This is an English language lesson about The Eating Window and will link to the other lessons which I have written called:
The Simple Truth About Dieting
The Food Journey Inside Our Body
The Food We Need to Eat
The Food Story
What do the English Really Eat and Drink
Let me begin by saying that I have been conditioned all my life to having three meals a day.
Breakfast when I get up in the morning.
Lunch around midday.
Dinner at six or seven o’clock in the evening with my family
For fifty years of my life, I have seen nothing wrong with that .
Not everybody in the world is so lucky. Many, due to poverty and other circumstances, may only eat a meal once a day.
Many in such a situation, not poverty-founded, may see themselves as the lucky ones rather than me in the management of their physical condition.
Now, I am wishing, somewhat belatedly I know, to address the necessity to keep fit with a balanced, healthy diet which can be sustained and to impliment a weight control programme.
I avoid eating spicy food. I avoid carbonated soda drinks. I rarely eat burgers or hot dogs.
I do eat fried food and I like stuff like biscuits, chocolate and ice cream.
Let’s say ‘Hello’ to the ‘Eating Window’.
This is not a new year resolution but a plain and simple realization that an action plan is needed. It does not mean I must follow a diet programme, buy diet products or take up fasting or change my religion.
It does not mean either that I must suddenly turn the spare room into a mini-gym or join an aerobics class in my local community.
Changes to my lifestyle are certainly necessary though.
Muslims fast during the month of Ramadhan between sunrise and sunset and so abstain from food and drink during that period.
The abstinence from food and drink for muslims is about forboding and not at all about achieving a calorie deficit or managing weight loss.
The worry is that as soon as you start eating all the same food again during the ‘eating window’ that you ate before, you put the calories back on and you are not achieving your goal of a gradual weight loss.
I do not fancy the idea of fasting during the hours of the day between sunrise and sunset when I am most active in activities I must do for my work and family life.
The compromise appears, therefore, to be the ‘eating window’ which suits me best.
I am well aware that fasting in the wrong way can lead to serious heartburn, dehydration and affect the blood-sugar levels inside the body.
There appears to be nothing wrong with counting the hours I sleep (around seven or eight hours each night) as within the fasting period.
Breakfast is, after all, traditionally the time when a person ‘breaks a fast’ from the time before. Our last meal would have been the previous evening.
Modern lifestyle has conditioned it as meaning in the morning when we wake up and eat cereals, toast or a fried breakfast of sausages, eggs and hash browns.
So I propose to skip eating and drinking in the morning when I wake up and convert lunch into breakfast at midday.
I might then have a snack lunch – a healthy one of course such as fruit or a yoghurt.
When I return home from the office at seven o’clock, I can then indulge to have supper with my family. It will be my last consumption of food and drink before I break my fast at midday the following day.
That means that I should be able to fast for fifteen hours at a time more or less. Sometimes, slightly more, sometimes less, depending on what is happening at any particular time in my life.
I think fifteen hours is enough time for my body to burn off the fat which is the essence of weight loss.
I become controlled, not by a religious faith or an urge to eat and drink (or not) at a given time but rather to apply a willpower in the management of my weight control.
All this talk about weight control, diet and slimming, nutrition, calories, vitamins, minerals and cholesterol puts the head of an ordinary man into a right spin.
I know I am overweight but I also know I am not obese. I know I do not exercise often enough or in the right way. I know I must change my eating habits.
That is the sentiment of millions of people around the world.
The Eating Window presents an opportunity to re-invent myself without doing damage to the natural metabolism of my body based on what I understand and have learnt.