I really feel we are ending the paradigm of calories in & out. Why is this happening now? A couple of reasons could be, Oprah investing in Weight Watchers and shifting it from a point counting system to a healthy, happy lifestyle plan. And diets do not work, and there is actually little science behind this concept, only theory and a old fall back plan.
The Mayo Clinic states this on How your Body releases body fat…
“To understand the answer, it helps to remember that fat is basically stored energy. Your body converts fat to usable energy for your muscles and other tissues through a series of complex metabolic processes. This causes your fat cells to shrink.
These metabolic activities also generate heat, which helps maintain your body temperature, and waste products. These waste products — water and carbon dioxide — are excreted in your urine and sweat or exhaled from your lungs.”
This has absolutely NOTHING to do with Calories in and Out. It is about how to support your organs to conduct the proper metabolic activities and functions. That is it.
Your weight is determined by the rate (not amount of food) at which you store energy from the food that you eat, and the rate at which you use that energy. Remember, that as your body breaks down fat, the number of fat cells remains the same; each fat cell simply gets smaller.
The first line of defense in maintaining energy is to break down carbohydrates, or glycogen, into simple glucose molecules — this process is called glycogenolysis. Next, your body breaks down fats into glycerol and fatty acids in the process of lipolysis. The fatty acids can then be broken down directly to get energy, or can be used to make glucose through a multi-step process called gluconeogenesis. In gluconeogenesis, amino acids can also be used to make glucose.
In the fat cell, other types of lipases work to break down fats into fatty acids and glycerol. These lipases are activated by various hormones, such as glucagon, epinephrine and growth hormone. The resulting glycerol and fatty acids are released into the blood, and travel to the liver through the bloodstream. Once in the liver, the glycerol and fatty acids can be either further broken down or used to make glucose.
When you are not eating, or you are exercising, your body must draw on its internal energy stores. Your body’s prime source of energy is glucose. In fact, some cells in your body, such as brain cells, can get energy only from glucose.
So before you go grab a latte between meals, try to really feel your body and allow these metabolic processes to do their duties.
- Observe your hunger. A client just mentioned to me this week, she ate something (sugar) and 5 minutes later realized she was actually thirsty. That is IT! You just observe and notice what will help you feel more stable, versus feeding your anxiety and blood sugar. Do you have a fear of being hungry and use snacks and meals to not feel hunger? Or use food to replace another emotion or physical need?
- Eat Slowly & Mindfully: Take the 5 deep breaths before you eat to relax your nervous and digestive system. This breath prepares the body and allows you to be more present with your food. Chewing slowly is so important and something I consistently get to work on myself. The better you chew the better your body can break down food in the stomach and absorb the vitamins and minerals in your small intestine.
- Rest & Digest: After you eat, feel your abdomen, see if you can notice your blood flow in your organs. Some cultures lay down for a few minutes after meals, or try to give your body rest before you jump back into the rat race.
- Push your Edges: If your blood sugar is stable, try to add more space and time between your meals. For example try going for a 30 minute walk or drinking more water and then really feel the stomach growl and be ready for food. Instead of having lunch @ a specific time, try to allow your body to be ready for food, and you may be surprised when you eat that you are fuller faster and feel satiated.
- Experiment & Journal: This is not an exact plan. Life is dynamic and organic. You need to learn how to adjust and counterbalance. For example, if you eat something and notice gas or heartburn, it may have not been that food or meal alone, it could be the metabolic processes are still at work or something you at prior isn’t getting processed as well. Make notes without judgement and keep observing and loving on yourself.
Cheers to our amazing bodies and how grateful are we to have a body that only wants us to be healthy and balanced.
Heather Fleming, C.C.N.