Now, you may be asking yourself how eating five times a day could possibly be good for you! If you only eat three times a day and are gaining weight, then how on earth could eating five times a day help me lose weight? Very good question, but there is a good answer too, it all comes down to your metabolism. Your metabolism is your internal fireplace. It controls your heat and energy output. The thing about your metabolism is that it is very smart and extremely adaptive. Let’s use the fireplace analogy; don’t throw a log on the fire every now and again and the fire will get smaller, cooler and eventually go out. On the other hand, if you throw a log on the fire every couple hours the flames will burn evenly, bright and hot all night.
So, to burn maximum calories a day we need to make sure the metabolism (your fire) is burning hot all day and that you are throwing wood on the fire evenly all day. What we are working towards is to raise your metabolic rate so you can burn calories all day long. Your metabolism is a stronger fat burner than any exercise or cardio regimen. Think of it – burn calories all day or for just 30-60 minutes/day.
This eating plan, of course, consists of good, healthy foods along with goods habits- you cannot eat pizza five times per day to be a lean, mean working machine. Foods high in carbohydrates and fat, like pizza, drag you down, bloat you and deplete your energy. Eat clean and reap the benefits.
Your first step to change your lifestyle and your eating habits is to start the day with a good healthy breakfast. Your body needs source of protein and carbohydrate at breakfast. Continue your day eating a good source of protein, carbohydrates and some fats every three to four hours. Do not let your body go more than four hours without food as you may slow down your metabolism.
Also, drink plenty of water before and after meals and throughout the day to curb your appetite. You want to flush out any toxins and excess fat in your body.
Try to plan your meals with the foods you enjoy. If you do not like tuna, do not force yourself to eat it. You will never stay consistent if you are dreading what you have to eat. Eat your meals slowly while sitting down. Too many of us eat on the run, standing in the kitchen or in the car. We do not give our bodies the chance to tell our brains we are satisfied and as you know, if you are not satisfied, you might over eat.
There are going to be days that you might ‘fall off the band wagon’. You might eat a high fat meal or over eat at dinner. If this happens, do not give up — just get right back on your eating plan the next day and your body will not be affected. If you throw in the towel, that is where you get into trouble. If you make a mistake at work, you don’t just quit your job — you correct it and move forward. Remember, quitters never win and winners never quit.
Here are some tips to follow if body fat loss is your goal:
• Have your food steamed, baked, broiled or roasted.
• Eliminate any rich, thick sauces and soups.
• Remove skin and fat from meat.
• Eat smaller portions- more often- never stuff yourself.
• Skip dessert altogether – not worth it.
• Learn to just have a taste- if it is a food you cannot resist, stay away from it all together.
• Chew gum while baking- especially during the holidays.
• Ask for your salad dressing on the side- dip your fork in for taste.
• Do not go out to dinner starved- this will lead you to over eat. Drink water before your meals.
There you go. Start eating smaller, more frequent meals and burn more fat than ever before.
Jack Wheeler is a personal trainer and owner of 360 Fitness in Red Deer. He can be reached at 403-347-1707 or check out www.360fitness.ca for more information.