How to eat the meal is almost important as what to eat. First of all, combine all types of food. Although the body is smart and it will balance all the nutrition it needs at the end, it is much better to eat balanced meal every time. If you eat a balanced meal, you satisfy yourself quicker and don’t overeat. It is a good idea to have a good portion of protein, carbohydrate, vegetables and fruit (as for vitamin, minerals, and fibers) and essential oils (olive oil or fish). Sure, you
need a lot of planning, but it is your health we are talking about, and it is worth spending some time on that. You spend less time preparing healthy meals than recovering from illness or injuries caused by being overweight.
But I really don’t have time…
Of course, you may not be able to eat a balanced meal all the time; so here is some “cheating.” Have nuts, especially walnuts always at work and home. You also want to keep apples and oranges (or any other types of fruit). These two types of food can supply you with vitamins, minerals, essential oils, some proteins and carbohydrate. I don’t worry much about protein since if you eat any food, you probably get enough protein. Just a handful of nuts and one apple with any meals (but, usually lunch at work is the biggest problem) makes a reasonably balanced meal.
Breakfast is essential in weight management, and mom is right. Without breakfast, you will be hungrier later during the day and you will overeat. If you are too busy to sit down for a breakfast, I recommend taking a protein shake in the morning. Although this may not be for everyone, here is what I do. I mix whey protein with a scoop of fiber supplement, green drink powder, banana, a table spoon of olive oil and another table spoon of flaxseed oil. I also add vinegar, but some people don’t like it and you can do without it. You can make it in five minutes, and it has all essential nutrition you need. I still recommend, however, to sit down and eat a nice breakfast. See below why.
However, there is an exception for this rule. If you work out first thing in the morning, you don’t want to eat breakfast before the workout. Working out is known to reduce the appetite, and workout in the morning can actually surpress appetite all day long, and can assist the weight loss.
Eating slow makes you eat less
You need to eat slowly. When you put food into your stomach, your stomach sends a signal to your brain, which starts many “digesting” processes in your body. When it gets enough food, the stomach sends a signal that the body got enough food. However, it takes a while for the stomach to analyze whether you got enough food or not. If you eat too quick, the stomach cannot finish the process, and you don’t feel like you ate enough and keep eating. As a consequence you over-eat. If you repeat this, eventually the stomach thinks that you always need those extra calories, and stops sending the signal at the appropriate time, and over-eating becomes the normal stopping point.
However, spending a long time at each meal could be difficult, especially at work; as many people eat lunch at their desks while reading the computer screen. If you do something, while you are eating, you will eat quicker and when you finish the food you are still hungry and tend to eat extra food, which you don’t need. If you are one of those people, prepare a big glass of water. Make a habit of drinking water while you eat. Take two sips of water for every bite of food. It will help prevent over-eating.
How often should I eat?
If you eat only one meal a day, the body turns on the energy saving mode again and suppresses TEF and all extra calories will end up in fat cells. The reason is the following. In our digestive system, there are only so many receptors which can absorb nutrients. If you eat a huge amount of food at one time, the receptors cannot handle the over flood of nutrients, turn them into fat and store it instead of using it. This is why TEF is going down and you get more body fat.
That is why it is recommended to eat frequently since it keeps blood sugar level steady and keeps TEF higher. However, too many meals may not be good either. It seems that eating several snacks with less than 10% of daily caloric intake each does not increase TEF. One research suggested that four meals a day seems to be optimum. If you are working in the office, however, this could be difficult. If that is the case, eat a good breakfast and a good portion of at lunch, eat a smaller portion of dinner (which is the largest meal for most of people), and eat two snacks in the morning between breakfast and lunch and one between lunch and dinner.
If you work out, you may want to have extra meals. For example, if you go to work out after work, eat a small snack about an hour before instead of the mid afternoon snack. After the workout, take a protein drink or eat high protein food with one fruit. You may need to reduce the potion of dinner, but taking protein immediately after workout seems to stimulate muscle development.
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