Statistics show Americans are still in trouble when it comes to being obese and overweight. Disease such as hypertension and diabetes are on the rise. It doesn’t help that poor food choices are prevalent and cheap, while new fad diets pop up every week. Healthful nutrition doesn’t have to be a chore. Here are eight basic steps to keep you on track.
1. Eat breakfast!
Statistics show that not eating a healthy breakfast slows down your metabolism by up to 15 percent (ouch!).
2. Eat every 3 to 4 hours, hungry or not!
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.
3. Always eat protein with your carbohydrates!
Carbohydrates break down into sugar, or what is often called “blood sugar,” which provides energy for our 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.
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When choosing a carbohydrate, always check out the fiber content. A sure way to know it’s a great wholesome carbohydrate is if it has more than 3 grams of fiber per serving. However, the key here is that if you don’t use the carbohydrates, they will be stored as fat! Adding protein to the mix slows down the digestion process, aids in either building muscle or losing weight and decreases how fast the carbohydrates go into and out of your system. One easy way to get extra protein is with one of the many different protein powders from Max Muscle Nutrition. Stop by any time to get a yummy free sample today.
4. Multi-vitamins: why we all need them.
It would be ideal if Americans got all the nutrients they needed from their food, but unfortunately, this is not the case. In our busy lives, we are lucky if we grab a breakfast that contains something other than black coffee or a glass of juice. We continue the day by eating fast food or convenience food, which lacks nutrients. Multi-vitamins like Vit-Acell Liquid Nutrition act as our insurance, making sure we get all of our necessary vitamins and minerals. Without these essential nutrients, we will not be able to see the fitness results we desire.
5. 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 (animal fat). 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 and fight heart disease and obesity. Try Max Muscle’s EFAs or Naturliga Triple Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil to ensure you are getting all your necessary healthy fats.
6. Water … it really is “that” important!
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. Water makes up more than 70 percent of the weight of the human body, and without it, humans would die in a few days.
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 regulate 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!
7. Watch out for 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! How many of us could actually eat grapefruit for every meal? Or how about drinking soup? We also know that losing body fat without exercise never happens, or if it does, it doesn’t stay off. However, the fad diet industry makes millions of dollars every year off of consumers just like you and me!
Fad diets usually make promises that are untrue or unsafe. The tips in this section will help you spot fad diets and avoid the unhealthy activities they recommend. Remember, if a diet sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Here are some tips to recognize a fad diet:
Most fad diets will restrict certain types of foods while encouraging the dieter to eat another type of food.
- The diet makes claims that weight loss is quick and rapid, without the need to exercise. (Rapid weight loss is defined as anything greater than 2 pounds per week)
- The diet promotes miracle foods that burn fat.
- The diet has a rigid menu with a list of foods that must be eaten at a specific time of the day or in specific combinations.
- The diet will not have a warning label.
- The diet will not have credible scientific research to back up its claims.
- Any diet that states absolute ratios of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats (examples:40, 30, 30 OR 60, 20, 20).
8. Where to turn for more help.
Still feeling a little confused about what you really need to do to get the results you want? Visit your local Max Muscle Nutrition store and schedule a nutrition consultation with one of our Certified Fitness Nutrition Coaches. These individuals will listen to your goals and help you design a customized nutrition and supplement routine to get you MAXimum results!
The keys to success for living well and looking great are understanding the basics and applying them to your everyday life. If the nutrition information you are getting sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Lastly, as we all head back to school, schedules and busy days, remember, your kids are watching what you are eating. Be and set the example with healthy food choices, all day, every day!
By Corry Matthews