How many times have we decided to “diet” by eating significantly less? We cut out breakfast, eat a small lunch and dinner with no snacks. Maybe we drink a shake for each meal instead of real food. Maybe we stick to less than 1000 calories a day.
And how many times have we ended up hungry, cranky, with no energy, and almost no results?
When it comes to losing weight, eating less is not the answer. We need to keep our bodies fueled, and that does not happen by eating less.
There is a lot of science involved, but let’s keep things simple. Think of your body as a car and your foods as the fuel for the car. You aren’t going to get far by putting less fuel in the car. Your body needs fuel and nutrition to keep going. Yes, even to lose weight.
So what is the answer?
We have to eat more of the right foods. Unfortunately, there isn’t a black and white rule that will work for every person. We each have different nutritional needs based on our age, size, weight, muscle mass, activity level, and the list goes on.
But there are starting points that we can all apply.
Eat a nutritional breakfast. When we skip breakfast we are slowing down our metabolism right from the start of our day. This means throughout the day we will burn fewer calories. Just by adding in that one meal to the start of your day, you are burning more calories as the day goes on.
Eat less junk. This one is simple. Avoid chips, sweets, sodas, etc. But that doesn’t mean not to snack (we will cover this one further down in the article).
Eat more fruits and vegetables. Of course the amount of fruit and vegetables needed for each person varies, but a general rule is that each person should be eating at least 3 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit a day.
Eat more often. This rule is a big one for most people. The thought of eating more often seems counterproductive when trying to lose weight, but it is not. Eating more often keeps our metabolism up all day long, which means more calories burned throughout the day. But this does not mean eating big or junkie meals all day long. This means eating good, nutritious foods every few hours. Instead of only 2-3 meals a day, you should eat at least 5 smaller meals a day (or 3 meals and at least 2 snacks in between.)
Drink water. You’ve always heard the 8 glasses of water a day, but a more specific rule for how much water a person should drink is divide your weight in half and that is the amount of water you should be drinking in ounces. A 140-pound person should be drinking 70 ounces of water daily.
These are just a few small steps we all can take to losing weight and leading healthier lifestyles. If you would like more specifics for your body, feel free to contact me.