NUTRITION: Metabolism, meals and keeping your company above water…

I’m sure you have heard before how your body is comparable to that of a car; no fuel, no go.  You don’t put dirt in your gas tank and expect it to run.  And you don’t wait for your tank to be completely empty before filling it up.

Your body is the same way.  If you fill it with garbage, it’s not going to last as long and be as healthy as it should be.  And, you shouldn’t wait until you are starving to fill your tank!

You need to understand a little about metabolism.  Metabolism is a process that the body goes through and its basic purpose is to provide your body with the energy it needs to function.  Through a series of chemical reactions (and I’m not a scientist, so the rest is up to them!) your metabolism is what takes food, breaks it down, and converts it in to energy.  You then use that energy for everyday functions…including working out!

Here is where your metabolism will begin to fail…with age, certain diseases (if you experience weight gain with no cause or change in diet and exercise, it’s recommended that you check up with your doctor), and it will fail, most importantly, by how you fuel it!!

People feel that if they eat less, they will gain less.  If they skip breakfast, they will lose more weight.  They couldn’t be farther from the truth.  When you stop feeding your body, your metabolism has nothing to break down.  After hours and hours of not eating, you then decide to eat your first meal.  You know how you feel when your alarm clock goes off on an early Monday morning after a long weekend?  That’s how your metabolism feels when its first meal of the day is lunch.  It’s tired.  It doesn’t want to wake up and it’s working at a slow pace.  It never had a good breakfast to wake it up and get its day started.

The other thing people do to mess with their metabolism is by eating a few meals throughout the day and stuffing themselves during that time.  Think of your metabolism as a machine.  If you throw too much into the machine at once, it’s going to jam up and not process everything.  This makes your metabolism slower and your body now has a harder time breaking down food for energy and food starts getting stored as fat!  Eating infrequent meals, larger meals, or starving yourself all results in a slower metabolism and weight gain.  Your body basically starts holding on to fat because it’s in protection mode and knows a certain amount of fat in the body is necessary to insulate and protect.  Think of it like this…A company has a lot of people working for them, but needs to make cuts.  Some of the positions are very helpful, but not necessary.  Are you going to get rid of the coffee guy or the girl who has clients that brings in the most money for the company?  You’re going to get rid of Starbucks boy and keep the lady who is keeping the company above water…you’re going to keep the fat because it’s what your body (company) needs to keep it going without losing too much.

You can keep your metabolism working hard not by starvation, but by small, frequent meals.  I believe it takes around 2-3 hours for your blood sugar to drop and this is why you want to fuel your body before you start to feel these effects.  Eating small, frequent meals or snacks every 2-3 hours or so, will not only keep you satiated, but it keeps your metabolism active and working.  Make sure you are eating healthy snacks, though.  It would be counterproductive to eat every 2-3 hours meals that are composed of sugars, trans fats, etc etc. etc.  If you incorporate some lean proteins into your snacks, you will also find that you stay satiated longer…chicken breast, salmon, tuna, Greek yogurt, eggs, quinoa,….

If you haven’t been eating small, frequent meals and you’ve been eating less in the hopes that you will lose weight, you will eventually (if you haven’t already) hit a point where your body won’t lose and it’s holding on to the fat.  Try eating small meals more frequently (and healthy) and you will start to see your energy levels increase, your workouts become more productive, and, what you’ve been waiting for, weight loss!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Darlene Quail
    Jan 18, 2012 @ 17:17:23

    Very interesting! Makes perfect sense. Oh, the mistakes I have made with weight loss attempts!

    Reply

  2. sweetopiagirl
    Jan 27, 2012 @ 00:31:33

    Reblogged this on Inspiredweightloss.

    Reply

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