Food for Thought: Five Tips for Losing Weight in May

| 5/3/2010 2:31:30 PM


Stephanie Small
Stephanie Small is founder of Three Sisters Nutrition, a phone-based practice helping women improve their relationship with food, and blogs for holistic weight loss site 9 Weight Loss.

With summer approaching, shorts and bathing suits are on everyone’s mind. We’re shedding those bulky layers and sometimes we need to shed those layers of bulk as well. My blog, 9 Weight Loss, introduces you to holistic, sustainable approaches to weight loss (as well as food politics, quirky and delicious recipes, and really, whatever I feel like discussing that day). Here at Natural Home, each Monday in May I’ll share with you one of my top five tips for weight loss, my “Greatest Weight Loss Hits,” if you will. We’re going beyond the things you already know about, like portion control and exercise, and addressing some of the lesser-known reasons why people gain weight—and how they can lose it.

Tip #1: Eat enough, and enough of the right stuff 

You should feel satiated, not bursting, when you finish your meal. If you’re still hungry after 15 or 20 minutes, eat more. In theory, you should stay full for about 4 hours, although everyone’s body is different. If you eat significantly less than your body needs, it is a setup for late night bingeing on Ben & Jerry’s.

This may sound confusing. Don’t you have to be hungry to lose weight? Isn’t a growling stomach indicative of fat melting away? In fact, it can have the opposite effect. When you’re too hungry, your blood sugar drops, and over time, your thyroid puts the brakes on your metabolism. Your body thinks you’re in a famine, so it makes the most of the calories you do consume. This is why skipping meals is a very, very bad idea. I’ve worked with two clients, a 26-year-old and a 50-year-old, who routinely skipped breakfast. The 26-year-old was 10 pounds overweight and the 50-year-old was 40 pounds overweight. Neither of them could understand why. They both lamented, “But I hardly eat?” My response? “Exactly.”