Horses are just Pigs and Bears eat like Birds!
Have you ever wondered why whenever you try to lose weight, you work hard to lose a few pounds, and then you gain it right back? This happens to a very large number of women (and men, too!) who are trying to lose weight. Have you ever wondered how that one girl seems to eat and eat and eat, and yet she stays slim and trim? It’s not because she has defied the laws of weight loss! This article will help explain why those things happen…and what you can do to benefit from a simple law about metabolism.
To help you better understand these phenomenon, let’s use an easy to understand example all about horses and bears…. The difference between horses and bears is horses are just pigs, and bears eat like birds! If that is true, how in the world are horses lean and mean, while bears are made of thick jiggley fat???? If you ate all day long like a horse, you’d weigh 500 hundred pounds…right? WRONG!!
But, that’s what everyone’s been telling you so far! They’ve been saying: If you eat too much, you will gain weight, and in order to lose weight you need to eat less. This concept of weight loss is true to some degree, but most people do not realize how eating less can actually cause weight gain, and NOT weight loss.
This brings us back to horses and bears. You see, horses eat (graze) all day long…. and they don’t ever starve (well, not as long as there is still grass on the ground!). Remember this: they don’t ever starve themselves.Bears, on the other hand, eat in spurts. They eat a big meal, then go to sleep for a long time. They bulk up, and sleep sometimes for months!
This is the key to explaining why a horse is made of muscle, even though he eats all day long, versus the bear, who eats to fill his belly before starving himself for months (even though he filled his belly just prior to starving himself!) and is made of thick fat that never seems to go away (awfully helpful in that cold weather, though!!).
So WHY, exactly did we say this was important? Well, we didn’t say, exactly, YET… keep reading.
To understand this concept further, you must also understand how your body’s cells work; and how energy consumption has a lot to do with what kind of cells dominate your body. The two types of cells we are talking about are muscle cells and fat cells. Muscle cells are very active cells. They move constantly by contracting and relaxing. For every movement that they make, they burn energy. Makes Sense. But they also burn energy even while they are resting, because muscle cells are the type of cells that need oxygen to stay alive, and for every bit of oxygen that they use, they have to spend energy to use it. It’ complicated, but think of it like this: every time someone knocks on your door, you have to get up and open the door to let them in, which would burn a calorie or two. When muscle cells let in the oxygen that they require to live, they burn energy doing so. Imagine, the calories you could burn while you slept if you were one giant muscle cell!
Fat, on the other hand, isn’t such an active user of oxygen. It’s a cell, alright, and it does need to stay alive, but it’s more of a storage bin, and not so much an active cell. Unlike the muscle cell, the only movement fat makes is when you jiggle it; so it certainly doesn’t spend any energy moving around!! It’s certainly a “lazy” cell in comparison to a muscle cell, in terms of how much work it does at “rest”. So, unlike the muscle cell that is able to burn energy at night staying alive, the fat cell takes full advantage of your sleep schedule and waits around until morning and the next feeding time!
With that in mind… let’s get back to horses and bears.
Imagine a horse’s leg muscle made up of one gazillion muscle cells: each night, those gazillion cells use one gazillion energy units to stay alive… imagine what his whole body uses every night just while he is sitting there doing NOTHING! Can you imagine how many energy units he uses up when he actually has to move, or do work with those muscles?
Conversely, the bear’s predominant fat cells use virtually no energy lying around and consequentially, burn far less energy at rest when compared to the horse.
A second concept that is important to weight loss and energy use involves the thyroid, which is a little organ in your body that acts like a thermostat. When it’s cold outside, you turn up the thermostat.. and when it’s warm outside, you turn down the thermostat… you know how that works. The thyroid is the thermostat of your body and IT HAS A GOOD MEMORY!!
We see this as a great example in horses and bears. At night, when the horse is asleep, his heart rate stays the same as his awake heart rate. That heart is made up of lots of muscle, and therefore consumes a LOT of oxygen just staying alive, and will use a lot of energy doing so. The horse’s breathing rate stays the same as it was when he was awake, too, and all that muscle movement all night long spends a lot of energy.
When the bear is awake and moving around; his heart can beat 170 times a minute. But when he goes into hibernation…. Guess what happens? His heart will slow down to SEVEN, that’s right 7 times a minute. Therefore, just by slowing his heart rate, the bear conserves energy all night long, and burns fewer calories while he’s asleep.
Why did this happen? Why did the horse stay the same at night, while the bear slowed everything down?
The horse’s thyroid never detects famine (heck he’s a pig and he eats all day long) so his thermostat never gets turned down, and he spends a lot of energy just staying alive at night while at rest.
The Bear’s thyroid, on the other hand, did the math, and detected great famine half of the bears life, and so, when the bear isn’t looking, the thyroid (his own little thermostat) turns down the energy consumption to levels just barely good enough to keep him alive. Why? To save energy in case of the next famine , of course!!!
SO WHAT IN THE WORLD DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH MY HUMAN WEIGHT ISSUES?? All this talk about bears and horses and energy consumption and thyroids and thermostats means one thing to you as a human: METABOLISM. You’ve heard that word before. Metabolism, is the term used to describe how many energy units your body uses while at rest to stay alive. If muscle is your main component, and your thyroid doesn’t turn the works down at night, then your metabolism is high/fast. But if fat is your main component, and your thyroid needs to turn down the works at night to stay alive, your metabolism is low/slow. And METABOLISM means EVERYTHING to the person who is trying to lose weight.
You want your metabolism on your side! When you go to sleep at night, you want to know that while you were sleeping that you used up 350 calories JUST BREATHING AND BEATING YOUR HEART and KEEPING YOUR MUSCLES ALIVE. You definitely don’t want to wake up and find that you didn’t spend one single calorie sleeping simply because your thyroid turned down the thermostat to “conserve” energy.
Ask yourself: are you a bear, or a horse? Do you eat 1 big (or worse, small) meal a day? 2 big or small meals a day? If so, you may be a bear!!
Do you eat small amounts, at least 6 times a day? YOU HORSE!
It’s true. By eating 1, or 2 meals a day, your thyroid will be waging a war against you. It will think that you don’t eat often enough to keep the body alive, and at night your metabolism will be “turned down” to “conserve energy”.
If you are eating 6 small meals a day, your thyroid will be happy as can be, and all night long you will “burn baby burn” and wake up lighter!
DOES THIS NIGHT TIME STUFF ADD UP? You bet it does! Night time metabolism can mean an additional 50 pounds a year, or a loss of 50 pounds a year. JUST SLEEPING!!! We aren’t even talking about walking on the treadmill, or joining the gym, or working out with 20 other girls who know the dance routine, while you kick left and they kick right. SLEEP. That’s all we’re talkin’!
Does this mean I can eat anything I want all day long and STILL lose weight??? WHOAA now, Nelly, you have to remember a horse’s diet…. He’s not eating ice cream and candy bars all day long, either. He eats sensibly. He doesn’t eat to fill himself. He eats to feed himself. Big difference! HE FEEDS THE MACHINE.
When you fill up your gas tank, do you fill it more than it can hold? No, it would run over!! And with gas prices this high, who would do such a thing!! $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Your body is the same! Make a fist and put your other hand around it.. That’s about the size of your tank. If you are eating more than this 6 times a day, you won’t be a horse, you’ll be 2 horses! So be careful with the 6 meal rule. You have to eat sensibly and portion control.
This isn’t as easy as it sounds, but with a little help developing your menus, you will find that you are NEVER hungry, you WON’T crave sweets, and your thyroid will be so happy that you will be burning up so much energy at night that you will be losing at least 2 pounds a week. That’s a hundred pounds in one year if you want and need to lose it! You’ll be amazed after 3 weeks how badly you will want to keep doing this, when you see it really works!
Don’t forget… if you ever hear these words….”she eats like a HORSE!!”… you can smile and say “THANK YOU!” and really mean it!!