Chow Down The Pounds: Eat More, Weigh Less
You know how if you starve yourself, skip meals, and live on practically nothing, you’ll probably lose weight? Don’t be that person. It doesn’t work, and the weight loss doesn’t stay. The classic secret to losing weight is eating more – smartly, and regularly.
It may sound counter-intuitive, but if you have a layer of fat that you’re looking to get rid of, eating more is the way to go!
A lot of people eat three meals a day, and if you’re dieting, it’s possible that the quantity is dismal! if you eat less than the amount your body needs, you are creating a calorie deficit. While you may think that is a good thing and will help you lose weight, you couldn’t be further from the truth.
So what happens when you feed your body less?
- When your body doesn’t get enough food, it goes into starvation mode, and starts storing the fat to be used at a later date. At the same time, the energy needed for the body to function properly is taken from muscle cells. This, in turn, causes our metabolism to slow down.
- When we don’t get enough of our favourite drug – food – we feel tired, frustrated, and stressed out. With that, the body releases the stress hormone, cortisol, which causes us to put on even more weight. If you’re hangry (hungry + angry), you will eventually end up binge eating, leading to loss of motivation and weight gain.
- Lower levels of testosterone is another effect your body will be grappling with if you restrict your calories. Without testosterone, your body will find it hard to maintain muscle mass. This is true for both men and women.
- The fat cells in the body secrete an important hormone called leptin. When leptin levels are high, the body receives the signal that it should stop eating, and vice-versa. If the body doesn’t get enough calories, leptin levels will remain low, making you feel hungry and irritable all the time.
- When we don’t get enough food, we don’t get enough energy. Not only does this hamper our day-to-day activities, but it is also detrimental if you are physically active. It leads to a lack of motivation, and hence, a lesser chance of sticking to your diet and workout plan.
Now that we’ve explained all that happens when you don’t take in enough calories, the question is – how can we eat more, and still weigh less?
Eat low-calorie density foods – Simply put, this means that have the kind of foods that are low in calories, but high in fibre or water.
Eat foods that speed up your metabolism – Good examples are green tea, beans, coffee, almonds, and asparagus.
Eat filling foods – Such as oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and eggs.
Protein help – Increasing protein intake can lessen the desire to binge on other foods. So stock up the fridge with lean protein, legumes, and eggs.
Have an appetiser – A salad, a bowl of soup, or a fruit will help you feel full, so you don’t overeat during dinner.
Fuel up before you sweat it out – Having a wholemeal toast or a banana before your workout not only gives you additional energy to push yourself during it, but also prevents the release of fat-storing stress hormones.
Don’t skip breakfast – There’s a reason it’s called breakfast – you are breaking the fast your body has been in the entire night. Your blood sugar levels are low, and if you skip breakfast, they will only go lower, making you crave high-fat and sugary foods. Try foods that release their energy slowly, so that you feel full for longer. Apples, porridge oats, and a berry shake are all good choices.
Don’t skip the dairy – A new research says that if you have low calcium levels, your fat levels may increase.
Crowd out – Say you’re at a buffet, and the spread is a treat for the eyes. What do you do? Fill your plate with healthy choices, so that there is no space for the unhealthy ones, literally crowding them out!
Eating at regular intervals will not only help you manage your portions (you will inevitably eat less when you know a snack is waiting in a few hours), it will also help you manage your blood sugar, energy levels, cravings, and increase your metabolism!
Remember, food is love, and the only kind of love that ever works out is the one that is healthy.