Lose Weight by Eating More?
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Lose Weight by Eating More?The 3-meal-a-day secret to weight loss.
It’s important to eat three times a day, although I understand that this concept makes some people anxious. “But I’ll gain weight if I do that!” you may be saying right now. I used to believe that if I ate breakfast, I’d gain weight—never realizing that skipping breakfast was keeping me 10 to 55 pounds heavier than I wanted to be. Many of my clients listened to my advice about yo-yo dieting under protest, insisting, “It will make me fat to eat three times a day!” But, they tried it because others had lost weight at my clinics.
These clients were astonished to watch their weight drop without starving themselves, taking diet pills, or buying special foods—just as I was when I first discovered this “secret.” If you skip breakfast, you’ve probably noticed that you don’t get hungry in the early afternoon. Many people conclude that eating breakfast makes them hungrier and therefore makes them eat more food. However, the reason you feel hungry a couple of hours after breakfast is that your metabolism—the process that makes you burn calories—has sped up. If you skip this meal, your metabolism slows down and therefore you’ll have great difficulty losing weight permanently.
Breakfast is also important because without it your blood-sugar level drops, leading to low energy levels and depression. These feelings of fatigue can bring on food binges later in the day as you try to “medicate” the sleepy feelings with food.
Skipping meals doesn’t erase calories from previous binges. The only thing it does is slow down your metabolism so calories take longer to burn. A sluggish metabolism doesn’t “undo” the chocolate cake eaten the day before. Skipping a meal also sets you up to overeat at your next one. If you forgo breakfast, lunch, or dinner, your blood-sugar level will drop, and you’ll probably feel light-headed, irritable, and weak. Under these conditions, you’ll be less likely to have the presence of mind to avoid your binge foods at the next meal. When you don’t feel well, you’re also less likely to care whether you lose weight or not.
Make sure you always eat three meals per day, and never skip one! Some people approach eating in a way I call “creative dieting.” Through this process, a person uses various rationales for skipping meals, such as: “I ate that big dinner and fattening dessert last night, so I’ll skip breakfast this morning.” Creative dieters approach eating much like the person who juggles money and floats checks to avoid bouncing payments. The juggling system doesn’t work very well with either eating or money because it usually ends up collapsing on itself.
If you’re a creative dieter, consider this thought for a moment: If you knew you had to eat three meals a day, would you be as likely to eat a huge dinner or dessert? Or does your creative approach to dieting give you implied “permission” to binge on fattening foods? If it does, then you’ve fallen into a common but erroneous approach to weight loss. One final question that creative dieters might ask themselves is: “If my creative dieting system worked, would I need to lose weight today?”