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3 Simple Steps to Lose the Muffin Top (Step 3 of 3)

Step 3: Eat only in a 12 hour window every 24 hours

This is another simple but not easy idea that will work wonders for you if you have never tried it.

If you get up at 5:30, then maybe your 12 hour window is 6am to 6pm, meaning you allow yourself to eat only between 6am and 6pm. If the morning is not your friend, as in my case, make it fit your schedule, say 8am to 8pm for me. Water is the only exception that can be consumed outside of this time window. This schedule should give you plenty of time to eat a breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner. The key is not to cheat and eat later than your time slot except maybe on the occasional night out with friends where you will be wining and dining a little later. The fairly rigourous schedule is key or you will lose much of the benefit.

There are several reasons this works well.

One reason for many people is that their number one enemy for losing weight is the late night snacking right before bed. This seems to be responsible for a disproportionate number of their daily calories. I'm not a big fan of counting calories because its hard to do consistently and few people stick with it. But if you stick to your schedule and stop at say 8pm in my case, I will have at least 3 or 4 hours before bedtime that I am not snacking and therefore not ingesting needless calories for the day.

Another reason this works is that most nutritionists and weight loss coaches I have spoken with say you should not eat for at least 3 hours before bed so that your body has had time to digest all the food in your stomach from dinner. This is related to the fact that when the body lays down to rest, it prepares to do something with the calories that are available to it. If you have recently eaten, then all of those extra calories in your stomach that are not being used are easily converted to fat as your body's long-term energy storage. This is great if you are trying to survive in the wilderness, but with the grocery store minutes from most of us, this is no longer needed for our survival.

I wholeheartedly believe in this perspective, and one of the reasons has to do with Sumo wrestlers from Japan. You may ask, "what on earth do Sumo wrestlers have to do with weight loss?" It's actually quite the opposite; they show us how to pack on the extra pounds and then we do the opposite.

In Japan, Sumo wrestlers eat surprisingly healthy meals, even though they have quite a lot of extra fat. And that's their goal - to get big... big... big..., so that the other guy can't easily knock them out of the ring in competition. Aside from eating healthy, which is a good thing, they eat tons of it. So they pack it in for every meal. But here is the key — right after they eat these huge healthy meals, they take a long nap. Sleeping right after a heavy meal is one of their surefire ways to pack on the pounds. Has the lightbulb gone off for you yet? If this works so well to pack on the pounds, shouldn't we do the opposite if we want to keep off the pounds? This method that I am sharing with you does just that; it keeps off the pounds by preventing you from eating and then going to sleep on a relatively full stomach.

The habit of stopping eating at least 3 hours before bedtime has the added benefit of helping those people with night time acid reflux or GERD. The positive results from this can be quite significant and can wein you off of the antacids for good.

The last on the list of the reasons this 12-hour eating window method works is that it simply constricts the amount of time you can eat in any given day. Given more time, you will undoubtedly eat more, like me, as I love to graze through the kitchen at all hours of the night.

This little trick has worked wonders for me - helping to keep some extra weight off the middle section... the muffin top. Won't you join me in at least trying this? It makes sense, it's easy to schedule around most of the family eating times, and it's free!

That's it - 3 simple, but not easy ways to get rid of that muffin top, that bulging stomach, or big belly.

To recap, go Gluten-Free without all the bad-for-you substitutions, stop drinking all the liquid candy, and eat only in a 12 hour window every 24 hours.

Simple, but not easy. And I didn't even mention exercise! Add exercise in and your scales will think you took a vacation!