Yay!! I’ve lost 25.6 pounds total so far with 54.4 pounds to go to reach my goal! My BMI has dropped from 36.9 to 33.1 and my goal BMI is 24.9.
Natural Weight Loss
Eat Every 4 Hours
On this diet, you’ll eat 3 meals and 1 snack: breakfast, lunch, mid-afternoon snack, dinner.
I know everyone has a different way of scheduling meals.
And I want you to go with that – you know your body better than I ever will.
That said, I have 3 iron-clad rules about meal timing you must adhere to, or you run the risk of blowing much of the good work you’ve done so far.
1. You must eat breakfast.
2. You must eat every 4 hours.
3. You must not eat after 9:00 p.m. – and especially never eat carbs before bed. Period.
These 3 rules will help you tap into your body’s natural hormonal rhythms and instinctive calorie-burning patterns and will help guarantee weight loss.
Belly up to the breakfast table.
I know how some of you feel about this one, but get over it!
Less than half of us eat breakfast every day, but studies have shown breakfast is one of the most reliable ways to achieve a healthy weight and keep your glucose and insulin steady.
In fact, women who don’t eat breakfast are 4-1/2 times more likely to be obese than women who do.
People who never eat breakfast are also the most likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
In one study researchers found the more often adolescent boys and girls ate breakfast, the lower their BMI.
This result was independent of all other factors – age, sex, race, socioeconomic status, smoking – even whether they were concerned about their weight.
The most striking thing about this study was the kids who ate breakfast daily actually ate more calories than those who ate breakfast less often – but they still weighed less.
Breaking your fast jump-starts your metabolism and prevents energy sags later in the day.
If you’re a guy, your testosterone levels peak at about 8:00 a.m. and reach their lowest point during the early evening.
By timing your biggest meal in the morning, you’ll be able to capitalize on that surge of metabolic power.
One Dutch study found people who ate a big breakfast rich in complex carbs felt satisfied and full for a longer time, in part because breakfast reduced their ghrelin levels by 33%.
If nothing else, promise me you’ll always eat something before you work out in the morning.
During the night, about 80% of your glycogen stores – the digested carbs waiting to be tapped as energy – have been used up.
If you work out on an empty stomach, you’ll go through the last 20% almost immediately and then quickly begin to gobble up your lean-muscle mass – definitely not what you’re trying to do here.
Hormone Homework: Eat as early as feasible, no more than 1 hour after waking up. Grab a quick bowl of high-fiber cereal or an apple with a handful of raw almonds before your workout. The sole exception to breakfast within an hour might be those taking thyroid medication – some kinds must be taken on an empty stomach, others after breakfast. Check with your doctor about the best timing.
Eat every 4 hours.
Let me rephrase: You must eat every 4 hours.
The diet is planned this way not only because eating often makes us happy, but because it makes our metabolism happy, too.
You not only don’t have to live with a rumbling stomach – you shouldn’t!
When you eat meals spaced 4 hours apart, your body doesn’t get a chance to miss food, so it doesn’t develop a scarcity mentality.
If you feed your body every 4 hours, you’ll prevent the massive fat storage that comes from feast-or-famine eating.
The act of eating and digesting accounts for 10% of your body’s metabolic rate.
Starve yourself for any portion of the day and you cheat yourself out of a good portion of this bump.
The most important part of eating regularly is that is stabilizes your blood sugar and your hormones: Your blood sugar remains steady throughout the day, and because your meals are smaller, your insulin doesn’t spike as dramatically.
Your body trusts there’s more where that came from, so it happily burns your meal for energy, confident you’ll feed it more later.
Additionally, by eating every 4 hours you keep your hunger hormone ghrelin in check and keep your leptin levels stable.
These 2 hormones are to blame when you skip meals, become ravenous, and are much more likely to overeat.
In fact, ghrelin does its job so well that when it’s surging in your bloodstream, it can actually make food taste up to 20% better.
On the other hand, the popular concept of 6 small meals throughout the day is also less than ideal.
You don’t need your insulin surging on a constant basis by eating nonstop.
Body builders developed this style of eating to squeeze thousands upon thousands of calories into their day.
Many of them developed type 2 diabetes later on in life.
I think not.
Eating every 4 hours is a perfect formula for hormone balance – it keeps insulin stable, but doesn’t spike hunger hormones.
Hormone Homework: When you first start to eat every 4 hours you might find you’re not very hungry when the 4 hours are up. But that’s the idea – we don’t want you to be famished. You want to head off extreme hunger, which is a signal your blood sugar has dipped too low, a surefire recipe for cravings and overeating.
Don’t eat after 9:00 p.m. – especially carbs.
One of the biggest risks of skipping meals during the day is you then overeat at night.
Your body uses calories throughout the day, but any big surplus gets stored as fat.
One study found people who skipped meals during the day and ate a big meal between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. ended up with some very ominous measurements:
>Higher fasting blood glucose in the morning
>Higher blood sugar overall
>Higher levels of ghrelin
>Impaired insulin response (an indicator of insulin resistance)
Yet so many people have done this – word hard all day, ignoring their need for food because they’re “too busy to eat.”
And then, at the end of a long day, they “reward” themselves with a nice, relaxing, diabetes-inducing meal.
Your levels of fat-storage hormone cortisol dip after breakfast and lunch, but not after dinner or evening snacks.
Eating more calories during the evening will pack more fat around your belly, where you have more cortisol receptors than other places in your body.
Eating the bulk of your calories after dark also sends your bad LDL up and good HDL down.
The rate at which food will leave your stomach – also known as your gastric emptying rate – slows down at night.
Plus, your ability to process glucose gets weaker as the day goes on.
If you eat a carb-heavy meal at 8:00 p.m., your body reacts much differently than if you eat a carb-heavy meal at 8:00 a.m.
The old adage “Eat like a king at breakfast, a prince at lunch, a pauper at dinner” is right on the money – although I’d stick another pauper in there somewhere.
The most important thing is not to eat before bed.
Muscle-glycogen stores fill during the day’s meals.
By the end of the day, all the spots in the glycogen stores are filled up.
You’re not going to be burning any extra calories, or drawing on those glycogen stores, for the better part of 7 or 8 hours, so any remaining calories you eat now will turn straight into fat.
This part is by far the most important: About 1 hour after you fall asleep your body releases its largest pulse of growth hormone for the day.
Insulin inhibits growth hormone production, so the last thing you want to do is eat any carbs that will drive up your insulin and interfere with this precious fat-burning growth hormone supply.
Hormone Homework: As soon as you have your evening meal, shut the kitchen down and don’t go there anymore. Try to make your last meal tilt more toward proteins than carbs, to keep insulin levels down and allow for maximum growth hormone release at night.
Come join me on my weight loss journey! I’d love to have you along!
Have an awesome day!
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If you’d like to read Jillian’s book, you can get it here: Master Your Metabolism: The 3 Diet Secrets to Naturally Balancing Your Hormones for a Hot and Healthy Body!
Dick and Lenay
email: Lenay@dickandlenay.com – 715-431-0657