Most people don’t change their habits until they have to. And that includes eating habits. Changing your eating habits will change your life. It’s not that hard. Most important is to change your portions. If everyone kept a journal of everything they eat all day long and keep the journal for one month, I think you’d be shocked how much you consume every day.
You don’t have to fill up when you eat. The idea that you only eat twice or three times a day is obsolete. When you only eat twice a day, your body gets use to it. Your body expects you to fill up so you can get to the next meal, the problem is that you don’t burn up all that food and then your body stores the excess. After a few weeks of storing the excess you’ve put on some weight.
Start early with breakfast shortly after you wake up. You have to start your metabolism every morning with food. The earlier you eat in the morning the more calories you’ll burn that day. Nothing big, but something like yogurt or a bowl of cereal, whole wheat toast and coffee or better juice, approx. 300 calories. Now if you eat lunch at 12:00 or so, you’ll need something about 9:30, maybe fruit or yogurt, approx. 200 calories. Actually lunch should be a big meal, bigger than dinner. This depends on your job. For active people, with a job that keeps you moving a big lunch might fit your lifestyle; remember to eat healthy, approx. 500 calories. This gives you all afternoon to work it off. If you need something in the afternoon to make it to dinner, I usually eat something about 4, approx.200 calories. I might have more fruit, but some people will eat something more substantial like half a sandwich. The important thing is not to eat snack food or candy or any junk food. That’s were dieters make a mistake. They eat small meals or skip meals to lose weight, then they have to snack and they eat the wrong think. Men should have no more than 1800 calories a day, women about 1500 calories. Remember to count all that you eat and drink. Often drinks will amount to more calories then the food you eat.
The kind of food we eat can also be your problem. O.K., your cutting back on sweets and cutting back on portions but your always hungry and you don’t have any energy. Your workouts are exhausting. Now what? Well, don’t quit. Your problem is the food your eating.
When you cut back on the amount of food you eat your cutting back on your nutritional intake and the way to solve that is to change the food your eating. Green vegetables have very little calories and lots of nutrition. You need to eat protein but try and get most of your protein from plants. Animal protein should be eaten only about once a week. Fish is good protein, poultry is not really animal protein, eggs are not animal protein. Red meat is animal protein, pork is animal protein.
Anyone who cuts back on food to lose weight and then goes back to their regular diet will gain back the weight. Going back to your regular diet means returning to that portion size that originally put the weight on. Yes, it is about what you eat, but almost more important is how much you eat. You really don’t burn that many calories when you workout. You can’t burn off a lunch with a 60 minute power walk. Small portions are the way to cut your food intake, which cuts the calorie intake. If you really want to lose weight permanently than change what you eat, change your portions and get out of that three meal a day habit. I think six small meals a day make more sense, remember to count calories.
When I was looking for a diet plan that was going to work for me, I found the Mediterranean diet. I like this plan immediately.
What is the Mediterranean diet?
I know you’ve heard of the Mediterranean diet, anyone who’s been dieting know about this one. Except, must of us who decide to go on a diet look for quick results. This isn’t that kind of diet, this is more of a lifestyle of correct eating. By following the guide they outline over time excess fat will disappear and you will become a healthier person. Read the following and then do your own research.
The Mediterranean Diet has been around for thousands of years in the Mediterranean region where the focus is on naturally abundant, heart healthy foods. It has become more popular in recent years because the long terms benefits have been proven repeatedly by studies and because it is relatively simple to follow. It groups foods based on the frequency you should eat them to emphasize their benefits and minimize risk factors. How beneficial is this diet? Just recently the New England Journal of Medicine released a study that, among other things, cited a 30% lower chance of heart disease for people following this diet plan than those who did not. Many of the foods focused on in the diet don’t just prevent heart disease but also lower risks of Alzheimer’s disease and the occurrence of cancer.
Foods consumed daily include fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, potatoes, couscous, quinoa, and whole grains like bread, pasta, and rice. Cheese and yogurt are also recommended but only in the low fat form. Olive oil is the preferred added fat as it’s plant source means it’s low in saturated fat. Another daily recommendation? Physical activity!
With a solid base of daily foods serving as the foundation of your nutrition, the weekly foods are also very good for you and make excellent sources of healthy fats. This includes fish, poultry, eggs, and sweets. These foods are high in protein and many other minerals while the limited inclusion of sweets/refined sugars allows you to indulge in moderation to satisfy other cravings. Remember the key is moderation.
The monthly food in the Mediterranean diet is red meat. It’s impossible to deny the benefits of red meat as a valuable source of protein and iron but it is also high in saturated fats. Eating red meat sparingly allows for variety in the diet and still takes advantage of other benefits.
HOW IT APPLIES TO ATHLETES
The Mediterranean diet is fairly well balanced and has a great emphasis on natural, unprocessed foods that are high in vitamins and minerals but also low in unsaturated fats. It should be noted that this diet was not designed for athletes or weight loss but rather an overall healthy lifestyle. That said, it’s easy to balance the athlete’s needs for carbs and proteins with the daily and weekly rotation of foods if you pay attention to what you’re putting in your body.
The Mediterranean diet has been around for a long time and unlike many fad diets, it’s focus on a long term healthy lifestyle and daily exercise make it a legitimate routine that will pay off over and over. It’s not ideal for vegetarians or people with a gluten-sensitivity or lactose intolerance but it does work, and work very well, for many other people. The important thing to remember is to stick with one diet during your training camp and avoid changing or experimenting with your routine until it’s over. After that, give it a shot and see if it works for you. Search on the internet “Mediterranean Diet” and you’ll find a wealth of information and a chart that looks like a food pyramid. Follow the chart, it gives you lots of choices.