Ok so hands up, how many of you avoid eating and drinking on weigh day? Until around 3 weeks ago I would have been one of the first to put my hand up, with a 5.30pm weigh in I would eat a light breakfast and then try to avoid eating again until after I had weighed (which by the time I get home and cook is generally 7.30pm or later!!). As for drinks, I always stuck to no drinks after 1pm. Then one day I saw a post about it in a slimming world facebook group and it really got me to thinking… is my weigh day routine actually sabotaging my weight loss rather than increasing it? and I have to say, I’ve come to the conclusion that yes, it probably is!!
When I first rejoined group, I attended a morning session (9.30am) which was great, I could take my breakfast with me, jump on the scales and then sit down and eat with a coffee. Then when we swapped to an evening group, I panicked a little! Its common knowledge that you generally weigh more in the evening than the morning, you’re filling your body with food and fluids all day for a start! So I found myself compelled to practically starve myself for most of the day each Tuesday. Yet all this actually did was made me feel lethargic, not to mention extremely hungry and by the time I got home from weigh in, with an epic headache, I just grabbed whatever I could as quickly as I could, which 9 times out of 10, was rubbish! I’m talking ready meals, crisps, bread, chocolate, biscuits! Sitting down to eat hungry just faulted in me completely over stuffing myself in order to try to rid the feeling of hunger!! Not to mention the effects it would have had on my body… and this is where it gets a little scientific as I’ve been doing a little research into how my body would have actually been effected by this lack of fuel.
- Reduced metabolism – This is a huge effect of not eating and drinking enough! When trying to lose weight we need to keep our metabolism up and our bodies hydrated in order to burn the calories we are consuming, to do this your body need to be regularly fuelled by eating and drinking! Your body will go into starvation mode if it isn’t getting adequate fuel and your metabolism will decrease in order to maintain your body weight and reserve fat cells: completely the opposite to what we are aiming to achieve through slimming world! The faster your metabolic rate, the quicker you will lose weight, therefore, the more you eat, the higher your metabolic rate will be!
- Reduced energy levels – Physical workouts will no doubt help reduce your weight, but your body needs energy to maintain other functions of daily living. Without enough food, your body simply will not have the energy to carry out such tasks!
- Increased fat storage – going long stretches without eating, or waiting until you feel starving, results in the body becoming accustomed to expecting very little food. This then causes it to hold onto its stored energy supplies (yep, you guessed it, fat!!) making it difficult to lost weight!
One of the things that will always stick with me out of everything my consultant has ever told me is ‘the more you eat, the more you lose’ and my goodness was she right! Of course, I’m not saying to scoff your faces unnecessarily (least of all with synful foods!!) but just to eat regularly!! Eating causes your body’s energy levels to increase and a regular energy supply will encourage your body to be more comfortable with burning off energy! The body cannot function efficiently on limited resources; eating little and often not only allows your body to function properly, it also helps it to learn that it can safely rehearsed stored fat as it knows it will get a regular supply of calories!
These habits were, believe it or not, quite hard for me… I’m ALWAYS hungry so it took a great effort to ignore my body telling me I was hungry and needed to eat! Yet after really thinking about it, I was able to stop this series of bad habits and in turn I hope that I will see a positive impact upon my journey! I now enjoy 2 good meals before I weigh and keep my body well hydrated well into the afternoon!
Onwards and downwards,