I met with a lovely lady the other day who is the manager of a leading pharmacy. She spends most of her day talking to people who want to lose weight, most of the time she is talking them out of buying slimming pills and meal replacements, not good for business you may be thinking but what a great person to have giving you advice, you know she’s not ripping you off and sending you away to munch on a ‘delicious’ cardboard tasting cereal bar or a flavoursome milkshake, yum! (Do you sense the sarcasm here?) There are so many products, lotions and potions out there which claim to help you to lose weight which they inevitably will, from your wallet
Like me, she sees many many, many, many people who are desperate to lose weight but, human nature being as it is, they want a quick fix. Of course, if you swop meals for a fortified drink or a snack bar you will lose weight, you will be reducing the amount of food you eat, the fat and sugar you consume. But, guess what? As soon as you stop replacing meals you will go back to your old habits and gain the weight- and some,
Fat cells are produced in our childhood, if we are inactive kids and eat an unhealthy diet our fat cells increase and are cemented into our foundations. When we lose weight the fat cells deflate, rather like a balloon but they don’t disappear. When we gain weight again they inflate and multiply which leads to putting more weight on than when we started dieting. This is the good ol’ yo yo dieting which is really bad for our health. How many times do you see someone and they have lost half their body weight only to see them again in a few months’ time and they’re bigger than ever?
Another popular favourite quick fix is ….not eating. Oh, the times I’m told “I don’t eat much…” No, you’re right, you don’t eat anything during the day but blimey, do you make up for it in the evening?!
Starting the day off with no breakfast, maybe you’ll have a banana for lunch, let’s be sensible here, you don’t want to starve do you?? But, get home from work and you’re ravenous; your body is craving all the wrong food which will be rich in calories and high in sugar. Tell you what, why don’t you Just a couple of biscuits while the pizza, sausages , oven chips, pies, etc are in the oven, maybe a handful of peanuts, oh and a slice of bread. You’ve not eaten all day so it’s fine, think of all the calories you’ve saved and besides, you’re STARVING!!!!!
Your body is programmed to have a certain amount of fuel throughout the day and if it doesn’t get it, it is very clever in making sure you deliver it. The thing is, if you’ve not eaten all day you will eat more than you would if you had eaten regular healthy meals so it defeats the object.
If you lose weight initially by skipping meals you will put it all back on again. Your metabolic rate relies on fuel, think of it like putting coal on a fire, if there is no coal, the fire can’t burn and it goes out. If you are not putting fuel in your body your metabolic rate will slow down, which means the rate at which you burn calories is much slower. This goes back to our prehistoric ancestors who didn’t know when they would eat next; when there was a shortage of food their metabolic rate slowed so that they conserved fat for warmth and protection.
This is what happens….
By skipping meals you will also miss out on loads of vitamins and minerals, your sugar levels will be all over the place and so will your moods, word of advice; steer clear of people who don’t eat- you’ll regret it!!
Oh, and you’ll be more likely to suffer from constipation, tiredness, depression and have no energy to do anything.
Sorry people, but there is no quick fix, the weight gain took time to get there, it’s going to take time to lose.
As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs many people lose weight by counting points and calories which is fine short term to kick start things but do you really want to spend the rest of your life weighing everything and working out its point value? You won’t be able to sustain this for ever, it’s so boring!!!
The best way to lose weight is to eat regular healthy meals with a variety of food groups and save the treats for one day a week so that you don’t crave them. This is for life, you have to be realistic.
Exercise is really important, not hours and hours of slogging away on a treadmill but walking, gardening, dancing, cycling swimming, in fact anything you enjoy! Yes, even sex will burn calories but it’ll have to last at least 20 minutes!!!
Include some resistance training, the more lean tissue you have the higher your metabolic rate will be. There is a condition known as sarcopenia, or flesh poverty. It is a preventable condition of old age. If you are inactive you will lose 0.5 – 2% of muscle per year and 2-4% loss of muscle strength. This is enough to lead to frailty in later life which causes falls and broken bones. Where there is a decrease in muscle there will be an increase in body fat so the person’s weight can actually stay the same.
I ask people to keep food diaries but you have to be really honest, if you just write things you think I want to hear I can’t help you. Sometimes it’s all it takes to shock people of how much they actually eat (or don’t) and how many food groups are missing from their daily intake.
Skipping meals will initially result in weight loss but long term it will result in weight gain and health problems.
It takes five minutes to prepare lunch to take to work. You know exactly what you’re eating, you know that if you’ve got a busy day and you can’t get out to buy something to eat that your lunch is already with you and… it’s cheaper!
So, to sum it up, putting it bluntly, cutting to the chase, (I can’t think of any more!) I’m going to say this very loudly…. REGULARLY SKIPPING MEALS WILL MAKE YOU FAT!!!!!!!!!
Food is too nice to miss out on, eat sensibly, fuel the body with a selection of slow release carbs, proteins and healthy fats. Stay away from sugar and junk food, drink plenty of water, get plenty of sleep and try to get your 5 a day, if not more.
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