You may have heard before that eating too little can make you gain weight. How the heck does that work??
This is a case study of person A who eats very little all day (<600 kcal) then eats a large dinner at night (>1,000 kcal).
The first thing you need to understand is that food is fuel for the body. When you eat something, you’re body burns what it needs for the short term and stores the rest. From the previous article we know that eating too little can slow down your fat burning machine. For person A, they have decreased the capacity of their fat burning machine by eating very little all day. Then they eat a large dinner that has both:
- provided more calories than they need in the immediate future, so most of it is stored as fat
- stored more fat than normal because they’re fat burning system is running slow
What do most of us do after eating dinner? We relax, do hobbies, talk to loved ones, then go to bed. The point is that we have very little physical expenditure. Person A is not burning off many of those calories they took in at dinner, which is already an uphill battle for the two reasons listed above.
Does this scenario sound familiar to anyone? It’s a common occurrence during busy work days with long commutes leading to little free time for eating. So what do we do about it??
- Don’t wait until you’re starving to eat, instead plan snacks throughout the day. This should be pretty simple for most of us who have regular schedules.
- Plan dinner with lighter options. Zoodles instead of noodles, cauliflower rice instead of rice, chicken/fish instead of steak/pork, or mushrooms instead of meat.
- Find easy snacks that you like and keep them everywhere. In the car, your bag, your desk, etc. That way you’re never caught empty handed.
Hopefully this helps you to understand why the starvation diet just doesn’t work. Use these tips to help boost your metabolism and lose weight the right way.