Toxic Workplaces: How to Stay Positive
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Keeping a positive mindset in a toxic work environment can be an extremely difficult task. I've spent some time in toxic work places and motivating workplaces and there is a vast difference between employee moral …

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Calorie Burning Factors: Sensible Portions

Submitted by on Saturday, 5 November 2011No Comment
Calorie Burning Factors: Sensible Portions

Given today’s difficult work life balance and challenging demands either through work, school or other commitments, people often sacrifice a good diet. This doesn’t just include the type of food but also the food portions and the number of meals. To help you illustrate how your body functions, lets visualize a simple graph. The graph below depicts what I like to term the Calorie Burning Factor (CBF) vs. Time. In the morning your body is most prone to burning calories. However as the day gradually progresses your body’s natural tendency is to burn fewer calories as most of the energy is diverted to work done throughout the day. This is also due to the fact of a depletion of glycogen overnight. When you wake up in the morning, your have less glycogen in your body and therefore your body will turn to stored energy in the form of fat. And last eating releases insulin and first thing in the morning your have the least amount of insulin. The impact of this is that insulin impedes the breakdown of fat in the body.

Now that we got an idea of the natural graph lets take a look at what happens to your body if you eat 3 larger portions per day relative to 6 sensible portions in the day. When you eat 3 large meals throughout the day the impact is a production of excess insulin, more than what your body can breakdown at a given time. As a result breaking down fat becomes more difficult. Furthermore, while your body gains a spike in CBF, it declines faster since your body can only breakdown so much fat at once. Below is an image depicting this.

Now when you eat 6 meals per day your body releases less insulin and helps to keep your CBF factor elevated throughout the day. Essentially what happens is you body gets a spike but smaller spike compared to 6 meals a day, however the CBF doesn’t decrease as fast as it does in the 3 meals per day scenario. The graph looks something like below

In this case your body gets smaller gradual boosts throughout the day. There is no doubt both practically and scientifically that eating lower portions but more frequently throughout the day is better for you. However, this begs the questions of how exercise would change the graph. In fact many including myself feel that working out early in the morning helps to elevate the starting point for the CBF. That means if my CBF starts at 20 in the graph above without food, a workout might bump that to 25 or 30. Therefore there is a definite benefit to eating more sensible potions throughout the day, every 3-4 hours summing to 6-8 meals. I still use my fist as a good indicator of a portion size.

Its time to train hard but eat smart for a balanced diet and exercise plan that will help the sustainability of your fitness achievements.

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