Saturday, September 19, 2009

Panda on weight loss 2

When we were designed we came with a wonderful system of survival. Our bodies have a built in reaction to danger, (STRESS), called flight or flight. When we were frightened, (STRESSED), we had a choice to fight back or to haul butt out of there. There wasn't much that caused stress that wasn't dangerous since we were pretty basic in our needs and wants. To fuel our flight or flight needs, the body released calories, (Sugar), to our cells so they could take care of business and the required business was physical and we needed the turbo boost of fuel. The stress was generally short lived, we either won the battle or got away.Now we have stress coming at us from all sides and it can stay with us for a long time. Our bodies can't tell the difference between mental and physical stress. When your boss, spouse, child, bills ect... cause you stress, your wonderful body responds with what it can understand to help you, more calories are released for you to take care of business. Even though you didn't react physically your body now has you craving food to replace what it thinks you used to defeat or run from the attacking beast it thinks you just faced.
There is a good scientific explanation to all this, with enzymes being released that cause other enzymes to react and send signals to your brain. The fact that there is no physical threat is not relevant to the body, stress requires preparing for action.So how does one function here with your body thinking you are in danger but your stress is just you having a bad day at work. To start with you can realize what's happening and know that after you are put in that stressful situation and you will start craving food. This is why so many people eat as a reaction to stress and can't understand why they are so helpless to resist food when they are upset.You can be ready with a plan to counter the cravings when they hit. The cravings will come and go quickly, you just have to wait them out. A walk, a trip to the restroom to wash your hands, having some water, or calling a friend can help you, anything that keeps you busy till that craving passes. What you don't want to do is think well I'll just eat a little bit, yep that isn’t happening, try stopping once you start, you can eat for about 20 minutes before your brain gets the message that your tummy is full.
If the stressful situation is around a meal time go ahead and have your meal and eat it slowly and chew it well, small bites so it will last longer and get you through the cravings without over eating.Another interesting little tidbit along these lines is what happens to your training plans when you are stressed. Being stressed will tire you out. Your body has been in action mode, nothing happened and later when you want to exercise to release some stress you don't have much energy left. Stress will tire you mentally also, your body not only wants food it wants rest. You had to fight or flee so you are tired.
One of the advantages to doing your workouts in the mornings is you turbo charge your metabolism with vigorous exercise. Since your body is already releasing stored fuel for your increased metabolism to burn it isn’t so effected by normal stress. You are usually more relaxed after working out so you are more relaxed during the day to. If we could get some good exercise when ever we feel stress we would have the best of all situations. We would have a way to work off the stress and the fuel to keep us going strong. That’s why if it’s possible to take a brisk walk when your stress level gets to much you can deal with it better.
You should eat something for breakfast. Yes this is the most important food you take in all day and vital to getting control over your weight. Remember how your body reacts if it thinks you are starving? Well you haven’t eaten since the day before and your body is hungry, give it a good healthy meal and it will perform well for you. It will also release the calories you need for working out hard.
Being a Southern raised guy I love eggs, sausage and home fries. But that is a high fat meal that shouldn’t be eaten very often, I have my that breakfast about once every month or two as a special treat. My normal early morning meal is a whole grain cereal with a banana cut up on it, skim milk, a cup of coffee and a glass of water. I take a multi-vitamin every morning but except for an occasional soreness, that is the only supplement I take.
I can eat my cereal breakfast and an hour later do a hard workout or two hours later race. With the traditional eggs and sausage meal racing would be uncomfortable for several hours. That is because complex carbs like the cereal and banana are digested much quicker by your body, they are also absorbed and processed into fuel much quicker.
A lot of people have to workout very soon after they wake, simply because that is the only time available. If you don’t have the luxury of eating breakfast and then relaxing for an hour or so before working out at least eat some complex carbs like a half a bagel, a piece of fruit or a half a peanut butter sandwich. Complex carbohydrates are still in food form and not processed into sugar. Candy and soda are examples of simple sugars. Eat your carbohydrates in food form instead of simple processed form. This will give you energy and tell your body to keep releasing calories for you during your workout.
Once you are done with your workout have something more. Research has shown that muscle recovery and growth is more efficient if you have a small second meal of protein and carbohydrates within 20 min of finishing your workout. I usually have something like a bagel with peanut butter or a banana after I get back home from my training session.
Meal Frequency
I personally find that I need to eat a small meal every 5 hours or I start getting a hungry feeling.

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