Quelling the hunger of a thousand ages

People often ask me about my unusual diet, and when I tell them it’s no grains/low carb, they say, “I could never give up carbs!”.

Well, actually, you could. If you wanted to.

What they don’t understand is that when you do low-carb properly, you increase your fat intake significantly – and fat is by far the most satiating nutrient (according to studies, not just me!).

You also control your blood sugar, so it doesn’t have a big spike, followed by a big fall, which makes you ravenous a couple of hours later.

So, now that I don’t eat many carbs, I’m actually not that hungry. I still have an appetite, but it’s not like the hunger of a thousand ages that I used to feel.

It means that I don’t miss bread, cereal (seriously, is there any breakfast cereal seriously worth missing?) or pasta.

Sure, I have a piece of birthday cake now and then, but my daily life is meat and veggies, with a bit of dairy.

Breaking the paradigm

It’s easy to say ‘I could never’, when we’re in a certain paradigm. But if you change that paradigm, ‘never’ becomes quite possible.

‘I could never get up at 6am to go to the gym’ is another one I hear. Yeah, you can – if you turn the TV off and get into bed before 10 o’clock. If you want it enough, you’ll do it.

But you need to train your body to fall asleep early. (My friend Michael calls me Streetlights Thomson, because he reckons I go to bed when the streetlights come on). Once you’re in that routine, it’s easy.

I had a training session this week, with a guy who is Australia’s Memory Champion. Yep, they have competitions where you have to remember a bunch of stuff!

This dude not only memorised the entire Yellow Pages – phone numbers and all –  for a Telstra PR stunt, he can read at up to 2000 words per minute. The average reading speed is 200 wpm.

I asked him if he was born like that (in a Rain Man kind of way) and he said ‘no way’. He used to have a crap memory and be a slow reader, but trained himself with certain techniques to become a total freak.

So I guess I could, in theory, become a crazy memory champ, with years of training. Thing is, I don’t want it enough.

That’s the key to all this – do you want it enough? Sometimes, we have no choice when it comes to change. We’re forced by external circumstances to take back an ‘I could never’ statement. 

Other times though, it’s just about wanting it enough, and changing the paradigm we’re in.

I initially went low-carb to try and fix some health problems – I wanted to be well, and I wanted it enough to give up grains and sugar.

So, what do you want enough?

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  1. But you are a good writer! And luckily, it’s a fairly subjective measure. Problem with fitness goals is that it’s definite – you either can deadlift 60kgs, or your can’t; you either can wear a size 8, or you can’t, and so on.

  2. And then, you can want something enough but you still might not get it. I want to be a good writer, and I want it enough to get up at sparrow fart to write something every day. So I read Stephen King’s “On Writing” and he says “… while it is impossible to make a competent writer out of a bad writer, and while it is equally impossible to make a great writer out of a good one, it is possible, with lots of hard work, dedication, and timely help, to make a good writer out of a merely competent one.” Hope I make base camp on that one.

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