Thursday, March 12, 2009
Being in the profession of health in fitness, I meet people all the time who are currently experiencing a plateau. They have decided to change their lives, eat healthier, and start a regular exercise program. But somehow, they are no longer losing weight. 99% of the time, it comes down to the fact that they are not following these 3 rules.
1. Eat every 2-3 hours. The biggest misconception with fat loss, is that you have to starve yourself to lose weight. IT IS ABSOLUTELY OPPOSITE. Your body needs fuel and if you starve it, you do not lose fat. In fact, its quite opposite. You lose muscle. Keeping your body filled with healthy, low calorie foods all day is the fastest way to speed up your metabolism and your body's fat burning capability. When my clients miss meals during the day, their results slow dramatically.
2. Balance your protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Does this mean you need to count calories? No. Think of your metabolism as a car engine. A car needs several ingredients to run smoothly and properly, i.e., gasoline, motor oil, engine coolant, etc. If you leave any of these out, its only a matter of time before something WILL go wrong. The engine dies and you call you mechanic and he tells you that a service is way overdue and now the cost to get your car back to working order is tons of money and could have been prevented with simple maintenance. Our bodies work the same way. Our metabolism needs protein, carbohydrates and fats to burn excess body fat. These nutrients needs to be balanced at every meal. Not just day to day. An easy way to make sure you are doing this is, is to always remember the 3:2:1 rule. 3 parts carbs (1/2 grains, oats, rice, etc, and the other 1/2 veggies or fruit.) 2 Parts protein(lean meats, low-fat dairy, etc) 1 part healthy fats ( you do not necessarily need to add these to your diet. As long as you are choosing low fat meats, dairy and carbs, you will get enough in your day)
3. Plan for your activity level. If you are going to be more active, you need to have the fuel to do it. So think to yourself every time you eat, what am I going to be doing for the next 3 hours of my life. Morning time would be an obvious time to have a larger meal, and so would the meal just before a workout. As for eating before you go to bed, it does not need to be large, nor does it need to contain a large amount of carbs. (those are for energy)
It all comes down to these 3 rules. Nutrition can be your friend or your enemy when it comes to fat loss. No one should have to starve themselves, and unfortunately it wont get you the body you want anyways. When these rules are implemented, results are immediate.
Picture by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rdicker/2355994776/