Keep your metabolism burning for weight loss

By Kay Wagner LMP, CPT | Sep 07, 2011

What’s your eating style?  I’ve always liked to wait until noon to eat breakfast and then charge along until evening and wolf down a big meal.  

That worked fine weight-wise until I turned 40.  Suddenly I was putting on weight.  And my energy peaks and valleys were out of control. (Especially the valleys!)

Personal training clients who have lost weight and kept it off succeeded by eating healthfully every 3 hours.  It was hard to understand how and why this worked so well.  

So I asked master fitness trainer Kelvin Thomas to shed light on eating for vitality and weight loss.

 “Every three hours, eat things like apple and cheese, yogurt with almonds, a half sandwich, a salad or a cup of soup.  Aim for around 65 percent protein, 30 percent carbs and 5 percent fats,” Kelvin says.  

“Not a full steak dinner every three hours,” Kelvin laughs.  “About 300 calories if you are not exerting physically.  If you’re working out hard or doing a lot of physical labor, you’ll need more calories to keep up your energy.

 “I like to use the camp fire analogy.  Imagine a smoldering campfire.  The coals and ash are burning very slowly,” Kelvin explains. “This represents your metabolism when you are hungry.”

“Like your body is holding on to calories to keep the fire alive?” I ask.

“Yes.  Then if you put a big green log on the fire, it’s going to smother the fire.  The same thing happens when your metabolism slows.  You’re hungry.  

“Then you eat a big meal and Boom, it suppresses your metabolism.  Now your body has to use all its energy to metabolize the food to get you going again.  So it slows you down,” Kelvin says.

 “By giving your body nourishment every three hours, it’s like putting kindling on a campfire.  Makes the fire burn hotter and hotter.  It burns calories faster because it knows it’s going to get food (fuel) every three hours.”

“Kelvin, when I used to go six hours without eating, then chowed down a big meal, was I putting TWO green logs on my fire?” I asked.

“Yes! It’s a double whammy,” he laughs.

Some people eat three meals day.  Kelvin recommends taking those three meals and spreading them out to five.

 “Eat a little less for breakfast; add a snack in between breakfast and lunch. Then have a snack mid-afternoon and have a sensible dinner (not too late).  

“You’ll find that with the same amount of food you’ll lose weight. Because you’ve stretched out your food and your body’s burning a lot more efficiently.”

For some type-A personalities who forget to eat, setting their cell phone to beep every three hours works beautifully.   “When your alarm goes off, open your mouth and put in food,” Kelvin says with his million dollar smile.

Now I look forward to maintaining steady energy levels and dropping weight the painless way.  Let this tried-and-true eating plan work for you too!

Kay Wagner LMP & NASM Certified Personal Trainer, leads Strength Training, Yoga & Pilates at Rosehill CC.  Kay offers PERSONAL TRAINING & SPA FACIAL MASSAGE in her studio overlooking the mountains and water, at 828 2nd St. in Mukilteo. Call 425-353-4545. Visit

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