How to Eat Healthy
Grazing is by far the best way to eat. By eating small amounts of food throughout the day, you are keeping your metabolism at an optimum level. Metabolism is the rate at which energy (measured in calories) is burned. When your metabolism is high, you burn calories more quickly. When your metabolism is low, your body stores more energy as fat.
When To Eat?
When you starve yourself and skip meals, you’re telling your body to keep metabolism low. Your body doesn’t know when it’s going to get energy again, so it stores most of what you eat as fat. When you graze throughout the day, you are constantly supplying your body with energy which tells the body that the energy is abundant and there’s no need to store it as fat.
The key is to make sure that you are not taking in excessive amounts of energy. Excessive amounts of energy will also be stored as fat. What’s needed here is an understanding of portion sizes.
Food labels are a great source of information on the amount of calories. Don’t look at the percentages for now. Just look at the amount of calories per serving and how many servings are in the package.
Regarding the serving size, use measuring cups or spoons to measure out the food or eye-ball a portion based on the number of servings per package. A serving of meat is about the size of a deck of cards.
You’re probably going to be shocked at first, but this is good. Now you know how you gained weight! A serving of ice cream, for example, is a half a cup. Take a half a cup of ice cream and put it in the bowl you would normally use for eating ice cream.
Think about the last time you eat potato chips and look at the amount of servings in the bag. One little old Oreo cookie has around 50 calories. How many do you usually eat?
It’s hard, I know. We’ve all been there. How can one eat 15 potato chips and call it good? They are so small! But, if you want to lose weight you need to be aware of what you are putting in your mouth and you need to decide if that amount of calories is worth what you actually get to eat. Will it satisfy you?
By planning ahead and allowing yourself small servings of food throughout the day, you also lessen your risk of overeating at any one meal.
What To Eat?
Now that you know how much and when, you need to know what to eat. You may not be able to adjust everything all at once, so ease yourself into making more healthful choices.
Carbohydrates will be around 50-60% of your daily intake. Your best choices here are vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Read labels carefully and stay clear of products made with refined flour. Often times, foods that seem like healthful choices such as crackers, breads and pastas are loaded with fat, sugar, preservatives and additives; none of which provide your body with any significant nutrients.
Protein choices should be lean. Great choices are chicken or turkey breast, fish and seafood, lean pork, lean beef and any plant source such as beans or soy. Poor choices are sausage, bacon (except for turkey bacon) and poor quality lunchmeat with fillers. Save the higher fat meats such as filet mignon for special occasions.
When it comes to fat, there’s good fat and bad fat. Bad fat is saturated or trans fat and is found in high quantities in deep fried foods and the fattier meats in the previous paragraph. A lot of packaged refined products have a lot of saturated or trans fat as well.
Good fats are mono and polyunsaturated fats found in certain oils such as safflower, sunflower and olive oil as well as nuts, seeds and a few veggies or fruits such as avocado. You don’t really need to worry about “adding” these to your diet. Replace bad fats with good fats instead.
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