It’s important that you change your eating habits so they support you in your goals of losing fat.
You cannot be overweight unless you have a lifestyle that supports being overweight. To become thin and stay thin, you must set up your lifestyle so that it supports weight loss. That’s where making these steps we are taking habit will create permanent weight loss. The only way they will not work is if you do not do them.
If eating cookies, cakes, and ice cream late at night is a major weakness you have, you must set it up so that stuff is not there. Do not buy it at the stores. If it isn’t in the house, you can’t eat it.
If certain impulse foods in the house cause you to eat more than normal and more often than normal, you must set it up so that those foods are not available.
Instead, have fruit, pretzels, nonfat yogurt, or cottage cheese in the house to replace junk food. Again, you can’t eat what’s not in the house.
You have to set up your immediate environment so that it supports weight loss, not hinders it.
Now we are going to talk about a very simple way you can condition your body to burn more calories, even at rest. This is going to be one of the most effective steps you can take in your weight loss efforts. Make this habit and you will succeed with weight loss.
The key to permanent weight loss is speeding up your body’s metabolism so that it burns through the food you consume more rapidly. Meaning, it processes and utilizes the food more efficiently.
Remember your friends you grew up with, the ones you hate now because they could eat anything all day long and they would never gain any weight (you don’t still hate them, do you?)
They were like that because genetically they had very fast metabolisms. They could eat food all day long and their bodies would be hard at work utilizing and metabolizing that food quickly.
As we get older, our metabolisms begin to slow down. Unfortunately with most people, as they get older, their activity levels also diminish. So there is a double concern of slower metabolisms and less physical activity.
Thankfully, we can condition our metabolism to operate more efficiently. The simplest, easiest way of speeding up the body’s metabolism is by eating small, well-balanced and nutritious meals or snacks every three to four hours.
The more you present your body with small amounts of food, the faster it becomes at processing and utilizing this food.
Eating every three to four hours equates to about 5 or 6 small meals or snacks a day, instead of the traditional, (and flawed) 3 squares that we were tricked into believing was best.
This one small step of eating every three to four hours will change your body for the better more so than any other thing that you learn from this book.
Make this routine a habit and watch the results it brings.
At first you will have to probably force feed your body to eat every three to four hours, but after a week or two, it becomes habit. You can make any routine a habit in only a few weeks or so (Unfortunately it is true with bad habits too).
Eat often and in moderate amounts, just enough so that you are not hungry again until another three to four hours. Eat a small, healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner and then have a small snack between breakfast and lunch, between lunch and dinner, and between dinner and bedtime. That comes out to 6 small meals.
The great thing about eating every three to four hours, besides the fact that it’s beneficial for your metabolism, is that it actually makes it seem you’re eating “more” food than normal. Psychologically you do not feel deprived of anything because it seems you’re eating more often.
If you eat every three to four hours, you do not build up hunger, so you are less likely to eat large amounts of food.
Eating every three to four hours also causes concern for some people who are not aware of the benefits of eating small meals often. Many people are misinformed and think that eating often will lead to weight gain. This is only true if you are eating often and are eating more than your daily calorie needs.
Unfortunately, some people also think that the less you eat and the less often you eat, that will create more chance of weight loss. Of course, now you know that’s not the case.
Earlier we talked about creating a lifestyle change. This is one of those changes.
It is all based upon the speeding up of your body’s metabolism and the efficiency in which it burns off calories. This one change may assist you with fat loss more so than any other.
As much as eating 3 squares a day has become habit since childhood, eating 6 smaller, well balanced and nutritious snacks/meals each day can become habit as well.
Try it for 30 days and if you cannot make it habit successfully in that amount of time, go back to your old ways.
Within the first couple of weeks of this change, you’ll start to feel hungry every three hours or so.
If you are getting hungry every 3 hours or so, that means that your last meal was not too large and not too small.
It’s important to eat enough to feel satisfied, but not overly full.
You’ll be eating again in three to four hours, so you want to eat just enough to be hungry again in that time period.
The most specific way to measure the amount to eat each meal or snack is to divide your daily calorie maintenance amounts by 6, which is the number of meals/snacks you’ll be eating.
For example, if you are supposed to consume 1800 calories per day for your daily calorie needs, you would divide that by 6 (for the number of meals) and you would come up with 300 calories (1800/6) per meal or snack.
Realistically, each of your meals will not be identical in calorie totals, but at least this will give you a ball park figure to aim for each time you eat.
Eating every three to four hours may seem like you are going to be eating too much food, but what you’re really doing is taking what you would probably eat in your 3 regular meals and you’re spreading them throughout the day.
What this does is speed up your metabolism to burn up and use the calories more often, ridding the body of what it doesn’t need. With practice, this will become habit.
We will get into it more later, but you could do something like the following:
6:00 am–Piece of wheat toast with peanut butter, 1 small glass of skim milk.
9:00 am–Balance Bar or Slimfast Bar
12:00 pm–turkey sandwich and diet cola
3:00 pm–small nonfat yogurt or meal replacement shake
6:00 pm– broiled chicken breast and side salad
9:00 pm–meal replacement bar or small bowl of frozen yogurt.
Now, many people have looked at this and said that they would never dare to eat that late at night in fear of gaining weight.
Let me ask you, with what you know already from this book, will you gain weight simply from eating late at night?
If you answered no, then you get an A. If you answered “Yes” you still haven’t gotten the premise behind weight gain and weight loss.
Eating late at night will not and cannot itself make you gain weight.
Only excess calories make you gain weight.
If you have already consumed your total daily calorie amount by night and then eat again right before bed, going over your daily calorie number, then you indeed will gain body fat.
It’s the fact that you’ve gone over your calorie number and have created a calorie surplus, not that fact that you ate late at night.
The fact is, having your last meal/snack before bed is a healthy thing to do.
Sleeping for eight or more hours is a lot of time for your body to be without nutrients that it uses to repair and recover muscle tissue.
If you last ate at 6:00 pm, your body has a very long time to go before it gets another meal (breakfast) that it can use for repairing vital muscle tissue when you sleep at night.
Sleep is the body’s repair and recovery time and that’s when it uses nutrients to support this repair.
By not eating a protein meal or snack before bed, you limit the amount of protein and other nutrients your body has to work with.
When preparing for my bodybuilding show, even up to the night before the show, I had a small meal or snack right before bed and sometimes I even got up in the middle of the night to eat again. I was 5% body fat the day of the show.
Men are normally considered “thin” if they are between 15% and 20%.
I was 5% body fat. If eating at night made you fat, I would never have achieved this low body fat number.
The basis of this chapter is this: Creating a habitual lifestyle that supports weight loss is a vital step in staying thin.
The easiest and most effective way to do this is by eating a nutritious, small meal or snack every three to four hours.
Start building muscle and losing fat in the least amount of time possible. Personal trainer and natural bodybuilder Shawn Lebrun shows you exactly how: Shawn Lebrun Fitness