The Heat is ON!

It happened again!  Today I was training a new victim who’s trying to lose weight.  He’s tried every diet under the sun!  (Pfft – read my last blog!)  He told me something that I have heard so many times before from previous victims. He said, “I have a cup of coffee every morning and then I don’t eat until I have a huge dinner.” This is so typical of people who can’t seem to lose the extra weight. Folks, I will say it again and again – if you want to lose excess weight, you MUST eat!

Realize that your body is constantly ‘ON’!  It shuts ‘OFF’ once. Some people get a second chance but, most of you will be turned ‘OFF’ once. Until that final day when your “switch” gets flipped, your body is operating and consuming calories 24/7/365.  Your metabolic rate at rest is called your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).  Your BMR includes every involuntary activity controlled by your autonomic nervous system.  This includes regulating your body temperature at 98.6 degrees, your heart rate at 60 – 70 beats per minute, your breathing at 12 breaths per minute, peristalsis in your digestive tract, filtration in your kidneys, your immune system, eye dilation and body perspiration just to name a few.  All of these functions consume calories and none of them can be compromised.  They all create your metabolic ‘Demand’.

Consider the ‘Demand’ created by Body Heat alone.  Imagine if the thermostat in your house was set to 98.6 degrees…constantly…for a year!  How expensive would your fuel bill be?  What if the windows and doors were left wide open?  An enormous amount of fuel is required to keep your body heated at 98.6 degrees, especially while your losing heat through your skin, ears, eyes and every other orifice in your body.

Let’s take a closer look at “Mr. Coffee in the morning and NOTHING until dinner”.  We’ll call him Mr. Coffee-Breath!  Mr. Coffee-Breath’s digestive tract has more sensors and receptors than the most advance automobile.  His caffeinated brain is constantly searching for new calories and calculating the calories with which it has to work. Remember that restricted-calorie diets trigger “POW Mode”. (See previous blog.)  Rather than burning fat and losing weight, Mr. Coffee-Breath’s body conserves energy.  Some of his systems MUST slow down.  One of the first is his immune system.  Mr. Coffee-Breath becomes more vulnerable to infection and disease.  Great – now you can smell his breath as he coughs for 3 weeks.  Another more notable change is his overall stamina.  On a restricted calorie diet Mr. Coffee-Breath will experience energy drops throughout the day; usually around 2:00 or 3:00 in the afternoon.  That’s okay – he’s learned to supplement with more caffeine and nicotine. (Mr. Coffee-Cigarette Breath!!!)  Mr. Coffee-Cigarette Breath’s mental focus will suffer as he deprives essential carbohydrates, a primary energy source for his carcinogen-loaded brain. No worries. He can always perk-up with Vitamin Prozac! Here’s the consequence for Mr. Coffee-Cigarette-Prozac Breath: Instead of burning fat, his body will slow fat metabolism as much as possible to conserve energy.  And then he’ll say, “I can’t seem to lose this excess weight!  I’ve tried everything!”

He’s tried everything WRONG!  Here’s a better alternative.  EAT!  Let’s examine how your digestion works.  Gastric emptying occurs every 4 hours.  It is regulated by the Pyloric Sphincter, a muscular valve between the stomach and the small intestine.  It releases the contents of your stomach when digestion is complete.  As soon as gastric emptying is complete, your stomach is looking for new calories.  It is commonly recommended to eat small portions every 2-3 hours.  This interval is selected to stay ahead of gastric emptying.  A simple way to determine portion size is to use the size of your fist.  (Look at your fist now and say, “I can do that!”)  Portions should include a serving of fruits and/or vegetables with a small serving of protein.  You can also choose fruits and vegetables that are high in protein.  There are many! And yes – be sure to include grains and legumes throughout your diet. Restrict and even eliminate starches, dairy and alcohol…until you make weight.  Animal fats and sugars should already be GONE!

By choosing to eat at regular intervals, you’re telling your brain that there are ample calories to maintain a consistent BMR.  Your brain will turn all systems ‘ON’ to full capacity and metabolize your existing fats very efficiently. Here’s the best part about eating well and regularly – it’s a lifestyle you can maintain.  There is no end to this diet.  But remember that the key is to eat GOOD QUALITY foods and eat regularly.  And if you’re not willing to do this, you’re simply being a SLACKER!


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