I have always struggled with this dichotomy. I know there is a way to have both but I really struggle finding that middle ground. Emotionally, I am (momentarily) my happiest when I just wake up with no plan for the day. This often leads to sporadic but enjoyable eating- with barely any afterthought. What that might look like food-wise is waking up to some coffee, a protein bar in the early morning, maybe another snack, then a small meal when I get home, and then a big enjoyable dinner, often with some wine. The issue with this kind of eating is that I end up really snack-y at night, just with lots of cravings. Usually this can be attended to with some baby carrots and a few pieces of chocolate, but I can sense that this is also disturbing my sleep on some level, too. And often, Ill wake up once a night craving foods (what I guess is a blood sugar thing).
Now, if it wasn’t for the irregular sleep, I probably wouldn’t be as motivated to change my ways. It feels good, I don’t feel restricted, and I feel free of any food thought/guilt/worry. However, the sleep and late night snacking isn’t feeling good and I want to feel more balance around sleeping and waking.
The past week I decided to implement breakfast. Something small but satisfying to start. This was a piece of toast with full fat onion cream cheese and generous amount of lox. Surprisingly, it felt really stabilizing to eat, and energy-wise, I felt good. However, when it came to lunch, I felt especially challenged. While the content and amount varied, it was a mix of all three macros, eaten to satisfaction. One day it was a chicken/avocado/veggie wrap on this crepe thing. The other day it was some sushi. Lunch this week left me DEAD. It completely took away the normal high I get throughout the day. My mood, energy, and focus were gone. I came home that evening and wanted to go right into bed at 6:30pm. I didn’t and ended up going to an event with my boyfriend but I truly felt like shit. It’s not like this meal was very heavy, but it really knocked me out. However, that evening I had no desire to eat for the rest of the day, besides for a small snack, had deep sleep, and woke up light in the morning without a headache or a full belly.
So I guess, while this post is centered around the emotional framework, I am also wondering about the physiological effects of shifting food earlier in the day, eating more, and how to cope/if this is normal. I want to keep going because what I see on the other side is more balance and calm, but I also hate feeling low energy, obsessive, and moody during the day. Even thought I get more peckish at night with my original framework, it all feels calm and not overpowering at all- just not ideal in terms of feeling slightly physically unsatisfied by the end of the day. It is so ironic that when I eat LESS in the earlier part of the day, I have more energy to workout, be active, run around and be bouncy. But when I eat more during the day, I want to just not move, and the thought of a workout is so not even on my radar.
I know cortisol is definitely a part of the issue. I think I’ve been relying on it for quite some time….
Anyways, I would love if any of you have some advice to offer on the following:
How to plan food while still feeling free?
Changes in mood/energy with more daytime food.
Also, as a side note, I found a really cool show from the UK called the Secret Life of Slim People. It’s SO awesome. They secretly film people who are slim and have always been slim but don’t diet.