Many people believe that losing weight is a painful and unattainable thing and to drop those stubborn pounds you must go hungry all the time. Many are afraid to even set a weight loss goal because they can't stand the thought of going hungry and the frustrations that it brings.
For a lot of people, it’s just better to be overweight than to suffer hunger pains and fatigue.
Well, who can blame them?
If the only way to lose weight or stay slim was to go hungry all the time very few people would be at their ideal weight and the vast majority of the planet would be extremely overweight! It isn't necessary.
Our body is a marvelous machine. It is truly amazing! Its natural rhythm and internal workings tell us when we are hungry. It has a self-protection mechanism that lets you know when you need to stock up on fuel. Hunger signals are the body notifying you that you NEED to eat to sustain a healthy level of energy and have the reserves necessary for healing, repair, and maintenance of your cells. Serious hungry pains are a strong self-preservation signal from the body that it is in danger and needs food immediately to restore its balance. These signals should not be ignored!
Your body has no idea that food is in plentiful supply and that it is one of the cheapest commodities of the 21st Century. Your body is acting the same way your ancient ancestor's bodies worked. The general design of the human body hasn't changed one bit since then. When your ancient ancestors were living in caves they relied on their ability to hunt for food to feed themselves. Sometimes they would go days or weeks without a kill and the body would send them warning signals that they were in danger. When they did eat the body immediately, still in self-preservation mode, stored as much of the energy as it could in reserve as fat. Your body works in the same way today.
Starving yourself just doesn't work. It goes against nature to think that you can starve yourself and lose weight.
Starvation diets don't work and you don't want to spend 2 hours a day in the gym. How do we lose weight then? Well, the good news is you do not have to go hungry to lose weight. Nor do you need excessive amounts of exercise. The truth is, eating regular nutritional meals and allowing your body to fill itself to satisfaction is the key to reaching and maintaining a healthy, slim body. By not allowing yourself to go hungry you will avoid overeating – which is the very thing that usually happens when you break a starvation diet.
One method is to eat five or six, fairly small, healthy meals divided up throughout your day. Instead of eating three large meals at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, divide the same quantity of food into 6 meals instead and eat an extra small meal between a small breakfast and lunch, one between lunch and dinner, and if you are hungry later have another one. Try to avoid having the last meal close to bedtime, anytime up to 2 hours before bed is all right.
Don't wait until you feel hungry. Eat as soon as you can. If you wait for a long time before you eat your body will go into panic mode, think that you don't have enough resources to feed it and you will overeat! Therefore, eating frequent yet smaller meals will help to keep your body satisfied and you will be less likely to over-indulge.
Do not miss a meal in hopes that it will help burn some extra calories. You may believe that by skipping a meal you will save some calories or fat intake, but, as you have seen, the opposite tends to happen. Besides, if you go for a long period without a meal you are much more likely to over-indulge when you get fed-up and can't take the starvation anymore.
Did you also realize that by skipping meals you are slowing down your metabolism? Because your body thinks there is a food shortage it not only stores extra fat but also slows down the amount of fat it burns. The body's natural survival instinct is triggered, you put on extra weight and burn fewer calories and fat. As the body burns fat to convert into energy you will find that you become lethargic and tired.
Starving yourself just doesn't work!
In addition to eating smaller more frequent meals, you should also teach yourself to eat slower. Place your knife and fork down between every bite and chew for a few seconds longer than normal. It can take us up to twenty 20 minutes to realize that the body is full and completely satisfied. When you eat at a fast pace you unknowingly overeat before you have time to recognize the full signal your body is sending your brain. When you eat at a slower pace you start to recognize these signals from your body and train yourself to identify them at an earlier stage.
Along with eating frequent meals, take an extra 15-20 minutes a day to walk. To some of you, this may sound like a lot and harder than it sounds. But all you have to do is split it up throughout the day. Leave for work with an extra 5 minutes to spare and walk to a bus stop further away from the one you usually walk to or park your car 5 minutes further away than you usually do. At lunch take a 5-minute stroll and take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk to the local store instead of driving or walk your dog. Over time this will become a normal routine and you will find yourself walking further and further each day. It is easy to complete 15, 30, or even an hour's exercise every day if you split it up like this. And remember don't starve yourself, it just doesn't work!