Starting the day off with breakfast followed by 4-5 other meals will keep your body fueled. By eating consistently over the course of the day you will have increased energy, will be more likely to make healthy choices, and will avoid eating the majority of your calories in the evening. Between-meal snacks are a good thing. "Spoiling your dinner," as many of us were warned against when we were younger, simply means you won't overeat. And eating every 2.5-3 hours keeps your blood sugar levels consistent. Snacks should contain protein, high-fiber carbs, and good fats. A protein shake or higher-protein meal-replacement bar are great options.
Spices such as oregano and parsley are a great way to get flavour without adding a lot of calories. Spice blends made specifically for seafood, salads, or meat make it convenient to add flavor.
Stay hydrated -- and nothing is better for this than water. Staying hydrated goes a long way toward preventing the process of connective tissues around our muscles and joints drying up over time. It also improves your muscle tissue and flexibility.
Every time you eat you should have a combination of minimally processed carbs (whole grains, fruits, and veggies), a lean protein, and a healthy fat. By doing this you will control your appetite and your energy levels. By eating these 3 components every 3 hours, your body will be a well-fueled machine. Just remember: 3 in 3! Whether you want to lose weight or gain muscle mass, if you go for extended periods of time (4-5 hours or more) your body starts to go into starvation mode. Your body will start to breakdown muscle and hold onto fat! Eating more often will turn your body into a metabolic, lean machine!
To state the obvious! Exercise helps all the different systems in your body operate at their highest potential for the stage of life you are in. We were never meant to be sedentary all day.
Everyone should have a bottle of flaxseed oil and fish oil in your refrigerator. They body can convert flaxseed oil into omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, much like fish oil. A tablespoon or two of either a day, one in the morning and one in the evening, is all you need, and it can go into a shake or on top of oatmeal.
There are no fast ways to lose weight. There are no magic pills or powders that will help you build muscle faster than proper nutrition and exercise. Check out the Resources section at coreperformance.com and sign up for the Sports Performance Journal. This journal will give you weekly updates of the most recent research and general information on training, rehab, and nutrition.
With regard to eating protein -- between 0.6 and 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day -- remember: "The less legs the better." Fish, for instance, is preferable to chicken, and chicken is preferable to meat. All are good, provided they are not fried or marinated in fat, and assuming you remove the skin and get as lean a cut as you can.
Cereals generally provide only modest nutritional value, and are often loaded with sugar and calories. Old-fashioned oats is a great choice.
Salmon is a great power food. It is a better source of protein than most meats, and is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which have heart disease-reducing properties.
A good rule of thumb is that a piece of fish or meat should be about the size of a deck of cards, and a serving of starches (rice or pasta, for example) should be no bigger than the size of a fist. By eating smaller amounts more often, you give your body a chance to digest and get all of the nutrients from the food.
Nuts are a great component to an effective diet. They are high in fat, but positive fat, which is critical to good health. Nuts also provide protein and fiber. A quarter-cup serving of nuts, combined with a glass of fat-free milk, is a great snack. Nuts also make a nutritious topping for salads and main courses. Almonds, cashews, pecans, and macadamias have the most nutritional value.
If you skip breakfast you are not doing yourself a favour. When you wake up in the morning, you wake up in a fasted state. If you do not eat, your body will continue to break down your fuel stores (glycogen) and muscle (not fat) for energy. Your metabolic rate will also be running in a lower gear. You will eat more of your calories toward the end of the day and continue to get hungrier as the day goes on. Start your day off right with breakfast and continue to eat mini-meals every 2.5-3 hours after that.
High fructose corn syrup is a very concentrated sweetener. It can really pack a calorie punch with just a small amount. High fructose corn syrup is found in many foods we commonly eat: BBQ sauce, tomato sauce, sodas, fruit drinks, and other processed foods. Check out the ingredients. If it has high fructose corn syrup, try to find an alternative without it. Sometimes it is harder to find common foods without high fructose corn syrup.
Try to consume a lot of fiber. Fiber improves your body's digestive function, regulates blood sugar levels, and promotes long-term cardiovascular health. It's found in oatmeal and green, leafy vegetables as well as in bottled form. It is found mostly in carbohydrates, which is another reason not to deprive yourself of carbs. When choosing grains and carbohydrate rich snacks, make sure that there is 3g of fiber per serving.
The more colour to your salad the better. Salads with leafy spinach and romaine lettuce tend to be more colourful than those made predominantly with iceberg lettuce. Stay away from potato salad and other creamy side dishes.