Certain businesses are built on the premise that the majority of the customers will not take full advantage of the service to which they are entitled. Netflix is an example of this; the whole structure of their value proposition is that you can view as many movies as you want per month for a fixed price. Of course few people have enough time on their hands to get a real good run for their money. They watch maybe 4-5 movies a months tops. Then we have the guy who has nothing to do but to watch movies – he is getting a reaallly good bang for his buck.
I am that guy, when it comes to buffets.
I never eat breakfast and I usually work out just prior to the buffet so that my appetite will be higher than usual. Then add to this that I have been shifting towards eating 1-2 meals per day for the last six months – making my stomach used to eating a lot of food. In short; this makes me a dangerous guy to have at a buffet. (You could also eat some sugar prior to the buffet to raise your insulin levels and make you even hungrier – but why would you?)
Buffets are great because there’s a lot of different food. As you may see from these pictures I eat plenty of vegetables and not so much other carbs. Fat and protein probably take up the most of my calories.
I want you, dear reader, to try mixing a lot of different foods next time you go to a buffet. As many as possible. Then I want you to observe whether you believe it had the effect of increasing your appetite or not.
I have a theory that when we mix a lot of food (especially when eating it separately) we want to eat more. Similar to the science behind “your brain on porn” with rats that had sex with many females and could continue having sex for a way longer time due to the new stimulation. I think this novelty can be applied to many things. It doesn’t have to be bad; but in the case of masturbation and eating it is. (for eating at least if it causes you to eat more than necessary, which it does for me unless I make a conscious effort)
I would often have dessert to this as well, or bread during the time I tried gluten again for 30 days (it slowed me down).
Background on Experiment & Conclusion
This is the culmination of my six months long experiment of increasing my meal size, often eating only once per day (with the exception of a protein shake post workout)
There were a few main reasons why I did this experiment:
1. Because I was curious to see how much I could eat in a single meal.
2. Because I wanted to see if it would save me much time or make me more efficient throughout the day.
3. Because I used to (not so much any more) like eating as much as possible. Moderation is a tough one for me, I either do something big or avoid doing it at all. Moderation in terms of eating is especially tough to someone who is fit and has a low insulin resistance.
Up until I was around 20 I couldn’t eat that much. Then I had a goal of gaining a lot of weight that I speak about in this post, and I realized that eating was entirely dependent of hormonal habits and after that point on I never had any problem with my appetite ever again. With that said, six months ago I gradually (it has to be gradual & consistent, like all other habits) started eating more food per meal and fewer meals a day. There were a few times when i ate up to 6000 calories in a meal (20+ chicken wings, fries, nachos, salad, beer etc), but usually I would probably eat around 1000-2500 calories. I never gained weight – it’s all about the insulin levels.
I found that sometimes I would get slow and comatose, my parasympathetic nervous system would go into a severe state of “rest-and-digest”. But I also found that it had mostly to do with focus. Those days I were the most focused I could incredible amounts of food without getting slowed down. It was a very strange finding, and it really surprised me.
Yet, I still feel that I was walking a tight line between getting lethargic and slow from eating too much, because it’s not that easy to remain highly focused and in a state of high motivation and mental activity when you’re eating this much. My end conclusion is that it’s not quite worth it to ‘risk it’, and I feel I have increased my bodily intelligence of knowing where that sweet spot of eating; to consume just the right amount of food needed and not being too gluttonous and thus risk becoming slow. That happens to be something that I have been wanting to know for a long time, and I think it is going to pay off a lot in the long-term of my life.
Starting now I am not going to eat just one meal per day that often. I will go for two meals, where the first one is going to be probably 60/70 % of the calories of the day – at least if I have worked out before.