Permanent Weight Loss Requires Healthy Eating
by Jeanne Rhodes
If you’re counting calories it may be far more accurate to look at HOW YOUR BODY USES CALORIES. Herein lies the big difference! For example, imagine two people same height, age, sex and activity levels. One is thin; one is fat; but both eat 2000 calories a day. We all know of situations like this which makes it clearly evident that the fat person’s body produces more body fat from the same number of calories as the thin person’s.
Numerous research studies comparing caloric intake have proven that thin people eat an average of 600 calories a day more than overweight people! The answer may not be how much you eat but how little, how often, when and what it is that is slowing your metabolism and converting 10-20 percent more of your caloric intake into fat than the thin person’s.
The following questions will help get you “on track” to increase your health, which will in turn, increase your metabolism.
1) When do you eat?
Eating the largest meals for breakfast and lunch and the smallest at dinner will mean less calories used for fat. The “thermic effect of food,” is highest in the early hours after arising and decreases to lowest in the evening. You will burn 45% more calories at breakfast and 25% more calories at lunch than you will at dinner. Therefore it is best to have the lightest meal of the day for your last meal of the day.
2) How frequently do you eat?
If you eat frequently you won’t get as hungry and you will automatically eat less at each feeding. Why? Because frequent smaller feedings stabilize your blood sugar, avoiding “out of control” hunger. Just as important, every time you eat, your metabolism must increase to fuel the process of digestion. Smaller meals with snacks in between will deliver 5 - 6 metabolic increases every day!
3) How much fiber?
High fiber foods combine with some of the fat in the diet preventing its absorption (up to 10%). Fiber also moves the food through the system quicker, which inhibits calorie absorption. But best of all, even though each gram of fiber has 4 calories you will absorb none of these calories.
4) How much of your food comes from Fat? Sugar? Protein? Refined carbohydrates? Unrefined carbohydrates?
Dietary fat is easier for the body to convert to body fat than any other food you eat. Sugars and white flour foods (refined carbohydrates) are also fat producers, because of the insulin response to rapidly rising blood sugar levels. Body fat is produced quickly from white flour foods, sugar or sugary foods. Not so with high fiber (unrefined) carbohydrates or protein. Therefore, calories from high fiber carbohydrates and low fat proteins do not produce the fat that calories from fat, white flour, and sugars do, because of the impact these foods have on your body.
In summary, to reduce the body’s fat production:
1) Eat more of your food earlier in the day - larger breakfast, larger lunch, very light evening meal.
2) Eat three meals and three snacks (six smaller feedings) daily.
3) Eat lots of fiber foods each day.
4) Eat fish three to four times weekly. The Omega 3 fats in fatty fish will not only keep you healthy, but will help you lose weight.
5) Keep FATS, WHITE FLOUR FOODS, & SUGARS AS LOW AS POSSIBLE. These are the fat producers! A high intake of unrefined carbohydrates (which will help keep fiber intake high) and moderate amounts of protein will help your body become a very healthy “Fat Burner.”
Rhodes, B.A., M.A., is a Nutritionist, Wellness Lifestyle Strategist, Author and is Director of Rhodes Preventive Health Institute in Hagerstown.