Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What Not's and What We Should Eat

by Kris Pitcher

We spend a lot of time on what not's. What not to eat. What not to drink. What not to do, to wear...etc. Part of focusing there is education. We need to know pop tarts probably aren't the best breakfast choice. A bigger part of focusing there becomes - well craziness.

I feel strongly we'd be better served focusing on the shoulds. It's about putting a positive spin on our lives really. So, instead of "what not's" today we'll look at some shoulds around eating. If we've been spending our energy elsewhere, this gives us a reminder of a good place to focus thoughtful energy. So what should our eating pattern look like?

Following a good night's sleep of 7 or 8 hours we should eat a healthy breakfast first thing in the morning. Gulping down 8oz of water will get you on the track to hydration, wake up the cells in your body and get your systems going. Follow up with some lean protein, complex carbohydrates and a small amount of healthy fats. In a hurry? Think about a whey protein shake, and a slice of whole grain toast with 1 T of natural peanut butter. You're out the door!

Mid-morning it's time to fuel again. And guess what? It's not rocket science. You're looking for the same nutrient profile - lean protein, a small amount of complex carbohydrate and some healthy fats. Need ideas? How about a low-fat yogurt (protein & carbs) with 10 raw almonds. Done.

It's lunch time. Lots of choices here. Did you plan ahead and bring your lunch or are you looking at the menu? Either way, there's a good choice to be had. Even at the burger joint you can select their small burger and eat only the bottom bun. Think ahead for success. Skip the fries, and you know how I feel about the sugar pop. It's a no go.

Three o'clock...time to fuel again. Are you getting the hang of this? The most active part of your day is likely over, so you should be done with your grain carbohydrates. Veggies and lean protein are my go to meal. Find what works for you.

My workout comes next in the sequence of my day and it's followed by a whey shake. Dinner is after that around 6:45 or 7 pm. Can you guess what it is? Lean protein and veggies! Final meal comes just before bed. That's right - just like a baby!

For me, it's eggs (mostly whites) before bed so I can have some fuel to rock me to sleep and get me through until morning. Now, as you can see an attitude of "less is more" doesn't work with eating to lose weight. Frequency is really important to eating in order to lose weight, or maintain weight.

Eating 6 small meals throughout the day helps our body maintain a consistent blood sugar level, sends the message we are getting adequate fuel, and allows our body to burn fat for fuel and build lean body mass. If you changed nothing else but the frequency of your meals, you'd lose weight.

Nutrition is so important, eating enough is important, and eating frequently is important. Focus on the shoulds for success with your plan!

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