I figured out that all you have to do to lose weight and then maintain your new weight is eat half as much as you normally would, but twice as often.
While you may have heard of a similar concept (small, frequent meals) before, what may be new to most people is to adjust the proportions each time you eat.
Notice that I say “each time you eat” instead of “meal.” I believe the word “meal” is overly associated with a whole lot of food! So from now on, the food on your plate will be referred to as “time to eat.”
Instead of 3 meals a day, make it 6 times to eat per day. Instead of breakfast, lunch and dinner, I say “first breakfast, second breakfast, first lunch, second lunch, etc.”
Back to proportions! Ok so we all learned from the standard American health classes and diet pyramid that “meals” should be basically 1/3 starch, 1/3 vegetables/fruit and 1/3 protein. The problem, as I see it, is that BOTH starch (bread, pasta, potatoes, rice) and vegetables/fruit contain carbohydrates (and very little protein/fat).
With that much carbohydrate in every “meal,” three times per day, it is only a matter of time before a person’s insulin stops working and the gates open for health issues like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, weight gain, etc…
I recommend shifting the percentages to 50:50. That is 50% protein based food (meat, poultry, fish, beans, nuts, eggs), which also contain healthy fats, and 50% carbohydrate based food (vegetables/fruits and gluten free grains).
Notice that I completely left out dairy products and gluten, which I consider to be the single biggest instigators of health issues all around.
So “eat half” means to eat half protein based food and half carb based food.
It also means “eat half” at each sitting. Instead of eating everything on a large plate, draw a line down the middle and eat half. (Or use a smaller plate!) Save the other half for 3-4 hours later when your body needs another fill of nutrients and calories.
Why 3-4 hours later? When you go more then 3-4 hours without eating, your body goes into stress mode, otherwise known as starvation. While we may wish that our bodies would burn the excess around our middles, or perhaps a little off the backside, that is simply impossible, I am sorry to say. Our bodies ONLY know how to use muscle for fuel.
So save your muscle, for goodness sake, and feed yourself every 3-4 hours. It may seem like a babysitting job at first, but hey, if you don’t feed yourself, who will?
I suggest setting an alarm on your cell phone for every 3 hours throughout the day. At first you may find that you have no idea what to eat, but soon you will catch on to the game and make sure you have something around so that you can move on to the next 3 hour interval nourished, energized and feeling clear and level-headed.
That’s right! Eating something every 3-4 hours ensures your blood sugar and your mood will be balanced.
Which means you’ll be more productive while you nourish yourself and feel great!
Eat half (half protein, half carb) and eat half as much, twice as often!
Think of it this way, you are not eating any more or less. You are just spreading it out differently through the day, in a way that works for your body.
Once you start experimenting with this way of eating, I’d love to hear about the changes you notice. Feel free to share your thoughts on this blog!
Wellness to you!