FIT&FAB: How food became my friend

Wednesday September 13 2017

I once ate a single carrot for lunch. No, I was

I once ate a single carrot for lunch. No, I was not partial-fasting and neither had I had a kingly breakfast. I was on a diet to lose weight. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By MARION MAINA
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I once ate a single carrot for lunch. No, I was not partial-fasting and neither had I had a kingly breakfast. I was on a diet to lose weight. As I nibbled gingerly on the carrot wishing it would last forever, my other hand caressed my mid-section. “Hmmm…not much change, but it is only day three. Keep at it Marion, you got this,” I mused. This was an outright lie.  I didn’t got this. The only thing I got were muscles that were slowly wasting away as I slipped onto the deadly path of self-starvation.

MASTERED EVERY TRICK IN THE BOOK

I had mastered every trick in the book on how to consume the least amount of food possible. Gulping down two glasses of water before eating was a personal fauvorite back then. Second best was using a really huge plate to serve my food then spreading it out sparsely so it would look like it was more. I called this my food mind-tricks.

While it is said that Google is our friend, it can also be our enemy . I got most of my destructive techniques for under-eating from the same internet that now provides me with filling recipes.  

HUNGER PANGS

Eventually, the hunger pangs started taking a toll on me. I was always cranky, light-headed and at times had blurry vision. These symptoms went on for about three days before I decided to revisit the issue of food portioning. I had pushed my body to the very edge of a slippery slope that could have seen me quit and  binge my way back to obesity. Fortunately I did not succumb to the thought of quitting.

After a brief consultation with a nutritionist friend, she revealed the some of the truths that I will be sharing today. She made me understand the important role played by food in the body of any living thing, people and animals alike.

THE FUEL THAT RUNS THE BODY

Food is the fuel that runs the body. Not eating is depriving yourself fuel that gives your body energy to function. Consequently, the body saps stored energy from your body to be able to function. Then muscles begin to waste away, energy levels take a dip and the body is almost on a shut down. Activities such as metabolism that facilitate the breakdown of fats are reduced significantly to preserve energy. This eventually leads to sicknesses and later death.

When you eat real food in the right quantities, the opposite is true. You experience high energy levels that spur you to be active, burning lots of calories in the process. Your metabolism shoots really breaking down the fats to be absorbed by the body as opposed to being stored. Our bodies are wired with chemical hormones that anticipate imminent danger and respond accordingly. During starvation, the body senses oncoming food shortage hence a lot of fats are stored so as to be used as energy sources in future. Not eating therefore slows down your metabolism and by default your fat loss efforts as well.

We will share scrumptious and healthy food recipes in future. I have realised that most organic foods such as cabbages, avocado and grass-fed animal products including meat, milk and fats are natural fat-busters. Let us jointly denounce this myth of self-starvation for fat loss. As we embark on this journey to fitness, remember that food is not the enemy.

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Fit&Fab is a new blog series by Marion Maina who lost 30kg in her weight loss journey that started two years ago and is now in pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. Do you have feedback on this story? E-mail: [email protected]