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I had been fighting the fight for years and it finally came to me that “diets” do not work but planning my meals with the proper caloric breakdown was the way. It was a trial and error process but in the end there was an 80 pound weight loss and I have easily kept it off for over 5 years. When you approach nutrition in regards to weight loss, there are two simple facts:
- Eating the proper food
- Eating at the appropriate time
First we will take a look at the proper food. Our bodies are formed by what we eat. Also food is the source of energy that our bodies need to function. A problem most of us have is we do not view food as a basic necessity but eat for pleasure. Let me explain why proper food is so important.
At any given moment your body is in either an anabolic or catabolic phase or sometimes both. This means you are either building muscle (anabolic) or eating muscle (catabolic). This is part of the metabolism process and eating at the right time and the right foods speeds up your metabolism. Essentially you are always burning calories!
There are three sources of energy that our bodies use and that is glycogen (carbs), fat, and protein. In simple terms the carbs are for immediate energy, proteins for rebuilding muscle, and fats for high energy storage.
Fact: Not having the proper nutrition will promote illness.
If we have the proper nutrient intake we can ward off most illnesses and dieses. Most commonly are heart attacks, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, high/low cholesterol and the scariest of all is cancer.
Fact: Proper eating habits promote weight loss.
I have found and passed along the knowledge to my clients that most of us are not eating enough of the right food or enough times a day. Our bodies need to be fueled every 3-4 hours or it will store extra fat being fearful it might not get another meal. The heavier we are the more fat our bodies stores.
I use the word simple and it really is. When I realized that 6 meals a day sped up my metabolism and having 2 or 3 meals and sometimes skipping a meal slowed it down, then and only then my weight began to come off and stay off.
So now look at food as it a fuel source. You are always putting fuel into your car, boat, and lawn mower but forget to fuel the most important thing…that is your body! So having 6 meals a day is imperative to getting healthy and stay healthy.
The day should have the three major meals and those are breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Then you have to incorporate meals (snacks) in between each meal and believe it or not…right before you go to bed. Yes that goes against the “do not eat past seven o’clock” rule! It is important to know which fuel sources are needed at each “meal”. It makes sense that breakfast (1st meal) should have all three because over night your body is depleted of all of your glycogen. Knowing your mornings are not an active time of the day, it makes no sense to consume all three sources for your 2nd meal (snack) but limit it to protein.
When it came to lunch (3rd meal) you should have all three to provide you the energy to get through the rest of your day. Your 4th meal (snack) should be mainly protein and only have carbs if the afternoon is going to be an active one. Carbs are consumed if you are going to the mall, gym, bike ride, or any other physical exercise later that day.
So here comes dinner (5th meal). You have eaten a ton today and are not really hungry but know that your body needs fuel so you give it high protein, low to moderate carbs, and low healthy fats. Food cravings creep in at night because you are bored. The deal is, if you do not use carbs before you go to bed, your body will turn them into fat!
What really is needed in the 6th meal (snack) is protein because your muscles recover mainly when you are sleeping and not having protein in your body is like trying to build a house without lumber! It is best to put off that last meal (snack) until it is closer to bedtime. Now your body has what it needs to rebuild your muscles and when you wake up your stomach is not growling!
So your journey each day should begin with a sensible breakfast and the remaining meals providing your body what it needs at the time. Most, if not all, of the day your body is burning calories just to digest food.
What I recommend is to ask your trainer for a meal plan that is based upon your daily caloric needs. He or she will have to determine how many calories are needed for your body just to be at rest and then calculate what additional calories needed to support your life style. This is called your Daily Allowance.
Then the trainer will need to give you the caloric breakdown for the day. This means the calories need to be divided between carbs, protein, and fats.
I wish you luck with your meal planning and continued success after you start!
Disclaimer: The information provided is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to substitute the advice of your physician or other health care professionals. Consult your physician or other health care professional before following any nutrition program, using any supplements or if you have any medical condition or are taking any prescription medications.
Member of ISSA
Mark Bloomfield, CPT
Certified Personal Trainer
Keep It Simple Fitness, LLC
235 Taunton Avenue
Seekonk, MA 02771
©2012 Keep It Simple Fitness LLC
________________________________________________________________________________________About the Author: Mark Bloomfield, CPT received his personal training certification from International Sports Science Association (ISSA) and is the principal trainer at Keep It Simple Fitness, LLC. He writes about a variety of topics, including nutrition, weight loss, cardio and weight training.
________________________________________________________________________________________Disclaimer: The information provided is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to substitute the advice of your physician or other health care professional. Consult your physician or other health care professional before following any exercise or nutrition program, using any supplements or if you have any medical condition or are taking any prescription medications.