As a former process engineer, I have found the key to losing weight is properly managing my body’s calorie distribution process. The calories I eat in a meal are processed and distributed throughout my body. Many of them are delivered to my organs and muscles as fuel. Any left over calories go into storage — usually as fat. When my body needs more fuel, it draws fat from storage. To lose weight I must draw more fat out of storage than I put into it. Understanding how the calorie distribution process works allows me to do this.
Calories stored in you liver
Researching the body’s energy management process, I found that my body tries to store excess calories I eat not needed for organs and muscles in my liver first. According to livestrong.com, the liver can store up to 500 calories for immediate use when needed. When the liver is full, any excess calories I eat are converted to fat and stored in my fat cells. If my body needs additional energy later, it tries to get calories from the liver first. When the liver runs out of stored calories, my body draws the additional energy it needs from my fat cells. I realized that until I use up the calories in my liver, I am not burning fat.
Sporadic eating habits
I determined that to continuously burn fat I need to keep the number of calories stored in my liver close to zero. I realized that I could do this by spreading the calories I eat out throughout the day. My diet was about 1,200 calories per day. I ate about 200 calories for breakfast, 300 calories for lunch, 500 calories for dinner, and 200 calories for a late-evening snack. This was fewer calories than my body needed in a day, so it turned to my liver for supplement. Once the calories in my liver were used up, this calorie schedule did not refill my liver. The amounts are less than my body needs at mealtime. All the calories I eat go to replenishing organs and muscles. To make up the remaining calorie deficit, my body continuously draws fat from storage during the day.
Suppose, for example, I skipped breakfast and the snack. If I eat something like 200 calories for lunch and 1,000 calories for dinner, that may cause a problem. The dinner is probably more calories than I need to replenish my muscles and organs at the time. If so, I will begin refilling my liver with the excess calories. This means I won’t be burning fat. If my liver completely refills, my body starts converting the excess calories to new fat and sending it to my fat storage.
Moments of excess
Fortunately, there are never more than a few hundred calories in my liver. In a couple days of reduced calorie intake I can burn them off. The trick is, knowing that the burn-off is necessary. I don’t become discouraged by the temporary plateau. Also, I keep in mind that any moment of excess (a large meal, a couple of doughnuts, a large soda, etc.) can refill my liver. Then, I have to burn those calories off again before I continue to burn fat.
Over three months of applying the guidelines discussed above to manage my calorie distribution, I lost 25 pounds and my weight fell below 200 pounds for the first time since 1993. This is significant. I have tried dieting and exercise many times since the late 90s with nowhere near this level of success. By consciously spreading my calories throughout the day, I maintain a low calorie inventory in my liver. I continuously burn fat, I do not feel hungry, and I lose weight.