Friday, August 28, 2009

How (Perennially) Fat People Diet: Part 3: Huge Dinners

In Part 1 we looked at how lots of (perpetually) overweight people approach (perpetual) dieting. Now we're going down the list and analyzing the mistakes. In case you missed it, part 2 is here.

"2. Large Portions at Dinner
Hey, if you've fasted all day, there's no harm in loading up at dinner time, right?"

Wrong! No matter how low-cal and low-fat your food may be, eating a huge portion of it will always thwart your efforts to lose weight. There are several reasons why:

1. Above a certain point, tons of low-cal, low-fat food amounts to hi-cal and hi-fat. In fact, research shows that people who eat foods that are X% lower fat tend to eat greater than X% more of those foods, completely undoing the benefit.

2. Few dieters consider glycemic level. High-glycemic foods (most commercial bread - including wheat bread; rice - even brown rice; raisins, Corn Flakes, sweetened yogurt, potatoes, most highly-processed carbs, etc.) essentially turn into sugar as you digest them. Loosely speaking, a big mound of brown rice might as well be a big mound of chocolate cake. That's an exaggeration, but the gist is true. Few people morbidly overeat protein; it's invariably carbs. And if you're scarfing huge amounts of carbs, they are very likely high-glycemic carbs, big portions of which can rattle your system like a big portion of sugar, creating cascades of cravings (dessert cravings, night snack cravings) and an aftershock of general foggy-headedness. The aftermath will also "work forward" into your next meal, affecting what and how much you eat - or causing you to skip eating the meal entirely.

3. The more you over-fill yourself, the more your body - which, let me repeat, is only trying to accommodate you! - will come to expect over-filling. Which means whenever you go off your diet, and eat, say, lasagna, you'll eat tons of lasagna.

4. You are famished, and therefore inclined to gorge, at dinner time because you haven't eaten regular, well-balanced meals during the day. Give your body what it needs, and it will stop urging you to overeat!

The body functions best on regular, moderately-portioned, well-balanced meals (we'll define that more precisely later). A pattern of big famished dinner blowouts leads to mood and energy swings, night snacking, poor sleep, and a sour-stomached disinclination to eat full breakfasts and lunches - the very opposite of what the body needs to maintain a metabolism level that will aid you in losing weight. And a habit of huge portions - even of very healthy food - will lead to eating huge portions of highly caloric foods when that's what happens to be in front of you. Finally, this patten will lock you into the meal-skipping habit that (per part two) is so detrimental to dieting and good health.

Continue to Part 4

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