One size does not fit all - part 1
January 18, 2009 10:10pm CST
I keep talking about balance in my posts. I also talk a lot about the fact that we are all different and what works well for some doesn't have to work well for all. I have been thinking about this a bit more because some time back I read an article. I can't remember where but it was a good one. It was about bad weight loss advice. Or maybe not exactly bad, but advice not counting the fact that each person is different. One of the things it talked about was the some of the things that are often suggested to people that want to loose weight - even by dietitians or nutritionists. THey tend to find a philosophy that seems to make sense to them and them sometimes not taking in account that one size does not fit all. The ideas can be good, in theory. They can work with some people but won't work with everyone and should not be taken as the only truth. One of those messages is" Never eat after 7pm "( it varies from 5 to 7 usually dependng on the person saying it ). WHile it is true that people should not go to bed with a full stomach. People need to take a look at their lifestyle and schedules before taking this advice. To be sure, there really is no specific evidence that eating a late night snack will make anyone gain weight if they are already following a healthy diet throughout the day. It really depends on what each person's hours are. This "rule" is based on averages. THe average person goes to bed between 9-11pm. so it makes sense to not eat later than 7. But what if you regularly go to bed at midnight, or even later? What if your schedule leaves only after work for you to go to the gym? This one ties with and goes against that other one that says " Eat 5 meals a day" Again, eating smaller meals more often will help us stay full longer instead of going trough big periods without eating and then being so hungry that we'll eat anything that won't run or crawl out of our plate. Skipping meals is certainly not an option. However think about it. Let's say you're trying to stay on a plan of about 1700 calories a day. Now divide that by 5.You're looking at 340 calories per meal. Lets see... a large bagel has over 300 calories. Sure there are full meals within that range but not everyone is able to fill full with it. And loosing weight is about healthy choices, not feeling miserable and grabbing the first huge calorie snack next time you're distracted. 5 meals a day will work for some people. But not for all. Easier? For the people that won't be able to go on trough the day with those 5 300 calorie meals, 3 main meals a bit bigger, and a couple of smaller snacks in between. You will feel fuller for longer but you won't be having more calories. How does this one go against the first one I mentioned? Well to follow this a person should be eating about every 2/3 hours. But if nothing is to be had after 7, and the person goes to bed at midnight that is a gap of about 5/6 hours.
21 Jan 09
Well, I have always said that what works for me, does not necessarily work for you. When it comes to diet, you are right about every individual having different dieting needs. That is why when it comes to dieting, it is best to try out some theory to see if it works for you. What is most important in a diet is discipline. And of course, a generous dose of hearty helpings to food that will keep you full. It does not mean that going on a diet to lose weight means abstinance from all the good food. It is always about subsituting some food for others. Take for example, instead of eating rice or potatoes which are high in sugar content, opt for the lower sugar content brown rice instead. If you cannot ust make the switch immediately, do it gradually. The key work here is subsitution and gradual changes. The human body is all about familarity. If we make sudden changes to the food we eat, to the exercise routine we do, it will most likely reject the changes as it is more comfortable with the former rather than the present. So making small changes to your diet and adding a little bit of exercise bit by bit, the body will be able to better adapt and you will not feel deprived when going on a weight loss trip. And then discipline kicks in. You must be discipline enough to maintain the routine you got yourself into to lose that weight. Even after attaining the weight loss target, you have to continue at what you are doing. Some adjustment can be made to make the diet more berable. But you have to maintain it. Otherwise, the weight lost will just be gained back as easily as you lost it. That is why a lot of people experience a yoyo effect with their weight lost quests. Slow and easy is the best way to any diet. And what changes to make to your diet and your exercise routine, is best decided by you as you are the only person who knows yourself best. All the advise that you read out there, use them as a guide to discover what is best for you and your body.
• United States
19 Jan 09
When I was working night shift jobs I had to laugh at that "advice" because I got home at 2 am or 7 am. and had my main meal. As for eating five meals a day, fat chance. I'm not sure I even know very many people who eat 3. I sure don't. Who do they expect to prepare all these mini-meals and clean up after?