“In the past we use to say eat 6 small meals per day to lose weight.” We now know better. We now know, this method keeps you fat!
Kick starting the day with a sustainable, high Protein, high fibre diet kicks starts your metabolism making it burn, burn, burn…
Your metabolism needs to wake up when you do. You had your last bit of food, then went to bed, woke up and now your body is in famine mode. What time was your last meal? 6, 7,8pm? What is it when you wake up, 6,7,8am? so What’s that 10-12 hours of no food! Your metabolism is now resting. There is nothing left in the stomach for it to do so it is doing nothing. 2 options.
The first is to go and train. Training on an empty stomach means your body taps into its fat stores for energy, rather than what is in your belly. However, most people then feel queasy training on an empty stomach for that exact reason; their body has no energy. In order to be a stored fat burner, first you need to train your body to cope with that. It’s not going to happen by switching to training on an empty stomach, over night. Even after much practice, some of us still can’t muster this up.
Let’s be realistic. Most people reading this article are not professional athletes training crazy hours per day on special nutrition plans. Most of you will be everyday people wanting to get healthy and maybe lose a bit of weight, ‘tone’ up, build some muscle. For the sake of this article, I am going to concentrate on those of you wanting to be healthy and lose weight.
So, the 2nd option is to have breakfast and then go out and train or start your day. If you start your day off with something like cereal, toast, oats, that sort of thing, you are adding simple carbohydrates and sugars into your body right from the word go. This means your insulin level spikes because it is trying to remove the sugar from your blood stream. Insulin doesn’t recognize processed sugar so it will not transport it to the muscles for energy use when it removes it from the blood. It thinks it is something foreign (which it is!) and so takes it to the liver to detox it. The liver then converts it to fat, because the body knows what to do with that, burn it. If it’s not burnt, it sits around the liver and muscles, increasing the risk of Fatty Liver Disease. This all happens rather quickly so you tend to go for a ‘sugar high’ to a ‘sugar low’ quite quickly, meaning by morning tea time, you are looking for something sweet to eat to get that ‘high’ back and because you have completely digested that food super quick and are now hungry again.
The other thing that happens when you eat simple carbs and sugars for breakfast is that it warps your Lepton (‘I am full’ hormone) and your Ghrelin (‘I am starving’ hormone). Lepton switches off completely (so your body doesn’t tell you when you are in fact full) and Ghrelin skyrockets (telling you, you are starving, keep eating!). This means that no matter how much food you are in fact consuming, you are still hungry! So you go looking for food around morning tea, normally some more simple carbs and sugars, consume some more negative foods, which means more calories and the cycle begins again.
The other problem with these breakfasts is that they hold no nutritional value (not even the ones that say “high in fibre”, “contain omega 3” blah blah blah! In order for food to contain nutrients at their optimal level, the nutrients need to come from the fresh unprocessed food itself, not processed in a factory, synthesized and added in later so that it looks good in the advertisement and the packaging.
Furthermore, these foods contain next to no Protein, minimal fibre and some even boast about ‘no fat’ or ‘reduced fat’. Let’s have a look at these things.
Protein is required for the repair and synthesis of muscle fibres in your body. Without protein (and the best source actually comes from animal form) you will lack this repair and regeneration. Your muscles will start to wither and weaken. Weak muscles, in turn create weak bones, hello Osteoporosis.
Fibre, keeping it in the simplest form possible, helps the body pass waste from the stomach out to the colon and beyond. Now I am keeping things VERY simple! But you get the idea.
Fat, is required for the production of the hormone Cholecystokinin (CCK) which makes you feel full and stops you from eating. Fat is an energy source and it also helps insulation. Eating good fat, does not make you fat, quite the opposite; it makes you feel full so you do not go searching for more food.
Simple Carbs and Sugars also hold minimal vitamins and minerals so again prevent your body from getting the nutrients it needs for optimal function. So basically, when you are eating these carbs and sugars you are consuming loads of calories, warping your hormones, making yourself want to eat more, so your eat more, so you warp your hormones some more, and so the cycle continues, on go the kilos, up goes your risk of heart Disease, Diabetes Type II etc etc…and then on top of that, you are in fact making your body malnourished! Have you ever seen a person from a third world country with a 6 pack? No? Why do you think that is? Why do you think they all have big round bellies? Because they are fed rice and grains from the Western world to fill them up and stop them starving. Their bodies then store this food around their liver and intestines as Visceral Fat and creates that bloated malnourished look. Guess what is happening to you!
So let’s get back to the point. Eating food that is high in Protein, Fibre and Fat will make you and keep you fuller for longer (preventing you from looking for extras), they will give you lots of very important nutrients, will regulate your blood sugar level, regulate your hormones, which in turn will regulate your mood, clear your thinking, help you sleep, give you more energy, increase your immune system, making you less susceptible to illnesses such as cold and flus (and more), so less money on medication, more money cos less ‘sickies’, more money cos you are not paying for packaged foods (packaging costs a lot you know!) etc etc. All in all a win win!
Okay we’ve established that breakfast is so important because it kicks starts the metabolism and by eating the right breakfast, it sets us up for an awesome 4-6 hours ahead, with balanced hormones, no cravings, lots of energy etc and so no snacking, no extra calories and so HELLO weight loss.
What about lunch and dinner? Before I answer that, allow me to ask you this; in the wild, to lions have set meals? Do they have certain times and types of foods they should eat at various times? No! We are no different. After a fabulous breakfast, if and when you are genuinely hungry again (possibly lunchtime, possibly later) then eat another meal, using the same concept! Same for dinner! If you are not genuinely hungry, don’t eat. You will find that as the day progresses, your meals will shrink as you will not be as hungry. Your appetite might increase if you are in fact training, but that’s fine because once again, your body will regulate your portion if you have stuck to this method of eating and avoided simple carbs and sugars. Remember, your hormones will work efficiently.
If you are hungry, eat a meal, not a snack.
NB: Eating when you are hungry, only works for weight loss, if you are eating sustainable foods in your meals, not if you are just starving yourself and going without food altogether. (A bit like your car, it won’t go with no fuel!!!)
In summary, eat meals that are high in protein, high in fibre, high in good fat, and limit the amount of simple carbohydrates and simple sugars you eat. (Remember carbohydrates from veggies are the complex good ones, and the sugar from honey and fruit is fine, providing you are keeping the fruit to no more than 2 serves per day and the honey to around a teaspoon per day)
Cook with organic butter or coconut oil and dress salads with Extra Virgin Olive or Coconut oil.