Sunday, March 21, 2010

How to Fuel for Weight Loss

Fueling for Weight Loss

As with any solid weight loss journey, fueling your body with healthy nutrient-rich foods is key. This isn't always an easy transition, however the good news is you will feel the difference through energy levels and mood even with the smallest of changes. I'm an advocate for easing into things as changing too much too soon, can lead to frustration, deprivation and sabotage. Here are a few simple tricks you can incorporate into your eating routine. Keep is simple and real and develop a recipe that makes sense for you and your family.

Downsize your plate sizes. It is a little well-known fact that the size of our serving wear has increased in the last three decades, and with it, so too have our portions. Choose a small plate for meals to avoid over-sized portions. Ladies, it's just like carrying a big purse. The more room you have, the more likely you are to stuff it! When dining out, split your meals with a friend or spouse, or ask for half of it in a to-go box before it is served.

Eat at the table. Avoid eating meals while driving, watching TV or even reading. You'll avoid overeating due to distraction, and break the bond between TV and food.

Spice it up and slow it down. Adding a little spice to your foods raises your metabolism and can slow down the pace of eating. Focus on your food and learn to slow the pace of eating by chewing more slowly and thoroughly, and putting down your silverware after each bite. The more slowly you eat, the more time your body has to realize it is satisfied and full. Plus, thoroughly chewed food digests more quickly in your stomach.

Fill up with fiber. Include foods that are high in fiber to fill you up and stabilize blood sugar levels. This will help you to avoid cravings.

Be timely. Plan your meals for the day and assure you have something to eat as you progress. Doing so will increase your energy, help you avoid missed meals, and prevent binging later in the day. Pack up your meals and have healthy snacks by your side at all times.

Eat in, rather than out. Cooking at home gives you complete control of the quality of food, fat content and portion sizes. Not to mention it is much less expensive. Treat yourself to a dinner out every once in a while, but keep cooking at the home front.

Support your local farmers market. Look for your local farmer's market for fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. It's a great way to support your community and assure the quality and safety of your produce.

Eat foods and drinks with a short list of ingredients. Highly processed foods are quick and easy to prepare, but lack in the nutrient department and can lead to hypertension due to high sodium levels. Keep it real and reach for--or prepare--foods that are in essence "natural" and that have a list of five ingredients or less. Being mindful of what goes in your body is a great way to feeling better within a matter of days.

Coach Jenny Hadfield is the co-author of the best-selling Marathoning for Mortals, and the new Running for Mortals and Training for Mortals series. Coach Jenny has trained thousands of runners and walkers with her training plans. Improve your running performance or train for your first race with Coach Jenny's Active Trainer Program.

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