Why Balance Will Help you Lose Weight: 4 Key StepsBy Mary Clifton, MD
By Sean Cordry, Get Waisted Director in Morristown, TN
We know that weight control is about balancing the energy from the food we eat with the energy that we expend doing stuff. Usually, we think about this balance over a twenty-four-hour time period. Take Jill, for example, who thinks, “I’m eating out tonight, so I’ll save some calories by skipping lunch. That way, I’ll still come in under 1400 Calories for the day.” This is a convenient way for Jill to think, but as it turns out, no one bothered to tell Jill’s body that it was supposed to work this way.
Our bodies don’t want to balance energy over a twenty-four hour period, but over a time span of just a few hours. All afternoon, Jill’s body would be in starvation mode, slowing her metabolism and maybe even scavenging some lean muscle mass. (Her body doesn’t know about Jill’s dinner plans.) Later, when she overeats at Chef Bubba’s Soul Food Buffet, her body will go into fat-storage mode, and slap that piece of blueberry pie right on her hips. The net effect is that Jill is not as lean tomorrow as she is today; her percent body fat has increased.
So, eat when you’re hungry, and don’t over-indulge when you do.
That first part is pretty easy, but the second part is tricky. How can you make sure that you eat the right amount of food at each meal? Our stomachs will tell us, but most of us need to learn how to listen.
Here’s some tips to help get in tune with your tummy.
- 1. Fibrous foods first. Your stomach takes about twenty minutes to register how full it is. Start your meal with low-calorie offerings that will take up lots of space in your stomach. Later, when you start on higher calorie, carbohydrate-rich foods, you won’t eat so much.
- 2. Mind your food. Eating is a full-sensory experience: see it, feel it, hear it crunch in your mouth, smell the aroma, and taste it with your whole mouth. Wait until your bite makes it all the way to your stomach before you shovel in another. For one meal a day, eat completely without distractions: no radio, no TV, no books, no YouTube, no work – just you and your food.
- 3. Pause for Pandora. The infamous goddess let temptation get the best of her and regretted it. Don’t let that happen to you. After eating about three-quarters of your food, pause. After five minutes or so, see how your tummy feels, then decide: will finishing this plate of food unleash regret?
- 4. Quench arguments between your tongue and your tummy. Sometimes, our mouths say, “More,” when our tummies say, “Done.” When this happens, I’ve found that it’s usually time for a big drink of cool water. Cravings for something sweet or salty after a meal can simply mean that you’re thirsty.
Be patient with yourself. Your tummy isn’t used to being listened to, and it can be bashful.
Sean Cordry is a Get Waisted Director in Morristown, TN. He discovered the light and came out of the cave about a year ago, switching from a “paleo” diet to a plant-based one. As a physics professor, martial arts instructor, novelist, blogger and health coach, he stays busy.Posted on by Mary Clifton, MD