Friday, October 28, 2011

Healthy Eating for Everyone

The first step towards improving your nutrition is to start eating real food.  By real food I mean food that is fresh, local when possible, comes out of the ground, off of a tree, or from an animal.  Real food is perishable; it does not come out of a box or bag. The fewer ingredients listed on the label, the better. 

What should I eat?
Simply put, your diet should be based on lean animal protein, fresh vegetables, (green/leafy and colorful) some fruit, nuts and seeds, limited starch, and no added sugar.  

When and how much?
You have probably heard that you have to eat 6 meals spread throughout the day.  While smaller meals and snacks are best, there is no scientific evidence that shows eating more than 3 meals per day has an impact on the metabolism or fat burning.  With that said, there are studies that show a negative impact on the metabolism if you are not eating at least 3 meals per day. 
I suggest 3 meals during the day, with 1-2 snacks depending on hunger and activity level.  Try not to go more than 4 hours without eating to keep your insulin from spiking and crashing.  Your meals should feature a protein source, healthy fat, and vegetable or fruit.  Snacks can be vegetables, fruit, nut/seeds, or a combination of your choosing.  

What to avoid?
Stay away from added sugars, artificial flavors and sweetener, and processed carbohydrates.  The most obvious examples include candy, soda, chips, rice, bread, and pasta.  These high glycemic carbohydrates cause the blood sugar to rise rapidly during digestion resulting in the storage of fat and insulin sensitivity.  

Do not drink your calories.  Drink water, brewed tea, and black coffee.  Hold the mayo, be weary of the salad dressing, and don’t add salt. 
Truthfully, it is that simple.  Follow these basic guidelines and you will see a change in your body composition, energy levels, and overall well-being. 

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