Enough Calories?

Enough Calories?

Far too frequently, when someone finds out that I advocate eating a single meal a day, the question is posed as to how one can possibly get their daily complement of calories in a single meal? The question never fails to take me aback, although by now, I really should be used to it. After a bit of back and forth with the questioner, the problem is always revealed to be implicit assumptions as to what caloric intake one ought to strive for, with the questioner always pegging caloric intake much higher than I would.

Who Are You, and Why Are You Fasting?

Given the reach of the internet, for all I know, this blog may be quite popular with the canine crowd.

Be that as it may, when I write posts relating to fasting, I have a fairly clear picture in my mind about my target audience, and my foundational assumption is that it isn’t comprised of dogs, but, rather, mostly real people.

 

Along with their assumed humanity, I also assume that the person seeking to fast is generally healthy.  Despite the fact that there has been considerable research that supports the notion that fasting is beneficial for some pathological conditions like cancer, in general, I’m going to assume that you do not have any serious medical conditions that would serve to complicate things.

 

Further, at least when it comes to pegging daily caloric intake on the high side, I’m going to assume that you are male … sorry ladies. Women in general tend to err on the side of eating too little.  All told, then, the basic assumption is that you probably are a relatively healthy male. That’s a good starting point, but I also make assumptions about which one of these guys you are:

 

 

I‘m fairly confident asserting that you’re probably not the guy in the picture on the right, that is, you are not an athlete. Now this is probably a good thing, because the guy in that picture is Michael Phelps, and he reportedly eats 12,000 kCal while he is in training. Take a moment to let that number sink in, and realize that he eats almost an entire week’s worth of calories in one day ( based on the US RDA assumed 2000 kCal daily caloric intake ) Now, if, by some incredibly, outlandishly, outrageously small probability, you are Michael Phelps, I am very flattered that you read my blog, but please for God’s sake do not attempt to eat all that food in one meal. You won’t be able to do it, even with your prodigious talents, and you will probably undergo a not insignificant amount of pain and gastro-intestinal distress. Furthermore, as attested to by your tremendous success in the pool, you, your coaches, nutritionists, and the rest of your team obviously know what you are doing. If it ain’t broke…

 

In keeping with the “ain’t broke” philosophy, I am also pretty confident that you are not the guy in the middle picture, single digit body fat guy. If you , by some chance, are in that category, again, you probably don’t need me to tell you how to go about your body re-composition goals.

 

So that leaves us with the guy on the left. The average male, looking at 20+ % body fat, and with no real direction or plan for getting rid of it.  You probably want to get yourself to look more like the single digit body fat guy, but you don’t really think that is a realistic goal, but at the very least you’d like to drop some of the fat.  The particular guy in this picture got that way by eating six meals a day, training with weights with a push/pull/legs split three times a week, and eating PROTEIN at every meal, making darn sure to hit 3000 – 3500 kCals per day so as not to “lose lean mass!!”.  At 6′ tall, 225 lbs., and 38 years old, things were not looking good. Now, I came to  this remarkable degree of clarity about the average male because that picture on the left, that’s me in 2006. That was also me as recently as 2008, but, due to vanity reasons, I was not particularly willing to subject myself to shirtless pictures, so I don’t have them to post.

 

And there you have it, I’m generally assuming that you are close to the average guy end of the spectrum, and if I am near to the mark, then I suggest that what you fundamentally need to do is to decide whether your approach to things is working for you.  And if you decide that your approach is flawed, then maybe, just maybe, your notions of what your caloric intake ought to be are off.  Whatever else you may think of Jack Welch, he once said that one ought to “face reality as it is rather than how you wish it were.”  And if you’re carrying too much body fat, then it may be time to  consider that your caloric intake had a hand in creating that reality.

 

Semi-Starvation Level Caloric Intake

 

Hindu Swastika

It is pretty much a given that any political discussion, if it goes on long enough, will eventually culminate with someone invoking Adolf Hitler or Nazis.  In very much the same way, discussions regarding calorie restricted diets will devolve into accusations and recriminations regarding starvation level caloric intake and the starvation response.  But the truly fascinating thing about all of this is that in this particular case, Nazis and starvation level caloric intake are actually directly, unequivocally related!

 

In the late stages of the second world war, the allies were becoming increasingly concerned about the populations of Europe, and specifically, how to address the widespread starvation that they were sure to encounter in war ravaged regions.  The amount of scientific literature available on starvation was very scant at the time, so the war department undertook a study using conscientious objector volunteers to undergo conditions similar to what the populations of Europe were being subjected.  To this end they enlisted the help of the same physiologist that they had used to formulate the famous K-rations handed out as “food” to G.I.s, Ancel Keys.

 

The fact that the principal researcher was Ancel Keys should give us all pause.  Recall that Keys is the man who manipulated his results to point the finger at dietary fats as the cause of atherosclerosis.  But let’s not accuse him of anything here, we’ll just keep that in the back of our minds and proceed with caution.  Keys and colleagues fed their subject a diet that comprised ~1800 kCal per day for 5 months, at the end of which all participants had lost about 25% of their starting body mass, and looked more or less like this:

 

Minnesota Starvation Study Participants

 

The picture is pretty shocking, and it ought to make all of us interested in maintaining lean body mass very very afraid of an 1800 kCal intake for a period of 5 months.  Once we get over the initial shock, however, and we start to think about what this all means, things get suspicious very quickly.  Assuming that the average month is 30 days long, 5 months comprise a period of 150 days, or approximately 21.5 weeks, which means that a 25 lb. weight loss over that span is actually a weight loss of 1.2 lbs. per week, or in other words, the currently accepted reasonable weekly weight loss target:

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Now, I’m not holding Jenny Craig up to be the epitome of scientific thought on nutrition and caloric restriction.  I do, however, expect that as a rational profit seeking enterprise, they would not make such a guarantee unless they were fairly convinced that they would not have any difficulty in materializing the promised weight loss.  Moreover, if they made a practice of regularly starving their clients, I don’t expect that they would be in business very long.  So, these folks in the starvation study were clearly different than their modern day equivalents.  When we realize that a 25 – 30 lb. weight loss represented 25% of the starting mass of these two men in the picture, we immediately start to see what that difference might be.  The gentleman on the left in the picture would have had to start out at a body weight of 100 lbs. in order that a 25 lb. weight loss would represent 25% of his total mass.  Now, maybe the numbers are wrong and he only lost 20% of his mass.  That still makes him a tiny wisp of a man of 120 lbs.  Any way you slice it, he certainly did not start out looking like me in 2006, or what I presume the average male reader might look like.

 

Based on this research, Keys came out with a 1300+ page tome in 1950 entitled “The Biology of Human Starvation”, so you might be forgiven for thinking that what he actually did was feed subjects a severely calorie restricted diet and record the results … i.e. study human starvation.  But that’s not exactly what he did.  In fact, he first stuffed his subjects with a diet comprised of ~3200 kcal per day over the course of three months.  For a man weighing in at roughly 100 – 120 lbs., that’s a grotesque amount of calories.  He then cut their calories in half for the successive six months.  So, is it possible that metabolism will come to accommodate excessive caloric intake by being less efficient as a result of gross overfeeding?  Would results have been different with subjects eating 2000 – 2500 kcal per day?  What if there had been no initial intervention at all in the men’s caloric intake, that is, they were left to feed ad libitum?  Would the results have been different if subjects were eating at a 25% reduced calorie level rather than the 50% in the study?  We cannot know, for Keys didn’t do any of this work.

 

But recall that Keys’ study was commissioned by the army, and they had a very specific question that they wanted answered.  They did not care about the mechanisms of starvation per se.  Rather, they were interested in knowing more about the conditions that they were likely to have to deal with in war torn Europe.  As such, Keys fed his subjects a diet representative of what was available in German occupied cities: i.e., potatoes, turnips, rutabagas, dark bread, and macaroni, all foods that are not particularly noted for their protein contents.  In fact, if participants were eating the most protein dense food on that list, dark rye bread, they would be getting about 50g of protein per day.  So maybe a fundamental question is whether the Minnesota experiment tested the effects of a semi-starvation level of caloric intake, or whether it tested the effects of chronic protein deficiency?  Naively, to me the men in the picture certainly do look like they were cannibalizing muscle tissue to make up for some deficiency.

 

And there’s yet more.  These men were not simply fed a calorie restricted woefully protein deficient diet.  Rather, researchers intentionally intervened in the diet if subjects were not losing weight at the expected 2.5 lbs. per week:

They Starved So That Others Be Better Fed: Remembering Ancel Keys and the Minnesota Experiment Leah M. Kalm and Richard D. Semba
Participants were supposed to lose ~2.5 lb (1.1 kg)/wk to reach the desired 25% weight reduction by the end of the semi-starvation period. The amount of food each man received at mealtimes depended on how well he was progressing toward his weekly goal.

 

So Ancel Keys did something that was going to prove typical of the way that he approached science.  He could have gathered a number of subjects together, and fed them the typical foods available in the German occupied cities at a variety of caloric intake levels in an attempt to determine what constituted a starvation level of caloric intake.  But he did not do this.  Far from it.  Instead, he decided what a starvation level of caloric intake was, a priori, and then he set about administering this to his subjects, and further, when subjects failed to respond in a way consistent with his assumptions, rather than adjust his assumptions, he moved the goal posts.

 

One more thing.  We know that the response of the body to prolonged starvation is to involuntarily lower metabolic rate, as well as for a voluntary reduction in activity and thereby a reduction in voluntary energy expenditure.  Keys saw to it that his subjects could not do this as participants were expected to expend 3000 kcal per day.  This was accomplished principally by performing chronic cardio … walking on treadmills.  I can’t think of a better way to ensure that upper body musculature would be sacrificed to maintain functional lower extremities.

 

For being the seminal work on the biology of human starvation, Keys’ work leaves a lot to be desired.  The basic takeaway from all of this, then, is that if your notions of what constitutes a semi-starvation level of caloric intake are in any way based upon the Minnesota Starvation Studies or on “The Biology of Human Starvation”, then they are most certainly wrong.

A Different Perspective

 

What if we were to take in a “semi-starvation” level of calories, but instead of a chronic protein deficiency, we ingested, say … 1.5 g of protein per kg of body weight, and made the rest of the caloric intake up via fat?  Further, it would would be really interesting if we would engage in resistance exercise rather than chronic cardio.  It would be really interesting if someone were to try that.  Luckily for us, I did.

 

For five weeks at the end of last year, I took in approximately 1500 kcal. per day in one evening meal, making sure to get at a minimum 1.5 g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight.  The remainder of my calories were made up of fats with some incidental carbohydrates in the form of fibrous vegetables.  In terms of exercise, I was doing the Armstrong pullup program.  Over the course of those five weeks I dropped around 7 lbs.  For my efforts, this was me Christmas Eve, 2012, circa 178 lbs., Ancel Keys be dammned:

 

Five Weeks of Semi Starvation

 

Irrespective of my results, you may still think that your particular metabolism dictates a higher caloric intake, and for all that I know, you may be right.  When it comes to your metabolism, you are the ultimate arbiter.  Yet, if you keep trying to shed fat, and it’s just not happening … could it be your caloric intake, maybe?

-PK

  • Mathias Vogt

    The linked program calls for two exercise parts per day, one AM, one PM. How did you fare with not being able to eat after one of the two resistance training sessions and do you think one could optimize it regarding a one meal per day strategy?

    Thanks for the article, i am off now, need to catch a stick.

    (also, there is an error in your link, right at the end)

    • http://cogitoergoedo.com/ Pablo Klopper

      HI Mathias,

      Good catch on the link mangling. I’ve fixed that now, although it sounds like you didn’t have any problem working out what I meant to do, rather than what I actually did!

      I thought long and hard about whether to include the photographs in this post because I’m sure there will be people out there that will call me egotistical as a result. Ultimately, I decided to put them out there in order to show precisely how I fared on the “semi-starvation” calories and a consistent workout regime. It got me to be the leanest and most muscular that I have ever been in my life, period. Unfortunately, since fat tends to be lost systemically, it also made me lose fat in my face, which made me look a bit gaunt, and unless you are accustomed to running around with your shirt off throughout the day, people tend to interpret that as you looking ill.

      I did not follow any of the dietary recommendations from the linked program. I think I have a fairly good grasp of what I need to do with respect to that. I was also curious about that pull up program, and since I’ve been doing high volume pushups off and on for years, it dovetailed nicely with my inclinations.

      In general, I don’t put much stock in the thinking that has you eat within X time units of your workout. I think that when the body need nutrients, metabolic changes occur in order to facilitate the acquisition of those nutrients, and I don’t think that those changes are subject to a stopwatch. So, for instance, muscular exertion results in translocation of GLUT4 transporters to the cell membrane as a result of an activity created cellular glucose deficit. These GLUT4 transporters do not simply get frustrated and give up after a few hours. As long as the deficit exists, the transporters will be in place to remedy that condition (within reason … I don’t think eating four days after exertion is a good idea).

      If the conventional recommendations regarding eating within a two hour window of a workout are correct, that would imply that in our evolutionary history as hunter gatherers, our range would have been limited to about 2 hour’s walk away from base camp, or about a 10 km radius from camp. So effectively, as we were running after our prey, we would come to a screeching halt as we approached an invisible 2 hour trek back to camp boundary. Heaven forbid that we don’t get our nutrients within the optimal feeding window! Of course, this is directly contradicted by the notion that the earliest form of human hunting was persistence hunting, where we would run down our prey to exhaustion, basically exploiting our hairlessness and ability to dissipate heat much more effectively than other mammals.

      Modern day persistence hunters in the Kalahari will chase a Kudu for about two to five hours over 25 to 35 km in temperatures of about 40 to 42 °C. A male Kudu antelope weighs on average between 190 – 270 kg. And you’ve just been running for 5 hours in 42 °C weather to catch it. I seriously doubt that you will be running back to camp with that additional weight, and even if you could, you might 5 hours away … God help you if your particular Kudu chose a more or less linear path on which to take you away from camp. So, you probably have a multi-hour trek back to camp with the proceeds of a successful hunt. Having a need to feed within a small window of exertion is not an evolutionarily stable strategy.

      That’s a fairly long winded way to say that attempting to optimize meal timing post exertion may be completely specious. That’s not to say that you can’t get a minimal boost in muscle mass by eating shortly after exertion. But, I suspect that the real secret sauce is to make sure you exert muscularly, even in the face of caloric restriction, in order to create a metabolic context that conveys the message that the muscles you have just exercised are vital, and therefore should not be subjected to scavenging should there be a need for additional protein.

      -PK

      • Mathias Vogt

        Hi Pablo,

        thanks for the in-depth response. Let me play the advocatus diaboli for a minute:

        Since you mention evolution, i would guess that such basic metabolic things would have developed a long time before we entered the social or hunter/gatherer stage of humanity. This context makes cooking and taking food to a common meeting location moot. Back then, when there were no humans, but only our animal like predecessors, eating food directly after exertion would have been the thing to do, just in case some other bigger animal would take it away from you.

        However, without playing the devils advocate, i generally agree in the sense that timing probably makes for a minute difference in the worst case. People in the fitness community, me included, tend to focus way too much on the little details.

        • http://cogitoergoedo.com/ Pablo Klopper

          I’m not so sure about cooking being moot with respect to metabolism, especially when you consider that our physiology exhibits morphological changes that indicate we’ve been reliant on external digestive systems for millennia ( actually I mean to say millemillennia, so millions of years, but it doesn’t quite have the same ring )

          All of this is to say that we have very large energy sapping brains ( 20% of BMR! ), and unusually small digestive tracts relative to other primates. Keep in mind that the brain alone requires skeletal changes to accommodate the larger brain volume, as well as incorporating the consumption of softer cooked food as evidenced by the loss of the saggital crest ( so we have very weak jaw muscles since they have nowhere to anchor! ) These changes took quite some time ( that’s an official S.I measure, by the way, where “quite” == 1.3e6 ) to emerge. With Homo Erectus, the brain size of the species had doubled relative to other primates, so we probably have significant metabolic and behavioural changes about 1 – 2 million years ago, meaning that in-situ meals have probably not been the order of day for a very long time now! Rather, the catch was brought back to camp to be cooked and combined with what had been gathered and to feed the gatherers ( women ), those tending the fire, the young, the old, and the infirm ( i.e.the hunters + everybody else who was directly involved in the hunt ).

          But even if that wasn’t the case, what did the hunt look like? Well, it’s persistence hunting, and the name of the game there is to make your prey overheat. This means you cannot let your prey rest. Your prey has greater acceleration capacity, but you’ve got endurance on your side due to your ability to dissipate heat to exploit. So your prey sprints away from you, seeking someplace shady to rest and dissipate the massive muscular heat load generated by the activity. But you are constantly running towards it to prevent from being able to rest. This consists of alternating periods of sprinting and jogging. In essence you’re engaged in a 5 hour session of interval training.

          You are not hunting alone, there are several of you, and you are probably using some notion of scouting parties and a principal hunting group, with the members changing out as they get tired. Migratory birds, for example, constantly rotate the lead bird since it is in the most taxing position. The characteristic V formation is due to the birds naturally exploiting aerodynamic turbulence and slipstream patterns with the majority of the birds flying in the slipstream of the bird in front. Since the lead bird does not have anyone in front, it gets tired more quickly than the rest, but then, one of the rested birds takes over the lead. As hominids, we’ve got to exploit that doubling of brain capacity, so we probably did something very similar with runners to press the hunt. These runners would periodically rotate with others that had been “resting” while running at a slower pace.

          This means that you were habitually engaged in strenuous activity for multiple hours. Consider that current training wisdom advocates short ( less than an hour ), intense bouts of activity followed by eating within 2 hours, which practically translates into eating shortly after exercising. If you haven’t seen your typical gym trainee downing some flavour du jour protein shake in the changing room immediately post a workout, then you haven’t been in a gym lately. Or, to put it in other terms, modern man is done with the hunt and the eating in fraction of the time that you are evolutionarily accustomed to, even assuming in-situ meals, which are directly contradicted by our “modern” morphology. Moreover, the “meal”, rapidly assimilated whey protein, is a product of either a pastoral ( i.e. sheep, goat, cow herding ) or agricultural culture, certainly not that of a hunter-gatherer.

          As far as the fitness community’s fixation on minutiae, my favourite quote from Dave Draper:

          “You guys can argue about training theories all you want… I’ll be in the gym…It’s leg day.”

          -PK

  • PX

    First time commenting although I have read your comments on MDA. Excellent post, I found this very interesting and persuasive. My question is how was your body composition prior to this 5-week program? Was it similar to your picture from 2006?

    I have been doing a Leangains-esque program and have been eating 1-2 meals. I have seen good results but not to the extent that you experienced. It seems the Armstrong pullups really debunks the myth that you can only gain mass through lifting weights, rather than by bodyweight exercises. Thanks for the input.

    • http://cogitoergoedo.com/ Pablo Klopper

      The one thing that drives me up the wall is when people with something to sell claim that somehow, if you eat 5000 kcal per day, but do so in a single meal, you will miraculously lose weight. This is, of course, nonsense. Intermittent fasting begets an involuntary caloric deficit, and that’s why your metabolism turns to converting mass into energy. We can debate the mechanisms by which fasting does this, thermic effect of foods vs. some other hormonal changes, autophagy, and so on, but the fundamental truth is that of caloric deficit.

      That preamble was necessary to introduce the notion that if you do not count your calories but start eating a single meal per day, you will eventually plateau at a body fat level that is commensurate with your caloric intake and energy expenditure as dictated by your individual metabolism. In my particular case, I gravitated towards a lower double digit level, 12-14% which is the level depicted in my avatar. You may very well achieve a different, and potentially lower level!

      Whatever level of body fat that you eventually attain, the big question is whether you are happy with the results. If the answer to that question is yes, then do a little dance, because you are set for life. Continue doing what you are doing and enjoy reaping the rewards, you’ve earned them. The difficulty lies in not being happy with your attained body fat level. In that case, you will need to be more mindful of your calories.

      It is important to realize that you represent a homeodynamic system :

      ” The organism switches its own thermostat. Organisms are active players in their own fate, not simply the playthings of the gods, nature or the inevitable workings-out of replicator-driven natural selection. To understand lifelines, therefore, we need to replace homeostasis with a richer concept, that of homeodynamics.”

      - Stephen Rose

      So, as you eat less, your metabolism is actively, dynamically attempting to address this state of affairs. The net result of all of this, for practical purposes, is that for a given body weight / body fat combination there is probably a fairly wide range of “stability” caloric intake. You eat a little bit more, your metabolism expends a bit more energy. You eat a little bit less, the converse is true.

      All of the above is to say that if you are ultimately unsatisfied with your body fat percentage after fasting intermittently, you will more than likely need to cut calories significantly, and this may prove to be difficult. You also need to be careful to balance caloric restriction with exercise, as well as being very mindful of protein intake. The bottom line is that you must exercise the muscles you intend to keep, unless you want to look like the Minnesota experiment subjects.

      For me, I could not break into single digit body fat range until I dropped caloric intake to 1500 kcal. This is my metabolism, yours is probably different, but it is a difference of degree, not kind. Realize, however, that when you push your body to drop fat that it would otherwise retain, your lowered leptin levels may serve to make you hungry, potentially quite hungry. In my case, my appetite went ballistic, and I could probably eat 3x my normal caloric intake easily at any given meal.

      -PK

  • Duncan_Jones

    Much to my disappointment, there just don’t seem to be any magical solutions on your blog. Nonetheless, your experience is once again very interesting.

    I’m curious about any anecdotal evidence or intuition you might have with regard to the role of intermittent fasting in the above protocol. In other words, would it have made any difference in your results had you done everything exactly the same (ingesting 1500 kcals, 1.5 gm. of protein per kg., limited carbohydrate, etc.) but spread your food intake out over say 10-12 hours?

    • http://cogitoergoedo.com/ Pablo Klopper

      Much as I would like to claim that IF is part of my patented, copyrighted, official trademark PK secret diet, I can’t.

      Intermittent fasting is a tactic where the grand strategy is caloric restriction. There are details, of course, such as insulin control which is another tactic, but the universal truth is that your metabolism will only convert mass to energy when energy in excess of what has been supplied is needed.

      When it comes to eating at such a low calorie level, I find that psychologically, it is more satisfying for me to have one large meal, rather than 2 or 3 smaller ones. My sense of it, however, is that irrespective of meal counts, in this case, because caloric intake is quite low, it is six of one and a half dozen of the other. So, were discussing tactics, yet again, but our strategy is rock solid.

      Digestion in and of itself is a damaging / inflammatory process, but it is the only way that we have managed to assimilate our environment and have it provide us with energy and the necessary substrates for survival, so we take the bad with the good. All of that is to say that it is probably not a good idea to ratchet up the meal count, but if you can make do with a strict 1 – 3 meals per day each with a rather small digestive load, I suspect that that bit of the meal frequency spectrum is “ok” (TM).

      -PK

      • Duncan_Jones

        Thanks, PK. So to summarize what I have learned from the above when harmonized with previous posts on your site: All else being equal, IF may have body recomposition benefits at the margin (evidence suggests that it does) on a eucaloric or hypercaloric diet, but likely does not provide a significant advantage in this regard on a hypocaloric diet. That makes sense because, once again, a hypocaloric diet as described above would not be very insulinogenic anyway, whether consumed in one meal or split into six, so the marginal effect of IF on lipolysis would be modest at best in the hypocaloric diet context. So the advantage of IF in a hypocaloric context would largely be confined to improved hunger management (likely through enhanced catecholamine release), in turn facilitating reduced caloric consumption. Improved autophagy and inflammation modulation are other bonuses (though these additional benefits are not confined to the hypocaloric IF context, but also exist to some degree in eucaloric and maybe even hypercaloric IF protocols.) Does that sound about right? Thank you.

        • http://cogitoergoedo.com/ Pablo Klopper

          That’s a good summary.

          One added benefit to IF that you may have overlooked is that it teaches you to reconnect with your body. There is a difference between an empty stomach and being hungry, but the average person in today’s society conflates the two states. It also teaches you not to be afraid of hunger.

          I was once stuck on the tarmac at LaGuardia airport for a flight that normally would have taken 45 mins., but after we had pushed back from the gate, due to weather en route, we were not allowed to take off for a subsequent 3 hours more. As it was a very quick flight there was nothing in the way of food onboard, and it was dinner time. People were getting very vocally militant with the crew about this lack of food.

          Meanwhile, I was in the middle of a 48 hour fast which is actually the point where you are hungriest ( the second day is significantly easier ). I was hungry, but I knew that I could handle it.

          Not to be too high brow pretentious about it, but it put me in the frame of mind to think about that quote from M. Scott Peck:

          “Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”

          I was stuck on an airplane and hungry, but it no longer mattered.

          -PK

  • Sam

    Hi Pablo,

    I was hoping to get your opinion on this article (unfortunately I can’t track down the published paper but I’m sure you’ll be able to), which talks about the correlation between skipping breakfast and coronary heart disease. I’m always wary about observational studies like these however I’m interested to hear your take on it. For example, is consuming more calories in one meal more ‘stressful’ to the body than eating more frequent smaller meals? And is there any reason why eating less frequently would lead to higher blood pressure?

    For the record, I’ve been eating once per day for the last 18 months and am loving it! Thanks in advance.

    Sam

    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_138936.html

    • http://cogitoergoedo.com/ Pablo Klopper

      Hi Sam,

      Let me see what I can do. It sounds somewhat interesting, but not having seen anything about the article, I expect that we may have a problem here with confounding variables, i.e. the people skipping breakfast tend to lead generally unhealthy lives. This is pure speculation at this point, so let me see if I can get around to tracking this down.
      -PK

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