By Mike Occhipinti
One of the most frequently asked questions are “what do you eat” or “what should I eat if I want to lose some weight?” If you are one of those people who find yourself asking or wondering these questions, you might find this article as a good stepping stone to get you on your way. Now let me state I am not a nutritionist or dietician, but I can share with you some tools I have seen personally work for me and my clients. Lets talk about four simple ways to get the ball rolling.
1. Increase meal frequency. Eating small, frequent meals throughout the day is good way to get your metabolism moving. You want to eat anywhere between 2.5 to 4 hours. Try not to go beyond 4 hours because after that your body goes into starvation mode and will store calories instead of burning them off. When you eat often you also prevent overeating later in the day. If you’re someone who skips meals, especially breakfast, I challenge you to eat 4 balances meals throughout the day then go home and try to overeat. You won’t want to. Why? Because you’ve given your body adequate fuel throughout the day so it’s not craving CRAP (like sugar, which the body will convert quickest to energy) and you will have that willpower you’ve been yearning for. YES IT”S THAT EASY. Also, the because our bodies are way smarter than we are, when it comes to food rationing and storing for energy it will do it when it needs to whether you WANT it to or not. So keep that engine, your metabolism, running by fueling it, literally, and it won’t have the opportunity to store the fuel as fat. But there is no magic number of meals you need to eat a day or exact time range that you need to follow. The truth is that you need to find what works for your body and metabolism. This comes with some trial and error. Maybe start with 4 meals and 1 snack, or 5 small meals, or three small meals and 2 snacks and see what works best for you and your life. Ultimately, what works for you, will work for you.
2. Eliminate sugar and processed foods. WHAT?! NO!? REALLY?! YES!!! Sugar is the root of all evil. Just bite the bullet, take the plunge. cut the cord and DO IT. We are often told fat is makes you fat and you should by fat free items but the truth is, when companies take fat out of a product, the taste changes and therefore they must add something. That something is usually sugar, which just so happens to be more addicting than cocaine according to numerous studies performed. You will not only look better but you will feel better too. Science has shown and I personally can share from experience that when you go cold turkey, you begin to not miss it. Then something REALLY cool happens, once you give it up and then reintroduce it because the chocolate brownies your Aunt makes every holiday are just too good to pass up, you actually feel SICK. Processed, white sugar makes you sick. You have two options: You can throw out all of the refined carbohydrates and sugary food/drinks in your house, or just finish them off and not replace them. Food shopping should be done around the outside perimeters of the supermarket. Stay away from the boxed foods and sugary drinks. Something as simple as eliminating sugar goes a long way when it comes to weight loss.
3. Have the majority of your diet come from these food sources:
Lean protein: chicken, steak, fish,eggs, turkey, etc that are grilled baked or boiled.
Fibrous Carbohydrates aka Vegetables: broccoli, asparagus, kale, spinach, ya know, the GREEN stuff
Fats: avocado, coconut oil and other oil variations,
Starchy Carbohydrates: Sweet potato, quinoa, rice, legumes
4. DRINK WATER. I could go on and on about the importance of water but lets remember the body is somewhere between 60-70% water. It helps with digestion, flushing bodily waste, maintaining body temperature, helps clear up your skin, and balances your electrolytes. Your muscles alone are 73% water, so if you suffer from muscle cramps, drinking water could alleviate some of those aches and pains. But how much should you drink? A good starting point is to do ½ your body weight in ounces. So if you weigh 140 lbs, you want to drink 70 oz of water a day. If you’re exercising you’re going to want to increase that amount. Also, let’s make something clear, coffee, tea, soda, juice IS NOT WATER. When we say drink more water, we mean WATER as in H2O. If you have a tough time drinking water one way to increase your intake is to do it while your eating your meals because you’re already sitting down and can remember to drink it. Drinking water before and during meals will also help you eat less because there won’t be as much room for the food.
The four above tips for losing weight while simple, will go along way. I have seen people make great strides following just these four steps. Stay focused and take it one meal, one day at a time.