Key #1: Meal Frequency
Diets don’t work. Not in the long run that is. Restrictive diets are not typically sustainable or even healthy. Yet it’s vitally important that we keep our calorie intake within a healthy range. If you’re trying to lose bodyfat you’ll need to consume less total calories than your body burns each day; that requires your body to tap into stored fat to meet its daily energy needs. If you’re already in good condition, or when you reach your goal weight, you can eat a little more but still it’s important to consume only the amount of calories that your body needs; otherwise you’ll start putting the bodyfat back on.
Something I’ve certainly learned through personal experience is that I need to work with my body, not against it, when it comes to controlling calories. We’ve got to keep ourselves satiated (satisfied, not starving). And one of the best ways to keep cravings at bay is to eat more often throughout the day, up to six times. When we do this, the body is energized, nourished and satisfied. We also feel lighter, more aware and more energetic as opposed to being weighed down by big meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
A scientific study reported in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition cites that people who ate six times a day had a faster resting metabolic rate than those who ate just three meals daily. Your metabolic rate is the pace at which your body burns calories all day and night. This study showed eating smaller meals frequently throughout the day allows people to burn fat more efficiently. Researchers at Georgia State University arrived at the same conclusion. They found that folks who ate just three meals a day had, on average, a higher percentage of bodyfat than those who ate six times per day.
Another study published recently in The New England Journal of Medicine showed that in as little as two weeks, people who ate frequent, portion-controlled meals as opposed to three large meals (containing the same total amount of food) reduced their ‘bad’ cholesterol levels by nearly 15%, lowered their cortisol (the stress hormone that contributes to belly fat and premature aging) levels by more than 17% and diminished insulin levels by almost 28%. Another study, this one published in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, found that when people eat frequent meals throughout the day it helps control their appetite. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that people are most successful at losing fat and keeping it off when they eat numerous meals throughout the day.
Another way eating six small, nutritious meals a day helps you reduce bodyfat is by allowing you to maintain muscle mass. Remember, muscle not only helps the body look good but also makes it more metabolically active. Muscle burns calories even when it’s just sitting there. Fat does not. In fact, for every pound of muscle you gain you’ll burn another 50 calories a day. People who put on 10 pounds of muscle will therefore burn 500 calories more per day. This equals an additional 4-5 pounds of fat burned off every 30 days.
Key #2: Protein and Carbs with Every Meal
Now that we’ve talked about the benefits of eating more frequently, it’s important to understand how to put the right combinations of food together. What I recommend is that every time you eat, you combine protein and carbs. Again, this is backed up by solid science.
Scientists have also shown that people who eat a balance of protein and carbs have more stable blood glucose and energy levels, better digestion and absorption of nutrients as well as an increased “thermic effect” (fat-burning effect) from each meal. On top of all that, studies show that meals balanced in protein, carbs, and essential fats provide a safe and healthy way to manage the appetite. I’ve discovered the same thing which is why I eat meals that contain a balance of protein and carbs and I suggest that you do too.
My Example of an Eating for Life Daily Meal Plan
Breakfast — 8:00 am: Vanilla Right Light Nutrition Shake blended with STRONGEVITY Rx (my new cellular energy supplement)
Mid-meal — 10:30 am: Low-fat cottage cheese mixed with light yogurt; 16 oz. water
Lunch — 1:00 pm: Turkey Sandwich with lettuce, tomato, mustard; 16 oz. water
Workout — 3:15 pm to 3:40 pm (super high-intensity 5-25 spin bike workout)
Dinner — 7:00 pm: Fish Tacos; 16 oz. water
Make the time — you will love the results!
Don’t ever think you don’t have time to eat right frequently throughout the day. The list of my meals from yesterday which you just reviewed takes me less than an hour to prepare and eat. Of course my Nutrition Shakes I can blend up and chug down in just a couple minutes. Lunch takes me about 10 minutes. And dinner is 30-40 minutes. When you plan ahead of time and you prepare in advance, you’ll find you save time and money with the Eating for Life style. And best of all, when you eat this way your body will get stronger, leaner, healthier, more energetic and you’ll feel good!
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