Meats or Sweets For Weight Loss

Knowing when to eat is important, but there are no bad times. One of the most obese people I have known personally was our family Kosher (traditional Jewish) butcher back on the east coast.  He said his weight was immeasurable on a normal scale; I didn’t know then that I would become that way later.  He was the kind of guy who was so heavy he was in such pain whenever he got up from a chair to serve a customer, he invoked God in rapidly recited Hebrew.

He said he ate very reasonable “balanced” (which is not what obese people need) meals during the day, but every night he got “crazy hungry” and “snacked” on everything imaginable, mostly sweets, from the minute he finished after-work dinner until his late bedtime, while in front of the television. He said his doctor was irate and told him to stop eating at night because eating in the evening and before bed made people fat and sick.

The man said he was too hungry to stop eating at night and couldn’t. I never knew if he was type 2 diabetic — I would be shocked if he weren’t.  The poor man got fatter and fatter. I can’t get angry at the doctor, probably a well-meaning guy who did not have the knowledge base and science we have now. I am thoroughly convinced now that obesity is basically a hormonal illness. Excessive secretion of insulin and resistance to same certainly seems to be the root cause.  Taking in too many (refined) carbohydrates certainly makes it worse.

As for eating times — well, I have often heard doctors and dieticians have suggested more recently to obese, diabetic friends and patients that they incorporate snacks, and even eat several times a day, to avoid overeating at night, when people tend to be bored, and dull their appetites with (often mindless) involvement with television.

Since resistance to insulin causes higher blood sugar and promotes obesity, it would be easier to stop the insulin increase. Turns out there is an easy way.  It is to stop eating, at least for a bit. Eliminating the “snacks” that everyone misguided thinks are healthy, and limiting food intake time to a finite amount of time during the day can actually be very effective.

Fasting has been shown to have multiple benefits, including on the brain.  You have to be careful; don’t jump into it without a doctor reviewing the risks of the prescription medications you are on. It does not have to be long term or onerous, although some athletes prefer it so.  The idea is so ancient it is found in many ancient religious practices. It is possible to skip meals sometimes, or concetrate them in time over fewer hours. This is part of the techniques that helped me reverse my own obesity and diabetes.

A distinguished modern proponent of this is Dr. Mark Mattson, National Institutes of health, who has been researching it for many years.

The only thing wrong is eating too many carbohydrates before bed.  This can raise blood sugar and can make people quite sleepy.  It is possible to “spike” blood sugar during sleep, which can make things worse. Before I knew better, I told people to take a cup of pasta before bed to help them sleep.  Now I am smarter, and would not suggest this to a patient in a million years; I have better solutions now. The last time I saw that Kosher butcher, I was in junior high. He had left a choice piece of meat in the window in the direct sun, a gross error that could spoil the meat and was unsafe. Several things could have been wrong in that situation. I never got to tell him he could have felt better and less hungry with meat snacks instead of sweets.

Leave a Comment

Fields marked by an asterisk (*) are required.