Young people have sex, old people have ...... foooooooood

(icky) #1

So, I live in a non-English speaking country, and we have a saying that translates roughly to this thread’s title…

I’m mentioning it, not cos of the age aspect, but because of the physical/ sensual pleasure that food can be… It’s not merely eating certain food groups/ nutrients/ calories to “fuel” our bodies… Eating our favourite foods can be a delight and bliss and a sensual experience…

So, now that menopause has made me dumpy and pudgy for the first time in my life… I’m wondering whether I need to basically nuke this “pleasure” aspect of food… Sigh… Is every “pleasurable” calorie going to be sticking to my hips/ bum/ belly/ thighs and I should only be eating “necessary” nutrients and calories and make food a totally functional thing…?

(Joey) #2

Stipulating that you’ve been sticking with healthy foods, perhaps it’s best to put aside concerns about eating in order to focus instead on the other side of your coin? :wink:


Of course not. Thankfully we humans are big land mammal, needing a lot of food every day. You can enjoy the hell out of that :smiley:

I am so thankful I don’t need to choose between the tastiest food and health. Tasty food isn’t even less satiating or anything, well they are different for sure but I can enjoy even the not so satiating fats on a fat fast day and it’s when I have a decent deficit and convenience!

If someone is focusing on getting the most joy out of food, it’s a hedonist who loves eating :smiley: I seem to found my way, I just need to go on it without detours where I indulge in too much food (usually without getting more joy from it than my better days, actually)…

But… I understand the sadness of not being able to eat all the food you want without negative consequences… I have been dreaming about eating lots of fat since I went low-carb… But now I am fine. I don’t need so much in any way - and I still can eat my lovely fatty items on fat fast days and they are the best I can do now for fat-loss and it has plenty of other benefits. But if you enjoy leaner meats, they allow some fattier items along with them too.

(icky) #4

Haha, good point… I guess that would also be burning calories… :laughing:

Okay, that makes sense… So focus on a reduced intake of calories, but maximise the enjoyment of the calories I am eating… “Food” for thought… thank you…

(icky) #5

Sigh… I guess fundamentally I’m arguing with my body… saying “But you used to work this way… can’t it stay like that?!”

My body has moved on… moved into a different phase of life and my brain is struggling to catch up…

A “new normal”…

I don’t want this new normal…

So (very maturely) I’m having a bratty temper tantrum about it and refusing to play…

I should be grateful that my body is signalling that I’m in a different life phase and that it’s necessary for me to adjust… that I need to shift priorities… that I need to let go of some things… that I’ve simply outgrown those things…

There are benefits too… I guess I have to accept that the drawbacks are part of the same parcel, all complicatedly wrapped into one…


My basic attitude is that but even I don’t do it. I merely need lots of food joy in general but some days I just want my nutrients and don’t care about the enjoyment. As far as it’s easy to eat and not a chore, I am fine for 1-2 days. It’s good, I would feel a slave with a difficult life if I just HAD TO eat 9-10/10 meals each and every time. It’s not how the world works, at least mine. I can’t do it even with my fav food let alone whatever suits my goals and circumstances at the moment (it’s still fine food but often not my top fav). Sometimes I just don’t have any appetite but I still need fuel.
But I can’t eat food I dislike and if I can choose, I eat some very satisfying, tempting food I really enjoy. Some items don’t worth it so one should choose well if maximizing enjoyment from a not much amount of food is the usual goal.

It’s a bit annoying that when I had this weight, I so very easily lost fat for a while, way before keto… I do things MUCH better now. I trained myself, I changed my preferences, I almost look like someone with restraint now… Not enough. And I get it I need more to slim down completely but I was way less than now and it was EASY. And I had stress gain and it never went away. And at one point my wilder times (still more controlled than before) resulted in fat gain, I didn’t have that before… And it never went away… I am not good at eating little and I need high protein and that inevitably brings a lot of fat but I had these in the past just the same (or worse) and still had some success.

And I am before menopause. Let’s hope it either won’t affect me or I will figure out something, I do have ideas, just the reality gives me challenges…

Hmmm… I don’t know about your case but I DO have room for improvement. I am too indulgent sometimes. Maybe I can look at it as a positive things, a motivation or at least hint to get my stuff together and do things right, not just almost, usually… I am not good with 100% and I don’t need that but some fine tuning and less focus on food would be nice…? It’s not like my off or higher-cal days are better than my really well done ones. My decision making is still off sometimes. Or my desires. Usually fine but I need to do it better.
When I went low-carb, it started with the desire to lose fat. I immediately saw it a great chance to eat healthier and was happy with my result even with a moderate fat-loss. Maybe I can look at it this way again. No sense to compare myself with my old version.

Good luck for both of us. I NEVER give up. Thankfully I still can improve a few things a bit without feeling too restricted.

(Joey) #7

Mildly entertaining comment :slight_smile:

I routinely thank my lucky stars that my body doesn’t work the way it used to. I’m much younger now. :vulcan_salute:

(B Creighton) #8

Definitely do not give up on the pleasure aspect of food. I absolutely enjoy what I eat. It is true that not all good tasting foods ring the dopamine bell like sweet things, but there are many other flavors to enjoy. I make a herb, garlic chicken I really like. Garlic-butter wild shrimp… yum. Tonight I had herb roasted lamb… very tasty… I thoroughly enjoyed it. I love my Sockeye salmon and capers. I eat tastier food than I think I ever have, and am at a trim 35" waist… about 18% subQ fat. I have gotten as low as 17% subQ. Been the same for 3 yrs… I eat berries, fruits, cruciferous vegetables… love it all. If I don’t enjoy it, I don’t eat it. I have no problem eating like this the rest of my life. Tonight, I am about to have a small mango for dessert. Earlier this week, I had delicious watermelon. No prob. Weight not affected.


Let me say that I am jealous that you could both eat what you want and remain trim up until now! (said kindly) There are many of us on here that have never had that luxury or started gaining weight in our teens and twenties. I was skinny, gained as a teen, was able to stay normalish with dieting until 26-30 when I ballooned, still able to control again until first pregnancy. Let me say that my oldest is well past college and my youngest is in college and I am still trying to lose the baby weight!

I have a friend that was fatter than most people by the time she was 2. The pictures of her at 9 in her ballet costume she is definitely the largest kid in that cohort. Her parents are not particularly heavy, neither are her brothers. Her mother watched every calorie from the time my friend got pudgy. In fact, she believed her weight was emotional, I told her it wasn’t 20 years ago when we met (she did not believe me at first). When she was pregnant all of a sudden her urges to eat when away. This was not emotional, it is chemical and physiological.

With her kids she tried to keep the snack drawer always open because she thought it was deprivation that caused her weight. Her older one has different genetics and could take a snack and go about his day, The younger one is very much her child. She got rid of the snack drawer! She finally lost about 100 lbs by not overeating! and restricting her eating window to 12-8. It was amazing. This happened during menopause. I think menopause causes changes in metabolism and some are not always bad. She does not eat keto but tries not to eat junk and thinks whether she wants a snack before eating even inside her window. I tried her diet but gained weight.

I have been keto on and off for 7 years. I find I do not have the same affinity for sweet food as I did. It seems to go away. Although I have found it can come back if encouraged. I was doing well with my eating and then recently went on a trip with my family to a country known for desserts. At first I was eating real food and avoiding the cake. However, after everyone started ordering cake, I had some too. The first day I liked it. The second day I liked it more and so on. Still after you are no longer addicted to sugar, the dopamine hit is not the same at least for me.

After I returned I allowed myself one more day to indulge (it was a busy day was traveling locally so had to eat in a restaurant anyway). We went to a new pizza place. No idea if it was the pizza that was mediocre or my taste buds but it was not worth it. We then went to ice cream. I sampled several flavors and only really liked one of them. I ordered it, had it, and was done after that. That was almost a week ago and I have no desire to eat more. I do not track calories because with keto I fill up and then I am good. For the last 11 months I have been stopping to eat at 6PM which does help with weight. Rather than cake and ice cream I am thinking about an egg sandwich I plan on making soon. She also has sweet recipes on her site but this is scrumptious

(Robin) #10

Yes! I can relate to your experience!
It dawned on me recently that I have lost the profound anticipatory pleasure that I felt before keto. I realize now that “food high” was driven by sugar and the satisfaction came from feeding the beast.
Oye, a vicious cycle.

So, for me, the satisfaction now comes from feeling my body’s actual hunger pangs, not my thoughts. The first time,I remember thinking, WOW… this is what real hunger feels like.

(B Creighton) #11

I think you were responding to me, and I will say, while I make it sound like I eat whatever I want, that is certainly not true. I have become a very picky shopper. Almost all my meat is grass-fed. I have cut out many meats - I no longer buy sausages - even the beef franks I used when I first did keto. I have cut out almost all refined foods. After my first year of doing keto I went to low carb except for dessert, and I kept the processed desserts I had been having. However, I found many of these drove up my blood pressure - up to 20 pts. So, now I have cut those out too even though I did not appreciably gain any weight with them. This last winter I started at 17% subQ, and wanted to gain some muscle so did not do keto - I put on 15 pounds eating lots of protein, and supplementing with some carbs. My smoothies were in a base of coconut milk. Well, only 6 of those pounds were muscle… guess what the rest was?.. besides 0.2 lbs of bone mass? I am back down now, but I was up to 20% subQ … so I absolutely can gain weight now… even eating “low carb.”

I was a terribly skinny teen. and was relatively skinny until after I got married, although I did gain some weight in college. Later, I determined some things that had made me gain weight. I had developed a potato chip habit when I came home from work. Just getting rid of that dropped 18 lbs off me the first year, but after a surgery I had in 2020, I couldn’t get my blood pressure down, which started me on a new health journey.

Well, this is somewhat true for men… our “manopause” is more gradual, but I definitely started noticing it in my 50s. These days many men are entering a “mid-life crisis” and thinking it’s their relationship, etc when the little blue pill stops working. I have a smart scale that estimates my base metabolic rate is around 1750 calories, but I am still very active, and I believe I eat well more than that. I’ve never really counted my daily calories. When I was young though, I know I had a very high metabolism… I was always sweating. The sugar did not put the fat on me like it does now. Except for fruit, I have virtually elimated sugar from my diet… especially the glucose… the starchy vegetables, etc.

I have been doing keto and low carb for three years now. I really don’t miss the sugar too much, except the ice cream and some choice desserts I miss a little like tapioca pudding. Boba makes a tapioca pudding with coconut, but it has sugar. I just can’t have the dairy now, and I believe the extra glucose is a cause of heart disease by glycating the apoB protein of our LDL, which makes it prone to oxidation… If I want sweet, I have whole fruit or xylitol/monk fruit/stevia/allulose. That allows me to have things like chocolate covered strawberries with no sugar! I use mostly stevia drops in my drinks as that seems to be the cheapest way to sweeten them, and I don’t believe too much sugar alcohols are good.

As of late I cannot have the cheese… it may be keto, but is now a no go for me… even the A2 cheese I was having for awhile… so I cannot have everything, and am learning to adapt. My wife is allergic to milk so never eats cheese, so although I miss it, we both are not missing the pizza joint… When our kids were home, sometimes she would have pizza without the cheese… how sad I thought. And now I am in the same boat. Still, I really enjoy eating, and don’t plan to stop…enjoying that is…

(icky) #12

Yeah, I’m starting to think that this is what might be going on for me…
It’s not the carb/ sugar rush anymore… that’s gone with Keto…
But there’s still that yummy food = a dopamine hit… or something like that…
I grew up with yummy (relatively healthy) food being a “comfort food” thing.
And cos I was blessed with a great metabolism, I never had a reason to examine my eating habits…
With menopause, my metabolism is shot, and now this eating = pleasure thing is starting to show up as an issue…
I’m going to have to ponder this a bit…


I am pretty sure it is a good idea for me - as long as I don’t start eating before 5 or 5:30 as well :smiley: But after 6 it’s harder for me as I slip into my gremlin time where I become a different person and satiation gets harder while compulsions get stronger and decision making gets wonky (not so much with good habits and training but if I slip, it is probably after 6).
Some people slims down with so super easy rules. Like barely IF, keto and the like… Keto with a 5 hour eating window and plenty of extra rules never was enough for me. Oh well, I can be way stricter (for a while).

I always loved sweet things (well, the right ones. fatty, rich, nice… except fruits, they are lovely in their low-fat ways) but the right savory and sour dishes feel even better. But they are even fattier so it’s super easy to overeat, maybe okay with OMAD though.

I have no idea what is the food high and dopamine response to sweet things you folks talk about… I just enjoy tastes and textures (and if the food is right, the satisfaction and satiation it brings). Sometimes indulge compulsions but that is always negative at least on some level.

Yes, quite sad and weird too. If I can’t eat cheese, I can’t eat pizza. It’s not like I ate pizza every year when I was younger anyway :stuck_out_tongue: I don’t think I had any as a kid, I am not sure it was available anywhere near me to begin with… Flourless pizza? Easy. Cheeseless one? Nope. Cheese is what makes the pizza to me. Well, some other things are needed but anything else can be replaced (I dislike it eggless but I make that for my SO. I don’t call that pizza though, I am not masterful enough for that, I have high standards to use the word :wink: But my SO likes it). 4 cheese pizza always was one of our favs.
I probably have 8 different cheeses in the fridge now, maybe 9 (there were many tempting sales lately) and I find it very vital to have at least 3-4… And I don’t even eat much cheese! My SO is bigger on cheese (and can afford the fat more though with my modest amounts it doesn’t matter much to me either).

Maybe I will try some no dairy days soon, so many people do it for long, no way I can’t do it… Just no cheese is easy, it even helps with joy, cheese tastes even better after a break :wink: Little dairy is fine. No dairy is not where I am yet. But as long as i don’t get bored, no dairy food can be quite enjoyable too. Leaving out the dairy from something that needs it, that works worse than just avoiding those dishes but of course, we are different and find different ingredients vital for a dish. I need eggs in everything but don’t think flour is needed for most things. Cheesy eggs instead of cheesy pasta is an improvement. I started to like sandwiches since I avoid flour in them… SOO much more flavors. Of course as I use tasty ingredients, not some meh flours.
It can be fun to have modified and different things and this is joy too :smiley: The food still should be enjoyable but my experiments add to the experience and I enjoy the whole thing better.

In theory, I still could get my pleasure but it just can’t work with too many meals. It was quite sad to realize 2 meals are inevitable overeating to me. Not necessarily on carnivore but it’s tricky. I need almost all the tricks/methods I have found that works for me, at the same time to have any chance. And not eating every time I wish to, is no fun. But I can train myself to stop wanting lunch… I need to choose my battles well. Some things are just some challenge (while new, it’s a bit fun and exciting and then hopefully I change) and temporal difficulties, others make me feel miserable and it can’t go away so easily, I do the former and not the latter and hope for the best. And hope I don’t need ALL tricks at the same time. I do need to get looser here and there. Not completely, fine but at least regarding one thing! Food choices, size and placement of the eating window, potential longer fasts, playing with fat/protein ratio… Some can be more helpful than others without being a (big) burden.

(Geoffrey) #14

I haven’t experienced any of that since I became carnivore.
Once all of the carbohydrate/sugar cravings left my body my whole attitude towards food changed. I no longer wanted to eat just for the sake of eating or entertainment but instead I only wanted to eat when I was truly hungry and only for nutrition and fuel.
For me it was a great feeling of freedom that I was no longer ruled by my food.
I still enjoy my food because I’m a pretty decent cook and I’m creative with it but I’m in control of it and it’s not in control of me.

(KM) #15

I can relate, personally. Having some low mood days, not much going on, and yeah, missing the go-to stimulation of food and drink perhaps specifically designed to elicit that joyfully intense response. I don’t think of my keto way of eating as temporary, but I’m having a struggle with it this month. I’m glad most of the worst offenders are not tempting me, but still having a bit of struggle keeping it low enough with known safe foods. I should probably do a fast, that tends to make me appreciative of any food, even the same old same old, but at the moment I’m just not there.

And, yeah, not a huge fan of aging this week, either. Striving for “presentable” just isn’t all that gratifying!

(icky) #16


Sigh… I think my brain’s like “Okay… I can stop over-eating carbs… Keto is fine… I’ll over-eat protein and fat instead…”

It’s health-ier than over-eating carbs… but it’s still over-eating…

It’s using food… like an addictive substance, I guess…?

(Brian) #17

I enjoy my food, quite a lot! But I will say that the food I enjoy the most now is not what I enjoyed years ago. My tastes have changed over the years. I’m much closer to carnivore than I used to be and for the most part, the meat is what I crave, what I desire, and what I most enjoy when it’s well prepared.

Favorite meal is a hamburger with a sunny side up egg on it. Really don’t need much of anything else at all. I didn’t used to eat much hamburger and would have told you I’d rather have chicken. Anymore, I really don’t even like chicken.

As far as old people not having it… speak for yourself! I’d consider my wife and I to be quite active and we still have some serious intensity going on. It may not be quite as often but it’s still happenin’. Just because there’s a little snow on the roof doesn’t mean there’s no fire in the basement. :wink: Just sayin’…


Just because some food is totally blissful, it doesn’t necessarily control us :slight_smile: (Or not in a bad way. We are inevitably dependent on food, we can’t avoid that…) I feel much more free now but I enjoy my food more than ever (when I don’t go far from carnivore. I can’t enjoy that anymore, at least not for long)! Keto had no such effect but carnivore had. (Yes, I can’t possibly know what would happen on pure carnivore for months longs as I never did it but my on/off carnivore-ish is way more enjoyable than my previous diets and I really enjoy my food all my life.)
It makes sense low-carb made my joy bigger as I wasn’t so overeaten (it may be not a word but I hope you understand) all the time. But I don’t even remember that. Low-carb made me felt a bit better (I already felt pretty fine on high-carb but there was room for improvement. there always is).
Keto did nothing beyond fat adaptation so no changes there but carnivore, wow. I always considered pork the best tasting thing ever for me I virtually never ate it in the decades before… And it never went away, I still immensely enjoy the better pieces (the enjoyment vary… sometimes it’s great, sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s even disappointing a bit).
I would feel very strange and a failure of a hedonist if I lost that bliss. I am glad I don’t have it all the time, it would be overwhelming :smiley: And it probably would make it less enjoyable just because the lack of contrast… Yep, what I have is the best way.

But I a hedonist and food is one of my major sources of enjoyment. I would lose a part of me without it.
Other people function differently and it works for them best. I even understand that some people don’t even particularly enjoy their food, they just eat it and it gives them the nutrition they need and all is well in their books. Good for them but I am glad I am not like that.

The being of a slave part, that is really bad, that kind of food attachment is problematic. So good that we can’t stop, ouch, that is easily a recipe for some super harmful senseless binge eating! But enjoying our food to bits when we ate it for nutrition, that is great. And we get satiated and satisfied and don’t want an unnecessary amount. That is the best. I dislike when a different thing happens (very enjoyable but not satisfying, I just want more and more and more) and take notes to avoid the item if possible.

It reminds me of a few memorable happenings in my life… When I felt my 40g net carbs on keto too restrictive, I had a 10g carb day, that helped with my perspective :smiley: (I ate no meat at that time so it wasn’t as easy as it may seem.)
And it was a game changer that I realized I can just have a fat fast day when I am bored of my meats (I am not sure I still can get that far but probably…? I never did one for that reason yet). I enjoy my tiny, very different, way fattier fare (but even if I don’t enjoy it, it’s barely more than a few bites, easy to eat…) and then I happily eat my normal, protein rich meat again… Cheeses tastes much better after a break too. So not eating everything every day definitely helped with my food enjoyment. And I already did my best to have variety but it still wasn’t effective enough.

(Geoffrey) #19

Actually here in America most food is blissful and addictive therefore it is very controlling. It’s been a known fact for quite a while that the food industry here hires scientists to formulate our foods to be highly addictive. The more you eat, the more you want, the more profits they make.

(Robin) #20

As a naturally addictive personality, I am beyond thrilled that I no longer think about food all day. The most thought I put into my food is making sure I am stocked with what I need.