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Friday, December 5, 2014

French Girl Friday~ Part "Huit"

Le métabolisme  .... Metabolism. This word is often used as an excuse, " I have a slow metabolism", " I can not loose weight due to my metabolism", " I can not win with this metabolism" ; in some cases, that may be true, as it does, as we all know, affect weight loss. There is loads you can do to make it work against you, but such easy steps to make it work for you.  In chapter eight of The French Twist by Carol Cottrill, in which the reader is promised to learn the twelve secrets of decadent dining and natural weight management; the author shares her thoughts and all the information she has gathered and now shares about how one can do just that by making their metabolism work for them instead of against them.

"Do you know how to digest your food? Do you
know how to fill your lungs with air? Do you
know how to establish, regulate, and direct the metabolism of your body...
.....there is a wisdom within you that does know." 
Donald Curtis inspirational speaker and writer (partial quote)

Whole reason to read this book... learn how I can
have my "cake" and eat it too! Make my
metabolism work for me! 
I am not going to relate each and every part of this chapter to you, that is not fair to the author. She did all the training, the hard work and research and writing, so instead, what is going to work for this part is to post "bullet points".  I will quote this, " Metabolism is the sum total of all the chemical reactions in the body..." simply because that is an important statement. It is not just all about it being slow, or fast on it's own, but what we do day to day in life and our hows and when we eat that it reacts to. Within the first pages the author states that we need to eat " to the beat of our  digestive rhythms". The body has a natural rhythm as to when it needs nourishment and when it does not. We can sabotage ourselves, we have all done it. Do you skip breakfast? Mistake number one. The body needs fuel to get things fired up again. Unless you ate a huge meal right before bed, another big mistake, your body has been fasting and once you awake your furnace is starting to burn again, slowly as your body temperature begins to rise when you do is the best time to eat and keep that furnace burning and in turn kick your metabolism into high gear.  You do not have to eat a huge meal, you should not be doing so, but you do need to eat. I can not tell you how often a friend will say to me " I do not eat breakfast, I am trying to loose weight" or " I do not eat breakfast because I am never hungry" , I say well you may not be, but the body is and if you want to loose weight it needs fuel.  The body's natural rhythm then again is looking for food in the early to mid afternoon, there is a reason the French take between noon and two off from work, this is when they eat the largest meal of the day. We as Americans typically save that big meal for the evening, I am guilty of it, that is when my husband is home, we are missing a perfect opportunity to add more fuel to your body that may be once again running on empty, the key is to keep it running. Dinner should be quite a bit of time before bed, as the body just naturally starts to cool down in preparing for bed and if you throw fuel into it, it can effect your sleep, and no one wishes to do that. The French, well most of them dine no later than 8 so that by the time their heads hit the pillow the body is able to cool off and reach the next step that helps you kick your metabolism into high gear over time. Sleep. 

Seven hours. It is still a magic number. One I
have not reached in years, most likely will not
ever do so due to my health issues, but I get as
much as I can. 

This is a simple step for many, and an important one . I won't quote the book and go all scientific on you, but it is pretty simple to wrap up, sleeping is when the body cleanses and repairs the body and not to mention the fact that the less sleep that you get, the more the hunger hormone increases, basically less sleep equals more weight. I battle this daily. I have been exhausted for the better part of the last 20 plus years. Fibromyalgia and now my menopause keep me from sleeping every much and when I do it is not deeply, so that results in me seeking bad for me foods and a lot of them to keep myself awake and full of energy, not the right pattern to cling to. So many of you are not like me however and so you can achieve this step with some ease. Perhaps you can not sleep in, work, life, that annoying rooster at the neighbors house may keep you from it, or perhaps you are an early riser. You can start to dial back the time you turn in, and eventually work up till you get to that point. It is worth a try, isn't it? 

Being mindful of what you eat, thinking carefully
before you prepare a meal of what you will truly
enjoy, and hopefully make it so you are not
over eating trying to satisfy your hunger. 

Hunger is healthy according to the author. NO that does not mean to go hungry. Just like getting too much food that your body can not burn off, so can getting not enough. You can use hunger as a great signal from the body as to when to eat, when the body is ready for more fuel. How many of us eat mindlessly, or out of boredom or anger, the list goes on and on. Weight Watchers has an ad right now, that has a song about this exact subject. I know once again I am guilty. I eat just to eat, for the pleasure of it, and yes you should find pleasure in eating, but not just for the pleasure of the act. I have been working more and more on not eating because of some emotion I am feeling, or because I have nothing else to do. I instead grab a cup of tea or drink a glass of water when I first feel that urge,  often it works. I now have a HUGE basket of different flavors of tea. I can have everything from Sugar Cookie to a fruit variety. Often when I sit and just sip my tea I find I do not miss not eating whatever it was that I was grabbing for. IF however I still feel that little gnawing feeling of hunger, then I know it is time for a meal. I go over what I am really craving, and the author states she does the same , and then and only then do I eat. The next portion of the chapter addresses this as well, it is all about awareness. 

There is apparently a scientific term for "mouth watering". Well that is no surprise to me, there is a term out there for everything that happens with us and within us isn't there? Anyway, it is called cephalic phase digestive response.. CPDR. The author goes over the steps of what happens when and what causes CPDR, it is pretty interesting actually, never really put a thought to what causes the effects, just knew when I see some food either on tv, on my plate or um, a bakery case, it just happens. Apparently if we pay attention, are aware of what we are eating, meaning being present while we eat.... not mindlessly shoving food in our mouth, and really make it a whole experience it can help kick start our metabolism. There is more to it of course, that scientific thing again, but that is the jist of it. I mean how often , again very guilty, have you rushed through a meal, it is gone before you know it, and you think " I am still hungry" and you eat more. Maybe you are like me and watch tv while eating, and again never slow down to actually be aware of what I am eating never mind how much.  My family are all slow eaters. They take their time, savor their food, enjoy each bite, ( gee this was covered in a previous chapter right?) and well they all seem to eat less and are just as satisfied as if they had pigged out. The French, well they do not rush it, sitting in front of a tv while eating? Not going to happen ( though I swear I have seen it in movies ) , and as the author puts it " If there is a French Paradox, awareness should get much more credit than red wine. Part of that awareness is welcoming hunger, indulging it sensibly, and, in doing so, helping make your metabolism healthy". I am hoping I can manage this step, cause so far I am not doing so great with this step. 

Less of a good thing could actually be better
for your metabolism. 

 You did not think there was not going to be a section on exercise did you?  How often have you said " but I work out like crazy.... why can not I not loose weight?" Oh yes, once again I am guilty of these exact words. I walk more days than not, I even once in my life was a gym rat and would basically be working out all day long in one form or another, I always thought more must be better for me, kick that old metabolism into high gear right? Apparently, too much of a good thing can be bad for you. Research has been showing that working out low to moderate in pace and just 3-4 days a week for at least 30 minutes is really all you need for weight loss. The biggest key? Going in with positive thoughts behind the workouts. Basically if you have the mindset that it will not work, it won't.... " Exercise is not bad, but healthy habits driven by fear, anger, or resentment are not healthy and will not produce results. " . The mind is a powerful thing. It is kind of like those medical trials, when some are given sugar pills, and some are given the real pills and quite often the ones with the fake pills still see results, because they believe that it will work. There is a simple lesson there I think.  The French do not work out like crazy, they do walk everywhere, they are on the move all day long ( well except when eating) just living life, and if you have ever worn a pedometer all day while just living an average day, you can often rack up quite a few footsteps, add in some basic exercise and well there you go. Combine it with the other steps and odds are pretty good that scale might just start to budge a bit. Worth a try right? 

All quotes and subject matter taken from the pages of
The French Twist by Carol Cottrill. 

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