The first thing that a typical person usually thinks when they feel that first hunger pang is, where can I get food fast and where can I get it cheap? Well, the answers to these questions are at just about any busy intersection or strip mall across America. These busy locations all have cheap, unhealthy food at the consumer's disposal in one form or another.
The fact that Americans resort to this type of consumer behavior on a daily basis is entirely unacceptable. If you want to go grab a burger from Wendy's every once and awhile that's fine; but it's the day-in-and-day-out consumption of fast and processed foods in the U.S. which now has led to one of the highest obesity rates in the world, not to mention all the other diet related health problems.
I like to classify diets into three distinct categories. First, is the unhealthy category, categorized by constant fast and processed food eating. Individuals that fall into this category either know they have poor diets and choose to neglect their bodies or are oblivious to their bad eating habits because they have misunderstood the correct nutritional value of the foods they eat.
Regardless, people that are in this category run the risk of long term health problems like heart disease and diabetes, not to mention the short term issues of constant fatigue and digestive problems.
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These Busy Locations All Have Cheap, Unhealthy Food At The
Consumer's Disposal In One Form Or Another.
The opposite of the unhealthy category is the healthy category. These individuals are classified by their conscious effort to eat clean, whole and natural foods like organics. This means still eating the foods that they enjoy, but just in a healthier way. This category stays away from processed and junk foods.
The last category that people fall under is the dieting category. This category is more of a temporary lifestyle. Dieting doesn't usually last for any long period of time; people in this category usually have a goal in mind and plan to either maintain or work towards another goal once they have achieved their first one.
One of the biggest challenges for people in this category is living this difficult lifestyle while still living their normal lives and continuing their daily obligations. Dieting and living a busy life can be tough on anybody, but with the proper precautions it is possible to be successful.
Eating while living a busy life is complicated enough as it is, but eating healthy, nutritious food can be extremely difficult. People who live busy lives on the go have a natural tendency to resort to quick, unhealthy food like fast food or junk food. Because these foods are cheap and easily accessible people who are low on cash and time often consume them.
So, what's the solution? That would be The Three P's:
Preparation, Planning And Portions
Eating on the move can be very difficult, but with the proper meal preparation your body and mind will be healthier. Preparing meals ahead of time is essential to eating healthy on the move. It all goes back to elementary school when your mom would make you pack a lunch the night before school. This is the same concept I am talking about.
Depending on your personal goals and lifestyle you may prepare a turkey sandwich, a tuna salad or a container of fruit slices. Other good snacks to bring on the go with you are rice cakes, almonds, apples, clementines or protein shakes. Regardless of what your tastes are and what you decide to prepare, I guarantee if you take the time to prepare the food, the sense of gratification you feel will make any food instantly better than a $1 burger from McDonalds. And hands down, it will be healthier too.
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Depending On Your Personal Goals And Lifestyle You May Prepare A
Turkey Sandwich, A Tuna Salad Or A Container Of Fruit Slices.
Planning your meals is very important for muscle growth and recovery, the body's energy levels, and the mind's alertness. Without the proper ratios of carbohydrates, fats and proteins the body can begin to function at subpar levels. Eating on the move can be one of the most vulnerable times when it comes to planning healthy meals with well-balanced nutrient ratios.
In planning your meals while on the move, it is important to include a balanced amount of macronutrients. Now, balanced doesn't necessarily mean an equal amount; what it means is a consistent ratio. So, if your daily allowance of fats is 20% of your total caloric intake, then your meals while on the move should be planned with that 20% goal in mind. This strategy should be consistent with carbohydrates and protein also.
If your diet consists of 50% of your caloric intake from carbohydrates, 20% from fats and 30% from protein it is important to appropriately portion your meals with these percentages in mind. Ideally, you will want to spread these percentages out evenly over all of your meals; however many meals you choose to have.
It is important to incorporate the appropriate types of nutrients, in-order to get the most out of your daily allowances. This is especially important when you are on a calorie-restricted diet, because your body has fewer nutrients to utilize. Other ways to utilize your restricted nutrients are by taking digestive enzymes or by taking other supplements.
Although, there aren't any proteins you can really go wrong with, there are some that are more efficient than others. According, to the protein efficiency rating (PER) Egg protein is the ideal protein for your body to absorb. Other good proteins are Casein, Whey and for vegans Hemp or Soy protein.
Fats and Carbohydrates are a little more complicated than proteins. These two nutrients should be consumed very cautiously, especially when dieting. Fat consumption should be restricted as much as possible to only unsaturated fats; stay away from saturated fats. Unsaturated fats like nuts, olive oil and avocados can supply your body with sustainable energy and add flavor to a normally bland meal.
Besides, your macronutrients it is also important to monitor your micronutrients. The best way to do this is through supplementation. Important antioxidants like Vitamin C and Beta Carotene, along with amino acids, which are crucial in developing and maintaining muscle, can all be properly taken through supplementation.
Supplementation is very important while dieting on a calorie restricted diet because it allows your body to absorb the proper nutrients without worrying about calorie counting. By supplementing micronutrients your body gets what it needs and what it would otherwise sacrifice while calorie restricting.
Carbohydrates should be consumed primarily for energy and in the first half of your day. Start out with more complex Carbohydrates in the morning and than switch to more simple sugars to give you quick energy as your day progresses. This will spike your blood sugar, giving you a needed boost, which can even take the place of caffeine in-take.
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Supplementation Is Very Important While Dieting On A Calorie Restricted Diet Because It Allows Your Body To Absorb The Proper Nutrients
Without Worrying About Calorie Counting.
3. Portion Control
Portion control is huge when it comes to eating on the move. If you make too much food, it might go bad or you might feel an obligation to overeat. If you don't make enough food it will either leave you grumpy because you are still hungry, or it will have you relapsing to consume fast food. The key is measuring out your food (at least for the first few days until you can eye-ball it) when you make it so that you know exactly how many calories and macronutrients are in your food; then you can account for that in your daily caloric intake.
There are also a lot of people who are oblivious to their bad eating habits. I used to be under the impression that Subway sandwiches were all good for you. But one day I ran across this book that outlined the nutritional facts of my favorite foot long tuna sandwich. There were over 60g of fat in that sandwich. Because someone else is preparing your food, it is almost impossible to know exactly what was used in preparing that food. This is why a good rule of thumb when eating on the move, or anytime you're dieting, is: don't eat it unless you prepared it.
Before starting a diet, first, decide on a goal, than figure out the necessary steps to take in order to accomplish that goal. Whether it's restricting your carbohydrates or overall daily caloric intake, do whatever it takes to find your goal. While, pursuing your goal make sure to focus one day at a time, this means keeping your daily allowances whether in percentages or grams or calories constantly in the back of your mind.
If there is one thing you can take away from this article, it would be - recognize what diet category you fall into. Once you have done this, look at ways to improve or maintain it. If you find yourself in the unhealthy category, work on getting into the healthy category. If you are in the healthy category, try dieting to take your body to the next level. At the same time, remember that you are human and don't forget to enjoy the foods in life that also make you happy. Just remember that there is a fine line between enjoying a treat and over-indulging.
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