ANR Health: Focused Nutrition

Focused Nutrition

Are you eating enough food to lose weight?

As hard as it is to believe, we must eat to lose weight.  Haven't you always wanted to hear that?  To be a better you, be a better eater! Research has shown that eating too few calories sends the body into "starvation" mode as a defense mechanism.  The result of this starvation mode is the body drops its metabolism rate to conserve energy, meaning it's trying NOT to burn fat.
How then to rev things up and burn fat?  Eat, but eat the right foods at the right times. Scientists have found that three meals a day interspersed with three snacks keeps blood sugar levels more even, which reduces craving, which avoids binge eating.   Win-win - win situation!  Also, research shows eating breakfast is one of the single biggest factors in weight loss.  A healthy, balanced breakfast followed by a healthy snack two - three hours later fuels the body and reduces binge eating.  Another  win-win situation!
Consuming food actually causes the body to rev up its metabolism in order to process the food.  The key is to eat the right foods so they get metabolized and not stored as excess fat. Also, eat at the right times to keep the metabolic rate up.  Raised metabolism equals BURNING FAT!  The "right" order would be breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack.  The "right" times is going approximately two - three hours between eatings.  for example:
7am  breakfast
10am snack
1pm lunch
4pm snack
6pm dinner
8pm snack
Adjust the times to fit your schedule as well as difficult craving times.  If 1pm to 4 pm is too long and the munchies will attack, move snack time back to 3pm.  The schedule is meant to feed your body every two - three hours so it doesn't feel the need to binge and distract you. A normal feeling is a slight nagging in the stomach, but it shouldn't be causing you to be weak or unfocused.
Now you know when to eat, but WHAT to eat?  The snacks should come from the Superfoods list: citrus fruits veggies, berries, nuts, dairy products, etc.  Read labels very carefully and only eat one serving of two Superfoods per snack.  Overeating even Superfoods will cause the body to store the food as fat.  The goal is to feed the body enough to not cause you to crave and to keep your metabolism raised to burn calories.  Overfeeding is like over feeding a cat - big, fat and lazy critter. 
As for meals, think of your plate as a pie chart.  Fill half your plate with veggies, preferably dark, green leafy vegetables. A fourth of the plate is protein which is important for muscle growth and strength. And a fourth of the plate with whole grains as in pasta, brown rice, couscous, etc.  With this drink a glass of lowfat milk and have a piece of fruit.  This is not specific in terms of calories and servings, but it is an easy start towards healthy eating.  It's a great visual for challenging kids to eat healthy.
Once you have the healthy snacks and balanced meals working for a couple of weeks, notice how your pants are fitting.  If you want to lose more, there are plenty of tips ranging from easy to "rev me up for a body building contest"!  Drop us an email when you are ready for the next step.

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