Chapter / Rule 17 – Eat Your Vegetables – Just Do It!
It’s finally happened. I found a chapter that I have basically no greivences with. Vegetables are swell. They can taste good if you learn to cook them right. I agree with all this.
…What do I do now? What do I use this space for? No witty or sarcastic disagreements. No silly pictures with ridiculous captions. I got nothing.
Moral: Vegetables are a lovely weight loss tool. They aren’t magic, but they are very filling and tend to help you eat less, while simultaneously being nutritious. Going to go sit in a corner and re-evaluate my life now.
Chapter / Rule 18 – Go To Bed Hungry
Oh good, something for me to vehemently disagree with. I was a little concerned for my mental health after that last chapter there. Let’s take this opportunity to point out some really stupid quotes:
“…overweight people are often lonely and anxious; eating before bed is nerve-settling, comforting.”
Well that sounds like a bit of an over-generalization…
“The absence of carbs in your bloodstream will let your body produce the hormones it needs for better sleep.”
In fact, in looking up what he could be talking about, I came across many articles that encouraged eating carbs before bed to help you get to sleep. If you use Harper’s logic about no carbs after lunch, it would make sense. He says in that chapter that carbs make you sleepy. So…why am I going to bed hungry again? Sounds like a perfect occasion to eat cake to me.
“Denied fuel for more than 5 hours, your body will start burning its own fat and sugar. That means that, if your dinner was at 8PM, you’re burning fat by 1AM.”
Your body doesn’t work that simplistically. It’s not about trying to trick your body’s processes into burning ONLY FAT EVER – it’s about letting it do its own thing while just giving it a little less fuel total than it needs. And that little less fuel could be done over the course of a day, over the course of a week, month, year, whatever.
And in any case, your body is probably burning mostly fat while you’re sitting at your computer reading this. It’s just not burning very much of it. Because you’re just sitting around. Same for when you’re sleeping.
It doesn’t even matter if your body is burning fat or glycogen anyway. If you have eaten less than you need to function, your body will eventually get around to losing fat, whether you burned away fat directly or you burned out some glycogen stores. IT DOES NOT MATTER.
So that ‘fat-burning’ zone on the treadmill? You can forget about it. Becoming ‘fat-adapted’? Pointless. Calories reign supreme.
Moral: Going to bed hungry is not something we should aspire to. When you are aspiring to the lifestyle forced upon people who can’t afford food, you should really re-think your choices.
Chapter / Rule 19 – Sleep Right
Oh no…it’s happening again. A chapter I generally agree with. Umm…okay…what did I do here last time. Just cut straight to the moral. Right. But this time I’ll add in a cute puppy:
Moral: Sleep is good. It will make your weight-loss efforts easier to stick with. You’ll feel better, have more energy to do that exercise thing, and be less apt to over-eat the next day. Sleep rules.
Chapter / Rules 20 – Plan One Splurge Meal a Week
One thing I do like about this chapter is that Harper concedes that there are many people who disagree with this rule. It’s easy when you’ve been restricting all week to have your cheat meal turn into a binge meal. It would hardly be your fault.
Coming from someone who used to do things similar to this, it makes eating for me highly stressful. The cheat meal is even stressful. There are a million things I can’t eat anymore, so what do I want to indulge in? It was like trying to answer a trick question – if I didn’t get exactly what I was craving (which was everything), I’d have to wait A WHOLE EXTRA WEEK to get it. Pizza? Ice cream? Chinese food? A sandwich? Any dessert? YES TO ALL OF THE ABOVE OM NOM NOM NOM.
Then I’d feel guilty anyway.
So yeah, cheat meals don’t work well with my brain.
But, again, that’s me. Just like Harper states, it has worked for him and his clients. Doesn’t mean it will work for you, and that’s okay.
But either way, there are a few rules he gives even to your cheat meals:
- No liquid calories except red wine
- Make sure to count your calories anyway
- Try to make your splurge at lunch or breakfast. If it’s dinner, make it before 7.
- Only drink water, and don’t get any of the bread.
- No fast food.
This cheat meal certainly has an awful lot of caveats. Some cheat.
Moral: Cheat days aren’t for everyone. They certainly aren’t for me. But, if it works for you, keep on keepin’ on.