Kind friends often give me suggestions to include in my blog. Some of them are great — but every now and then I get a real dud. Like this one:
I put this in the “suggestions for the blog that aren’t a good idea at all” file. Here’s why.
Your conscious mind knows there is a party coming and can wait for food. There is another part of your brain, though, that controls your body without your even being aware of it. It receives and sends chemical signals to all your organs and the other parts of your body to regulate it and keep you alive and kicking. I call it your autopilot.
When you skip a meal, your autopilot gets the message from the stomach, “Hey, we are out of business here. Where is the fuel?”
“I don’t know what is up,” the autopilot signals back. “I’ve passed on your message to the conscious pilot, but so far nothing has happened. I’ll bump up the signal strength and try to get through. In the meantime, I’ll send the message to the rest of the body to slow down and conserve fuel. We might be starting a famine.”
The body gets the message and the organs shift into low gear. The metabolism slows down to a crawl.
By party time your stomach has been hammering you with the hormone ghrehlin ,which is your hunger signal, for several hours. It takes a while for the message to fade out of your system, so you eat until you are stuffed. Usually party food isn’t the most healthy or the most satisfying, so you are doing considerable damage to your system.
Foods that are high in refined carbs and sugar are digested quickly and sugar floods into the bloodstream. The autopilot radios down to the pancreas, “Pump out lots of insulin. A heavy load of sugar just came through.”
The pancreas complies and insulin races through your system, giving your body the message to store up the fat.
Then the autopilot gets back on the horn. “Famine is over for now,” he announces. “We know that starvation could come again at any time, so we better prepare. Hang on to the reserves.”
By starving yourself during the day to prepare for a party at night, you have primed your body to gain weight and keep it on.
It would be smarter to eat small, low glycemic meals throughout the day. If you want to take in fewer calories and carbs during the day so you can have a little more freedom at the party — that’s okay. Just don’t starve yourself.
Your body is listening to the messages you give it. Make sure you are sending the right signals!