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Sep 2, 2007 01:33 AM

How Does your Body Know You've Ate?

It sounds like a silly question, but I'm wondering. For example, diet advisors say to never skip breakfast. So what satisfies that requirement? A certain amont of calories? Volume? A mix of carbs/sweets/proteins that sparks a certain digestive response? Is is physiology, chemistry, psychological?

I can see how eating a big bowl of oatmeal, for example, will both fill the tummy and also require some long term digestion. But what if I have a glass of 2% milk and some yogurt? What about 2 glasses of water and a nutirtion bar? Are those too "weak" to bump the metabolism?

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    1. You beg the question whether some diet advisors are correct when they say that skipping breakfast is bad (for health, weight, or whatever). I believe that for weight-control it does not matter what time of day one eats one's food, so long as the number of calories ingested equals the number of calories expended.

      As for bumping the metabolism, it's been shown that hyperthermogenesis happens when one ingests a lot of calories at one sitting. The threshold for hyperthermogenesis varies among individuals and affects how efficient one's body is at keeping its weight stable. This was shown in a scientific experiment in which men were fed the same number of excess calories for a period of time. Some men gained a lot of weight, and some gained very little. There was a big range of weight gain, and the range was attributed to differing levels of hyperthermogenesis. Interestingly, the men who gained less weight tended to engage involuntarily in more fidgety movement after a big meal, such as jiggling the foot or restlessly getting up out of their seats, which burned off excess calories.

      I've been lucky to be one of those people whose body keeps its weight very stable, no matter what I eat. If I eat a meal, not even a very big one, my body soon feels like it's burning, especially the tops of my thighs. I get sweaty. Someone touches my skin and remarks how hot it feels. If I have gone hungry for an hour, I start feeling positively chilled; that's my body conserving energy.

      Google "thermoregulation" to read more.

      1. I follow Zone Diet recommendations. A meal should be comprised of a specific combination of protein, carbs, and fat. 40% calories from protein and 30% each from carbs and fat.

        Some feel that if too many carbs are ingested vs a balance of protein/carbs/fat, the body stores those carbs, as fat.

        A favorite breakfast is: 1.5 cups of fruit salad, 1/2 cup low fat cotttage cheese and several almonds. I tried processed bars and feel better (more alert) with home made meals.

        2% milk is close to being balanced, so are some yogurts, I like to give my stomach something to work on, adding a banana and a piece of turkey jerky to a glass of mik or some yogurt for breakfast would work for me.

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          1. Insulin is produced by the body in order to convert carbs into usable energy. The connection between blood sugar and the release of that hormone must be part of the answer?