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Lose hundreds of cals a day — after you eat them

Published January 19. 2019 12:14AM

I don’t ever want to ever skin a cat. Ever! But I do take a great deal of comfort in the fact that some old time saying tells me there’s more than one way to do the dreadful deed.

That’s because there’s a few accepted health and fitness beliefs that simply do not work for me. One such belief is when to consume the majority of your daily calories.

While the idea that you should eat like a king at breakfast, a prince at lunch, and a pauper at supper is such a solid dietary strategy that it’s part of the advice I give as the way to lose or maintain body weight, I haven’t done it myself since my college days. It’s just that eating breakfast after an early-morning workout at my school desk as I prepare for my first class keeps me from eating very much at breakfast, and the 25 minutes I have for lunch combined with my desire to keep working makes my middle even lighter.

As a result, about 65 percent of my daily weekday calories are consumed after 5:30 p.m. — which is at least the amount the most medicos would suggest you consume before that time of day.

Despite this late-day overload of calories, I keep from gaining weight because of the types of foods I eat at that time and the frequency, length, and intensity of my workouts.

I could probably list a half dozen more less-than-standard “tricks” in my health bag, but now’s not the time for that. Now’s the time for you to create your own bag, and the way to do that is to do what I implore you to do time and time again.

Experiment, experiment, experiment. And there are dozens you can do with your foods that are not far fetched.

Yes, I’m aware I’m an outlier when it comes to eating.

I would never ask you to eschew fruits because they are high in fructose, a sugar that your liver can only store in minute amounts and that easily gets transformed to body fat. I would never ask you eschew meat, egg yolks, and all but fat-free dairy products because the practice keeps my body fat percentage well below 10 percent even as I’m approaching 60.

All I ask is that you familiarize yourself with a few fundamental principals and experiment, experiment, experiment.

One fundamental principal from which you can derive significant benefit is known as nutrient partitioning. It’s the driving force behind a saying that’s used often today.

All calories are not equal.

Unless you imbibe in alcohol, your calories come from proteins, fats, simple and complex carbohydrates (the delineation of carbs is crucial to the concept of nutrient partitioning), but the calories from these macronutrients are not handled by your body in the same way.

Proteins and complex carbohydrates are harder to digest. Much harder. More heat needs to be created to break down and digest these macronutrients, which causes a loss or waste of calories.

The most extreme example occurs when you eat a 100-calorie egg-white omelet (approximately the amount in the whites of six eggs). Between 20 and 30 of those cals will be used not to fuel your body or replace muscle mass but to allow your to assimilate the other 70 or 80 cals.

While the loss to assimilate complex carbs generally takes between 8 and 10 percent of them, that’s still a significant amount over the course of a month.

How significant?

Let’s say you’ve just never acquired a taste for 100-percent whole wheat bread, you eat white bread instead, and you eat one loaf every week. The switch from white to 100 percent increases the loss of cals during digestion by about 5 percent, which means your body is really receiving about 77 calories fewer calories a week — even though you’re eating just as much bread by volume.

And that’s not counting the additional loss of calories because the 100-percent whole wheat bread contains more of something that can’t be used for fuel or stored as fat.


Furthermore, dietary fat often gets attached so to speak to soluble fiber in the digestive process so the loss of cals increases again.

In short, it’s quite possible that the total loss of calories that comes from the aforementioned switch from white bread to 100-percent whole wheat exceeds 100 cals per week.

Make a five more swaps where the loss is the same, and you’ll find yourself losing about one pound every six weeks for a while — but only if you keep eating the same volume of food.

But chances are you’ll eat less because the new foods you choose — the addition of more proteins and complex carbs along with the subtraction of simple carbs and fat — are far more filling.

As a result, you could easily double the previously mentioned weight loss and never feel as if you’ve gone on a diet.

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