(originally published in World of Westchase Aug ’14)
I often talk with people who want to lose weight.
They have started a workout regimen, believe they are eating healthy, yet are frustrated because they are not seeing any results. How can they get their metabolism going?
I’ll often tell them, “You are not eating enough.”
Their puzzled looks are followed by certainty that my suggestion is impossible. It’s human nature to reject what we are not ready to hear. It’s been my experience that the idea of eating more often to lose weight is just not an idea that many people can accept.
Interestingly, many people still do not eat breakfast (at least not until it is closer to lunch). Research (and grandmothers) clearly emphasize the importance of eating breakfast. For those who do eat breakfast, their meals are often filled with pastries and quick, prepackaged cereals or bagels. These types of carbohydrates cause your blood sugar to spike and drop rapidly, causing hunger, lack of focus, and lack of energy.
The key is to eat more often and to consume more nutritionally dense foods:
1) Eat breakfast items like slow-cooked oats instead of instant oatmeal.
2) Eat three nutritionally balanced meals and two snacks daily. They should contain healthy protein, healthy carbohydrates, healthy fats and fiber. Space the meals throughout the day to keep blood sugar levels steady.
3) Color your plate. Have a colorful selection of fruit and vegetables on your plate for more nutrients.
4) Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, a quarter with a protein, and no more than a quarter with a whole grain like brown rice.
5) Avoid high-glycemic items like potatoes, cakes, cookies, rice and pasta that spike your blood sugar.
6) Drink lots of water and limit soda, juice, alcohol and coffees.
7) Avoid eating two hours before bed. Impossible? OK, 90 minutes before bed. Instead, drink water.
8) If you are feeling overwhelmed by this list, pick one change and master it.
9) Avoid purchasing nutritionally empty foods at the grocery store.
10) Go back to 1.
Always consult your physician prior to making health changes. Seek the advice of a certified nutritionist for special circumstances.
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