I am a secret non-eater

This topic contains 13 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  fasting_me 6 years, 2 months ago.

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  • I never told anyone, not even my family. At work they know I practically always skip lunch, but they do not know that I skipped breakfast as well, and will also skip dinner. At home they notice that I sometimes skip breakfast, but they have no idea that I do not binge for lunch. Maybe if I were overweight, I would come out, and they might support me. But I am not. Would they support me if I would say that frugality appeals to me? If I would say that I would like to be skinnier? Healthier?
    I am afraid to deal with the resistance supported by the 3-meals-a-day-norm.

    I am not a medical professional but I feel concerned for you if you do not want to eat at all. Is there someone you could talk to who could help you find support? If you just want to fast for health following 5:2 or 6:1 I am sure your friends and family would understand if you shared the potential benefits with them?

    mrs-minimalist – well done for sharing your situation and asking for advice.
    I share cornish-jane’s concern and suggest you have a chat with your GP simply to ensure that you are maintaining your health. It’s important that you get the full range of minerals, vitamins & important food groups for your normal bodily functioning.
    All the best and I look forward to hearing how you get on.

    Hello again, MrsM. I’m glad that you have ‘spoken out loud’ to us about how you eat. When first I encountered you on this Forum, it seemed that you might have an eating disorder. You should speak with your doctor and simply tell her/him about how you eat. You might not think that this is a problem now, but if you are getting minimal nutrition and vitamins/minerals it will catch up with you in the long run. Admitting this is the first step. Now take the next one.

    good luck, I’ll be thinking about you.

    OK, I am a really bad writer, I thought my post was to the point and funny :/…. Sorry everyone; I am not an experienced poster – i can see now better how it sounds. Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate your concerns and I think it is really cool of you guys being attentive and reaching out to someone.

    I did not mean to say that I do not eat at all. I do a 6:1 regularly, and I skip lunch during the weekdays. Is that too much? I do not loose weight really, so apparently I compensate at the remaining meals. I am healthy as far as I know, and normal, with a bmi between 21-22. Also I do not have an eating disorder.

    What I did mean to say, is that nobody knows I am fasting intentionally, because I do not want to be considered a frugal bore. If I chose the not-funny “secret non-eater and non-binger” vocabulary in my initial post, I think it is because that is how it sounds when fasting if not over-weighed.

    I like the idea of eating less, for simplicity sake, sustainability, health, time, effort, and many more reasons. I like eating at home, because I am a good cook, and using mainly fresh and healthy ingredients. I rather have one good meal, than wasting calories on canteen food I dislike. I like 6:1 for the supposed health effect, and the reminder that we eat too much in western world. I also think that a lower bmi is just fine as well, and would even look on me a bit better.

    Do you think this sounds like a frugal bore? I think so. It sounds too moral to me, (or too anorexic to others). Even the potential health benefits sound too frugal. It bothers me. Where I am from, frugality is unnecessary and somewhat wrong.

    How do you address IF when normal weight?
    What do you say to a child that hears so often (not from me though) that he should finish dinner, but that you on the contrary are skipping this meal? Do you loosen up with the kids, saying that they may skip breakfast if not hungry?

    Fasting-me: you are very skinny, if I remember well from a previous post, how do you explain your maintenance IF to people who have seen you only skinny?

    It is true that I am concerned about the minimum minerals and vitamins, as expressed in earlier posts, because of the lesser meals. So it might be a good idea to consult my GP about this. On the other hand, some the doctor IF guru’s eat only once a day….

    Thanks again for your concerns, and sorry again. I hope that I expressed myself more clearly. I am looking forward to read some experiences from people confronting the 3-meals-a-day resistance.

    MrsM, when people comment on my slimness, I tell them it is because of the Fast Diet and explain that staying on it 2 days/week permits me to eat on the other days. Also, I explain about the other benefits: longevity, lower risk of heart disease and some cancers, potential brain health. Back when I weighed more and people asked why I wanted to diet, I would reply, “You haven’t seen me with my clothes off!” That usually ended the conversation.
    I’m a proselytizer. You sound reluctant/shy to explain to people why you eat as you do. “frugal bore” and “too moral” sound as if you fear judgement. On the other hand, you speak eloquently in this forum. I get that you want to reduce your footprint on the planet. Do you also save energy and water — those are even more important. We can live in a Western World yet not have the Western diet or life of careless consumption.

    Did you ever key out the major nutrients of what you consume daily? Try it. See what you are getting. Take that to your GP when you discuss this. Don’t second-guess what the GP will say.

    As for the children, I was raised to be ‘platter clean club’ which made it difficult for me to know when to stop eating. School children need breakfast [I used to teach and I saw what happened to the hungry ones], a healthy one — not cereal or pop tarts. But have you discussed nutrition with your kids? Do they understand the difference between a growing body’s needs and the lower requirements for an adult?

    What else is it about 3 meals a day that you don’t like?

    All is well then MrsM. – good to hear 🙂

    I’m not actually sure if I was told to clean my plate as a kid – but I loved my food and didn’t need any encouragement to eat everything put in front of me – 3 meals a day plus crisps & chocolate bars. I did wean myself off snacks and chocolate at 15 though, as I became more body aware and teased at school.

    Since starting 5:2 one year ago, my eating regime has changed. I don’t eat breakfast now – I’m just not hungry until at least mid-day. I’ll then have dinner about 5 hours later. On FD’s I find I’m much better not eating anything until dinner and one year on, most of the time, I don’t have a problem – it’s become the norm for me. That’s not to say I don’t have unsuccessful FDs and NFDs where I eat well over my TDEE. But when I’m on track (as I feel this week after a pretty bad fortnight due to illness) I enjoy the routine and have learnt to enjoy the feeling of hunger which makes food more enjoyable. Having a fairly low TDEE – the calories can easily be used in two meals plus milk in drinks.

    I don’t have a problem with this routine in relation to other people, as I can easily fit it around my life and nobody really notices – apart from OH who sees it as perfectly normal for me.

    Definitely worth making sure you’re getting all your nutritional requirements – which reminds me I need to eat more fruit & veg regularly – not just in fits and starts.


    “What else is it about 3 meals a day that you don’t like?’

    The fact that there is no evidence that eating three square meals, morning, noon and night, is in any way optimal for adults…

    And yet the majority of people who eat that way think it’s the ONLY way to eat…

    And we who have freed ourselves from the yoke of eating by the clock are treated like loons and social pariahs by those who panic if they think they might miss a meal…

    Happy, I was merely trying to get more clarification from MrsM. I don’t eat by the clock and I don’t eat lunch, so I have stopped drinking the Kool-Aide. Of course one should eat when one is hungry and only then. In Medieval Europe, no one ate breakfast. A mid-day meal and an evening meal were considered to be all one needed, and indeed 3 meals were probably sinful. Only when clocks were invented did people regulate their daily life to match the clock. [unless you lived in a monastery or convent, where it all went by the bells]

    To quote someone is to elicit elaboration, not a judgement.

    Strawberries, you are right about how much better food tastes when one is hungry. Great, isn’t it?

    Hi F_me,

    It’s funny how judgemental people can be about the eating habits and choices of others, particularly when, as you point out, 3 meals a day is a relatively recent invention!

    I know you weren’t supporting 3 meals a day, I was just sticking my oar in in support of MrsM!


    I choose not to eat on days I go to the office, for many of the same reasons you list. I sit there, slim, eating nothing, while a constant stream of (mostly large) people come back from the canteen/sandwich shop/chipshop with overpriced super-sized processed food in single-use plastic and then discuss with one another how the diet is going and how many more steps they’ve done by using the stairs…

    Hello. I am back after a while; I guess I was a bit overwhelmed by the first reactions.

    HappyNow, you made me laugh with the description of your colleagues. Maybe that is the attitude: laugh at them, instead of being afraid they laugh at me. My colleagues are not that bad (or large), but I do feel judged:
    *I am the party-pooper*.
    And I hate it.

    I am making progress tough. I explained a far-collegue about my 5 day water-only-fast I currently do. He had to inhale my bad breath the entire day in a meeting, so I owed him some explanation ….
    My family is away for a week, so it seemed like the ultimate occasion to try a longer fast. I did my research and knew what to expect. And I did not dare to tell my husband. I feel silly. I can’t get my finger on it about why I am reluctant.

    The thing is, Fasting-me, I think about almost everything: water, energy, consumption, how we live, what we eat, where we go, even that writing this mail cost energy of the battery of my laptop, that I should never use pens, only compostable pencils, etc. I am queen in complication.
    That doesn’t mean by the way, that I succeed at all levels of shrinking. Far from that.
    Living in the western world makes us by definition high polluters, and responsible for climate change and misery of future generations.
    Talking about party-poopers….

    I think I understand you better now, MrsM. You want to leave a tiny footprint on Mother Earth and food choices are part of that. Your environmental goals are commendable. If each of us does as much as we can, the Earth will be a better place. Just be sure that you get enough nutrients and electrolytes for ongoing body function. But I think you should share with your husband. Doesn’t he know about and share your environmentalism? How did your colleague react to your 5-day fast when you told him? That might tell you how most others might react. Sure there will be those who cover their jealousy of your self-control by being annoyed with you. But that’s what we get for living among other people: some people share our ideas and others don’t.
    What other steps do you take? We have our electricity, home heat, hot water, and air conditioning covered by green energy. We raise our own chickens for eggs and meat. We compost. My car gets 34 mpg. We try to be locavores in our eating.
    Good luck in your endeavors.

    Happy? Strawberries? What do you think about conspicuous consumption [of resources AND food] in the First World?

    Mrs min, and Fasting_me,

    Yes, I too get satisfaction from the knowledge that I am taking up no more space than I need to, and not over-consuming (food or material possessions).

    I’ve been washing out and reusing plastic bags for 20 years. People used to ask if I was so poor I couldn’t afford to use a new one each time. They now begin to understand 😀

    We buy green energy too. We also installed solar panels, which provide electricity and hot water. I do the laundry when the sun shines. We don’t have the heating on much and the thermostat is set low, I wear thermals working at home in winter rather than put the heating on.

    We keep hens for eggs, but not meat. And I’m teetering on the edge of vegetarianism anyway. I grow fruit and vegetables, although we aren’t self sufficient.

    I work from home mostly so don’t drive every day. My car averages 54 mph.

    Mrs min, I reckon I could out party poop you! I’m more than happy to point out to people that our greed and stupidity is killing the planet. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

    MrsM, you should be ‘loud and proud’ about your choices for the world’s health and for your’s. That might pre-empt the criticism you are afraid you’ll get. Just be mindful of the path to ‘Orthorexia,’ but you are too smart for that.

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