How eating meat could hamper your fat-loss goals…

915am – Breakfast:

Sufficiently substantial - and sufficiently light - breakfast

Sufficiently substantial – and sufficiently light – breakfast

A hugely satisfying palate-cleanser!

A hugely satisfying palate-cleanser!

Homemade veggie pasta – medium portion

Cup of coffee with honey and double cream

Three small cucumbers with assorted dried herbs, a pinch of sugar and lime juice

Satiety Level: Neutral-Pleasantly Satisfied


Lunch – skipped


6pm – Dinner:

The fruit'n'nuts'n'yog is still in the fridge - I only ate the burger and soup.

The fruit’n’nuts’n’yog is still in the fridge – I only ate the burger and soup.

Quorn Quarterpounder with lettuce, mayo, date caramel, tomato and Gouda cheese slice in a small bun – medium portion

Cup of homemade curly kale, carrot, potato, leek, onion, yellow pepper and sweetcorn soup – medium portion

Cup of coffee with honey and double cream

Satiety Level – Neutral-Pleasantly Satisfied


Well, I didn’t manage to get to the gym. Hence the rather light food intake. If I properly listen to my body, as I have been doing since following Paul McKenna’s rules again, I really don’t need a whole lot of fuel in the form of food on a day like today. (When activity levels are minimal.) If I properly understand my body’s signals, as I have been doing since restarting this blog, I only need to eat about a quarter to a third of what I was eating before! That’s a big difference. And healthy weightloss (fatloss) is inevitable.

It’s only if I begin to eat because I think I ought to be eating a certain amount or if I eat out of boredom or if I eat mindlessly while focusing on something else (TV, or Radio or reading material)… it’s only then that I will, inevitably, eat more than my body needs and end up maintaining my excess weight or, even, adding more fat in preparation for those periods of famine which never come!

I wonder whether one of the ways that many people who unsuccessfully try to lose weight – even by following Paul McKenna’s rules – manage to self-sabotage is to do with the idea that we should be eating, for instance, 5-a-day servings of fruits and vegetables.

Now, if you are an omnivore (as I was when I was following McKenna’s rules in early 2013), even a small portion of the meat/fish that you eat will, very quickly, fill you up on its own! But you believe that, in order to be ‘healthy’, you have to cram in those 5-a-day servings too. So you actually end up eating more than your body needs.

I would contend that, on the whole, if you are eating two or three (even modest) portions of meat/fish per day and five portions of fruit and vegetables on top of that, that is more than many people really need. I accept that one size won’t fit all and that individual metabolisms and constitutions and genetics and energy expenditure will play a huge role in all of this… but I will use myself as an example. (Because I don’t have anyone else to use right now!)

I am a hefty chap. I carry most of my fat around my belly. But I also lift weights. While you’re not going to mistake me for Mr Universe anytime soon, nor would you mistake me for Pee Wee Herman. And while I’m sure I’ll lose some muscle as a result of following McKenna’s rules, I know I’ll lose a lot more fat. But my point is that, in spite of eating in a very spartan fashion since the weekend, I have not felt excessively hungry at any time. I haven’t exercised since the weekend, but during this sedentary period, it has typically taken me around 7-10 hours after (my modest) breakfast before I start to feel hungry. And the time between my evening meal and breakfast the next morning has been between 8 and 13 hours.

What I’m trying to suggest is that even though I am the size that I am, (relatively) very little food is satisfying my hunger and I feel a lot healthier and a lot sprightlier already. Oh, and my clothes are beginning to fit better already. And it has all been effortless.

But the key difference between now and my earlier stint in 2013 following McKenna’s rules, is that I am now totally vegetarian. This means that I am managing to eat a decent amount of fruit and vegetables without overeating at all. Last time round, I would often have a meal with meat/fish at its centre. Plus vegetables in some form. Plus my fruit’n’nuts’n’yog combo. So many of my meals – even though they were much smaller than my pre-McKenna meals, were still bigger than they needed to be.

Being vegetarian means that I am easily able to stop eating each meal by the time I am Pleasantly Satisfied, rather than pushing on to the Full stage, just to ensure that I’m stuffing enough fruits and vegetables into my diet!

These are, of course, early days. And I accept that I could be wrong about it all. But I have a hunch that being fully veggie this time round will work to my favour and will ensure that this losing weight business will be even more effortless than it was last time!


2 comments on “How eating meat could hamper your fat-loss goals…

  1. shrinkingwmn says:

    Hi! Ok, first off, that burger looks delicious! I haven’t had a burger in ages and I am jealous of that one lol I’ve never heard of McKenna but the theory sounds interesting. Eating until you are full…I can see a lot of people messing that up because they just don’t know where that point is. I sure have trouble with that! If I’m not strictly tracking what I eat I will always end up over eating a meal or eating a snack I most definitely don’t need. Good luck to you! I look forward to reading more posts 🙂

  2. cheeriofatty says:

    Hi and thanks for reading! (And coveting thy (blogger) neighbour’s (veggie) burger!)
    I used to have no idea at all when to stop eating until I read Paul McKenna’s I Can Make You Thin and, especially, Hypnotic Gastric Band books. In the latter, he has a sliding scale of hunger which goes all the way from Physically Faint (with hunger) up to Nauseous (with over-stuffing.)
    The idea is to never get hungrier than Fairly Hungry and to never eat beyond the point when you are Full. By focusing exclusively on the food you are eating (away from the TV, radio, reading material, other people on the whole!), by eating slowly and by chewing each mouthful at least 20 times, you begin to

    a. Fully savour every single bite and
    b. Begin to understand at which point on the hunger scale you happen to be at any given time.

    It has seriously transformed the way I eat, how much I eat and what I eat. It is practically effortless and I never feel excessively hungry. And because I want every single mouthful to count nutritionally and in terms of pleasure, I have ditched practically all the junk that I used to eat too!

    Thanks again for reading…

    Peace&Light from


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