Each year, as cold winds are replaced with the summer sun, I start getting questions about keeping weight under control and slimming down. It’s a common misconception that in order to lose body fat and reduce weight it is necessary to “starve” oneself. Skipping meals, eliminating snacks or cutting out entire food groups are often attempted in hopes of a quick fix to an age old problem. This issue with these strategies is that they work against our natural physiology! Who are we to attempt to “outsmart” the well oiled machine that is the human body? The answer to weight control and fitting into those elusive skinny jeans is small, FREQUENT portions.
The typical American diet consists of a small or non-existent breakfast, a fast-food type lunch, a quick snack from a vending machine or convenience store in the afternoon and a GIANT dinner. In order to maximize the body’s ability to burn fat and hold on to muscle, one must even out the intake and plan ahead to allow for a consistent calorie burn throughout the day. Just as you can’t get good gas mileage by putting your peddle to the metal and then slamming on the breaks, your body can’t work efficiently if it is constantly overfed then starved.
Breakfast: oatmeal with fruit and a sprinkle of granola
Morning Snack: Low/Non fat Yogurt
Lunch: Sandwich, small salad with vinaigrette dressing & nonfat milk
Afternoon Snack: 1oz Pistachios
Dinner: 4-6oz lean meat with a baked sweet potato and 1 cup steamed kale (w/ vinaigrette)
Foods that contain fiber and protein, like pistachios, are important additions to a healthy diet. The 6g of fiber not only helps to satisfy hunger, but also gives your digestive system a strong boost of immunity! The 7g of protein help to repair damaged cells, but also helps to keep your hunger at bay. As with all sample diets, the amounts of each food eaten will depend on the individuals height and desired weight, but by eating all of the food groups with each meal, the consumer will have all of the building blocks necessary to keep their muscles growing, which in turn burns excess body fat.