People will often look at me in disbelief when I tell them they are not eating often enough. The logical mind wants to think, “If I skip meals … I am bound to lose weight.” WRONG!!!!! There has been a ton of research that has proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the body gears down and hangs on when put under this type of stress. I call it “starvation mode.” When your body isn’t receiving nutrients every few hours, your metabolism drops into low, low gear; basically, the rate it maintains while you are asleep. In that state, your body is ultra-conservative. It uses energy very efficiently, and if any nutrients come in, they are immediately stored for fear that it won’t be getting any more for another long period of time. Hence, you will not lose weight and, in fact, may even gain. On the other hand, if you were to begin eating 5-6 small meals every day, in a week or two your body will be convinced that “more nutrients are always coming … on a regular basis”, and you will begin to drop weight almost effortlessly. Hard to believe but its true.
Now, an important key is to eat the right small meals every 2-3 hours. You can’t be eating fast food or double fudge brownies and expect the weight to fall off. Of course you need to eat a balanced healthy diet consisting of 7-8 servings of fruit and vegetables, 2-4 servings of grains, 1-3 servings of good fats, 2-3 servings of dairy and 2-3 servings of lean protein. The actual reality is that you will be eating more food then you have probably ever eaten but, because it is the nutrient-packed food that your body needs, you will lose weight with relative ease.
So, let’s go through a typical day’s food plan.
7 a.m. – 8 oz glass of purified water, 1-2 eggs, 1 slice hardy multigrain bread, 1-2 teaspoons all fruit, 2 slices turkey bacon, 1 cup decaf or green tea.
Midmorning snack – 8 oz water, a small apple or 15 raw almonds.
Noon – Ideally, this is your largest meal of the day with 4-6 oz lean protein, 2-3 servings of veggies, 1/2 sweet potato or 1/2-cup brown rice and more water.
Afternoon snack – Warm or cold herbal tea, 5-7 Triscuits with a thin coating of peanut butter.
Dinner – Very large mixed green salad with all the fixings, put 2-3 oz. of lean meat on it and use balsamic vinegar and olive oil as dressing, more water.
Evening – Finally, if you so choose, an evening snack of a small container of no-fat yogurt or 5-7 strawberries cut up and mixed with 1/3 cup of no-fat cottage cheese and, of course, more water.
This may seem challenging at first, but over the course of a week or two, as you settle into this food regimen, you will notice that your energy level will markedly increase, you will not have sugar or non-healthy carb carvings and you will sleep much more soundly. Give it a try, and mark my words … you are going to feel wonderful and lose weight to boot. Click on Fitness Tips for more information.
Kim Pye is certified in fitness and exercise by the American Council on Exercise (A.C.E.). Kim Pye currently owns a very successful exercise and fitness studio in Waynesville, North Carolina, Kim’s Gym: http://www.probodyfitnessandnutrition.com/