Updated: Jul 6
We think of weight loss and weight gain in too simplistic of terms.
Calories make you gain weight. Not exactly.
Carbs make you gain weight. Nope.
Fat makes you gain weight. Erm.
Sugar makes you gain weight. Sort of...
Look around, fellow Americans. What in the world is going on? Something is making us collectively fatter. Is it toxins? Lack of exercise? Video games? Global warming?
We all know by now that dieting does not work. But still we all diet because we are not at weights that make us happy. On one hand, there is the pursuit of an unhealthy idol- like someone who is of a normal weight who wants to lose just 5 more pounds. But there is also the pursuit of actually being healthy, which could mean you need to lose extra weight and the inflammation that comes with it.
You all know how much I love my ancestral nutrition. Before our food industry adulterated much of the food supply, we ate things that God made. We ate meat, and eggs, and fruits, and vegetables, and butter, and lard. Yum.
We also ate when we were hungry. And we stopped when we were full.
We were told not to snack between meals. "You'll ruin your dinner!", we were told.
And it was true. Eating all day long ruins our dinner.
Think about the idea of snack food. When you hear that term, does it bring to mind images of 100 Calorie Packs? Or cute little brightly-colored foods packaged in plastic? Or cartoon characters' commercials? Maybe your snack food is approved by the American Heart Association. Guess who funds the AHA?
Don't be duped. It is not carbs or fat or sugar that causes diabesity. It is our American love affair with food as a pastime instead of as nourishment.
Food should be celebratory. Every meal is a gift. We cannot conjure food out of midair- it is graciously provided by the Lord. We should look forward to our meals, and plan them. We should salivate thinking about them, and excitedly talk about them with family.
Real food. When was the last time your heart leapt at the sight of a sad bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios, soggy pieces stuck to the side of the bowl? Without time for the cephalic phase of digestion to kick in, your stomach won't digest that cereal well, anyway.
Whole, nourishing, delicious food is a reason to rejoice and to anticipate. The preparation is part of the enjoyment.
I have clients tell me every week that they are too busy to cook. Too tired to cook. Too inept to cook. I hear them and sympathize. For I often feel the same way.
But do you think there may be a correlation with the fact that so few of us are in the kitchen and the fact that our collective BMIs are rising every year?
Taco Bell ain't gonna cut it, folks.
Real food has no need for macronutrient breakdowns. How many carbs are in a fall-crisp, locally-grown Golden Delicious Apple? Who the hell cares? It is delicious. It nourishes your body. When is the last time anyone ever made a practice out of eating too many apples?
But Oreos? And Chipotle cheese sauce? This, my dears, is an entirely different story.
Eat real food.
And eat at normal meal times.
Don't snack. Really. Don't snack. If you are hungry in between meals, you need to be eating more at meals. Don't stuff yourself. There is always another meal.
And don't cut calories to a ridiculous low. Yup, eating a little less food means you will probably drop some weight. Sometimes, less is more. But militantly cutting calories, carbohydrates, fat grams, and fruit will make your cortisol spike so high you will never get to your goal weight.
Skip a meal now and then. This is normal. Most cultures do it. If you have an eating disorder, don't skip meals. But if you are looking to regulate your weight, you need to regulate your insulin.
Carbohydrates and protein break down into glucose.
Glucose raises insulin.
Ergo, a constant influx of carbohydrates and protein means a constant influx of insulin.
Excess insulin eventually pools in the body, causing insulin resistance.
An insulin-resistant body stores fat and becomes lethargic and exhausted because glucose is not getting to the cells for energy, it is being stored as fat.
Lose lose, right?
So, extending the time in between your meals is a wise thing to do. On a daily level, this means no snacking. Your grandmother would be proud of you.
On a weekly level, this looks like skipping breakfast or dinner every once and awhile. If you are not hungry, don't eat.
If you are hungry, wait until the next meal and then eat. A real meal.
At Reformed Metabolics, we have always recommended a solid three meals a day. Sometimes, in the interest of staying relevant, we recommend collagen shakes for breakfast. We know our mamas are stinking busy in the morning. We have always recommended no snacking. It takes three hours for the stomach to fully empty after a meal. It is wise to let the stomach rest.
Odds are, you or a loved one have some tummy problems. I see SIBO, Crohns, IBS, and the like on a daily basis in my office. These are not fun problems to have. Letting your tummy rest a little bit can decrease the severity of digestive symptoms.
The migrating motor complex is a fascinating part of your anatomy that works to sweep out pathogenic or excess bacteria from the stomach and the small intestine, into the large intestine where it belongs. That's where those nasty critters become poop and get flushed away, like they ought to be.
The migrating motor complex functions as a housecleaner. It is really hard to clean your house when you have kids running around, and their friends over for a play date. Likewise, it is hard for your alimentary canal to clean house when there is food in the digestive tract all of the time. Take a break from food every once and awhile. Keep your calories up so you don't go all hypothyroid on me, but skipping a meal every once and awhile if you struggle with digestive problems is an age-old solution to an age-old problem.
As the seasons change, you may want to do a bit of a reboot. Maybe you feel like your snacking has been out of control (the snack companies have you exactly where they want you!). Maybe you are battling the sugar demon and losing. Maybe your summer vacation imbibing has lasted far beyond the plane ride home. Regardless, it is a wise idea to let the body rest and reset.
We always want to do more. Add more. Buy more. Plan more. Maybe your body would like you to do less. Workout less. Eat less. Stress less.
Doesn't less sound good right about now?
May I present a plan for your consideration? It is only three days, nothing crazy. It includes a shopping list and all of the recipes. Take some time to nourish yourself by doing less. You might like it.
Just go here and use the coupon code FREEDOWNLOAD to get the three day plan, recipes, and shopping list absolutely free.
I hope you enjoy it. Get back to me with your results.
Yours in hormonal health,