Portion Control is Out of Control
Control Your Portions
I’ll never forget back in 2002 when I was the fitness director at an LA fitness.
One of the more entertaining activities of my daily routine was to go over the nutritional protocol with each newbie.
One day I was sitting across from a prototypical wanna-be fanatical fitness mom.
You know the type.
Sucks down coffee or an energy drink first thing in the morning, flies to the gym and blitzes fasted cardio followed by a killer bicep and tricep routine.
I’d seen her kind a million times before.
So tell me what foods and the amounts you eat for each meal of the day, I asked her.
What she told me next left me speechless.
meal #1 1/4 cup oats, 4 whites
meal #2 whey shake, handful almonds
meal #3 tuna, veggies
meal #4 cup of Greek yogurt
meal #5 chicken, rice
snack – apple, peanut butter
What she didn’t mention was her jail break binge she had a couple nights a week.
Not including her overflowing cheat meal she ate ever Saturday.
Now she didn’t confess to me that she caved into binge eating a couple times a week.
But she didn’t need to.
At 5’5″ , 150- something and nearly 30% body fat, the scale wasn’t going up from
her diet of twigs & berries.
You see, when your body fat doesn’t quite match what you say you’re putting in your mouth this is a clear indicator of two things:
- Binge eating due to your super low blood sugar level
- You have the metabolism of a snail
Look here, your adipose cells aren’t swelling in girth on their own.
You’re force feeding them with hefty loads of carbs every time you dive head first into that pint of ice cream at 10pm when that bout of hunger hits you like a run away freight train.
And I’ll give you one guess why those cravings keep creeping up on you each night.
Portion control. Or at least your idea of it.
The reality is because you aren’t eating enough earlier in the day.
Or any time during the day.
Those Mini Mouse sized portions are going to keep your belly screaming for food.
And sooner or later you’re going to buckle under the pressure of your overwhelming hunger.
Your hunger is regulated by your blood sugar level.
And when you barely eat enough to keep a sparrow alive your blood sugar drops.
Wanna know what causes those nasty cravings you keep getting as well?
Cravings are caused by in a deficiency in three things:
- micronutrients (vitamins & minerals)
- macronutrients (protein, carbs & fats)
Yup, both cravings & hunger have one of the same root causes,
not eating enough.
Or in other words having rock bottom blood sugar levels.
Wanna know another way to get your blood sugar to plummet faster than an old fashioned bank vault dropped off the edge of a cliff?
Too much exercise.
All those cardio classes and body part workouts you’re doing are going to require lots of fuel and no, that buzz from your coffee or energy drink isn’t fuel, that’s a stimulant.
So what do you think happens when your exercise demands exceed your eating, by about a mile?
Blood sugar drops,
which result in severe cravings & hunger,
jail break binge eating and or emotional eating,
shrouded with guilt.
What happens after you binge eat?
The next morning you seek redemption with an hour long jog on the treadmill or spinning class hopped up on enough caffeine to disqualify the US Olympic track team.
You eat even less to “off-set” last nights binge and by the end of the day you’ve dug a caloric deficit deeper than the grand canyon.
When 8pm rolls around you have stabbing hunger and you convince yourself that a simple spoonful of peanut butter will solve your hunger problems.
I don’t think you need a crystal ball to see how this evening is going to end.
And the vicious cycle repeats its self.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
I get it you judgemental jerk! So how do we fix this?
The best way to crush cravings & hunger and speed up your metabolism is to eat more and exercise less.
Get the whole calorie equation out of your mind and focus on increasing your metabolism from both ends of the spectrum..
Bu bu but my dietitian told me the only way to lose was to keep cutting calories.
Then where do you go from here?
1/5 cup oats and 3 egg whites?
1/2 cup greek yogurt?
What’s your goal? To eventually eat 500 kcals per day?
Look junior, the only way out of this pit you’ve dug yourself into is going to be the opposite of what you’ve been doing.
Even though Aprildawn had a very fit figure she still wanted to make more progress. When she signed up for her customized eating program with me she was under eating and hitting the gym 5-6 days a week and hit a stubborn plateau. Once I increased her healthy food intake customized specifically for her new training program which was only three, 45 minute lifting sessions per week she was able to eat more food while she lost 3" from her waist in the first month. Also, NOTICE the "thigh gap" in the after photo. This reflects the amount of fat on her upper thigh she lost.
But most importantly you're going to sustain stable blood sugar levels and thus safeguard against night time cravings and binge eating.
By cutting out all those frivolous arm days at the gym and jogging cardio that provide a very low training economy you're going to do exercises that provide a much bigger bang for your buck, in a fraction of the time.
And the great thing is that with all that free time you're going to have on your hands now from dropping 80% of your gym time you can spend in the kitchen packing all that extra food you're going to be eating.