Statistics show Americans are still in trouble when it comes to being obese and overweight. Hypertension and diabetes are on the rise. It doesn’t help that poor food choices are prevalent and cheap, while new fad diets popping up every week. Healthful nutrition doesn’t have to be a chore. Here are seven basic steps to keep you on track:
- Eat Breakfast! Statistics show that eating a healthy breakfast can increase your metabolism by up to 15 percent!
- Eat Every 3 to 4 Hours. Why is it that everyone thinks that in order to lose weight they need to eat less? The opposite is actually true: to lose weight you need to eat small meals every 3 to 4 hours to speed up the metabolism. Skipping meals leads to food cravings, binge eating, and weight gain. Why? You are more likely to overeat when you have not eaten in 8 hours than when you eat something small every 3 to 4 hours. When you choose to eat less or skip a meal your body goes into “starvation mode”, and your metabolism slows down to preserve energy. You gain weight because your body stores all the food you consume because it assumes you will starve yourself again. The only way to break this cycle is to eat small meals, starting with breakfast and following every 3 to 4 hours.
- Always Eat Protein With Your Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates break down into sugar, or what is often called “blood sugar”, which provides energy for your body. The glycemic index refers to how fast a carbohydrate will enter our bloodstream and how fast it will leave our system. Fast-acting carbs or simple carbs give you that immediate rush of energy that quickly fades. Longer acting carbs such as oatmeal, brown rice, whole grain pasta, and sweet potatoes take longer to digest and provide longer amounts of energy. When choosing a carb, always check out the fiber content. You want the fiber to be more than 3 grams per serving. However, the key here is that if you don’t use the carbs, they will be stored as fat! Adding protein to the mix slows down the digestion process, aids in either building muscle and decreases how fast the carbs go into and out of your system.
- Eat Healthy Fats. Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) are the “good fats” all over the news these days. These good fats help reverse some of the damage from the “bad fats” such as trans fats and cholesterol. Good fats raise your High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) or “good cholesterol”. HDL helps remove the bad cholesterol, Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL), by escorting it to the liver where it is broken down and excreted. This is very important in an age when so many Americans are struggling to get their cholesterol down.
- Water! Did you know that a 2 percent drop in your body’s water supply can trigger signs of dehydration, such as headaches, tiredness and lack of focus? An estimated 75 percent of Americans have mild, chronic dehydration. All cell and organ functions in our body depend on water. Water serves as a lubricant for joints and organs, regulates body temperature, alleviates constipation and regulates metabolism. Drinking eight glasses of water daily can decrease the risk of colon cancer by 45 percent, bladder cancer by 50 percent and it can potentially even reduce the risk of breast cancer. So drink up!
- Avoid fad diets. A fad diet is a diet that promises quick weight loss and is usually popular for only a short time. Fad diets are just as they sound: too good to be true! Fad diets usually make promises that are untrue or unsafe however, the fad diet industry makes millions of dollars every year off of consumer just like you and me! Here are some tips to recognize a fad diet:
- Restricts certain types of food while encouraging another type of food
- Claims quick and rapid weight loss (usually greater than 2#/week)
- Promotes miracle foods that burn fat
- No credible scientific research to back up claims
- You need to buy foods directly from them
- Start with a severe calorie restriction
- Where to turn for more help. Still feeling a little confused about what you really need to do to get the results you want? Schedule a No Snack Intro! I would love to meet with you to discuss your goals and help you with a customized nutrition plan. The keys to success for living well and looking great are understanding the basics and applying them to your everyday life.
~ Coach Renee’