Many people have been convinced by the diet industry that if you skip a meal or if you go for too long without eating, your body will go into starvation mode causing the slowdown of your resting metabolic rate – and also triggering the body to hold on to its fat reserves. That is why they advise people to never skip a meal or to go for too long without eating.
The diet industry is dead wrong. Your resting metabolic rate does not slow down, and your body does not try to hold on to the fat reserves just because you missed a meal or because you did not eat all day. You need to not eat for over 72 hours before your resting metabolic rate starts to slow down and even then, not always. As a matter of fact, your resting metabolic rate goes up slightly and your body actually burns more fat, in the first few days of fasting. This is according to a research study published in June of 2000 in American Society for Clinical Nutrition and they have been many other studies to support these finding.
Recently I read an article on yahoo about how Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey, eats and lives. He basically eats once per day, he does ice baths combined with hot sauna and fasts regularly. That article received over one thousand comments, many of them criticizing Jack Dorsey on his practice of eating once per day.
I can understand how the concept of eating only once per day sounds to the average person who has been brought up believing that the best way to eat is 3 meals per day plus snacks. If you look at healthy regions around the world you will find out that they eat more like Jack Dorsey and not the way mainstream nutritionists are teaching people to eat in our country.
I have been in the weight loss field for over 25 years and I too was teaching my clients to eat 3 or more times per day, because that is what I was taught in school. However, due to my upbringing, it did not take me long to wake up and realize how wrong, the idea of eating 3 or more times per day actually is for your health and weight.
When I lived in Greece in the 70s and 80s, adults only ate once or twice per day. If they ate twice, one of the meals was very small. Keep in mind on the island I was raised in Greece, people lived long healthy lives and thin was the norm. Now, if you go back to Greece, people are not nearly as healthy or thin and if you look at one of the things that changed was how often people ate. Now, people in Greece eat 3 or more times per day and they suffer similar health and weight problems as the rest of the western world.
I have done extensive research on the subject of how often one should eat for optimum health, and my conclusions are that eating once or twice per day is the best way to eat. The human body needs a break from food for optimum health and there is plenty of research to back that statement up. Don’t you find it interesting that all healthy regions around the world, on average they only eat once or twice per day and fast regularly?
The problem today is that people don’t eat out of true hunger, this is why they feel the need to eat more often. Once you learn to eat out of true hunger, you will find yourself not needing to eat more than once or twice per day and you will have energy to spare!
Personally, Monday through Friday, I too, eat only once per day and just like with Jack Dorsey, it really helps my thinking and energy during the day. On the weekends I do relax, and I could eat more often if I feel like it. I believe in the 80/20. If you eat the perfect way 80% of the time, your body will forgive you for the 20% of the day when you don’t.
Another great benefit of eating once per day is that your body is more forgiving if you are not eating the perfect foods.
My message to the people who criticized Jack Dorsey for eating only once per day is to do some reading on the subject of eating less often and how good is for your health and weight. While you’re at it, do some reading on how the popular ideas of eating 3 square meals plus snacks came about. Look at all the studies that support the idea of 3 meals per day and who paid for them. You will find a lot of those studies were paid and promoted by special interest groups who profit from us eating more. In my 25 years plus in the weight loss field I have come to realize that many of the popular beliefs we have on weight loss and health, have become popular, not because they are correct, but because of smart marketing by special interest groups who benefit from those popular beliefs.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of eating less often read my report “The Benefits of Hunger”. If you would like to receive that report, send me an email to Stavros@liveyourwaythin.com with “Hunger Report” in the subject line and I will email it to you. This report is a real eye-opener.
As far as the ice baths and hot sauna combination, they too have tremendous benefits to your health and that is something that I also do regularly, but that is a subject for another blog.
In all my schooling on fitness and health I was taught that exercising will increase people’s metabolic rate, so that is what I was teaching my clients.
Come to find out, that is not completely true. Although some exercising will increase your resting metabolic rate, too much exercising has the opposite effect. The people who participated in the show “Biggest Loser”, found that out the hard way.
If you are familiar with the show, these people worked out for hours every day plus they followed a strict diet, in order to lose massive amounts of weight in a very short time. Whoever lost the most weight won. But what happens after the show is over?
According to a research article in the New York Times, by Gina Kolata, pretty much, all the “Biggest Loser” contestants gained the weight back over time. What they discovered was that their resting metabolic rate had slowed down significantly so as soon as they stopped exercising as much as they did during the show, they had a very hard time keeping the weight off. The scientist couldn’t understand why the resting metabolic rate had slowed down that much. They had all kinds of theories in this article as to why the resting metabolic rate had slowed down but none of them were aware of another study that perfectly explained why the resting metabolic rate slowed down.
This study was funded by the National Science Foundation, Washington University and the University of Arizona and it took place in Northern Tanzania. They studied the Hadza, which is a population of hunter-gatherers living in a savannah-woodland environment. This was a very active group of people, and the study wanted to examine their daily energy expenditure and physical activity levels.
What they found out shocked them. Although the Hadza were a lot more active than the average westerner, their daily energy expenditure was pretty much the same. How can it be? These people were clearly more active and yet they burn the same amount of calories per day as the people in the west, who spend most of their day sitting?
Without going into too many details, what they discovered is that as activity goes up, the body becomes more efficient at burning calories, and that translates to a lower resting metabolic rate.
By the way, there is nothing wrong with a lower resting metabolic rate, it’s actually a very good thing for your health. The only negative thing is that you can’t eat as much food, but if you learn to eat slowly and mindfully you will be able to get more pleasure from food without having to eat as much, but that is a topic for another blog.
The problem all of the “Biggest Loser” contestants ran into after the show, was that they could not keep up with the high amounts of activity, and that high amount of activity had caused their body to become more efficient at burning calories (slowed down their metabolic rate), so as soon as they stopped the activity and never truly adjusted their eating, the weight came right back.
The other issue with the show is that they never taught the contestants to eat by listening to their bodies. They ate by counting calories and measuring their food. If they had learned to eat out of true hunger and not just because is mealtime, their body would have automatically adjusted to the lower resting metabolic rate and would have started to eat less as soon as they stopped exercising as much.
The first habit I teach my clients is how to listen to their bodies and learn to eat out of true hunger and not just because is meal time. If you would like to learn more about how I help my clients achieve sustainable weight loss, check out my Live Your Way Thin System.
The only time excessive exercising is warranted is when you are competing in a sport and you are trying to improve your performance in that sport. For the average person who is just looking to lose weight and get in a good shape, it’s completely unnecessary to exercise that much.
If you have any questions about this article, feel free to leave a comment or sent me an email.
Many success experts, like Tony Robbins, a big ideal of mine, would tell you that if you want to succeed in something, find somebody that has already achieved what you want and follow their example. That is great advice, but the problem is when it comes to weight loss and health most people are following the wrong example. Let me explain.
Most people try follow the example of that 5% of people who are able to lose weight and keep it off with the current methods of weight loss.
Have you ever taken a closer look at how that 5% of people who succeed with the current methods of weight loss are able to stay in shape? Their life is all about their diet and working out which requires tons of ongoing self-discipline and motivation to keep up. Basically, they focus so much on their diet and exercising that they miss out on most of the fun in life.
Most people are not willing to live like that and I am one of them. What is the point of having a lean and healthy body if you don’t have any time to enjoy it?
The Great news is that there is a much better example to follow to lose weight and get in great shape without having to sacrifice all the fun in life.
We can follow the example of healthy regions around the world like Ikaria, which require NO self-discipline or motivation to stay lean and healthy. Ikaria is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea that currently has one of the longest lifespans in the world and although 1/3 of its population is over the age of 90, there is virtually no mental disease on the island. Ikaria boasts a population that is almost completely free of many chronic diseases that people in the west suffer from.
Do you know how are they able to maintain their good health and lean bodies without self-discipline or motivation? It’s very simple. All the healthy behaviors that keeps them in shape are habitual behaviors. It’s like their fitness program is on autopilot.
If you want to lose weight and get in shape for life without having to sacrifice all your free time in the gym or worrying about your diet, you need to follow the example of healthy regions like Ikaria. You need to focus on making habitual all the necessary healthy habits that will help you lose the weight you want and improve your health. Yes, losing weight by creating new habitual behaviors will take a little longer to lose weight but at least once you lose the weight, you will not need to worry about your it gain.
Unfortunately, this is not the way most weight loss programs approach weight loss. They have chosen to take the fast approach which requires ongoing self-discipline and motivation to stick with. This is one of the main reasons why with most weight loss programs people end up regaining the weight back.
My question to people who want fast weight loss is this? What is the point of losing weight fast, if you are going to regain the weight back? Won’t you rather take a little extra time and do it the sustainable way and never have to worry about your weight gain?
The funny part is that the sustainable way is the fastest way to lose weight because you only need to lose the weight once. I know people who have been losing weight the fast way, and 10 years later they still overweight.
If you are looking for a weight loss program that can help you lose weight the sustainable way, check out my Live Your Way Thin System. It’s unlike any other weight loss system on the market today. It will show you how to lose weight and improve your health, following the example of healthy regions like Ikaria.
For everything you want to achieve in life, there will always be obstacles that will get in your way of achieving what you want. Obstacles are not a bad thing but simply necessary lessons that you must learn in order to be able to handle the success of achieving what you are going after. This is why, whenever an obstacle arises, look at it as something you need to learn in order to be able to handle that success that is coming your way. Never try to go around an obstacle without dealing with it, because it could have very negative consequences in the future. The show “The Biggest Loser” is the perfect example of what happens to people when they don’t deal with the obstacle that life throughs at them
In the show “The Biggest Loser” they remove people from their everyday life, and for 6 months all they do is diet and exercise to lose as much weight as they can. Obviously, if you only have to worry about your diet and exercise and nothing else, everyone can lose weight and that is exactly what happens with all the contenders, they all lose weight. The person who lost the biggest percentage of body weight wins.
The problem with that is that by removing people from their everyday lives they remove all the obstacles that had gotten in their way of losing the weight on their own. You would think that is a good thing, but it is not. By simply removing all the obstacle without having the people deal with them and find solutions to those obstacles when all the participants return to their normal lives, they have a very hard time keeping the weight off. As a matter of fact, 100% of them regain most if not all of the weight back. The main reason is that they never learned to deal with the obstacles that had prevented them from losing the weight while living their life, so when they went back into their life, those obstacles were still there.
When it comes to developing any new healthy habit, expect that you will have to overcome some obstacles. When you come across an obstacle, don’t get frustrated, they are part of the lessons you need to learn. So, instead of getting frustrated, simply focus on finding solutions to the obstacle.
I truly believe that if there is a will, there is always a way to get through any obstacle, but if there is no will, you will always find good excuses as to why we couldn’t overcome the obstacle.
While trying to overcome any obstacle, keep your focus on all the benefits you will receive by developing the healthy habit you are working on and not on the obstacle that gets in your way.
Remember, obstacles are lessons that we must learn in order to be able to handle the success that comes our way.
“We don’t teach people how to diet & exercise but how to LIVE thier way to a lean and healthy body and still Fully Enjoy Life”