. Too simple for you? Simple is why it works. Look here for questions, introductions, support, success stories.

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Seeking Advice from Seasoned No-S'ers

Post by opsdiva » Thu May 31, 2018 2:54 pm

Hello! I'm new here and just navigating the whole idea of No S. I stumbled on this way of eating through a blog that discusses how I might achieve just being a "normal person" when it comes to food. I'm so tired of obsessing, counting, weighing, restricting.

First dilemma - I'm hungry. Really hungry. I think this stems from a history of restricting/limiting calories and also worrying about fitting in snacks. Right now it's 10:45am and I have a physical gnawing in my stomach.

My N eating day looks like: smoothie for breakfast around 7am, lunch of leftovers (meat, veggies) for lunch, and then whatever we're having for dinner. My first weekend of S days I still found myself mentally restricting a good bit.

Second dilemma - Timing my meals and workouts. I workout most days, and it's most often after work. If I'm hungry before my workout because I didn't eat enough lunch - how should I handle that if I'm not going to have my last meal of the day until after the workout?

I think both of these issues stem from the fact that I'm so conditioned to other eating patterns that I'm just not eating enough at meal times. So as I write this, I'm arriving at the point where I'm realizing my transition to this way of eating might have to involve some snacks until I get my full meals figured out. Does that sound reasonable? Or should I just suck it up and be hungry until I figure out how much to eat at meals to have a full day of food that sustains my body through life and workouts?

Thank you for any insights you guys can offer. I really appreciate the support!

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Post by TexArk » Thu May 31, 2018 4:56 pm

I think you have already answered your question. You are probably not eating enough. If you have always had a smoothie for breakfast and then eaten something midmorning, the smoothie is probably not enough to get you through 5 hours. Personally, I prefer to chew my food so I never have been much for drinking a meal.

Experiment with more food on your plate for each meal to see if that will sustain you. Of course, most of us have all trained our brains to get hungry between meals and have reinforced that pattern by snacking. I grew up in the 50s and 60s and we never ate between meals and didn't have snacks at school. Of course, I moved right along with the rest of the culture and now snacking is the norm! NoS helps us to retrain our brains.

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Post by oolala53 » Thu May 31, 2018 6:00 pm

When I first started, I had been doing the 3-meals-2/3-snacks routine on weekdays (because of work structuring those days) for years. BTW, eating often never kept me from adding in enough compulsive eating of sweets and some savory junk foods to get me up into the low obese range. I incorporated what I would have had as a snack into the previous meal, so I had a bigger breakfast than usual, and a bigger lunch. I found a regular dinner was plenty. I also found that if I didn't have something fatty at each meal, like some cheese, avocado, nuts, or added oil, I had more food thoughts later.

Eventually, I whittled down the meals so that they were very similar to my pre-No S meals without the snacks, and I was fine.

I had done dieting at sporadic times in my adult life, and had worked out that I actually preferred not having large amounts of heavy foods at a meal, though not smidgeons, either.

I say eat more at your meals. I have never found smoothies to be very satisfying, but maybe just adding more of something to yours will make them last better. Some fat, if there's none in there.

Be willing to get a bit full at lunch and dinner. I could never have made it on meat and veggies at lunch. I always had a starch and a fruit as well. Now, I can do with less, and am more likely to have two starches, fat, and freggies. I say that only because I had been so convinced that I had to have protein at every meal. Maybe I needed it as a transition? So much is psychological.

You'll definitely get disagreements on adding food just before a workout. I just don't believe a person needs more food because of a workout. Exercising in the "fasted" state is quite common now. It does sound like people plan it so that it's close to a meal time following, but all that in my opinion is way too much detail for anyone who is not a serious athlete, and not likely to be done year after year. (I have never eaten just before going to a 90-minute dance class, and rarely come out of one now feeling hungry. It feels like my body is reaching into its stores-it still has plenty- and just chomping away. Apparently, it's good to eat some protein afterwards if you are a body builder. Perhaps I should be more concerned since I know I've lost muscle over the years, but if it doesn't happen from habit-friendly 14 minutes, walking, and some dance stuff, it's probably not going to happen. I wish I had been doing that consistently instead of all the exercise regimes recommended over the years.) As Reinhard has pointed out, our agricultural ancestors worked long and hard for hours every day and still likely ate just their meals.

But if you're really really hungry, have some milk. It still fits the protocol and has been shown to have the satiety effect of solid food. But be willing to experiment a bit. See if after you start exercising, the hunger goes away as your body dips into its stores. Try it a few times. If it doesn't work, have a smal meal before the workout and see what happens.

If you do skip the snack, be judicious at your dinner and don't inhale food because the hunger hits. Fasting guru Brad Pilon says over and over that there should be no compensatory eating after a fast. (We are fasting between meals.) Eat as if you've been eating regularly.

Just remember that you don't actually have to have this all figured out in a few weeks. People start and seem to feel like they don't want to do anything wrong and have to get it right fast. That's diet head. "I must know how much and what I'm going to eat right away because I have to lose weight yesterday!" In real life, it's not linear.
Count plates, not calories. Three a day. 9 years & counting
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SBMI Jan/10-30.8
Mar/13-24.9 Stayed at +/- 8-lb. for three years Sept/17 22.8 (but more fluctuation)
Mar/18 22.2

There is no S better than Vanilla No S.

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Post by Soprano » Thu May 31, 2018 7:17 pm

I agree you don't have to get this right from the get go but I would advocate reducing the snacks and increasing meal sizes to get in the habit of regularised meals.

I get home from work really hungry some days but walk the dog for 45 mins before I start dinner and I'm no hungrier for that and still manage to eat a moderate meal that sees me through to the morning.

To start with if the idea of no snacks really scares you then one small healthy piece of fruit of handful of nuts should help just before exercising but milk or water would be better.

Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.

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Post by Larkspur » Thu May 31, 2018 8:53 pm

I find it helpful to eat a later breakfast—9:30 or 10 am. A smoothie probably wouldn’t hold me. A homemade granola with chopped apple or steel cut oats holds pretty well for me.

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Post by ladybird30 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:54 am

Welcome to NoS Opsdiva. There is good advice above.

Our brain finds it harder to register liquid calories than solid ones, so a solid breakfast rather than a liquid one is likely to keep you going longer.

For me, lean meat and veggies means getting hungry two hours later. Add some starch or fruit and fat, and I am right til late afternoon.

As for the workout, it is planning ahead that builds habits and stops random eating. You can have a snack before if you are too hungry and shaky to exercise, and eat less at dinner. Or you can tough it out and wait for your body to adapt, which it probably will eventually. Or by eating enough at lunch and breakfast, you might just feel pleasantly empty by workout time.
Three meals a day - not too little not too much, but just right

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Post by idontknow » Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:57 am

On successful days, I eat fruit, a boiled egg and a slice of toast for breakfast at 6.30am. I don't eat again until 3pm, and don't generally feel hungry at all until after 1.30pm. At 3pm I eat a sandwich, full fat yogurt and fruit. I can then last until dinner, which on Monday is 9.30pm (yoga), 8.30pm on Tuesday (gym) and 8pm on Wednesday (late meeting).
I tried smoothies, but was hungry by 10am, and I much prefer chewing food that tastes good. One of the great things about No S is that it makes you appreciate lovely food.
Good luck!

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Post by colourmehappy » Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:50 pm

Hi there!

Although I'm not yet a seasoned no S'er I thought I'd offer my advice as I've been in a similar position to you before -

1) If this is going toward for you long term and you want to remain active then you need to shoot for 6-700 cals per meal. Yes, it's a complete reframing of the mind as we've been used to restricting for so long. But this is the beauty of No S - you can become a normal eater again AND maintain weight very easily. 1800-2100 cals is most likely still a calorie deficit if you're exercising every day.

2) For satiation, aim to get carbs/fat/protein at every meal. There are very different types of carbs, protein and fat so feel free to do this as 'cleanly' as you want. But still, the balanced plate will save you in the long run. Plus, you can always tweak for the odd meal according to how you feel that day.

3) The obsessions over food you mention - these are because you're not eating enough. Adding snacks would help in the short term, but it sounds like the main habit you need to form is eating enough at meals so that you don't think about food.

4) If anything, the adjustment could be made to the exercise. Over-exercise ramps up hunger hormones so it will make forming the new habit of three meals more difficult. Cutting down on exercise and then building back up when you're comfortable with three meals a day could be an idea.

Hope that helps. One of the weirdest parts of this for me has been choosing the food that I think will sustain me for longest, over the thing with the least carbs/fat/cals. But this is brilliant for the psychological longevity also. Part of the reason why conventional diets fail is the restrictive mindset that is oh. so. draining and completely unnatural for humans when it comes to food. NOS is a maintenance (and even weight loss) long term plan that does not require you to make restrictive food choices which is a mental health plus for a diet. Fun fact: the 'rebound' effect is very real and it occurs in any thought and behaviour suppression, not just with food.

Good luck!

P.s. milk or nut milk between meals might help keep the crazy hunger at bay, initially.

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