Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Try to Eat Smaller Meals More Often

It   may   surprise   you   to   learn   that   I   now   eat   about   six   times   every   day   rather   than   three.   So   instead   of   an   eating   plan   that   contains   three   large   meals   separated   by   4   or   5   hour   intervals: -my   meal   schedule   involves   smaller   meals,   of   about   half   the   size,   eaten   every   2   or   3   hours.

This   is   in   direct   contrast   to   the   dieting   approach   which   suggests   that   the   best   way   to   lose weight   is   to   skip   one   of   your   meals   so   as   to   lower   the   total   calorie   intake.   Or   the   other   approach   which   would   have   you   reduce   the   amount   of   food   you   eat   for   each   of   these   three   daily   meals.

The   trouble   with   these  " dieting"   approaches   is   that   by cutting   down   on   your   total   calorie   intake   you   are   sending   a   message   to   your   body   that   food   is   scarce,   when   in   fact   this   is   not   the   case   at   all. The   truth   is   that   most   of   us   are   only   ever   a   few   minutes   walking   distance   from   great   reservoirs   of   food,   whether   it   be   your   own   refrigerator   or   the   local   supermarket.   Food   is   not   scarce   at   all!

But   when   your   body   does   get   the   message   that   food   is   scarce   it   responds   according   to   a   set   of   survival   instructions   that   were   programmed   into   our   genes   over   the   two   million   year  course   of   our   evolution.   For   most   of   that   time   food   was   in   short   supply   and   we   had   to   work   hard   to   ensure   that   we   did   not   go   hungry.  

On   the   occasions   when   food   was   in   good   supply   it   made   sense   from   an   evolutionary   point   of   view   to   store   any   left   over   calories   as   body   fat,   so   that   when   the   lean   times   arrived  again  ( as   they   always   did)   there   would   be   an   energy   reserve   for   the   body   to   draw   from.

Moreover,   when   food   in   the   environment   is   scarce   it   makes   sense   for   the   body   to   burn   food   reserves   more   slowly,   so   as   to   conserve   its   store   of   energy   for   as   long   as   possible.   In   other   words,   your   metabolism   drops   when   you   starve   yourself  -  you   burn   fat   more   slowly,   and   you   pack   it   on   whenever   you   get   a   chance   to   eat.   This   is   the   exact   opposite   of   your   intentions   if   your   goal   is   to   lose   weight. So   every   day   that   you   eliminate  to   be   plaguing   you   so   frequently   right   now.

Hormones and Weight Loss

Most people  think  that   getting   control   over   our   body   weight   is   mainly   a   matter   of   learning   to   watch   the   number   of   calories   that   we   consume,   so   as to   ensure   that   we   take   in   no   more   than   we   need   to   fuel   our   body's   energy   expenditure.   After   all,   excess   body   fat   is   the   result   of   taking   in   more   energy   than   we   need   to   get   by.

There   is   a   certain   amount   of   truth   to   this   balancing   of   the   calorie   scales.   But   energy   intake   is   only   part   of   the story   of   body   weight   regulation,   elements   of   which   remain   entirely   hidden   from   most   people   for   their   entire   lives. The   number   one   secret   that   most   people   never   appreciate   about   their   unwanted   pounds   of   excess   body   fat   is   that   it   is   almost   always   the   result   of   a   prolonged   state   of   hormonal   imbalance   within   the   body.

Most   of   us   appreciate   the   idea   that   hormones   control   our   daily   levels   of   sexual   desire,   and   that   the   ability   with   which   we   are   able   to   gain   muscle   is   strongly   influenced   by   the   levels   of   certain   muscle   building   hormones  -  such   as   the  such   as   the   steroids   which   athletes   are   prone   to   abuse   for   increased   performance.  

What   we   tend   not   to   appreciate   so   much   is   that   the   everyday   balance   of   other   hormones   in   our   bodies   determine   the   rate   at   which we   are   able   to   store   and   shed   body   fat.

On   the   other   hand   you   may   have   some   awareness   that   when   the   thyroid   gland   is   not   working   properly   we   can   suffer   an   increase   in   body   weight. People   who   have   a   hard   time   losing   weight   are   apt   to   suspect   that   they   are   suffering   from   hypothyroidism,   in   which   the   thyroid   hormones   T3   and   T4  ( which   play   a   big   part   in   controlling   the   overall   rate   at   which   food   is   burned   to   produce   energy)   are   not   produced   in   the   quantities   needed   to   stimulate   sufficient   energy   production.   So   the   net   effect   is   your   bodyimmune   disfunctions.  

In   addition   to   affecting   only   a   very   small   percentage   of   the   population,   none   of   these   factors   you   have   much   control   over,   so   it   is   best   to   seek   the   advice   of   a   medical   practitioner   when   it   comes   to   diagnosis   of   thyroid   problems   and   the   treatment   of   it.

But   besides   the   level   of   thyroid   hormones   in   your   body,   there   are   other   hormones   which   also   play   an   important   part   in   the   determination   of   your   metabolic   rate.   These   other   hormones,   which   respond   to   diet   and   exercise,   are   much   more   under   your   direct   control,   and   can   result   in   weight   gain   when   they   become   unbalanced   in   your   body,   even   when   your  must   be   rebalanced   to   burn   fat   rather   than   store   it.