“I’ll lose weight if I don’t eat”
Let’s talk about this commonly spoken sentence that I hear almost every week.
First of all, yes, this statement is pretty true to a certain degree… but is it healthy? No!
Is there a better way to do it? Yes!
If this continues as an everyday thing, let’s say skipping breakfast as an example, your body will adapt to not having breakfast very quickly. Then, all of a sudden you are no better off than you were previously but you are still stuck in this mindset of telling yourself the same sentence again and again: “I’ll lose weight if I don’t eat”, which is no longer applicable.
Your body is a machine and likes to adapt to the environment that surrounds itself or stimulates it to change to make things easier for itself to maintain homeostasis. You can’t not train for a marathon and then run one spontaneously one day, your body is not used to that stress and will do everything in its power to stop you running after a certain amount of time. This is why the classic marathon training is a slow and steady progression of distances to get your body used to it.
The same can be said about your metabolism. If you skip breakfast or any other meal over a period of time your body adapts to not expect breakfast and rather than allowing your body to burn loads of calories, it adjusts to slow down your metabolism until it expects its next meal which in this case will be lunchtime. This I like to call Metabolic Adaptation, the bodies system that slows the calorie burn because food is sparce to allow calories for essential bodily functions.
Effects of Metabolic Adaptation
When your body reaches this point we can usually observe a few things, you can become tired easily, less enthusiastic/motivated to do exercise, you might even have little differences like opting to sit down rather than stand up because your body wants to preserve calories. So instead of constantly fighting a losing battle with your body why not give it what it wants? By this I mean feed it more consistently even if it’s a little snack hence the title “What to eat when you’re not eating” because you should be eating!
Keeping yourself well fed
Eating! Most of us love eating so why fight the urge to eat, we need to look into eating more of a good choice of foods rather than sugary snacks all the time. Fuelling your body correctly will help you to lose weight. That’s because Metabolic adaptation will not occur for the sole reason that food is no longer sparce; it’s in abundance which will allow your body to be happier burning calories through nonessential means.
Now you will most likely feel more active, happier and have the will/motivation to do more productively with your day. We live in a day and age where wherever we look sugar and fat is always cheaper than good quality meats and vegetables, so selecting some foods to eat conveniently throughout the day may be difficult.
What to eat when you’re not eating
A personal preference that I like to recommend to my clients is to choose a snack that isn’t purely carbohydrates. This means I’m not constantly spiking the insulin release within my blood throughout the day which can lead to long-term health consequences. I tend to not feel as full off a high-carb snack. I also find that when I eat a high-carb snack I usually get hungrier quicker than if I didn’t have that snack. Instead, I look into more protein/fat-based snacks. More protein-based if I’m looking to feel fuller for a longer period of time plus a gram of protein is roughly 4kcal compared to 9-10kcal in a gram of fat.
A few of the snacks I would recommend to fill your day up I have listed below. Try them out and feel the difference after a few days or so.
- Greek Yoghurt (I usually mix in protein powder and some flavour drops)
- Boiled eggs
- A handful of almonds or trail mix
- Chicken snacks (Fridge raiders etc)
- Low Carb protein bars (Check there low in sugars)
- Celery sticks or apple and peanut butter (Whole earth peanut butter or any natural peanut butter is best)
- Tuna salad
You see the pattern here that all of these snacks are portable and contain high protein and/or fat in them.
So, be kind to your body! Eat plentifully! Eat under your Basal Metabolic Rate! Lose weight! Be Happy!
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