Apr 02


What if I’m still hungry after a balanced fist-Sized portions of protein and carbohydrate?

Make sure it has been 20-30 minutes since beginning to eat, to let your body communicate with your brain. Are you well hydrated? Did you include fat in your meal? It might be that you need more food. If you are very active, it is possible that you will need more fuel (see next question). Try eating another balanced fist or try just a half-sized fist of each.

Do I need to change this plan if I exercise?

One of the most beautiful things about ONE-TWO PUNCH is its simplicity. You do not need to recalculate anything, or calculate anything in the first place. Your physical hunger signals will adjust to your activity on their own. If you add extra activity into your day, you might find that you are hungry more often; this is your incinerator opening more often. If you are strength training and aerobically exercising, you will have more muscle mass than if you are sedentary. Having more muscle mass increases your metabolism. When you have an increase in metabolism, you will feel more hungry and need to respond to that more often and eat more at each sitting to feel satisfied.

Why isn’t fat counted?

If you are using the guideline of a fist of protein and a fist of carbohydrate, it’s going to be difficult to go crazy with fat to the extent that would be detrimental. Use fat as a condiment. Don’t count the fat within your protein or carbohydrate choices or in what you add to your food, like butter, oil or salad dressings. Added fat will only lead to increased physical and sensual satisfaction. Remember we’re trying NOT to be too concerned with the details, just the general outline. Added fat will keep you full longer than having a low-fat combination of protein and carbohydrate. It all balances out when you eat for hunger and fullness.

When should I have breakfast?

I hope after reading this book you can answer this question yourself! Yes, breakfast is important. It should be the first time you get hungry after you wake up; whenever that is for you. It might be first thing in the morning or not until you are showered and ready. It might even be after you get to work. 

Is there a time that is too late to eat?

I like to say “the carriage does not turn into a pumpkin” after a certain time of night. The reasons people lost weight after cutting off their eating after a certain time is because they were eating when they weren’t hungry in the evening and eating more than their bodies needed. This is easy to do after a long day. They stopped that behavior and they lost weight. You can do that by only eating when you get hungry. If you are truly physically hungry in the evening, you should eat. Remember that it’s much more difficult to tell when you’re tired. Look again at the hunger sequence chart. 

What’s the difference between a meal and a snack?

Since the incinerator does not change in size, essentially we could say that there’s no difference between the two — you eat when you’re hungry, balance your protein and carbohydrate, then wait until the next time you get hungry to eat again. However, there might be a time that you don’t want to get completely full.87 Let’s say, for instance, that you have dinner plans at 7:00pm. It’s 6:00pm and you are starving, ready to eat. If you fully satisfy yourself at this time, you won’t be hungry when the rest of your group meets for dinner. You could have just enough pro/carb to take the edge off your hunger, so you can reasonably socialize and look over the menu, without getting completely full. I would call this a snack. Examples might be a glass of milk, a protein bar or half of it, half an apple with some nut butter and so on.

What should I do when I eat out?

You still follow ONE-TWO PUNCH. Choose a protein and choose a carbohydrate. For instance, you are eating at an Italian restaurant and you want to have a pasta Alfredo dish. Your protein option to go with that dish might be chicken, but remember that it is a fist-size portion of pasta, not the heaping pile that is probably served to you. In addition, if bread was served before the entrée arrived, that is additional carbohydrate. If you really like the bread served as an appetizer then have it, but you might want to choose an entrée that has significantly fewer carbohydrates. Regardless of the restaurant you choose, think of the Plate Builder, with a fist of your plate dedicated to protein and a fist of your plate dedicated to carbohydrates. Whether or not you add the vegetables, for the remaining half plate, is up to you.

What if I hate vegetables?

No problem. You can get around eating vegetables. Do they add fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants to your meal and increase volume in your stomach to make you feel full? YES. But you can also have just a fist-size portion each of protein and carbohydrate without the vegetables. However, if you are not eating any vegetables, ever, I recommend taking a multivitamin-mineral supplement.

Can I follow this method if I have diabetes?

Following ONE-TWO PUNCH is an excellent plan for people with diabetes, as it balances the foods going into your bloodstream and keeps your blood sugar from spiking. The protein and fat serve as anchors and slow down the carbohydrate entering your blood stream. It is the principle of never having an unaccompanied carbohydrate, and limiting the carbohydrate to a fist-size portion, that keeps the diabetes in check. You might find after practicing this method that you don’t need to count carbohydrates since you are controlling your portions by following the fist-size recommendation.

Where does diet soda fit?

Any beverage without carbohydrates, or low in carbohydrates, can be added to a meal or snack without categorizing it as a protein, carb or fat. Sugary drinks are okay too, but you would need to categorize them as your fist of carbohydrate. 

Can I eat with other people and still practice mindful eating?

Yes. Eating with other people can certainly be distracting. It will be helpful to follow the guidelines in “Practice with Fullness” to pace your eating. Creating pause points to sense your fullness will help keep you focused. 

How can I do this while traveling?

ONE-TWO PUNCH can be done in any city, any country, any car, any airport, in any time zone. Remember the first foundational principle of BURN: eat when you are hungry and when your incinerator door is open. This applies while on vacation or business travel as well. Yes, there are often excessive amounts of food available on vacation or at business lunches or dinners. Choose your fist-size portion of carbohydrate and your fist-size portion of protein from among those items.

Will I lose weight while following this?

If you were previously eating at times when not physically hungry and eating past the point of fullness, you will likely lose weight by eating only when physically hungry and portioning your food intake to a fistful each of protein and carbohydrate.

How is this better than intuitive eating?

Some people find that intuitive eating is too vague for them. The idea of eating anything they want when hungry, and even when they are not hungry, can be too abstract for some people. The process of becoming an intuitive eater is complex and takes time. ONE-TWO PUNCH offers some parameters and guidelines to eating, while still allowing for individual taste preferences and body awareness. 

Can I do this while taking medication?

Check with your doctor first regarding any foods that might interfere with a medication you are taking. In general, yes, this plan can be followed with most medications.

Is this okay to do while pregnant or nursing?

Yes. Remember the first foundational principle of BURN: eat when you are hungry and when your incinerator door is open. If you are pregnant, you may find that you are hungry more often and that your taste preferences have changed. You can adjust ONE-TWO PUNCH accordingly, but it is still valuable to balance protein and carbohydrate. The same rule applies to nursing. You may find that you are hungry more often while nursing and that it may take more than a fist each of protein and carbohydrate to feel full. Again, the plan can be adjusted accordingly.

Should I weigh myself while doing this? How often?

Weighing is a personal preference, but I don’t recommend it. Here’s why: You are practicing sensing your hunger and responding to it by having a balanced fist each of protein and carbohydrate. You weigh yourself and your weight has decreased. You may think you can ease up on how careful you’ve been about distinguishing hunger and not pay as much attention. Or, you weigh yourself and your weight has stayed the same or increased. You may think that this doesn’t work and that you need to go back to counting, tracking and measuring everything you eat in order to lose weight. The bottom line: I think weighing “muddies the water” in our ability to focus on our hunger and fullness sensations. If you do decide to weigh yourself, I recommend no more than once per week.

What if I gain weight?

If you find that you are gaining weight with ONE-TWO PUNCH, there are several reasons for this. You may have needed to gain weight to be at an optimal weight for your body. It might be that you were previously ignoring hunger signals and now you are trying to respond to them. It might also take time for your body to become accustomed to you feeding it on a regular basis, throughout the day, as your hunger dictates. It might be that you are mistaking what it feels like to be truly physically hungry. You might be thirsty or anxious and feeling something else besides physical hunger. If you are eating, even if it’s a balanced protein and carb meal or snack, when the incinerator door is closed, you have more potential for weight gain.

What supplements and vitamins should I take?

If at least two of your carbohydrate choices per day are fruits and you are including half a plate of veggies at two or more meals or snacks, you probably don’t need a multivitamin-mineral supplement. If, however, you don’t like vegetables and most fruits, you may want to consider taking a supplement.

How many fruits and vegetables should I eat during the day? 

A minimum intake, without adding a multivitamin-mineral supplement is listed above. However, you may choose to have every carbohydrate choice be some type of fruit. You may also have an unlimited amount of non-starchy vegetables in a day without it contributing to your overall carbohydrate intake or your carbohydrate choice at any meal or snack. 

Can my kids do this with me?

One of the most amazing things about ONE-TWO PUNCH is that it is appropriate for all ages. Regardless of the age of your child or children, they can practice eating their own fist-size portion of protein and carbohydrate, and then more if they are still hungry. Young children are usually very good at distinguishing hunger and fullness cues. That ability sometimes fades as we age. Hopefully, your children will follow your example of practicing ONE-TWO PUNCH.

What if I am vegetarian or vegan?

Both vegetarians and vegans can participate in ONE-TWO PUNCH. Of course, the protein options will be different, but there is still value in balancing the protein and carbohydrate choices and eating them together.

Can I do this together with another plan like Paleo™ or Whole30™?

Yes. As with vegetarians and vegans, the protein and carbohydrate options will be different. For instance, someone who is gluten-free will have different carbohydrate choices than someone who can have wheat. 

Should I buy organic foods? 

This is a personal and philosophical preference. You will find plenty of people that answer “yes” to this question and possibly an equal number of people that answer “no.” Some people find that they feel better overall when they eat mostly organic foods. For some people, it’s not feasible to eat mostly organic foods, either because of cost or because of the lack of availability of these foods in their area. The focus of this book is guiding people to balance protein and carbohydrate when responding to hunger, regardless of what options might be available to them. 


87. Ogden J, Wood C, Payne E, Fouracre H, Lammyman F. ‘Snack’ versus ‘meal’: The impact of label and place on food intake. Appetite. 2018;120:666-672.