When it comes to exercise, an important compliment to working out is proper eating habits. Eating properly does not mean starving yourself all day in order to lose weight, only to eat like a horse at night. Nor does it mean buying the latest bestseller diet book and following it to a the letter, only to stop three weeks later because you are extremely fatigued by eating only lettuce or fruit or protein.
Furthermore, when your pantry is full of every 'supplement-in-the-form-of-a-pill-known-to-man', but the closest thing to real food in your kitchen is a box of Ding Dongs, you might want to reevaluate your eating situation. In this article I will give you 10 useful tips in order to eat for good nutrition and to keep your bodyfat levels at their best (but of course you have to exercise!)
10 Helpful Tips
1) Start your day off with a good breakfast.
Like bears, our metabolism slows down considerably when we are sleeping due to our decreased activity levels and the body's perception that we are in a "starving state", so we tend to burn much fewer calories while in La La Land. Therefore, eating a substantial breakfast in the morning is what the body needs in order to get into gear and start running again. Keep this in mind: about two thirds of the energy of your required food intake is actually needed just to digest the food you eat!
2) Eat smaller, more frequent meals (every 2-3 hours).
After about 4-5 hours, when pretty much everything you have eaten has been digested and assimilated, the body's metabolism starts to slow down. Furthermore, more frequent eating is required in order to keep blood sugar levels from fluctuating, as low blood sugar levels are what makes people feel tired, cranky and really hungry that they will stuff just about any kind of junk food in their mouth.
3) Eat a variety of foods.
This is important because some foods are richer in certain nutrients (vitamins and minerals) than others. In the case of certain vegetables, cooking is a good way to soften up the cellulose and make them easier to eat and digest, but be careful not to overcook them as they can lose a lot of their nutrients.
4) Vegetarians make sure you are properly combining your foods.
Protein combining is the process where you eat one non-animal source food that is deficient in certain amino acids (ie: the 'building blocks' of various proteins, like muscle) together with another food that is lacking other amino acids. The two foods combined will give a complete protein. Examples of food combining are: peanut butter and whole wheat bread, and black beans and rice.
5) Eat less at night.
Try to cut food intake after 6 or 7 at night, especially carbohydrates (ie: rice, pasta, etc) since they will more than likely be stored in your body as fat due to your decreased activity levels at night (sleeping, laying around watching TV).
6) Eat more fiber.
Soluble (from fruits, oats, barley and legumes) or insoluble (from vegetables, wheat, cereals) fiber per day is recommended in order to lower blood cholesterol. Soluble fiber also 'swells up' inside your stomach and intestines, giving you the feeling of fullness, so you end up not eating as much.
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7) Drink lots of water.
Drinking a couple of glasses of water before your meal will also fill you up so you end up eating less.
8) Eat slowly.
Engaging in conversation while you eat and putting down your utensils after each bite while thoroughly chewing your food are a couple of tricks you can also use in order to prevent yourself from eating too much.
9) Eat foods that you like.
All you have to do is eat smaller portions of your favorite foods, or eat them less often. What you can do for any particular meal is change the proportions of the foods around a bit. For example. Instead of having the traditional big steak with lots of potatoes and a little bit of vegetables on the side, you can take a smaller piece of steak, a smaller portion of potatoes, and fill the rest of the plate up with veggies.
You'll be eating less calories, but you won't feel deprived of your favorite foods. Or, you may want to try lower fat steaks, which are those with the name 'round' or 'loin' (ie: eye of round, round tip, tenderloin, sirloin, top loin).
10) Ask yourself "Am I really hungry?"
One major problem that we tend to encounter when it comes to eating food is that a lot of times we tend to eat when we are not hungry. Being aware of this can actually be a very big step in controlling your weight.