Are We Eating Frequently?
Maximise Our Feedings For Fat Loss
There is so much confusion out there about how to eat to lose fat safely and naturally. Notice that I don't use the term weight loss because a lot of times, we lose water weight throughout the day. We also lose muscle weight, which is a bad thing as we need to retain them like gold in our bodies! The equation for fat loss is quite simple. Technically, it's like this:
Calories In (1200 cal) - Calories Out (1700 cal) = Loss of 500 calories
If you have a caloric deficit of 500 everyday for 7 days, technically, you should lose 1 lb of fat a week. Of course, you need to add physical activity to that equation because how many of us can cut 500 calories from diet alone? Not me! It's an oversimplified assumption because the body is such a complex mechanism which has its own in-built defensive system which can actually throw this very equation out the window.
PORTION CONTROL For now, let's concentrate of the nutrition portion of it. I really hate the word diet. It means deprivation, starvation, yucky meals, permanent hunger, the list goes on... you know what I mean. Ok, let's say that you need 1700 calories to maintain your weight and you need a steady, realistic fat loss plan. What you can do it to cut perhaps 200 calories a day (15-20% of total existing calorie intake), making it 1500 calories.
What is 200 calories in term of actual food? For example:
1 cup of 3-in-1 instant coffee (w/milk and sugar);
1 slice of wholemeal bread;
1 medium egg
Not much but it adds up in a week (1400 calories in total!) This is what most people would do:
Breakfast: 200 cal (7.00am);
Lunch : 500 cal (1.00pm);
Dinner : 600 cal (7.00pm);
Supper : 200 cal (10.00pm)
I'm actually assuming the above individual actually eats breakfast. As you can see, she gets 1500 calories a day. That should be sufficient to create a caloric deficiency and lose fat. right? Wrong! Let's study the feeding schedule a little closer. She starts her breakfast at 7.00am. Then she goes about her work and stops for lunch at 1.00am. She continues this routine until her last meal, which is at 10.00pm. What she has done is that between meals 1 and 2, 4 hrs have gone by. Between meals 2-3, 6 hrs have gone by. Her last meal, at 10.00pm is most likely to be some sort of dessert to satisfy her sugar craving before she heads off to bed. A sure recipe for fat gain!
The Secret to Healthy Eating - Advanced Health Institute
Hubs On Healthy Eating
- Book Review: Healthy Highways: The Traveler's Guide to Healthy Eating
A review of a book called Healthy Highways on eating while travelling in the United States
- A Simple To Follow Daily Healthy Eating Pan and Program
A summary of what eating healthy is all about.
- A Guide to Healthy Eating During The Holidays
Healthy eating tips during the holiday season for the average person who's watching their caloric intake
YOUR BODY HAS AN IN-BUILT SURVIVAL KIT The body does not like long periods of time in between meals. It will switch its system into starvation mode. What this means is that during the next meal, which is 5-6 hrs later, it uses a few calories to maintain its functions and stores the rest as fat, in anticipation of the next "starvation" period. The metabolism takes a dive and the body programs itself to be hungry. This is where you will gorge yourself during the next meal, setting yourself up for an afternoon slump and lethargy. Sounds familiar? I used to do the same thing for a long time before I got wise and gave my body exactly what it needs.
FIRST GEAR Liken you body to a car. If you don't put petrol in the tank, it will never run. If you don't change the battery after it has expired, it won't even start. Your body needs to have nutrients to run at its best. Starving will just break it down, just like your car battery. You want to rev up your metabolism constantly and one of the ways to do it is to eat smaller portions of food more frequently. Of course, that doesn't mean frequent trips to KFC or MacDs. It's ok once a week. Don't beat yourself silly if you do. You need cheat meals ever so often.
So based on 1500 calories, your meals should look like this:
7.00am Breakfast 300 cals;
10.00am Brunch 300 cals;
1.00pm Lunch 300 cals;
4.00pm Mid Day 300 cals;
7.00pm Dinner 300 cals
The meals are equally distributed throughout the day into 5 feedings. Don't obsess about making it exactly 300 calories. You can tweak it depending on your activity level at any particular moment. If you are running around a lot in the morning, have a slightly heavier breakfast. Do not add a piece bacon or hash brown but better alternatives, such as a whole wheat muffin or an additional egg white to your omelet. Be creative.
You can even add a 6th meal but ensure that it keeps within the calorie allocated for the day. However, most people find that adding an additional meal becomes a hassle as it disrupts life and you may find that you are eating constantly. Be realistic and work around your lifestyle or you WILL abandon your plan within a week or less.
NUTRITIONAL CHOICES Many people who begin their healthy eating plan do so around lower fat/lower sugar versions of their favorite dish. This is actually not a good idea as you tend to eat more of this particular food just because it's "lower". Please be aware that low sugar doesn't mean low fat and visa versa. Select the healthier cooking style when you eat out. Cut down on the ones that state deep fried, fried, breaded, white sauce, curry (unless it's prepared with tomato paste or low fat milk- most curries are prepared with coconut milk). Choose stir-fried, steamed, braised, broiled, grilled or sauteed. Order your salad with the dressing by the side. Use your fork to dip in the dressing instead of pouring it straight into your greens.
When your plate comes to the table, look at the combination presented. Is it 50% carbohydrate, 30% protein and roughly 20% fat? It's hard to gauge fat as it's hidden in your meats and dressings but to the best of your ability, divide the plate as mentioned above. Your protein should not be bigger than your fist. Unless you are on a carb rotation diet, keeping to this formula will help you make better choices when eating out.
DRINK MORE...WATER This seems like easy enough to do but for those who have tried, it is actually quite difficult. Water is nature's diuretic. It helps flush toxins out of the body, aiding in circulation and making fat loss easier to accomplish. It also improves your skin and brings back the glow to an otherwise dull, lifeless skin. If drinking 8-10 glasses of water is too difficult, start with 2-3 glasses a day and add a bit of lemon for flavor. Let your body adapt to this change and don't be stressed over the frequent toilet visits. This will eventually pass as the body gets use to the quantity introduced. If you are exercising, you will need even more water to cope with the demands of increasing body temperature and sweating. Don't wait till you are thirsty to drink. Take constant sips of water throughout the day. Your water bottle is your new best friend!
You need to start somewhere. Don't be overwhelmed. Make the changes small ones.Don't try to do everything at the same time. That is exactly the recipe for disaster! If you make 4 out of 5 meals from healthy choices, congratulations! You have done well. When time goes by, healthy eating and being hungry every 3 hours will come naturally. The fat will slowly go off (be sure to add exercise at least 3 days a week combining cardio and strength training). Your body will thank you for treating it so lovingly and you will enjoy long and fruitful existence.
Good luck in your Quest for a Lean Body & Better Health.