It’s Spring and I have several clients who want to lose weight by summer. Many of them have been eating 5 to 6 times a day, as suggested by their doctor, their weight loss center, or some book they’ve read.
I hate the Mini Meal Plan! If you want to lose weight, the constant grazing just has to stop.
Years of Diet and Supplement companies advising us to eat 5 or 6 times a day to “speed up our metabolism” has been disproven -scientifically – over and over. Unfortunately, the “eat all day long” idea has taken hold; that’s an exciting thought for Foodies! But how’s that working out for health and weight loss? Not so well, and no wonder.
Mini meals don’t speed up metabolism. If you eat 2000 calories in a day, divided by 3 meals or 6, it takes the same amount of energy (thermogenesis) to digest that food. Sadly, thermogenesis doesn’t actually account for much of our calorie burn at all, so as a weight loss tool, it’s ineffectual. As a weight GAIN tool, multiple meals are perfect! The habit of eating all day is pleasurable for our brain to establish. For everyone who’s tried this form of eating, you know that dependency and excitement about the next meal becomes a happy mental focal point.
Mini-meals cause eating to happen whether there’s hunger or not. Eating happens because “it’s time to eat”.
I recently heard an interesting study on Flight Attendants who smoked. They were questioned as to when their desire for a cigarette started to well up while on their flights. The answer: the duration of the flight had nothing to do with wanting a cigarette, but how close they were to landing, and actually being able to smoke, was what triggered the wanting.
Apply that to food, and constant mini-meals: the schedule, or thought that your next meal is right around the corner, produces a desire and excitement for eating. So does plummeting blood sugar. Join mini-meals with high carb “snacks” ( like most diet bars or shakes ), and you’ve got a problem: constant glucose/sugar in the blood stream, going up up up, and then crashing down down down.
By the way, who does benefit from Mini Meals? The Diet, Supplement, and Food Industry. Snacking is a multi-BILLION dollar business.
Snacking was pretty much unheard of for Adult Americans until the early 1970s. Hmm, that’s about the same time Weight Gain started to ramp up! Until then, snacking was considered something only for young and growing children.
Quick Review: Carbs are digested to blood sugar/glucose. When glucose is present in amounts over 100mg/dcl, that’s considered TOO MUCH GLUCOSE in the blood (remember: excess glucose is TOXIC to the body). Your pancreas releases the hormone Insulin, which takes the excess glucose and (1) puts it in needy muscle cells, or (2) puts in empty liver cells, or (3) takes all the leftovers and remakes the glucose into TRIGLYCERIDES. Triglycerides are FATTY ACIDS.
Say out loud to yourself: “Excess sugar and carbs are turned into body fat.”
Wonder if this is happening to you? Look down at your stomach. The body deposits most of these homemade triglycerides in the abdominal area. In addition to belly fat, excess glucose and excess insulin dramatically create/cause inflammation in the body. Inflammation is linked to absolutely every single chronic disease and condition out there, including weight gain.
Here’s my approach: we only eat 3 meals a day; we eat mostly healthy fats and proteins, tons of vegetables, some fruits, some nuts and seeds, some whole fat dairy, our blood sugar/glucose stays under 100, we go hours WITHOUT insulin in our blood.
****Then our pancreas releases the hormone GLUCAGON. Glucagon “taps” the fat cells holding those triglycerides, takes them to the liver, which remakes them into glucose for the body to burn. Now we’ve literally “burned fat”.
What about “crashing”? Please don’t worry that you’ll “crash your metabolism” if you don’t eat every couple of hours. That’s ridiculous. Your metabolism is at the mercy of your HORMONES; the hormone Insulin BUILDS, the hormone glucagon TEARS DOWN. Anabolic and Catabolic. ( We’re a Chemistry Set, not a math equation. )
Worried because you can’t seem to go more than a few hours without STARVING?
Two reasons. 1) You’re a sugar burner. Sugar burners have created systems for digesting and storing sugar/glucose, and because that system runs so fast, you’re genuinely hungry all the time. Fat Burners can go HOURS without feeling hungry, even through hard workouts. IT FEELS GREAT TO BE A FAT BURNER. Honestly! For years I was a 5/6 mini-meal a dayer. What a pain in the butt.
2) You’re addicted to either food or eating, or both. 🙁
Anyone and everyone can break the patterns and habits that have led to weight gain, fatigue, and inflammation. Everyone. It’s Mid April, you could be a rock star in a few months if you start now. You could be a whole new person by Christmas!
Food is Medicine or Food Is Poison. Let me teach you how to make Food your Friend.