…it’s because you aren’t eating enough! At least, according to Taco Bell’s new campaign. They’ve introduced what they call “The Fourth Meal,” which is supposed to be that forgotten meal between dinner and breakfast. (They’ve even created a website but I’m not going to bother linking to it.)

I know that the current advice by health experts is that we should all eat six small meals a day, roughly 200-300 calories each (depending on each person’s needs). But this is Taco Bell. They aren’t advocating responsible eating.

I find the whole idea really irresponsible. It’s not like Taco Bell needs to remind night owls that they’re open late. Trust me, night people know.

Recently I read a small news article (that I’ve lost so I can’t cite it exactly) about a sports stadium up North that has started serving a hamburger with a huge, powdered-sugar doughnut as a bun.

And then there’s The Onion, on top of dietary trends as always, with an article about how meat is the new condiment.

So in case you’re feeling famished, these ideas might help you to attain the ideal shape–a perfect circle.

10 thoughts on “just in case you were wondering why you’re always hungry…

  1. I’m sick of all the fast food. I love local owned mom and pop restaurants. Taco Bells Big Bell menu. Yes great deals, to make you stuck on the toilet or having to run twice as far latter that night. I’m all about supporting locally owned buisness and their food is so much better.

  2. I know this is an old post but I just have to say this…

    The standard dietary advice given originally by the U.S. gov’t after the McGovern Senate Commission and later on by pretty much every first world government is mostly wrong and based on outdated research that was already controversial when the food pyramid first came out. For example, eating lots of meals per day is bad for your health compared to eating one big meal in a small time frame. (because eating too much will screw around with your leptin if you have weight problems, and it’ll make your body spend too much time in an anabolic state vs. a catabolic state so it’ll take you longer to clear out damaged junk proteins from your cells, in addition to other benefits of intermitten fasting)

    A great way to gain weight, mess up your metabolism and make yourself even more vulnerable to the diseases of civilization is to follow the government’s dietary guidelines, or to listen to dietary advice from a dietician/nutritionist (who are required by law to be trained to push the food pyramid), or to listen to any researcher that’s getting paid by the government or pseudo-gov’t organisations to push junk science.

    If you really want to learn how to eat healthy, read Gary Taubes’ Good Calories, Bad Calories (excellent info on the recent history of nutrition research and why everything you think you know about nutrition is wrong. I especially loved his chapter on pre-western diet Africans and Inuits who seemed to be immune to all modern diseases until western foods were introduced en masse) ; find an online version of Weston A. Price’s Nutrition and Physical Degeneration (but ignore the Weston Price Foundation website), or go read up on paleolithic nutrition (books and many many blogs such as marksdailyapple, evolutionarypsychiatry, freetheanimal, hyperlipid, heartscanblog, coolinginflammation, proteinpower.com/drmike/

    A minority of paleo people are anti-fat based on some flawed research interpretations by Dr. Loren Cordain – ignore those guys, if you read enough into the science behind paleolithic nutrition you’ll figure out by yourself why this doesn’t make sense

  3. Amanda do you get notified when people add comments even to old posts? I’d feel sad if you never got to read my gigantic wall of texts. (pretty aren’t they?)

    I forgot to post these two easy to follow videos to show you what I’m talking about:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8WA5wcaHp4&feature=related

    Ancel Keys: giant fraud.
    Ironically, he did a starvation study of 1500 calories/day on enlisted men and had to prematurely halt the experiment as some of the participants entered psychosis.
    In the ’70s a U.S. Navy researcher did a 1,200 cal starvation experiment on overweight sailors and found that they were fine, had normal energy levels/etc. and lost large amounts of weight effortlessly.
    The difference? Macronutrient composition of the meals.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNYlIcXynwE

    In this video excerpt of the documentary Fat Head they talk about what makes you fat, however the same mechanisms that make you fat will also do a ton of damage to your body, i.e. the suppression of your immune system and massive organ damage caused by Advanced Glycated Endproducts (A.G.E.s – the major cause of advanced aging, and the reason why diabetes before the advent of insulin was once known as both the “sugar disease” by the ancient greeks and the “aging disease” by early 20th century physicians).

    This is especially true if you have an unbalance Omega 3:6 ratio and eat neolithic plants whose chemical defenses we haven’t evolved to counter against properly

  4. Anon — Thanks for this!

    While traveling, I’ve eaten less and less meat (though lots of sushi), a few more carbs, lots more fruits/veggies. After reading Born to Run, I’ve gotten on a whole cornmeal/beans/chia seeds kick that’s probably going to last a while. Never have been a calorie-counter, though I certainly know less food is better (assuming it’s quality food and not lettuce leaves). Your comments are intriguing, I’ll take a look at the book and videos!

    I do get notified of any comments on my dashboard. Sometimes comments slip through the cracks if I’ve been away for a few days but 99% of the time — I see immediately if you post.

    XX

  5. Okay I messed up the coding somehow on my comment so I’m re-commenting – delete the first one

    Wow, Born to Run is an awesome book! I used to think marathon running was bad based on research that found long term joggers had head trauma and this:

    http://www.archevore.com/panu-weblog/2009/11/1/cardio-causes-heart-disease.html

    What do you think they found? After all, these were a bunch of completely asymptomatic runners. Conventional wisdom will assure you that only eating copious fiber and making turds like a gorilla could make you healthier than being a serious runner.

    Would you believe 12% of asymptomatic marathon runners had evidence of myocardial damage on LGE?
    Would you believe that among the sedentary controls only 4% had abnormal LGE?

    But it looks like most people don’t know how to run properly, which is sad in its own right.

    Only problem with that book is the bad dietary advice… there are some tribal cultures that do eat a lot of starches and are relatively fine, also an executive of a potato company once ate only potatoes for 2 weeks(?) and actually lost weight, oddly enough, but that doesn’t mean that everyone who eats modern foods should too, since it could still be relatively unhealthy and we eat a lot of fructose (even our fruits are selectively bred to have too much fructose). Eating evolutionary inappropriate amounts of fructose is a major problem, as it’s even more hepatoxic than alcohol and when you eat too much fructose your liver can’t turn glucose to fat as quickly, so the glucose has more opportunity to basically set your body on fire at the molecular level (so things like the collagen fibers that make your skin look so pretty and young get damaged and deformed by mutated proteins which makes them clip to other collagen fibers, thus creating wrinkles as the clipped fibers are stuck together and can’t move as well when for example you move your skin to smile. If you think that’s bad you should see what happens to the collagen that maintain the structural integrity of your heart valves and brain…)

    Blog post about the carb-eating Kitavans:
    http://www.archevore.com/panu-weblog/2009/11/2/im-so-bored-with-the-kitavans.html

    Your pancreas also makes trouble with too much fructose and a preoccupied liver as it keeps on doing what it’s supposed to do, make more insulin, thinking this will get the liver to listen, which leads to insulin resistance which leads to chronically elevated amounts of insulin in your blood which can also cause a lot of problem like salt retention/elevated blood pressure, gradual narrowing of arteries, too much glutamate in your brain which is excitotoxic to your brain, inability to burn your fat reserves for energy, reactive hypoglycaemia…

    I don’t remember where I got this, but the average paleolithic hunter-gatherer ate only 80g of digestible carbs/day and virtually no fructose.

    Looking at how we process sugar – which is what starches, even “whole-wheat heart-healthy”(tm) ones turn into almost instantly as they hit our intestines – it’s clear that humans are terrible at getting rid of excess blood sugar and we’re eating far too much of it. Only good genes will save you from that (and from chronic inflammation from eating was too much Omega 6’s) but you can’t have good genes for every single disease of civilization from allergies to low energy levels to obesity/diabetes to alzheimers to heart disease to cancer

    The dentist/dental surgeon Weston A. Price studied a lot of tribal societies to see which one had the healthiest teeth, jaw and face structure. Turns out coastal fishing tribes that have cattle seem to be the healthiest.

    http://journeytoforever.org/farm_library/price/pricetoc.html

    Because I have an autoimmune disease and recently found out how to beat it without meds (in theory but my labs do show I’m moving in the right direction) I went 100% carnivore, ketogenic diet myself (because burning ketone bodies makes your heart and brain more efficient anyways and letting your liver decide how much glucose it should make from protein makes you practically immune to cancer) but I don’t recommend it unless you either take a good multivitamin or eat organic meat including offal and the occasional raw meat.(non-organic meat, in addition to being bad on the environment and unethical, isn’t very nutritious)

    I don’t eat fruits except as a sort of candy treat because there’s no evidence their anti-oxidants which they use to protect themselves from their own sugar reserves actually work on humans, and humans can build our own anti-oxidants anyways which work well when we don’t do things that cause extra oxidative damage like eating too many carbs, eating too much protein, too much polyunsaturated fats (and eating only once a day in a small timeframe gives our bodies more time to clear out damaged oxidated proteins anyways)

    Of course if you get cancer you definitely need to go on a ketogenic diet since cancers love excessive amounts of sugar and wouldn’t be able to grow without it.
    Supporting evidence:
    http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/ketones-and-ketosis/carbohydrates-are-addictive/

    I’m also planning on healthily living up to 115+ years old, and I think it’s possible based on research such as this:
    http://autoimmunethyroid.wordpress.com/2007/08/02/those-rats-who-live-long-lives-again/

    and this:
    http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/ketones-and-ketosis/ketosis-cleans-our-cells/

    I’m so glad I found the paleo community – in addition to the health benefits I’ll look younger than I am (provided I remember to use sunscreen) since most people suffer from rapid aging from the Standard American/Western Diet. Great bonus as I’m about to get into sex work.
    I just hope I don’t accidentally give my clients an hour-long lecture on human biochemistry and proper nutrition.

  6. Anon — Thanks for your thoughts. I’ve heard of the “caveman” thing before and it makes sense, though what the Tarahumara eat isn’t vastly different. A lot less animal proteins.

    There probably isn’t any ONE TRUE diet — making a concerted effort to be healthy, be informed about the general needs of the body and listening to one’s body provides individual answers. Everyone has different body chemistry, different demands on their bodies and a different ancestry (different groups of ancient people had access to different plants/animals, geographically).

    XX

  7. Yes, but homo sapiens and their ancestors evolved to eat certain foods over a very long time, such as bananas and lettuce, but we’ve had almost no time to adapt to things like grains, legumes and soy, both of which have strong chemical defenses to either kill or weaken anyone who eats them (so they’ll be less desirable and spread their genes less). Soy is basically inedible and toxic in its natural form (so are most legumes), and recently long term consumption of soy has been found to cause brain shrinkage in middle-aged long-term consumers by University of hawaii/honolulu resaearchers.

    Grains have gluten proteins that are basically designed to trick your immune system into attacking your own body. In 5 out of 6 people white blood cells lining the intestines will detach themselves (leaving the empty space they occupied vulnerable to attack) and pre-emptively attack gluten proteins they find.

    This isn’t even mentioning phytates that bind to calcium and other nutrients we’ve ingested and prevents us from absorbing them, or the lectins that attach themselves to our intestinal walls to keep us from absorbing anything at all until our white blood cells come in and get rid of them.

    Plants are very clever at being unappetizing and punishing those who can eat them (especially those who eat their precious genetic offspring – their seeds. What would you do if a bunch of plants with legs went around harvesting peoples’ fetuses?)
    Humans have evolved to tolerate some plant foods, problem is we’re eating plants we have barely had any time to adapt to – plants that in the case of grains, no other mammal, not even cows eat. (only birds eat grains)

    Soy in its natural form is so bitter to be inedible by ancient peoples until some Asian cultures figured how to ferment them (and they only ate it as a condiment or in large quantities in cases of starvation). Soy is also a nitrate fixer and was used as a bumper crop. (All other species of nitrate-fixing plant are considered poisonous even today).

    As for grains, before the agricultural revolution grain-based plants like wheat would have been scattered and had small seeds. It would have taken forever to collect enough seeds to make even a slice of bread and forever to grind them up just for a few calories – meanwhile they could have snared a rabbit or gone to the shore and picked off some tasty crabs or go find some roots and tubers. If they did eat some grains, as with the earlier Asian cultures and soy it would have been a condiment.

    Rice, while being a grain, doesn’t nearly have as many chemical defenses as other grains.

    Also, other people have tried listening to their bodies – this is a good idea, but only if you’re not addicted/hypersensitive to carbs (the natural dopamines released from eating sugar and the loss of energy followed by hunger from an insulin spike that accidentally releases too much insulin resembles an addiction – I used to have that, it’s quite frustrating).

    We’re also naturally programmed to want sweets so if your body tells you you really need to eat that cake you saw at the bakery it might be a trick.

    But your body can also tell you how much food you should eat (so long as you’re not leptin or insulin resistant), how much protein and some nutrients like zinc will taste differently if you’ve already eaten enough of it.

    PS: The thing I find strange about Born To Run is, they had a race that to the Tarahumara was short, lasting less than a day and they were looking for their best runners. Why did they look at male runners who only know how to run multiple-day races when they could have found better female runners who are used to racing at those distances? Hmmm… sexism sure is sneaky some times

    PPS: Some researcher with a theory published some books about your blood type determining what types of foods you should eat. (“Eat Right For Your Type” is a name of one of his books). Ignore this guy or anyone who believes in his hypothesis. It’s very bad science that doesn’t make much sense for multiple reasons I won’t go into.

    For example according to him I should be a vegetarian and I should have problems with meat. Tried that, terrible at it because of my autoimmune disorder. Tried meat, felt much better.

  8. I just realized I sound sound a bit alarmist… eating neolithic foods like grains won’t instantly kill you. You can still eat them. But keep in mind that your quality of life will suffer a little bit or in some cases a lot, based on how lucky you are in the genes department. For example you can read the Success Stories from marksdailyapple
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-book/success-stories/
    At least take a look at the first page, of Diana. You’ll see her – she’s the one with pictures.

    some things that happen are relatively mild like lack of energy and seasonal allergies.
    Same thing with eating too much carbs – it won’t make you ultra-healthy, it probably will make you age faster, but then again everyone eats too much carbs so you’re on an even footing and the fact that you don’t seem to be overweight means that you can handle carbs relatively well.

    If I were to suggest some basic dietary advice for someone not trying to radically change their diets it would be to avoid too much fructose (in labels, sucrose is fructose combined with glucose), try not to eat too many carbs or grains or soy/tofu, and also take some quality fish oil supplements or eat some wild caught fish, especially salmon, on a regular basis for the Omega-3s (you can also eat animal brains)

    Eat organic or ethically raised animals (happy meat as someone once described it)

    Also I found that if you eat something sweet or tasty, it tastes really good on the first bites when you still hunger for it, then the tastiness fades so eat slowly and savour your food, but you probably already knew that.

    The sweeter the foods you eat, the more your taste buds become numb to the sweet taste to adapt; if you were to cut all candy and bakery sweets, fruits would suddenly taste extremely sweet. If you cut those out some sweeter vegetables would taste as sweet and tasty as cake.

    Don’t bother trying to increase your fiber intake, it does nothing except the type of fiber that doesn’t mix with water will irritate your intestines and the fiber that mixes with water will prevent you from absorbing all the nutrients in your food.

    On a zero-carb/carnivore discussion forum I found, people who eat 0g of fiber said that they usually have easy, quick bowel movements 1x/week (partly, I assume, because everything they eat is digestible).

    Best advice of all: If someone who believes in the food pyramid/dietary guidelines tries to give you dietary advice, whether they’re M.D.s or dieticians, ignore them. (physicians aren’t well trained in nutrition, they’re only well trained in their specialty and since the McGovern committee and the creation of the food pyramid dietician/nutritionist certification requires that they follow the government guidelines in spite of the food pyramid being decades out of date. Worse still, government research grants for nutrition research only go to those that are pro-government guidelines so there’s a lot of ridiculously flawed science happening right now by careerist researchers. Groups like the American Heart & American Diabetes association have followed suit – which means a good way to kill a diabetic or someone with heart disease is to get them to follow what the ADA and AHA tells them they should eat. I never got into why eating carbs and too much Omega-6’s causes heart disease but as you can see I tend to be long-winded on this subject so… just read Gary Taubes or look into one of those paleo blogs)

  9. Me again. Forgot to mention that fasting is really good for you and easy to do once you get used to it so you could try that.

    When you eat and digest food your body is in an anabolic state where it builds itself up which is good for obvious reasons, but your body also has to spend energy and resources digesting and processing nutrients.

    When you haven’t eaten for a while and enter a catabolic/fasting state your body has more energy from not having to digest things which it spends on detoxification, increase energy/mental alertness, increase healing and cancer/infection fighting ability.

    Another benefit is the destruction of junk proteins.
    Like fat is stored in fat cells, proteins have their own amino acid pools (amino acids = base components of protein) in your blood. When you haven’t eaten protein for a while your body will eat its amino acid pool first, but it’ll also try to replenish it before it goes on to eat muscle proteins (muscles get eaten at the 48-72hr mark). Every cell in your body has spare protein structures they can dump in the amino acid pool – these come from spare, redundant organelles (internal organs of cells). Cells make multiple copies of their internal organs for cellular division and in case one organelle gets damage by oxidative stress.

    Fortunately, the cells aren’t stupid. They don’t dump out fresh, healthy organelles. They will first throw out damaged, non-functional organelles.

    What this does is it cleanses the cells as damaged organelles can slowly accumulate from generation to generation of cell through cellular division, potentially causing all sorts of ailments, making the cell less efficient, and ultimately killing it. (You could say cells that die this way die of old age).

    Once you eat again, provided you eat enough protein, the cells will grab those fresh new proteins and rebuild and restock their supply of organelles/internal organs.

    When you sleep, you fast. Unless you eat in your sleep.

    Fasting in of itself will also help you lose weight or keep you from gaining even if you eat the same amount of calories you did before.

    You can either fast 18-22 hours a day and pig out on a 6-2 hour window or you can eat nothing for a day and eat double calories, double protein the next day at any time of the day, or you can eat at night only for one day and in the morning and afternoon the next day.
    Or you can just fast once a week.

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