Anaerobics and Airports

Before earlier this year I had only been on an airplane on one occasion. Well, two but one was only a quick flight up state. At any rate I was unfamiliar with the process and didn't remember it from years ago.

UnknownIn May of this year I decided to go on a trip to a clinic so that I could better my skills in my profession. I was anxious about the pressure of the clinic, but I was really nervous and anxious about the flight and the airport process.

I didn't remember the procedures of the airport. How early do I get there? How should I pack? What should I wear to make travel comfortable and security checks easier? What was a security check like anyway? How do I know where my plane will be? There were so many things I was unsure of.

I searched all over the internet for answers and I came up short. I was more confused than before I began my search. One site told me this and another site told me that. So I began talking to people I know who travel regularly. This was a little more help but I still didn't feel ready for my flight. But the time came and I was up for the challenge.

By the time I got to my destination I felt like a traveling pro. All of my apprehension was gone. It was just something I had to go through. Before it happened the more I thought about it the more things I came up with to worry about.

After going through the process I realized that I made a bigger deal about it than I should have. I was way more worried than I needed to be. I just had to go through it cause no amount of research was going to substitute the experience.

This got me thinking about how stressful it must be to think about starting an exercise regimen for the first time. People go through this process all the time when they think about working out for the first time. There is so many conflicting views about the right way to work out and they’re all over the internet.

I know from experience that when people analyze working out too they end up holding themselves back. Often to the point where it seems so overwhelming that they never begin a program. Paralysis by analysis.

imagesBefore you begin to exercise you have so many questions and doubts. “Is it worth it?” “Will I even lose weight?” “How many sets do I do?” “Will I look like a man?” “Does this mean I can never eat the foods I want?” “If I’m told to workout 3 times a week wouldn’t 5 be better? I can’t workout 5 times a week I might as well not even try.”

The more you think about it the more impossible it seems to accomplish. You can do it, you can begin an exercise program. The same way I was wrong about how difficult airplane travel is, you are likely wrong about how difficult you think exercise it.

Stop over analyzing the whole process and just get to it. Talk with a trainer or someone you know who works out and you are comfortable with. They’ll be able to point you in the right direction and will see that it’s not as hard as you’re making it out to be.

Something is better than nothing and anything is better than racking your brain over the details. Just get your butt moving, you’ll see that while it’s not easy it definitely isn’t as hard or complicated as you probably think.

Eat at Night? Yes

dont-eat-the-bulk-of-calories-at-nightWe've been told that we can't eat after 5pm or 8 pm, and definitely not before bed. We've been scared into thinking that if you eat before bed all of  the calories we eat will be stored as fat since we will not be moving around burning them off.  And if you eat carbs before bed you're gonna gain 20 pounds overnight.

That's a lie and a false assumption that you don't burn calories at rest.

When you sleep you burn about the same amount of calories as when you watch TV, but that's beside the point. The point is that when you restrict your eating to  before a certain time what you're really doing is restricting and reducing you calories for the day. This is the real reason you lose weight when if you don't eat after these so called magic hours.

There was a study done that had two groups, all members of both groups had a BMI of over 30. Both groups where given the same numbers of calories in a day and the macronutrient breakdown (carbs, protein, and fat) were all equal. The first group ate carbs throughout the day and the other group ate most of their carbs at night.

The group that ate most of their carbs at night lost more weight than the group who ate carbs throughout the day. This could be because of a hormonal influence that eating a reduced amount of carbs early and an increased amount late has on the body.

woman-eating-a-night-snack-in-front-of-refrigeratorHere's what matters: restricting your eating to a certain time frame is a good way to reduce your calorie intake for a given day. It’s worth noting that you could also delay the time that you start eating in a day, aka delaying breakfast (collective gasp). When you limit your eating to a certain time your are likely decreasing your total daily calories, this is the real reason you lose weight. Also, it helps to eat most of your carbs during the later part of your day.

You can eat whenever you like but it’s best to spend as much time as you can in a day without eating, this can and should include sleeping (not eating a certain amount of time before you sleep or after you wake). And if you can, save more of your carbs for your last meal of the day, and after workouts.

Eat However Many Meals You Want

This could be one meal(if it's your only meal)
This could be one meal(if it's your only meal)

We've been told time after time that we need to eat 5, even 6 meals per day and if we don't our metabolism will slow to a crawl. We need to stoke the ol' metabolic fire by feeding the furnace at exact hourly intervals.

You've been lied to, you don't need to eat 6 meals per day if you don't want to. You can eat that many meals if that is how you enjoy eating, but don't just do it because you think you're supposed to.

When you eat multiple small meals per day you're likely to be left hungry and unsatisfied every time you eat.  And the more times you eat the more times you have the opportunity to overeat.

Also, think about the amount of time it takes out of your day to eat these meals. Not to mention the time it takes to prepare them. You're a busy person and you don't have time to be preparing meals all day. So what do you do? You end up eating some pre packaged/processed junk.

If you want you can switch to less meals per day. Less meals means that you get to eat bigger meals even while eating the same calories per day. I know what you're thinking, "I don't want my metabolism to slow down by reducing my number of meals."

You're in luck, research shows that eating more frequently does not actually raise your metabolism, there is no relationship between meal frequency and metabolic rate. Furthermore, it’s important to note that while more people are eating multiple meals per day obesity rates are still rising.

A research by the University of Ottawa concluded that “There’s nothing out there to convince us that eating several small meals a day (5-6 meals) will help lose weight.” This is because of the thermic effect of food or TEF.

TEF is the process that your body goes through when you eat. Any time that you eat your metabolism rises. BUT it rises proportionally to the amount of food you eat, not due to the amount of meals. So if you eat a 300 calorie meal it will raise a certain amount. Eating 600 calories would raise it double that amount.

You could also eat several meals in a day.
You could also eat several meals in a day.

What matters is the total amount of calories you eat per day. If the total amount of calories you eat in a day is equal it doesn't matter how many meals you eat. I repeat it doesn’t matter how many meals you eat.

So why have you been lied to? The breakfast and processed food industry has a vested interest in you eating more often. You don’t have time to prepare healthy whole foods for 6 meals a day, so if you are supposed to eat 6 meals a day you’re likely gonna need some pre packaged and ready to go foods. So the food industry funds research projects that will come to the conclusion that you need to eat more frequently.

Don’t let the food industry tell you how many meals to eat in a day. Eat as many meals as you want and base your decision on the amount of meals you like to eat and the amount of healthy meals you have time to prepare per day.