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13 Sep
2012
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As Long As You Do It Regularly – You Can Eat As Much Fat As You Want

At least that’s a rough translation of the research by Dr Hadas Sherman et al at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Although the research has only been done using mice as subjects, if it translates to human behaviour, then this is really good news for people who want to lose weight.

The numbers of overweight and obese individuals have only reached epidemic proportions in the last few decades. So this research correlates nicely with a major change in eating patterns that has taken place in that time – snacking.

In my childhood, food was eaten at mealtimes and there were three of those a day, plus a snack for supper at nine every evening. Every day food was eaten around the same time. I was never hungry, and I ate a full meal at lunchtime as well as in the evening. I grew up slim, fit and healthy.

Nowadays people seem to graze, rather like cattle, eating constantly. They eat walking down the street, they eat in coffee bars, and they eat in pubs. They eat in the cinema even though the bucket of popcorn is ten times the volume of their stomach and they had an evening meal a couple of hours earlier. They eat at their desk, and they fill their supermarket trolley with crisps, biscuits, snacks, and chocolate bars so they can continue to graze all evening in front of the tv. But, and this seems to be the problem, there is no regularity to any of this. Breakfasts, lunches and dinners are missed, or eaten early or late, to fit around other activities.  Snacks are used to bridge the space between these irregular meals.

Now, it seems that regularity is one of the ways that the body’s intelligence knows that the food supply is plentiful. When food arrives in the stomach at the same time each day, the body adjusts metabolism accordingly. If it had a voice it would say something like – “ I know that food always turns up at the same times each day, therefore, I know food is plentiful, therefore, I don’t need to store any fat for emergencies. Even if an occasional meal is missed, as long as the next one is on time I know there is no problem.” Food is converted to energy for immediate use or eliminated.

The Hebrew University research found that mice who ate a high-fat diet consisting of regular meals weighed less after 18 weeks than mice who consumed either a high fat diet with irregular feeding, or a low fat diet with irregular feeding. Unfortunately, all the mice, even the ones on a low-fat regular diet ended up heavier than they were. But the interesting thing here is that every single mouse consumed exactly the same number of calories each day.

So, as I suggested some time ago in my article Calories are not Created Equal your weight isn’t just about the Calories that you consume. It seems that you can offset some of the damage by eating meals regularly and cutting out on the snacking. So become a champion for the family mealtime sitting around a table with the tv off, at the same time each evening. Eat breakfast and lunch at the same time each day and forget about all the rest – regardless of what everyone around you is doing.

This, according to the researchers, is going to reset your metabolic clock to a much healthier state. Knowing what times each day you are going to eat and not eating at any other time will leave you fully satisfied – once you develop the new habit – you will almost certainly start to lose weight and the really good news is that you still get to eat whatever you want.

If you would like some more hints and tips on How to Lose Weight Easily get hold of a copy of my book of the same title. It’s available from Amazon in Kindle and paperback at an almost giveaway price.

Michael

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