I've been reading some ZC-community discussions recently, and something that comes up from time to time is leaving me chronically astonished. Now, anyone who reads here much knows that "i love me my meat" but some people out there are eating really outrageous quantities. I have a sneaking suspicion that those who are consuming more than a pound, multiple times a day, are doing it for other reasons rather than for true hunger.
Certainly, people who work hard (or work OUT hard) burn a lot of fuel, and when that fuel is almost entirely "meat" it takes quite a bit of steak and eggs to match that ol' "energy out." But a lot of the people who eat like that don't seem to have a lifestyle that requires so much input.
Are they eating to appetite, but with the appetite driven by inadequate nutrition? Despite some individuals who claim to have eaten nothing but ribeye steaks for years, mere muscle-meat does NOT contain every vitamin and mineral needed by humans. Even the most ardent meat-lover who has read anything on the subject knows that the Inuit and "Plains Indians" did not live by steak alone -- organs and specialized tissue containing rare-from-animal-source nutrients were the most prized parts of any harvest. If one is not willing to eat liver, brains, hearts, kidneys, or to add other foods like nuts and eggs ... or to SUPPLEMENT (which some of these people disdain insistently), one is going to miss out on important dietary requirements.
...And we know that nutritional deficiency can drive excess appetite. Stanton covers it definitively, and i'm sure plenty of other writers do as well.
Another reason for surprisingly-large meat-meal size might be the reaction from a red-meat-deficient diet before -- a badly-stretched gut longing to be filled, and making up for lost time. If this is the case, i'd be inclined to counsel them to retrain their innards to thrive on smaller portions. It won't happen overnight, but i believe their systems will thank them! If it's true that our bodies have a finite capacity for making enzymes, these people are going to hit the wall someday!
Somehow, probably as a reaction to the chronic-starvation that is CICO, it has become en vogue to overfeed -- to make the body burn more fuel by providing more hot-burning food TO burn. The desire to do so is understandable but again of dubious wisdom. Another "if it's true" moment: Rosedale claims that keeping one's "motor" revving too high will lead to burning it out more quickly; he might have a very good point there.
People often come to ZC with a history of diabetic (or prediabetic) blood-sugar issues. If they begin eating huge amounts of protein, are they functionally "getting their carbs through the back door" by taking in so much meat that much of it is converting to glucose?
I've long been a critic of the "everything in moderation" philosophy -- by that way of thinking, regular doses of known trouble-makers in the diet are granted legitimacy they don't deserve. However, i cautiously support the idea of "EACH thing in moderation;" it's very easy to get too much of a good thing! And no, i'm not reverting to the anti-hedonic puritanism that too often infects the nutrition world -- i'm instinctively reacting to what a logical person might perceive as excess. So what if men on the Lewis & Clark expedition ate nine pounds of meat per day -- does that REALLY seem like a good idea to you?
People who are not satisfied until they get supraphysiological quantities of protein in their daily diets probably need to take a long look at why that might be. They also should read up on what it might do to them. Happily, we do know that "high" protein isn't going to damage previously-healthy kidneys, but a very-high muscle-meat-only diet (as opposed to a high-fat one, based on animal products) is just as "unbalanced" as any regimen a vegan advocates.