Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dieter's Anonymous

One of my favorite lectures while at the Midwest Yoga Conference was, ironically, not about yoga at all. It was about "dieting." I could be the spokesperson for Dieters Anonymous. All my life I have struggled with the fact I eat healthy and exercise, yet am not the skinny-mini some of my friend are. So when I saw

His first point negated everything I had been told, so I started out skeptical. He made a bold statement: that eating 2-3 meals is better than 6-7 small ones throughout the day. Bull. I had heard time and time again about how "grazing" throughout the day is so much better for us because it doesn't allow our bloodsugar to drop.  But I slowly realized that was his point. If we regulate our bloodsugar manually ourselves with food, why do our bodies have to do anything?

My mind started to ponder this. If I feed my body constantly, why would it have to burn off anything stored? It wouldn't. And that is the point most of us "habitually thick" people are at. Our bodies know we will keep feeding it throughout the day so it stores any excess but never has to dip into those stores because we keep the food coming. All it has to do is give a little growl and boom, more food. Oftentimes we eat even before the growl. Dr. Douillard was saying that the body will wake up and start burning fat once we give it a chance to. But we never give it a chance to learn this, so it gets stuck in shutdown mode and just bangs on the table for more food instead of doing any work once the food is gone. Once we can teach our body to start seamlessly jumping between burning off the food in our stomach then the fat in our stores, our bloodsugar will remain constant by itself - without our manual intervention - and we will lose weight. We will no longer crave quick "pick-me-ups" such as coffee and chocolate because the body will immediately switch over to the fat stores in our body instead of demanding we feed it.

So this sounds kinda starving ourselves - right? Not at all. His premise is all about WHEN to eat, not really WHAT to eat (at least for this part of the lecture). Without all of the technicals he gave, the way to reset your bloodsuger to self-regulate is by following this plan:

  • Eat enough breakfast that it will hold you through to lunch - no snacking!
  • Eat a larger and preferably warm/cooked lunch. This should be your largest meal. Again, no snacking until dinner so fill up.
  • Eat a very small, light dinner - like a salad.
  • Eat nothing else until breakfast.
  • Drink 1/2 your body weight in oz of room temperature water per day
  • Sip on hot water throughout the day (long explanation why that I don't have room to go into and not even sure if I remember it correctly)
You should work towards finishing up all eating before 6pm. That gives your body enough time to fully digest the days worth of food so by the time you go to sleep your body isn't burning anything except fat stores. Having food in your stomach when you fall asleep, means you just burn that throughout the night. Stick to this for a few months and you will see your bloodsugar stabilize and your cravings disappear. Hmmm.....that kinda makes sense.

Although I got into a bit more detail than I had planned on, this blog is not about trying to convince you to follow this diet. It is more about understanding that even 34 years of diet research may not be sufficient to know everything. This talk took me from a skeptic to a believer (of course, he had 2 hours worth of charts and technical terms and whiteboard doodles). For you, I hope it just gives you one more perspective on something many of us feel we are experts on already, having dieted most of our lives. If we keep questioning, we keep learning. And isn't that what life is about - constantly learning and growing?

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