Strategies For Weight Loss
As you may have guessed from the last post, I’m not a proponent of the food- grazing craze. I know that some “experts” think it is a grand idea. Keeps your blood sugar level at a constant. No spikes. If you are suffering from diagnosed hypoglycemia, it may be important to do this. But for those of us who are not so diagnosed, it sets us up for diet failure. Remember the leptin we talked about? Leptin is the hormone that lets you know when you are hungry. By never allowing yourself to get hungry, you disallow one of your body’s normal functions. In order to know if you are hungry, you have to put some distance between your last food episode and the next. I want you to try to get this function back. Grazing is normal for cows. But not for humans.
The KEY to being able to lose weight slowly and keep it off is to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are satisfied. I know you didn’t expect me to give you the key so quickly, but this is actually much harder to do than it sounds. I’ll be spending quite a bit of time reminding you of this simply complex notion and give you the support to figure it out.
For now, if you are a grazing person, I’m going to ask you to STOP doing this. All those candy dishes you have around the house? Put them far away. Take those snacky foods and toss them. I don’t want it to be easy for you to get your hands on them. Too tempting.
What I do want you to do instead is to practice eating 2-3 square meals per day. You are not kidding anyone if you eat a tiny amount at each meal thinking this will help you lose weight and then snack all day long on food with no nutritional value and not count it as part of your intake. A personal trainer once told me that if you eat food with little to no nutritional value, you would want to eat more food than you really need. She admonished me to eat “nutritionally dense” food and said that it would fill me up better and stay with me longer. I don’t know if she was relying on scientific studies to make such a declaration but it sounded logical. (Warning: not everything that sounds logical in the world of nutrition actually is.)
When sizing up my request that you stop snacking and start eating enough at each meal to hold you until the next meal, also consider the nutritionally dense food idea. If you serve up some real, whole foods grown in accordance with the way Mother Nature intended (she did not intend for food to be fractured and processed, nutrients removed and then added back in artificially, with additives for shelf-life, taste and appearance) perhaps you will feel more satisfied and not have the need to keep reaching for something more to eat.
I’m not going to tell you what to eat or how much to eat. Use your good sense. Try to eat whole, not processed, foods. If you cook them, terrific. If you order in or eat out, try to choose what you think will be healthful and life supporting. Do the best you can. Don’t let some artificial portion size determine how much to eat. Generally, in America, our portions are way too big. Eat half of what your head is telling you to eat. Pause before you eat the rest. Ask yourself if you’ve eaten enough to feel satisfied. It takes about twenty minutes for your digestion to kick into gear. If you eat fast and fill up before your body can say, “had enough,” you will have eaten too much. So slow down, sip some wine in between bites, and only eat half of what you think you want. If you are still hungry, there is no shame in eating more. I want you to be satisfied. But if there’s still half of your food remaining and you’ve had enough, wrap it up and use it as leftovers. After you’ve got the hang of this, you will start to get a picture for how much food it takes to satisfy you. That will be a huge milestone.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are my researched opinions and are provided for educational purposes only. They are not intended to replace sound medical advice from a board certified physician.
© 2016 L-K Associates, LLC