Basic Instincts…

kfurneaux Blog

Now we have probably all heard the philosophy that if you are burning more calories in a day than you are consuming, you will lose weight.  This is true in most cases.  If your outgoing is greater than your intake, you will eventually lose weight.  The problem with this theory is that people begin to decrease their intake by skipping meals, especially breakfast and this is a huge problem.  Let me tell you why…


The body is an amazing machine.  It is designed to survive at all costs.  This includes attempting to thwart starvation for as long as possible.  On average a human being can survive for about 30 days without food.  They won’t be functioning well after about 8 but they will continue to exist.  What the body does in order to survive is hang on to the stores that it has already has tucked around the body in the form of fat stores (love handles, muffin tops, saddle bags, clogged arteries).  It does all that it can to preserve those by slowing down your metabolism and decreasing how many calories you burn by making you lethargic which in turn means that you would rather sit on the sofa than go for a walk.


The body also then sends a message to the brain suggesting that you have reached a time in your life where food is scarce, an instinct which goes back to the times where we dependent on our own small crops and seasonal foods to survive.  The brain then tells the body that whatever food we consume must be stored rather than burnt as it is not sure when the next nourishment will come.


[Now I know some of you must be thinking that surely our brain can look around and register that we are not living in such times and adjust accordingly but the truth of the matter is we are dealing with ancient instincts.  These are the same instincts that trigger the “fight or flight” mechanism in times of panic even though we are rarely faced with saber-toothed tigers in this day and age.]


So the body stores the food rather than burning it and thus when we do eat again, we gain weight faster.


The best method of food consumption for the body is what is now most commonly known as “grazing”.  This is small meals and often.  Every time you put food into your mouth and begin to chew and digest it sparks your metabolism.  When your metabolism is functioning, it burns fat stores, which in turn leads to slow but healthy weight loss.  Small meals and often also prevents spikes and lows in blood sugar levels meaning you will have a more constant energy throughout the day rather than feeling exhausted at about 3pm.


By small meals and often, I suggest about 5 meals a day.  This simply means adding a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack and slightly decreasing the amount you consume for lunch and dinner.  As always, healthier choices are better for you.  Fruit, veggies, a boiled egg, nuts, some blue corn chips and salsa or homemade popcorn are all great alternatives for those smaller meals.


I know it seems to go against all the diet advice you have been given. How can eating more make you slimmer and healthier?  Try it and see. More on this topic to come…




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