The first time I met Dr. Bob he said, "there is no such thing as a bad food." Now we've all heard this before. It's Eating Well 101. But he explained it by saying, "when the body is starving a twinkie might just be the thing to save your life."
Well on Friday we leveled.
I said, "I want to lose weight."
He smiled and said, "I know."
I said, "Help me. How do I do it?"
And he smiled again and said, "You have to eat at least 1,800 calories a day. Eating 1,800 calories creates a deficit of 200 calories a day and that along with exercise will allow you to lose weight."
"Okay," I said slowly, eyeing him carefully. "How long will it take me to lose ten pounds?"
He did the math in his head, "About three months."
Ah, three months. Long sigh. So long. Wait a second, silly (the italicized words represent the sane part of me) three months is nothing in the grand scheme of things. And you've been trying to lose weight for years with no success. This guy is actually telling you to eat more. More food! How exciting!
Dr. Bob explained that (and I think this is what he was saying, but don't quote me or him via me on it) eating less than 1,800 calories changes how the brain defines pleasure when it comes to food. Example: sweet food becomes more pleasurable. The body adapts to starvation by becoming increasingly sensitive to rewarding foods like sweets and butters. The body literally prioritizes food by calories. Foods that are "bad" for you become more pleasurable not necessarily because they are off limits, but because you get a large calorie count for not a lot of consumption.
So I'm going to try. To eat more. Turns out 1,800 calories is a fair amount. And I'm going to enjoy every single one of them, allowing myself indulgences as well as the pleasure of fruits and veggies (homemade guacamole--oh my!).
I know it seems scary. And I know the question becomes, how can I lose weight when I'm actually taking in more food? Well, by taking in more food (but not too much) you increase your metabolism and allow your body to become more efficient with calories, so that even if you slip up and eat that whole chocolate cake, the body says, no worries--I don't need these calories, I'll just get rid of them. Because not every calorie carries an equal weight. And when you're not starving yourself then your body doesn't feel the need to hoard calories. The body becomes more forgiving. So while it may seem counterintuitive: eating more can help you lose weight. But more importantly it will get you to the weight where your body wants to live.
Part II of my conversation with Dr. Bob has to do with cooking. That will come tomorrow. For some reason I've been putting off writing this post. I'm not sure why that is, but I'm gonna end it here for now in an effort to not push my luck. Part II to come...tomorrow (as well as an explanation of my new sidebar feature).