Sunday, 18 January 2009

My 6-week Overeating Experiment -- Did I Gain Weight, Lose Weight, or Stay the Same?

by Mike Geary, Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer

So, I decided to do something completely off the wall recently... For the last six weeks, I used myself as a lab rat and completed an overeating experiment.

The aim of this experiment was to see how much weight I'd gain if I purposely tried to over-eat on a daily basis for six weeks straight.

What do you think happened? Did I pack on the pounds ( I gained 9 lbs on a 7-day cruise last year when my normal diet at home was replaced with my cruise diet...although I did lose those 9 lbs in only a week and a half after that cruise). Or did I stay the same weight or even got leaner?

My theory was that if you fuel your body with the right types of highly nutrient-dense foods and do not stray from those foods at all, that your body will automatically re-balance itself (your hormones, appetite levels, etc,)... and even though you are trying to over-eat on purpose, so long as the nutrient-density of all of your meals is maximized, total calorie balance will inevitably end up at a level where I would not gain weight.

This goes along with my theory that calorie counting is a waste of time as long as your nutrient density of your foods is so high that the body obtains all of the nutrition it needs and re-balances your appetite and hormones to account for this.

Let me explain..... if you eat 1000 calories worth of soda, donuts, and cookies, your body needs to readjust hormone levels, increase your appetite and try to force you ingest more food to try to get more nutrients, since those 1000 calories were almost devoid of the nutrition your body requires.

But, if you consume 1000 calories worth of healthy foods with high nutrient density like avocados, whole eggs, nuts, vegetables, fruits, and other healthy options, your body keeps most of the nutrition it needs and accounts for this by leveling your appetite and hormones in the time period following that meal (the remainder of the day perhaps). In this scenerio, your body is not making you to eat more food (through cravings) to get the nutrition it needs since it already received a boatload of nutrition.

So, here were the details I had to stick to in my little experiment:

1. I was not allowed to just eat any and all types of foods... I could overeat on as much food as I wanted, but ONLY the foods that are "approved" according to my rules... this means all foods had to be un-processed natural foods. No pasta, white rice, refined flour breads, or refined grain cereals were allowed. No trans fats, deep fried foods, or any other processed foods such as pastries, cookies, cakes, candy etc were allowed in the overeating experiment... I was only allowed to overeat on healthy food.

Some staples during my overeating phase were lots of whole eggs, full-fat grass-fed raw cheese and yogurt, avocados, almonds, pecans, walnuts, lots of virgin coconut oil and olive oil, grass-fed butter, berries, tons of fruit and vegetables, sprouted grain bread, raw almond butter, sweet potatoes, and lots of venison and grass-fed beef.

2. I was still training quite intensely 3-4 days/week but nothing vastly different from my normal workouts (this means that my caloric expenditure from exercise was not drastically different than normal).

So what was the end result after six weeks of trying to stuff my face with as much healthy food as possible?

>> My body weight stayed EXACTLY the same! I didn't gain one single pound.

The first reaction many people may have is that I just must have a "fast metabolism" or something along those lines and that is why I did not gain weight.

But that is simply not true!

The truth is that I have absolutely no problem gaining weight when I over indulge on junk foods, or eat large amounts of processed foods in general. I can guarantee you that if I was overeating on pasta, white rice, cookies, white bread, donuts, and other processed foods during these last 6 weeks, I would have gained a ton of weight!

In fact, I've done it before. I have easily gained 10 pounds in only 1 week when I have been on some sort of vacation and eat the typical types of processed food that everyone else is eating.

This means that I am just as likely to gain weight as anybody else.

However, notice the huge contrast in my experiment while attempting to overeat on all healthy unprocessed foods... I simply could not gain any weight at all because my body would be constantly re-adjusting the hormone levels and appetite levels to account for the super-high nutrient density of food I was eating.

This of course meant that my body automatically maintained calorie balance without the need for calorie counting.

This the type of eating lifestyle pretty much completely eliminates your cravings... I have said before that I do not think I have had any real cravings in at least five years (since I have been more strict on the type of foods I eat).

I also think it is actually fun and more enjoyable and beneficial to eat in such a healthy manner (for the skeptics that think this involves some sort of deprivation).

I'll be back soon with another Lean-Body Secrets. Til then,

Don't be lazy... be lean.

Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer
The Truth About SIX PACK ABS

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