When do you “need” to eat?

I ate very little yesterday and this morning only had a coffee. By 10AM I was feeling lightheaded and dizzy – a common side-effect of fasting.

When I first developed my diet, lightheadedness was a sign that I needed to eat something to keep going.

But since then my circumstances have changed quite a bit, and I’ve changed too. So when I started to feel dizzy I didn’t immediately eat something.

Tiredness and fatigue are not purely physical. My mood has improved a lot in the past year, and I no longer feel as fatigued as I used to. Plus my life is far more active and busy than it was back then

What I’m getting at is that my circumstances, and my subjective sense of needing to eat something to keep going have both changed. I need to recalibrate.

This morning I decided to eat something because I was worried about driving while feeling dizzy.

It worked. The dizziness went away and I kept going, taking a trip to the beach with my daughter.

It will take more time for me to fine-tune this sense of when I need to eat.

In the meantime I decided to eat a small serving of dinner tonight with my family. My reasoning is that – as I mention in my book – eating serves a communal, social purpose. Also, it was never my intention to eat as little as possible or to fast to the point of dizziness.

Besides, when I first worked out this approach to diet I was much more overweight, on the verge of obese. This time around I’m only slightly overweight, and the difference between what I need to eat and how much I’ve been overeating is less stark.

The factors may be innumerable, but that’s why I love the approach of working things out myself, with both generalisable principles and personal circumstances in mind.

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