Dieting: The 3-Hour Diet (cont.)

Is that the "starvation protection mechanism" that you talk about?

That's it. When the switch gets flipped on, this is called the starvation protection mechanism (SPM). This SPM has been literally designed through thousands of years of being a human race. In the past, food wasn't readily available and so your body had to preserve the most precious caloric tissue on the body, which for good or for bad, is fat. Your body is designed to store fat and burn muscle when it goes into starvation mode, which is the opposite if you want to stay slim and trim.

So when that switch is flipped on, when you go more than approximately three hours and 20 minutes without eating, this alarm goes off and the body says "I'm not getting enough food. All right, what am I going to do?" What your body is going to do is precisely what the research shows -- it burns approximately 50 percent of the calories that it needs from muscle. So, actually it's worse than the Atkins plan.

How does eating every 3 hours help you lose weight?

That's the magic -- eating every three hours does a few things:

First, it removes the starvation protection mechanism -- in better words; it turns it off . When the starvation protection mechanism is off, you don't burn muscle, you just burn fat. That's critical.

Second thing that happens -- you lower cortisol levels. Cortisol is the stress hormone that comes from not eating and putting your body in the stress mode with starvation. When you lower cortisol you burn belly fat first. That's brilliant for people that need to lose weight because belly fat is the most dangerous and the most unattractive fat you can have; it sits there and is bothersome.

That's another thing, when you eat every three hours it teaches your body to constantly reset its metabolism. It is almost like a workout for the body every time you eat these meals. There are no bad foods on my plan, just bad portions, I just teach the right portion at the right times. It literally gives your body an eating workout; where your body then is constantly consuming what you need it to consume -- fat. It's working out and revving the metabolism and that's a great thing -- most people aren't aware of that, they don't realize. Now obviously if you sit down and eat the whole house, that's going to stop it up. It's like putting too much gas in the car, it just breaks it down, it's not necessary. Unlike a car, it actually overspills. Your body will just expand and absorb it and try to work with it. You don't want to do that.

So, by eating every three hours you lower belly fat, you burn two pounds a week and you prevent muscle loss, which keeps your metabolism active. Then you constantly reset the metabolism so you're constantly burning fat. That's the beauty of what it does, and because there are no bad foods, it brings back the joy of eating.

Why does it burn belly fat first?

That's a great question. On page 58 of my book I talk about this. In the New England journal of medicine, they published a study. In the study they specifically showed that eating every three hours reduced the stress hormone called cortisol. That's why belly fat goes down -- the reduction in cortisol. When you have high levels of this cortisol hormone, it's closely associated to abdominal fat. In this study it was shown that in as little as two weeks, individuals who ate frequent small meals, as opposed to three large meals, containing the same amount of calories, just breaking them down over time, over six meals versus three, they were able to reduce cortisol levels by more than 17%. That was just in the first two weeks -- it was wonderful. When you do this long term, the body gets efficient at staying low in cortisol level and that's what you want. That the how you stay slim and trim; with belly fat especially, it's all about removing the stress hormone cortisol.

Your diet calls for eating a blend of carbs, fats and proteins "in the right portions" every three hours. What are the right portions?

Portions are very important, as well as timing. With the 3-Hour Diet? you'll learn the two keys of timing or what I call Visual Timing?. This allows you to eat anything you want -- all of your favorite foods -- while making sure that you don't forget to eat every 3 hours. It's actually the essence of the 3-Hour Diet? plan. It's all about creating an automatic eating schedule of when and what and how much to eat.

  1. The 3-Hour Timeline? - There is a section in the book that has a 28-day planner with a timeline to help you stay visually organized with what time you're supposed to eat.
  2. The 3-Hour Plate? - What I don't believe is counting calories. I don't believe in counting points like Weight Watchers. I don't believe in counting carbs. It doesn't work, the reason being, it's not practical. It's too much work. People just won't do it. Just like people know they should balance their check books, but they don't. What I had to create was the simplest system to know how much to eat -- knowing the ideal portion. If you have the book, this is on page 87; it's called the 3-Hour Plate?. This plate is designed to visually, in just seconds, give you a template if you will, for your mind, to know exactly how much to eat. It shows you precisely what you need to do, for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

That is the magic of this plan -- it's all about keeping it simple and realistic so you can do it long term. If you can't do it long term, you're not going to do it. That's the challenge.

Can you describe the contents of this plate?

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