I received a monthly newsletter from one of my favorite acupuncturists- Peter Borton at http://www.thedragontree.com/- and he has some interesting insights on weight management I thought I would share. The full article can be found at http://www.thedragontree.com/news-a-specials/newsletter.
Excerpts from Peter (more tips in the full article... read the last one here though... the most important!)-
- Get enough sleep (but not too much). Since insufficient sleep is associated with weight gain, make sure you’re getting enough sleep that you feel well rested in the morning. If you tend to feel more groggy after a certain time in bed (usually over 9 hours), you may be oversleeping.
- Don’t skip meals. When you skip meals your metabolism slows down to adjust for the decreased supply of calories. Also, you’re more likely to overeat at your next meal.
- The amount you eat per meal is more significant than your total daily calories. If you eat two meals of 1000 calories each per day (that’s 2000 calories total), you most certainly are supplying your body with more than it can handle at each meal, and the excess will be stored as fat. On the other hand, if you divided those same 2000 calories into four 500-calorie meals spaced out evenly over the day, you are more likely to under-supply your caloric need. Then the body will burn fat for extra energy.
-Allow enough time between meals for the stomach to empty and your body to burn the calories you have consumed. This means at least two and a half hours with no food whatsoever (water is okay). If you tend to get hypoglycemic between meals, trying eating more protein and fewer simple carbohydrates.
- Never microwave anything in a plastic container or plastic wrap; reduce your consumption of foods that come in plastic containers (dry goods in plastic are okay) and cans. Plastic residues in our food may interfere with our hormone function.
- Stay relaxed when you eat. Always eat sitting down, turn off the music, turn off the television, and put down your book or newspaper. It’s a good idea to stay relaxed after eating, too.
-Sugars allow the amino acid tryptophan to enter your brain. There it is converted into serotonin, which elevates our mood. Without adequate carbs, there may not be enough tryptophan entering the brain, and consequently not enough serotonin. This is why some people feel depressed when eating a low carbohydrate diet. This can be addressed by eating slightly more complex carbohydrates (vegetables!, moderate amounts of whole, raw fruits, or small amounts of whole, unrefined, cooked grains) and/or taking supplemental tryptophan (1500 mg twice a day or 3000 mg at bedtime, always taken apart from protein-rich foods).
-Don’t stop eating fats. It’s a good idea to avoid margarine and deep fried foods, since they’re unhealthy, but moderate amounts of animal and vegetable fat supply essential nutrients. They give us energy, support nervous system function, and are useful in promoting satiety. That is, they help us feel full. Most people would feel full - perhaps even bloated - after eating a piece of cheesecake (which has plenty of fat), but meanwhile you could probably drink a glass or two of soda or bottled juice and still eat a meal with it. The soda/juice has no fat, so it doesn’t fill you up much, but it has maybe two-thirds the calories per can as a piece of cheesecake!
- Finally, just because you may prefer a slimmer body, don’t withhold love and approval from yourself. This is like depriving a sick person of medicine because you dislike sickness. Think about how you would treat a loved one with a weight problem. Even if you thought they would fare better with different eating habits or more exercise, would you reject them or stop loving them? You are so much more than the shape of the body you reside in. When you stop loving yourself, the impact on your health can only be negative. Practice a combination of discipline and compassion. You can do it.