Friday, June 17, 2011

The Switch (final part)

It’s time to close the series of posts about how to make The Switch happen. This time, I will not focus on the right foods, but on the right quantities.

As you might know already, even when you eat the best food possible, if you eat too much of it, you will store the extra calories as body fat. No way to go around that. Period.

Fat is the ultimate and most efficient way for your body to store energy.

If you keep eating in all your meals more calories than what you need, you will end up storing more and more energy. And your belly and hips will end up becoming larger and larger!

So - you might say - if I stored fat by eating too much, I can get rid of it by starving myself, right?


Your body does not work exactly like that.
(Bad news…I know, I know!)

However, that is what many people do: eat like maniacs and drink gallons of alcohol one day, and then eat almost nothing the next couple of days “to balance” things out.

While the effect is that they feel lighter after eating very little for a couple of days, in reality, what has happened is that their bodies have gone through a very negative cycle of:
  1. Feeling bloated and enlarging the stomach  (from eating large amounts of food)
  2. Storing extra fat (because too many calories were ingested)
  3. Having low energy levels (during the following day/s when eating very little)
  4. Tearing down muscle tissue (the body needs the protein to sustain vital organs and life processes – if you do not eat, the body gets its needed protein from its natural storages which are the muscles)
  5. Slowing down the metabolism (no energy is getting in, so the body slows down to consume less energy – it consumes less fat, too)
In other words, if you pig out one day and starve the next day, you end up with a larger and upset stomach, with lower energy levels, less muscle and a slowed down metabolism.  You might have lost a kilo or even two, but that lost weight is manly water and muscle, not fat.

So, what to do to avoid this negative cycle?

Just avoid overeating!
And do it with every meal you have.

Very simple, huh?

OK, I know it is not easy. Not at all.
Honestly, for me this is the most difficult thing to do.
I tend to overeat a lot when partying or when dinning out.
I just can’t resist good food  (and sincerely, I just do not want to!).

Since I guess you might have the same “problem” I have, let me give you now some quick tips on how to avoid overeating when going out to parties or dinners:

Eat before you go
Eat a small snack before going to the event. The whole point is to avoid arriving there starving, so you do not end up eating the whole buffet by yourself as soon as you arrive. Ideally, you should eat some sort of protein in your snack, as it will satisfy your appetite much better. As an example, you can try eating some nuts (not salted or fried, but natural) and a small piece of fruit.

Drink water
If you drink a couple of glasses of water before your party, not only you will be better hydrated, but also your stomach will be already filled a little bit with no calories at all (more on the importance of drinking water in later posts!). With water in your stomach, you will have less desire to pig out once in front of the food.

Take it easy with the alcohol
Alcohol is full of calories. You know it. I know it. We all know it! So try to avoid drinking too much. A couple of glasses of good wine or beer are perfect with nice food, but more than that starts to become too much if you are trying to lose fat. If you are drinking alcohol, at least eat less. On the other hand, if you feel like partying and losing your senses with alcohol one night, invite me!!!

Slow down and be aware
I think this applies for almost anything in life. Slow down and savor every single moment. Enjoy every single piece you eat. Be aware of how food awakes your senses. You’ll end up eating much less, but being much more satisfied. After all, Life is mainly a qualitative, not a quantitative experience.

Ok, let’s be honest here.
If you are like me, you will not do this perfectly. Far from it.
You will overeat and drink too much many times.
But now you know what the consequences of your actions are.
You are also better equipped to reduce their negative effects.

So, don’t sabotage your Perfect Fat Burning Machine.
Follow your appetite and do not overeat.

Remember that constantly starving yourself does more harm than good. Just eat a little lighter the days after you have eaten too much, but do eat. And eat properly.

Relax and enjoy your dinners and parties.
No need to be extremely strict.
It is enough if you follow good habits 80% of the time.
(and make sure the other 20% really counts!)

It's all about quality, not quantity!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment