Lately, it seems I keep coming across people that think eating less will help them drop weight. However, today, we are exposing the starvation myth!
I recently posed this question to my Facebook fans ~ “what do you think is the best way to lose weight: 1) eating very little for breakfast & lunch, like fruit, then eating anything you want for dinner? 2) cutting your meal portions by half and generally eating less? 3) eating more meals but less quantity per meal?”
Let’s start by talking about option 1.
If you eat, let’s say, just fruit for breakfast and lunch (which I have heard from several sources lately), this is potentially damaging on several levels. First, to answer the big question, yes, you will lose weight. However, there is a serious problem with the weight you are losing.
You will be losing fat and muscle. But once you start eating again, it’s just going to come right back on, but as fat this time. You aren’t retraining your body or your brain to eat healthier meals ALL the time. And secondly, too much sugar isn’t good for you, even in the natural form, such as fruit.
Ok, now onto Option 2: eating smaller portions & eating less.
Well, this is something that people have believed to be true for awhile now… the less you eat, the less you weigh. The problem with that theory is that we have a survival instinct in us that is in the same area of our brains as our “fight or flight” survival.
So basically, by eating too little, you are actually flipping your body into starvation mode, making it think it has to store everything you feed it because you don’t give it fuel often enough.
Just like people who retain a bunch of water. In some cases they do because they don’t give their bodies ENOUGH water. If you will fuel your body, it will get what it needs. However, you must be fueling it properly ~ with the right, whole foods and with the right amount of calories.
I could write for days on the information available about this, but in essence, you need to eat enough GOOD (remember, not all calories are created equal) calories to at least keep up with your resting metabolic rate, and even more if you are working out often and need to fuel your body for that.
Needless to say, option 3: many, small meals a day is the best option!
When you eat often (every 2 – 3 hours), you kick start your metabolism to drop the extra weight. And when you are eating the proper amount of calories (the right ones and enough!), your body will use it as proper fuel to give you energy throughout the day. You will burn through the fuel and begin burning more than you are consuming. Just make sure you aren’t getting too little calories for your activity level, throwing yourself back into starvation mode.
So, to summarize: eat more often, smaller portions, good whole foods, with caloric intake matching your activity level. You will start to see weight come off! When you reach your weight goal, you may need to adjust your calories to maintain your current weight. However, you should always continue to eat more often and smaller meals throughout the day!
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Jessica Stone is a wife, mom to 4, and owner of her own business in the fitness industry. She has 3 special needs children, with one child with an undiagnosed neuro-muscular condition that limits her mobility. She enjoys sharing what she has learned through her trials, experience, and research with other parents who are looking for support, encouragement, and helpful information. Get her FREE eBooklet Five Steps to Losing Those Last 10 Pounds today for simple steps to help you trim up and fit into those fashionable clothes you’ve always wanted to wear! Connect with Jess live today on Facebook!