FEEL GOOD FOOD CHECK: apply the two part test as follows.
1. I AM HUNGRY - OR VERY HUNGRY 2 to 4 hours after my last meal BUT. . .
MY energy level, mental focus and mood remained good. This means at my last meal I either did not eat enough good fat or maybe not enough carbohydrates. After FIRST assessing whether I included enough good fat at my last meal, I then consider that I may need to INCREASE my carbohydrates, especially the most favorable non-starchy vegetables.
2. I AM HUNGRY - OR VERY HUNGRY 2 to 4 hours after my last meal AND . . .
I became sleepy or fatigued, I couldn’t concentrate as well, I became irritable or anxious for no reason - OR I just felt “off”. This means that at my last meal (or even last several meals) I ate too many carbs in relation to protein, and my insulin levels were too high. I need to REDUCE my carbs, especially my “unfavorable” carbs, and make sure I remembered to add in enough “good” fat.
Some additional notes:
Many people may find it emotionally or physically difficult to rearrange macronturient intake in the manner laid out in these pages. This is because carbohydrates, most especially starches and sugars (whether fruit, starchy vegetable, grain or sugar) will temporarily increase serotonin in the brain, which in turn can temporarily improve mood and a sense of well-being.
This temporary "lift" over time leads to gradually intensifying let-downs in energy, mental alertness and/or mood within a couple of hours after eating. This in turn prompts the consumption of still more carbs AND increasing levels of stress hormones put out by the adrenal glands. Along with increasing mental alertness, mood and energy swings, hunger sensations also intensify, becoming ever more dificult to control.
In other words, carbs are addictive. One of the major problems is that over time you become depleted of serotonin (which requires adequate protein to make in the body) and you then become trapped on a roller coaster of mood, mental alertness and energy swings - and excess hunger. This then almost always will lead to increasing overconsumption of carbohydrates, especially refined starches and sugars, which then leads to yeast/fungal/Candida overgrowth. Yeast/fungal overgrowth can itself create a self-reinforcing desire for such carbs, in addition to a wide range of troublesome and even serious health problems.
Good fats meanwhile help build and regulate hormones which are crucial to every aspect of bodily functions, and they help create satiety - which in turn helps dramatically reduce carb craving. Similarly, adequate, high quality protein is the main component of every cell and body fluid except bile and urine - and it is needed to build and repair muscles, hair, skin, nails, eyes, blood, enzymes, many hormones and nerve chemicals and more.
The above meal check may help you wean yourself from debilitating excess carbohydrate intake. The end goal is to eat enough of the right foods (protein, good fats, and most favorable carbs) so that you remain full and satisfied for at least four hours after each meal. Breakfast is the most important meal to include adequate protein and fat.
Be careful not to be too hard on yourself. If you occassionally "screw up" just start over at your next meal. This is about building metabolic health over the long term. It is not a temporary band aid.