If you are trying to lose weight, you must understand that it’s really all about what you are eating. Let’s forget about exercise for second and discuss the simple most important thing you must do to lose weight….eat good! You absolutely need to feed your body with good healthy foods, with the right quantity of food, for long-term success maintaining your weight and overall well being. With that being said, in order to have this success, you will really need to think about what/when you are eating and plan your meals and the timing of your meals daily.
When I think about food and maintaining my weight/body fat percentage, I do what works best for me in just about everything in life, and keep this process as simple as possible. So first off, you need to know what you are feeding yourself. How do you this? It’s easy, you read the labels of the foods you are eating and/or drinking. You also must understand and pay attention to the amount of food you are eating in any one particular setting or meal. Remember what I said earlier, to have long-term success with this, you need to control the type of food you eat and the amount of food you eat at every meal throughout the entire day. It’s amazing how many people I talk to that think they can just not eat anything all day long and lose weight. They struggle with this “diet” and never really get anywhere with their weight loss. Not only does starving yourself not work for weight loss, it’s extremely unhealthy and flat out dangerous. I’ll say it one more time….you need to eat to have success with maintaining your weight!
At my work, people see me constantly going to the microwave to warm up another meal. They wonder, “how can he possibly eat all day long and never gain any weight”? The funny thing is, If they actually looked at what I’m eating they would be surprised that I don’t eat a lot of calories in any one setting/meal. I do however, eat a lot of small meals throughout the day. This brings me to my next subject, which is meal planning. In order to have success with your weight management you need to plan your meals and daily schedule, as best possible.
As I said earlier, I like to keep things simple, so I plan my meals daily. At home, we always do our cooking on Sunday to prepare for the work week. We cook up portions of proteins, vegetables and carbohydrates in large quantities. We cook up protein sources such as chicken, turkey, fish, beef or eggs and either roast or steam large quantities of fresh (or frozen) veggies. For carbs, I really like to use brown/wild rice or sweat potatoes most of the time. After we cook up large quantities of these three categories of foods, we store them in containers for easy access to create our meals every day. Every morning I package enough food for three meals and a mid-morning snack to get me through the day at work. Each meal will have one portion of each of these categories of foods. I also add a small portion of good fats, like almonds, a teaspoon of sun flower seeds, or maybe a tablespoon of either almond or all natural peanut butter.
For example, I will have one chicken breast, a good serving of veggies, 1/3 cup of brown rice and a small portion of good fats. I try and eat one meal every 3 to 3.5 hours throughout the day. I work 10 hour days, so I need to make sure I bring enough food to give my body good energy all day long. It’s very important to not go without food (especially if you are active and/or exercise a lot) for more than 4 hours during the day. This constant source of energy will keep your food cravings to a minimum, without making you feel too full all day long. It will also help keep your muscles and brain fueled and functioning at full capacity during the day. Once you get used to eating regularly during the day and understand how to maintain a routine of meal planning, you will start to see results AND you will be able to maintain a healthy weight level long term.
Obviously, there is so much to know about different types of foods and how they can effect your “diet” that far exceed the scope of this article. But, if you start to really understand food and track your eating habits daily you can see results quickly. First things first, start by understanding what you are feeding yourself. My first recommendation is to eliminate sugar (simple carbs) from your diet. Read the labels of products before you consume them. Not only food, but all beverages as well. Keeping things as simple as possible by first eliminating sugar, you will lose weight AND you will feel a lot better. Have you ever wondered why you or your family members are sick a lot? Take a look at sugar consumption in your household. Not only does sugar promote weight gain and multiple serious health issues, it also contributes to many other diseases, even cancers. I see people that I work with everyday that are constantly sick. Some are sick regularly, maybe even as much as two to three times a month! Then I look at what they are feeding themselves and it’s easy to see why their body struggles so much to fight off germs or even a common cold. Fast food, soda, cookies and candy all day long, no wonder they are sick!
Overall good health and weight management starts with food. Eliminate sugar and simple (fast digesting) carbs in any/all meals and drinks, plan meals daily with portion sized quantities, and eat often throughout the day. If you do this you will be able to lose weight and maintain a healthy life style. The goal for all of us should be to keep body fat down to a minimum and consistently work on adding and maintaining lean muscle mass. That’s where exercise comes in! Eating right and exercising….wow, you get the best of both worlds, plus you accelerate the fat burning ability. That will be a subject for a whole different article.
For more information and tips or examples of healthy foods and eating habits, go to ForeverBeHealthy.com. It’s our goal and passion to maintain a healthy lifestyle and overall well being. Join us in our own personal mission for long term health and longevity.