Nature used to force us to eat seasonally in stone age times because we couldn’t preserve foods long enough to last into the next season. Foods perished and decayed and so we simply had to forage and eat what was available.
In autumn, there are lots of carbs naturally available, sugars and starches in the form of fruits, grains, potatoes (though not indigenous) etc. and the premise behind Don’t Eat for Winter is to moderate them, because eating autumnal foods promotes storage of body fat in order for human beings to survive winter. It was once advantageous for humans to put on fat quickly, but with the vast array of autumn foods available in every shop now it means we’re Eating for Winter indefinitely and so chronic weight gain is the result.
Moderation of carbs, therefore, means simulating other seasons. This is simulated through the DEFoW Diet.
I felt it wasn’t possible in this day and age to seasonally eat when our diets are so carb intensive, so I thought, why not split the day into seasons and eat spring, summer and autumn meals during the day. That way over the course of the year the net difference is the same as if you had eaten seasonally.
Chapter 5 of Don’t Eat for Winter – The DEFoW Diet – shows you how to do this and provides 10 guidelines on how to live in a more balanced way with nature, to combat the effects of the artificial eco-system we now belong to.
You might have asked why I didn’t mention winter meals above, winter is sleep/hibernation and so my evening autumn meal helps me sleep into the night, as eating protein with carbohydrates has been found to help with sleep…
“Certain foods contain an amino acid called tryptophan that causes sleepiness. Carbohydrates make tryptophan more available to the brain, which is why carbohydrate-heavy meals can make you drowsy. Proteins from the food we eat are the building blocks of tryptophan, which is why the best bedtime snack is one that contains both a carbohydrate and protein”
I tend to eat these meals later in the day as it kills two birds with the one stone:
- they support my recovery from training (as I train in the evenings)
- they help me to get a good night’s sleep
If you train in the mornings things need to be shuffled a bit, but that’s my personal preference.