The food our mums prepare and cook for us as children and teenagers greatly affects the way and what we eat once we hit adulthood. If you have eaten a certain way for twenty, thirty, forty years it can be difficult to change exactly what you think and feel about food but it's not impossible to retain those thoughts. Everyone has individual needs and we all have different likes and dislikes so it's important to find out what YOU like and what works for YOU.
Adapting your lifestyle will take discipline but if you want to see results and improve your general well-being then your new healthy eating plan will be essential to the final results. You might be surprised to learn that exercise is probably the easiest part! Nutrition is the key to improve the way you look and feel about yourself.
Most of us may feel we deserve a little treat after a workout – you've burned off a few extra calories so a little chocolate won't hurt – but all those little 'treats' you've eaten in the past are probably the cause of any excess weight you're carrying now and the reason you've decided to lose weight and tone up! We all enjoy food but need to be aware that we must limit the consumption of certain 'naughty nibbles' if we're going to change the way we look – treat yourself at the weekend, or on a special night out, but balance that by eating more sensibly during the week – small modifications can result in significant changes in the way you look and feel about yourself.
I have to be very organized and always try to prepare my seven meals a day in advance. My meals consist of proteins, low glycaemic carbohydrates (which will sustain my energy level over a longer period of time) and good quality unsaturated fat - just occasionally I'll add a little sauce of some description and have the occasional treat. However, when I want to be lean or just lose some fat then it's back to the strict diet with everything being accurately measured...
I have listed below just a few of the statements that we frequently hear.
“I NEVER EAT BREAKFAST”
I know you've heard it before but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. After not consuming any food whilst sleeping breakfast will kick start your metabolism and get the body going. Excuses include “I haven't got time in the mornings” or “I just don't like eating that early” but force yourself to get up a few minutes earlier, prepare something the previous evening or have something as soon as you get to work. Don't think that by missing breakfast you're saving a few calories. You're much more likely to snack on something mid-morning when your energy level is low.
“I OFTEN SKIP MEALS” OR “I DON'T HAVE TIME FOR LUNCH”
Whether you think your saving those unwanted calories or just can't find time for lunch think again. By starving your metabolism will slow down. You'll feel tired, moody and your energy levels will be low. Again, you'll be more likely to snack on high sugary foods (chocolate!) and put on weight.
“AFTER EATING BREAKFAST I SEEM TO GET HUNGRY REALLY QUICKLY”
This is good! It means your body is up and running!
“I EAT REALLY WELL”
But do you? Many people who are over weight do not actually eat enough or are simply eating the wrong foods. It's not just what you eat. The frequency of your meals could be the key. For example, splitting two meals into four smaller portions - you'll still be eating the same amount but having smaller, more frequent meals could make a big difference to your weight. Your body will get used to these small but regular meals and will be less likely to store excess food as fat...