When I was in my late thirties I really got into the working out, watching what I ate lifestyle and managed to drop almost 40 pounds. Going from a size 12 to a 4. Things were working out for me really well and then I got married, began really cooking again, and was not taking my own best advice, and found myself at size 10 in about 2 years. Probably the only reason I did not get back to that size 14 is because we had a drywall business and that is real labor intensive.
So back to my ‘own best advice’, which is “Everything after 6 sticks to your hips”. At that time I was working from 4pm until midnight, and I made sure that I ate right around 6pm. After that, maybe a hard candy mint, but plenty of water to stay full really did the trick. I ate a great breakfast when I got up around 9am, either went to the gym to work with weights, or rollerblading on top of a dam that had no traffic (in those days).
I recently read an article in Health magazine (by Paige Greenfield, July/August issue, pages 39-40) that really made sense and echoed a lot of what I was doing in those days. Ms Greenfield cites a study by Satchin Panda, PhD that says ” New studies reveal that to burn the most fat, you need to go 12 hours without eating-say from 8pm to 8am.” Make sense?
The article goes on talking about learning to break the midnight snack routine, and lets face it, its a habit that needs to be broken.
Think about it, staying up late is a recent thing. I know many young people don’t know this, but there was a time when the TV went off the air. Around midnight, after they played the National Anthem and showed the flag waving in the wind, suddenly a test pattern and strange ooooooo sound would be on all 3 channels. Yes, only 3 channels. So here is some of the ‘science’ behind this.
During the day, your brain and muscles use some of your calories for fuel and the rest gets stored in the liver in the form of glycogen. At night, your body converts the glycogen into glucose and releases it into the bloodstream to keep your blood sugar levels steady while you sleep. Once the stored glycogen is gone, your liver begins burning fat cells for energy. Here’s the catch: It takes a few hours to use up the days glycogen stores, so if you snack til midnight and then have a breakfast at 7 am, your body never gets to burn fat before you start reloading your glycogen again.