Yahoo! Summer is finally here! It’s time to get outside and shed those winter pounds. Being active all day with summer activities is fun and beneficial to your health, and what you eat between meals can have a huge impact on your mood and boost weight loss even more.
Experts say it’s best to eat three small meals a day with three small snacks in between. You should be eating about every 2-3 hours and have at least two different food groups every time you eat. The reason it’s better to eat less at one time more often throughout the day that it tricks your metabolism into almost constantly working which means that you burn off more of the food you eat. The best part is that you get to eat more!!! This type of diet also works much better than ones that constrict your diet. When you don’t eat enough sure you lose weight but your body will go into what they call “starvation mode” which means that whenever you do eat nearly everything is stored because your body is well duh starving! And that means that as soon as you stop dieting you gain all that weight back and in most cases more weight because your metabolism slows way down.
The point of this diet is moderation and getting your body into a steady eating routine. This is a lifestyle change, not a get skinny quick scheme. Follow these easy steps and you’ll be fit in no time.
Step One: Plan
You need to plan everything! Believe it or not but this is the hardest step. You need to plan what you are going to eat, how much and when you will eat it. Go to http://www.choosemyplate.gov/ and click on “Get a personalize plan” on the right under “I Want To…” discover what your recommended daily calorie intake is as well has the recommended amount of each food group you should be consuming every day. Another very helpful tool is http://www.myfoodapedia.gov/ it will help you keep track of what you’re eating. Once you have a good idea of what you need to consume every day Start with planning when you will eat. What time can you eat all your meals and snacks at the same time most of the week? Shoot for the same time every day, but it’s ok to be 30 minutes off either way. Remember to eat every 2-3 hours. Once you know the when plan the what and how much. Plan a breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, and bedtime snack. Avoid junk foods for snacks, and eat smaller portions of everything. It’s all about eating healthy.
Step Two: Action
Put your plan into action! And start putting your body into action too! Start small and walk briskly for 30 minutes twice a day, join a yoga class, or my favorite challenge a friend to a weight lose contest and have the loser buy lunch for a month or do all your laundry for a year. Have fun with your kids and play with them instead of supervising. Get your dog out of the house with a long jog every day. The honest to God truth is that there is no way to get fit and not exercise so embrace it and find ways to enjoy it. Changing only your diet will only get you half way to a healthy weight. To see real results you will have to exercise and you will have to do it at least 4-6 days a week to see results. Cardio is the best way to lose weight, but I also suggest added yoga and or a little strength training into a workout either as a warm up or cool down. Just remember that muscle is much heavier than fat so watch for losing inches rather than weight. I find it best to focus more on making healthy choices and staying positive than on how much I weigh. If being healthy is your goal you naturally lose weight and more importantly keep it off.
Step Three: Enjoy
That’s right only three steps! Enjoy feeling younger, happier, stronger, and thinner!
It’s important to make changes long term, changes that you will be able to maintain throughout your life. Follow the steps, be patient, and find ways to make everything work for you.
Nickole Siegman is a student at the University of Wisconsin Stout. She is also a regular blog contributor at PSCLife.com, a health and wellness retailer and leading provider of Cosamin ASU – a capsule, with avocado, soybean, and green tea, formulated to keep your joints and muscles in optimal health.