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Posted By Sport&Health on Jul 19, 2018 12:00:00 PM

Forget the diet and learn the best way to eat for your body.

diet blog

D.I.E.T. is a four-letter word! I prefer not to use that word whenever I am discussing weight loss with my clients and friends. Your diet may be what you eat on a daily basis, but dieting to lose weight connotes something different, doesn’t it? To me, it sounds like I’m going to be uncomfortable and unhappy. And usually pretty hungry.

If that’s the case, then how are you supposed to lose weight? We know that “diets” don’t work because we usually gain the weight back. And we want to be healthy, so it seems that we need to cut back on calories. But the best way to lose weight and not go on a diet, is to look at what you’re eating and why. My mantra is “eat the right foods at the right time in the right amounts.”

Let’s start with the “right foods.” If you are eating refined, processed, pre-packaged, nutrient-void foods, those are the easiest ones to get rid of first. Take a look at the package. Does it have a long list of ingredients that are mainly classified as chemicals? Dump them! But it’s even more important to REPLACE those foods with yummy choices. For each one, try to find a fresh, wholesome, living, seasonal, real food instead. For example, replace a bag of potato chips with a sweet potato or an apple! Slice them and eat a piece at a time.

Eating at the right time is crucial to managing hunger and our appetite hormones. Restriction could lead to bingeing. So get out in front of the hunger issue. Start by eating breakfast within an hour of awakening. Include a lean protein, some carbohydrate and a healthy fat. An example would be 3 egg whites, an orange and 1/2 cup oatmeal. Sounds like a lot? Well, you are breaking an overnight fast of about 12 hours, so your body needs fuel, especially if you’re off to work out. You can split your meal to having some before and after, but be sure to take in some protein within 45 minutes after working out. Protein also contributes the most to satiety, so include it in every meal and snack.

According to many dietitians and nutritionists, your ideal meal frequency will give you steady energy throughout the day and let you get hungry enough between meals that you feel ready to eat a nourishing meal but not so hungry that you are ready to eat the first thing you see. Experiment with your meal frequency to see what feels right for you, remembering that you don't want to eat so frequently that you never feel hungry.

The right amounts of foods do correspond to the individual. Generally speaking, everyone should have an idea of what their basal metabolic rate is in terms of calories required to sustain your body. Going below that will actually increase your appetite and calorie intake, rather than slow your metabolism to run on fewer calories. But it’s not all that tricky when you remember to combine each of the three macronutrients- protein, carbohydrates and healthy fat at every meal. If you’re eating fresh, real, unprocessed foods, you practically don’t need to count the calories. I don’t think anybody can really become obese from eating too much broccoli!

For more information on eating for your best body, please contact me at Bethesda Sport&Health or at jsamuels@sportandhealth.com <

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