How to Eat All the Time and Still Lose Weight

One of the questions I get asked a lot is if it’s possible to eat all the time and still lose weight. For a lot of us, this sounds like wishful thinking – I mean we all know that simple equation right – you know the one I’m talking about:

Where energy in has to be > energy out in order to = weight loss

So I’m sure you know my answer to your question already… then again, what’s up with the title of this post you may be wondering. And no it’s not a typo!

My answer which may be a bit of a shock is actually YES you can lose weight while eating all the time – in fact the truth is eating all the time is really the ONLY way to lose weight!

Confused? Let me explain… But first let’s think about something…

How many skinny people do you know who are constantly eating? Doesn’t it seem like all the skinny people you know seem to be blessed with this incredibly fast metabolism and can AND DO eat all the time – this definitely is the case for all the skinny people I know!

Now how many dieters do you know who live on coffee and food fumes, and can’t for the life of them understand why the darned scale keeps tipping the wrong way!!

Hmmm… something doesn’t add up here now does it? Person A (and to be true to the “About” page) say his name is Max eats all the time and is scrawny while Person B, let’s call him George only eats one meal a day but weighs much more than he should. What gives?

Is it really that one of these guys is blessed with that enviously fast metabolism while the other got his mom’s bad metabolism genes and is forever destined to be overweight?

But then what about all the people who lose half their size? More importantly how about the ones that lose half their size and then KEEP the WEIGHT OFF and also seem to be able to eat all the time?

Is it possible that something else is happening here? Maybe eating all the time isn’t just the effect… Could eating all the time actually be the cause?

Bingo! You have your answer. But how could this possibly be the case you may be wondering…

The fact is that while that famous equation does hold true to a certain extent – it is WAY to simplistic to base your eating regimen on. That’s because there’s a key point that’s missing here and that’s metabolic rate.

Remember our BMR (basal metabolic rate) is the rate at which we burn energy at rest. But it’s also like a thermostat, which just like our body temperature needs to maintain status quo… Well more like its our body’s fail safe system, meant to protect us from starving to death if ever a famine hits. Of course for many of us who live in the land of plenty – famine isn’t really a concern, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t fool our system into believing this is the case.

Yep you guessed it – not eating often enough to our body is the same thing as saying hey buddy there’s a drought at hand… So to prepare for the threat of eminent death from lack of food – our body turns our thermostat down which means we are gonna be the most efficient machine around when it comes to conserving energy!

On the other hand – if you’re eating all the time or grazing – which is what we humans are meant to do – our body is in the least bothered about energy efficiency – i.e. much like a billionaire who buys a gold toilet or the Middle Eastern sheikh who has the stretch HumV (sorry I know their corny and a bit stereotypical e.g. But you get the idea), we’ll be burning calories just because we can!

Now before you make a mad dash to the kitchen – as with anything – there is some additional fine print that applies…

1) the quality of what you put into your body will effect its performance over the long haul – so treat it like a luxury automobile coz unlike our car we only get one body.

2) the quantity that your eating is important – mind you a lot of ppl are surprised at how much 1800-2000 kcals is when your eating vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dairy, lean meats, beans, nuts and eggs more often. But keep in mind That even eating too much of the good stuff can be unhealthy

3) all the time actually means about every 2 1/2 hr or so – think baby’s feeding schedule. The good thing about eating this way is you never really feel “hungry” nor do you crave sweets or fatty foods because your blood sugar levels never really drop to a point that triggers a feeding frenzy.

And that’s really about it!

Oh if your looking for ideas for snack foods, here’s a good place to start:

Dietitians of Canada Nutrition A-Z Handouts – Snacks

BTW what I’ve written here I have seen work time and time again even for people who end up eating the same number of calories, just at more frequent intervals (granted I’m talking about a healthy number of calories). Even more astonishing are ppl who eat more calories than they ever did more frequently and YES lose weight!

But I don’t want to just talk about my successful clients when I can share my own experience… Since moving to Dubai a couple of years ago – my habits I’ll admit have not been the greatest – what with a drop in my activity (it’s really hard to be active when it’s a sweltering 50 C out in the summer) and a lot of missed meals and snacks plus an increase in my frequency of eating out. So by Jan this year I’d gained a total of 18 lbs.! Now considering that just before I moved here id lost about 3 lbs. (related to stress – I happen to be one of those people who just can’t seem to eat when I’m anxious) and I honestly feel healthier at a bit heavier weight, my New Year’s resolution this year has been to lose the additional 10 lbs that have found a comfortable home on my belly – which being a dietitian I know is the most unhealthy place to gain weight. Although I have increased my activity a bit (some weeks when I’m really really good I’ll get 40min in 3 times a week – though more often than not its more like 20min 1-2 times a week) and have tried to decrease my frequency of eating out (especially desserts)… I know the biggest thing that has helped me start losing weight is changing my eating schedule :) And although I’m not at my goal yet (I know I need to give myself the appropriate time to lose weight – I didn’t gain it over night so I can’t expect it to be gone just because I’ve decided I need to lose it) every week I get a little bit closer!

But all talk of weight loss aside – I do want to emphasize that it really isn’t so much about weight (though i know its hard not to be critical of our physical appearance when we’re constantly bombarded with the media’s opinion of what beautiful is) it REALLY is about HEALTH. That’s why it’s much more important to be in a healthy BMI and waist/hip ratio range than to be skinny and unhealthy (yes – mortality rates increase as you get too skinny as well). If you don’t how to calculate these you can do this here:

Weight Charts Wellness Calculators

Also, I don’t want to simply talk at you, i want to know your thoughts as well… So what do you think – will eating more regularly help you lose weight and more importantly be healthier?

* Image 1: nuchylee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net;  Image 3: Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.netImage 4: maya picture / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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