It’s been a couple of weeks since Part 1 of this blog… Plenty of time to have gotten a water intake plan and omega 3 supplement into your daily routine. Maybe you’ve already noticed a drop in inches or weight on the scale. So let’s move on to two additional recommendations for continuing this journey to a healthier, leaner you…

#3 BREAKFAST – Many a hopeful “dieter” forgoes the first meal of the day, hopeful that they’ll end up taking in fewer calories that way. In fact, it works the other way around. People who skip breakfast often end up eating more calories during the day and make poorer food choices as well. Those who start their day with a healthy meal, meanwhile, are more likely to stick to healthy eating throughout the day and are more likely to exercise too. There is plenty of scientific evidence that supports this idea of “breaking fast” for weight loss and long term weight management. When you skip that first meal, you may actually be fasting for almost 15-20 hours, so you are not producing the enzymes needed to metabolize fat and lose weight…in essence you are slowing down your “burn rate”.

Time is at a premium for most of us. Nevertheless, it pays to make time for what may be the most important meal of the day. Don’t let the morning rush get in the way. Putting together breakfast doesn’t have to require more time than it takes to put cereal in a bowl, scatter a little fruit over it, and pour the milk. If you are really in a hurry most mornings:

  • Set the table for breakfast before going to bed. You’ll save time, and the table will be a reminder when you get up.
  • Take care of one or two morning chores the night before… Like selecting your next day’s outfit before bed and packing/organizing your briefcase or pile of things you need to bring with you for the day.
  • Prepare a fruit salad on Sunday so you can quickly spoon up some every morning t=of the week.
  • Set alarm clock 10 minutes early.
  • If all else fails keep a box of breakfast bars, yogurt and/or plenty of fresh fruit around for a handy, easy to pack breakfast.

Try to choose foods from at least two or more food groups. Protein foods take longer to digest and will provide sustained energy and keep you feeling full longer.

Here are quick, tasty and nutritious choices to get your day off to a good start:

  • Milk and whole-grain cereal
  • Oatmeal topped with raisins, raw walnuts and milk
  • Yogurt topped with whole-grain granola and fruit
  • Peanut butter spread on whole-grain toast
  • Fruit smoothie made with whey protein
  • Cheese and whole-grain crackers
  • Do not overlook leftovers — a slice of pizza, leftover stir-fry or a bowl of soup zapped in the microwave can be tasty and tide you over to lunch

Energy/Breakfast bars have exploded in popularity. Although they are convenient and may satisfy your hunger in a pinch, read the label. Even though they contain a variety of vitamins and other added nutrients, they often contain little fiber, and are loaded with as many calories and as much sugar as a candy bar! 

#4 SMALL FREQUENT MEALS – Take a moment and imagine your metabolism as a fire in a backyard fire pit… Doesn’t it make sense, that if you wanted to keep that bed of coals burning red hot & steady, you would consistently add smaller pieces of fuel over an extended period of time, rather than dumping a giant log on there a couple of times during the day?   Adopting a pattern of eating smaller, more frequent meals provides a number of benefits to both your health and weight loss goals. You’re less likely to overeat, and you’ll have a regular influx of energy to help keep you active. All the while your body will be burning calories more efficiently.
Larger meals cause large increases in blood sugar, which in turn sends triggers signals to your body for fat storage. During long gaps between meals, your body responds by preparing for possible starvation mode and may begin breaking down your muscle for energy, which will slow your metabolism. By eating frequently, you can avoid these problems and stoke the metabolic fire more significantly because of the thermic effect of food, which refers to the calories burned during digestion.

Plan to eat about every three hours. Count the number of hours you are awake in a typical day, and divide by three. For example, 6 am to 10 pm would be 16 hours or about five mini meals spaced about three hours apart. Simply eating more frequently without paying attention to quantity, however, does not appear to regulate appetite and calorie intake and promote lower body weight. So First, decide how many calories you can afford, based on your current weight, activity level, and your goal. Then, divide your calorie allowance up into as many meals as you like–whatever eating pattern best supports your appetite control, schedule, and preferences…Just keep in mind the more meals you have the smaller they need to be.

So there you have it, two more simple ideas to begin incorporating into your SIMPLE NUTRITION Plan for SUCCESS!