BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND DINNER
I remember asking a patient to give me an example of an ordinary day in the life of her eating pattern. She said she never eats breakfast because she doesn't have time, she has large lunch because by this time she's usually famished and for dinner she's typically home late after running a few after work errands and eats a fairly large at night because she's starved again.
I explained to her the chemistry of her body and how each cell in her body is run like a factory. Every single cell is its own factory. It's an amazing thing. Our cells need to manufacture ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which is a substance that is present in all cells, but particularly in muscle cells. When ATP is split by an enzymatic action, energy is produced. The energy of the muscle is stored in this compound.
I asked her if she wasn't making this ATP in the morning to give her energy, where in the world was she getting the energy to get her to lunch. She replied, "Coffee, of course!" We laughed but knew this really wasn't funny. She keeping her body fired up with caffeine, running fast and furious. Now that alone can tax the body and make you tired when you come down off the coffee. Lunch would come and she'd fill up on carbohydrates and get tired by 3:00 p.m.
By the time she gained her second wind and ran errands after work, she was eating dinner at 7:00 or 8:00 p.m. She was in bed by 10:00 p.m., and usually on a full stomach.
We discussed her getting up earlier and preparing a full breakfast with all the trimmings. I told her to start eating breakfast like a Queen and eating off the good dishes as only a Queen would. At this point I wasn't so concerned about what she was eating, only that she flip-flopped her meals and got use to eating breakfast like a Queen and lots of it.
I encouraged her to carry a baggy with something nutritional in it for a mid-morning snack. During her lunch hour, I told her to eat like a working woman. When I say this, I mean as opposed to a Queen. This would be something like a cup of soup and a large salad. If you choose a salad, make it a big one and a cup of soup. She might also choose a chicken breast, with some vegetables and side salad. Again, a light snack in the afternoon.
When dinner rolled around, this meal would be her lightest and smallest meal at her choosing. If she did not have a salad at lunch, then her dinner meal should be a salad. I always like to encourage one salad a day.
By the time she woke up the next morning, she would be famished and the cycle would start to turn in the other direction. Eating breakfast would start to become her biggest meal and dinner her lightest. No, drive through fast food carbohydrate laced food does not count. Her body would get use to this new cycle and eating dinner may become a thing of the past.
She began changing out the unhealthy foods for more nutritional choices and the weight began to literally fall off. As it turned out, she lost 20 lbs., which was 5 lbs., more than her intended goal.
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