Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Short Term Effects Of Eating On Weight

Okay, if you saw the Biggest Loser last night, you may have noticed the way Jillian and Bob were going on about the contestants who gave in to the temptation the night before the weigh in.

Especially regarding the man from the Yellow team, who had enough calories left for the day that he didn't go over.

What was the big deal about it being the night before the weigh in? Wouldn't it have gained the same amount of weight no matter which day they did it?

And didn't the man from the yellow team stay under his calories for the day? Why the freak out?

I'm sure Jillian explained this, but the producers didn't show it because they wanted to have more time to show phone calls home.

But here's the deal:

What you eat affects your short-term weight fluctuation.

Here's an example:

Did you ever see that episode of Pee-Wee's Playhouse where the little bully puppet jumped up and down on Pee-Wee's hand, and made him put too much chocolate syrup into the Ice Cream soup? And Pee-Wee thought it was a crisis, until he realized he could just add more ice cream?

It's the same way with your blood.

If you eat too much sodium, that all goes into your blood stream. If your body just left it that way, it would make your blood too high in sodium. Even dangerously high in sodium.

But your body wouldn't allow that. It wants the blood to always have about the same degree of selinity. So it dilutes the blood, with water.

So the more sodium you eat, the more water your body retains. The more water your body retains, the more you weigh.

Same thing with carbs. Excessive carbohydrate intake causes the body to retain extra water to process the carbs. The cheesecake, the M & M's, the peanut butter cups--the contestant's bodies all had to retain extra water to process the simple carbs in the sugar in those foods than it would have if the contestants had eaten their normal meals, more balanced between complex carbs and protein.

This is part of why people lose so much the first week on the show. They're not losing all those pounds of fat. They're losing the fluids the body maintains in order to deal with their unhealthy lifestyles.

Keep this in mind if you're doing any kind of weight loss contest for work or something--as it starts getting close to the final weigh-in, stay away from simple carbs and cut back on the sodium.

Please, please, please, don't abandon the carbs altogether or starve yourself--that stuff is bad for you, and just makes long-term weight loss harder.

But know that the eating decisions you make today can affect your weight in more ways than just the fat it might put on you.

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