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JONES: Eating like a horse on the Garden Island

Dear Doug,

Thank you for your continued thoughts about nutrition and weight loss.

— Marie, Hanalei

Aloha Marie,

Mahalo for sticking with me throughout this three-part answer. As you’ll hopefully recall, my previous two columns covered my first two principles for Super Sustenance:

1. Eat Fruit First, Before Anything.

2. Eat Veggies First, Before Anything Else.

You can reread these columns online in the Health and Fitness section of The Garden Island newspaper’s website. I also have direct links to all of my columns on my website.

Especially when it comes to Super Sustenance, it is vitally important that you don’t pick and choose only the appetizing guidelines. For instance, you shouldn’t stuff yourself silly without being willing to emphasize raw and fresh produce. While this stands to reason, our tiny taste buds are in a relentless battle with our brain and body. So, please keep your priorities in order as you digest my third principle for nutritive fitness:

3. Eat Like a Horse!

Yes. For many people, and most bodies, the secret to Super Sustenance and healthy fat loss is grazing like a horse. In my Super 7-Week Shape-Up System, I recommending eating seven separate times throughout the day. Yes, this includes your pieces of fruit each morning. In fact, any time you eat anything counts, even if only a tiny snack (like some stalks of celery or a handful of raw nuts). A snack is a meal and, ideally, meals should be considered larger snacks.

This secret is simple … snack, don’t starve. Every time you eat, your body burns calories during the digestion process. For most people, this caloric expenditure actually exceeds how many calories they burn by exercising each day. So, take advantage of it. If you eat well, you can also eat often.

The body is an incredible machine and, in many ways, as smart as the brain. In a nutshell, if you feed it, it knows that food is available, so it sheds fat. If you starve it, it responds to the deprivation by trying to store every morsel. Work with your design, not against it. You’ve seen those who eat like a horse and are as skinny as a fence post, right? Often, it’s cause and effect.

• Each time you eat, your metabolic rate increases, causing your body to heat up for several hours. Some individuals actually respond by sweating at big meals. This phenomenon is called Dietary Induced Thermogensis, or the Thermic Effect of Food. Your body is burning calories (producing heat) due to the additional energy required to ingest, digest, absorb, assimilate, transport, utilize, and store the macro- and micronutrients. Eating burns calories. Period.

• Another incredible benefit of increasing meal frequency is the alteration of an enzyme, lipoprotein lipase (LPL). One major function of this enzyme is the facilitation of fat stored within the body’s fat cells. If you don’t eat regularly, your level of LPL increases dramatically, and rapidly. It’s a great protective mechanism yet is accompanied by an undesirable side effect. With higher levels of LPL, you are likely to store more fat.

• Simply stated, eating more frequently (aka not starving) significantly decreases the amount of LPL in your body. This, in turn, makes the process of fat storage much more difficult, causing you to store less fat. All things being equal, the more frequently you eat, the more likely you’ll be lean.

• Spreading your healthy food intake over smaller, more frequent meals stabilizes blood sugar and insulin levels. This gives your brain and body a slow, steady supply of essential nutrients, allowing you to function at more optimal levels throughout the day. Although an occasional luau pig-out is great, healthy Garden Island grazing is greater.

• Don’t run out of gas and don’t overflow your reservoirs. Eat before you get hungry and stop eating before you get full. It’s all right if your snacks and meals are of similar size (hint hint). Tune into how your body feels; don’t feel hungry and don’t feel full.

There are always exceptions to rules, questions on answers, and special situation solutions; however, these three Simple Secrets to Sustenance can stand as firm foundations in your quest to nourish your body while staying healthy and lean.

Do your best to follow these principles each day and you’ll notice results every tomorrow. Each morning is a fresh start. Every bite is a new beginning.

1. Fruit before anything.

2. Veggies before everything else.

3. Grazing — not gorging.


Doug Jones earned his Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Maryland and has served professionals and personalities as a concierge fitness trainer for decades. As a resident of Kaua‘i and Connecticut, he has helped millions of people learn the secrets of fitness and fat loss, both online and in person. To submit your questions, or for more information, call (808) 652-6453 or visit
Source: The Garden Island

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