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Don't be a house cat. Many cats are overweight because their environment doesn't challenge them to run to catch food (or avoid being caught), and sleep or lie around for 18 hours a day. If you have a desk-job, and then watch TV on couch, that is exactly what you are doing.
Should you eat only three meals a day and avoid snacking to lose weight? Well, you will be consuming fewer calories, so that's a plus. However, bigger effect is this: your body will think food is rare and that you may starve. If you go 5 or 6 hours between meals, or if you skip breakfast and go 16 hours or so without food, what else could your body possibly conclude? Your brain can't tell your cells "don't worry, we're trying to lose weight," because your intentions don't mean anything to your organs. Your organs react and adapt to stimuli presented to them. So they think that you're in desert. How do you survive in desert? Like a camel: Conserve as much food in your body as possible (fat), slow your metabolism to prolong your life (so you'll feel tired a lot), and retain as much water as possible.
What about opposite? What if you eat small portions every two hours and drink water all time? Your body will think that you're in a place where there is food whenever you need it, like a jungle full of fruit trees and other easily furnished food to eat. What is reaction? Hooray! Better to speed up metabolism, so that stomach is finished digesting previous meal before next one comes; no need to store fat that is just leeching circulation and water; and get rid of any excess water in system, because fresh water is constantly coming in. This is in line with your weight loss goals, so this is route to take.
Calories: Eat less or burn more?
The final effect of your body's great adaptation potential is question of which is more effective: eating fewer calories or burning more calories with exercise? Let's look at these two propositions in terms of adaptation.
If you first remove a significant number of calories from your diet, you will feel less energetic (because calories are energy), therefore, you won't feel like exercising, and you won't be able to exercise for as long. On other hand, if you start exercising more each day, it will make you hungrier (because your body knows it's not getting enough calories to support this new activity), but as long as you try to keep your eating habits same and pay attention to satiety by eating foods that make you feel full, you'll feel great, your endurance will improve and your overall health will keep getting better. At that point, if you reduce calories in your diet, then you will be able to cope with slightly less energy, because your body will already be more efficient at using that energy to fuel your exercise.
To conclude, in terms of exercise: warm up to get circulation going with a fast walk for about 20 minutes, then do a high intensity activity for about 10 minutes. The best to do that is before breakfast. In terms of diet: try to reduce your calories overall, but divide them among small meals all day. Never eat a big meal, but snack every hour or two on something healthy. Also, drink as much water as you possibly can all day. These practices are optimized for your body's natural reactions, so that you will be training your body to lose weight. And whenever you hear diet advice, try to look past immediate effects and look at it from perspective of Adaptation.
*** David McCormick is the founder of Weightless Products. His Mr. Weightless site is dedicated to free weight loss articles and advice, primarily targeted to men. There are no banners, no pop-ups, and you will never be asked for your email address. Mr. Weightless: Wait Less for Weight Loss! http://www.weightlessproducts.com