Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Timing is Everything... How to Lose Weight by Eating More, Not Less!

I used to be of the mindset that when I ate off track, to make up for my discretion I would starve myself the next day. Or skip a meal. You know, to make up for the calories I overate. This seemed like a failsafe plan - like when you spend too much money shopping, simply don't spend for the next few weeks.  And while this works great for financial means, your waistline isn't quite as forgiving as your bank account.

While mathematically it may make sense to stick to the old adage, "calories in, calories out" - this mentality simply doesn't work when it comes to your metabolism.

You see, when humans lived out in nature and we fended for ourselves (the time before grocery stores and refrigerators), food was not always readily available. In order to keep our bodies alive, we developed a metabolism that was efficient at fat storage. Our survival depended on storing calories and fat. Therefore, when we ate scarcely our bodies would go into starvation mode - meaning the metabolism slowed down in order to keep us warm and supple. Today we call this gaining weight. Or, "I ate so much at that party last night. I feel like I gained 10 pounds!"

Unfortunately, as we have become more sedentary in our daily lives by moving from caves into apartment buildings and driving in our sedans instead of walking for miles to food and water, our biology has not kept up with our technology. When we starve ourselves for a day or so, or deprive ourselves of a meal - our body still thinks its in the wild trying to survive. Cue the slow metabolism and fat storage. When you do eat again, your slower metabolism will work diligently to store all the calories it can. And the cycle continues.

 This is why calorie restriction, meaning consuming 1200 calories or less a day, is detrimental to your health goals. While in the long term you will quickly lose water weight, and some fat, you will also sacrifice lean muscle mass as well. And when you do indulge in food again, I guarantee it will not come back on as muscle. Nope. Most of it will be digested and absorbed as fat storage. To put it briefly: You lost muscle, you gained fat.
So let's change the gameplan.

Timing is everything - when you eat is just as important as what you eat. The key, the secret, is right here ladies and gentlemen: The way to a fast metabolism, and ultimately long term fat loss, is eating on a schedule. ALWAYS. This means consuming 5-6 meals a day, consisting of around 300-500 calories each, every 2-4 hours. Yes- eating more will help you lose more. Seems contradictory, right? Well, unless you're eating chocolate cake and milkshakes for each meal, you will lose weight. What you eat is just as important as when you eat, but I'll touch on this next week.

Start with eating breakfast within the first hour of waking and keep eating throughout the day. I promise that if you do this consistently, by the end of 3 weeks your metabolism will kick in. It will literally realize that YOU ARE NOT STARVING - therefore, it speeds up! Everything is OK- there is a constant supply of food, and no need to store it!

How awesome is that? I have been practicing this routine religiously for 3 months now. My body is digesting so effectively that I don't even need to check the time anymore for when to eat. My stomach will start to rumble like clockwork - every third hour. It's a great relationship - I keep my stomach happy, and it keeps my size 2 pants fitting. Can't argue with that.

And trust me, this feels a lot better than trying to starve myself a meal or two most days.

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Hi! I 'm Karlene Murphy. A lover of food (especially if it's gluten and dairy free!), getting outdoors, lifting weights, travel, writing, and snuggling with my two puppies. My addictions include chocolate, coffee, cookies, and sharing my love of being HAPPY and HEALTHY! My passion is educating others - whether at my full time job as a high school Psychology teacher, or with YOU my readers. I have been in the fitness wold for almost 10 years, and currently am an Online Fitness Coach, Fitness Instructor, Pilates and Yoga and Aerial Yoga Instructor in Southern New Hampshire. Contact Me if you need help with designing your own fitness and nutrition program.

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