There are so many people who think losing weight is about slashing your calories to ungodly amounts. However, I’m here to tell you that this is all wrong. You’ve been lied to.
How many people do you see on the roller coaster diet? Probably too many to count. Why is this? Simply because diets don’t work. Most diets restrict your calories and slow down your metabolism. This causes your body to go into starvation mode. In starvation mode, your body burns very few calories and
experiences extreme hunger pangs.
Fortunately, there is a solution. Eat 5 – 6 healthy, small meals per day. Men should shoot for 6 meals a day while women should try to get in 5 meals per day. Yes, you heard me right and you may have heard it before, but please take notice this time. Frequent, small, healthy meals provide a number of benefits that will help you reach the highest fitness level possible.
Increase Your Metabolism
Eating 6 meals a day will boost your metabolism, helping you to burn more calories all day long.
In fact, by eating super-clean, high protein foods at each of your six meals, you will find that your metabolism goes into overdrive, becoming extremely efficient at burning off calories.
Burn Calories with the Thermic Effect of Food
Frequent eating revs up your metabolism due to the thermic effect of food. This is because the breakdown and absorption of food itself requires a substantial number of calories.
This is known as the thermic effect of food. Foods have a thermic effect ranging from 3% to 30%. Protein foods create a thermic effect of up to 30%. This means that 30% of the calories from foods like turkey, tuna, and salmon are burned simply by digesting them. Complex and fibrous carbohydrates burn about 20% of their calories through digestion. This includes broccoli, spinach, corn, green beans, etc.
On the other end of the spectrum are fats and refined carbohydrates. They have an extremeley low thermic effect of about 3%. This is one of the reasons that dietary fat is stored so easily as body fat.
As you can see, what you eat matters even more than how much you eat.
Maintain Peak Energy Levels
You will feel 10x better by eating smaller, more frequent meals. Your energy level will soar and your hunger cravings will be destroyed.
This is because eating 5 to 6 meals per day helps maintain a balanced blood sugar level, preventing hunger attacks.
This is in direct contrast to the calorie depriving diets that send your blood sugar levels into havoc, with too many peaks and valleys.
You will also find it easier to build and maintain muscle. The more muscle you develop, the faster your metabolism becomes.
Frequent meals help promote muscle growth by regulating insulin levels and providing a steady flow of amino acids into the muscle cells.
By eating approximately every three hours you are constantly delivering a steady output of insulin, which is necessary for muscle growth and glycogen storage.
Insulin plays a major role in transporting glucose and amino acids into the muscle cells where they can then be used for recovery and muscle growth. Are you starting to see the many benefits of eating 6 meals a day?
Frequent meals also allow for more efficient use of vitamins and minerals. Your body simply becomes much more effective at processing these vital nutrients.
To reap the full benefit of this lifestyle, be sure that you eat on a consistent schedule. This requires a bit of meal planning, but it is certainly worth it. It is very important to get your body into the habit of knowing when it will be supplied with nutrients. This way, your body won’t fall into dreaded hunger attacks and cravings. Instead, it will always know that a steady flow of nutrients will soon to be supplied.
The key is to center your diet around lean protein, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats.
By eating 5 to 6 small meals per day, you will increase your energy levels, accelerate muscle growth, and speed up your metabolism without storing fat. In fact, frequent eating will actually allow you to eat up to 50% more calories without storing an ounce of it as fat.
To really burn the fat, you will need to combine this healthy eating plan with cardio work and strength training.
Using these 3 techniques, you can turn your body into a fat-burning machine.
Make healthy eating interesting and enjoyable. These quick tips are certain to invigorate your healthy-eating efforts.
Whether you’re just starting or have been following a healthy diet for years, sticking to the plan can be challenging. But healthy eating doesn’t need to be boring or tiresome. Flavorful food combinations, new cooking ideas and an inventive spirit can enliven your meals and snacks.
Here are 20 ideas to keep you on course.
•Experiment with new foods and combinations. Try mango or peach slices on whole-wheat toast with a little peanut butter and honey. Toss some mandarin orange and peach slices into a salad.
•Add chickpeas, black beans or garbanzos to your lunch or dinner salad. If you typically buy a salad at work and no beans are available, bring beans from home in a small container.
•Try something new for breakfast. Munch on leftover vegetable pizza or make a smoothie blended from exotic fruits, low-fat yogurt and a spoonful of wheat germ.
•Stir-fry extra-firm or firm tofu rather than meat in oriental dishes. Freezing and then thawing tofu before use gives it a firmer, chewier texture.
•Make a nutritious snack rather than a full meal when time is tight. For example, spread a brown rice cake with ricotta cheese and fresh strawberries or low-sugar, spreadable fruit. Or try corn muffins with apple and cheese slices, or fat-free refried beans mixed with salsa, a small amount of low-fat sour cream and baked tortilla chips.
•Add crushed bran cereal or unprocessed wheat bran to baked products, such as meatloaf, breads, muffins, casseroles, cakes and cookies. Also, use bran products as a crunchy topping for casseroles, salads or cooked vegetables.
•Grill fresh vegetables for a quick and healthy side dish. Cut vegetables into 1/2-inch slices or large chunks and baste with a light salad dressing or brush them with canola or olive oil. Grill until tender, turning only once.
•Take advantage of ready-to-use foods. Fresh bagged salads, frozen vegetables, low-fat deli meats, whole-wheat pasta, whole-grain breads, and fresh and canned unsweetened fruits take only minutes to prepare.
•Vary your salad greens and enjoy the multitude of flavors and textures. Choices include arugula, chicory, collard greens, dandelion greens, kale, mustard greens, spinach or watercress. Purchase a different variety each week.
•For breakfast on the go, munch dry, ready-to-eat cereal with a banana and drink a small carton of low-fat or skim milk.
•Choose a dish that serves as a full meal for quick and simple cooking. Healthy examples include beef, barley and vegetable stew; chicken, vegetable and rice casserole; turkey and bean casserole (made with turkey breast, white beans and tomatoes); or vegetarian chili with diced vegetables.
•Take advantage of healthy side dishes offered at fast-food restaurants. Instead of french fries, choose a side salad with low-fat dressing or a baked potato. Or add a fruit bowl or a fruit and yogurt option to your meal.
•Stock your shelves with good-for-you snacks. Low-fat pudding cups, dry roasted soy nuts, low-fat popcorn and whole-grain crispbread crackers are good choices.
•Decrease the meat portion on your plate and increase the serving size of vegetables. Use three times as many vegetables on pizzas or in casseroles, soups and stews.
•Plan meals so that you can use the extra food in other dishes. For example, bake chicken breasts for a meal and use what’s left in sandwiches, soup or a stir-fry.
•Use salsa for more than just chips. Whether it’s mild, fruity, scorching, smooth or chunky, salsa is a great companion for potatoes, vegetables, fish, chicken or meats.
•Marinate meat, chicken, fish before cooking to tenderize and add flavor to foods. Try mixtures of herbs or spices with wine, olive oil, soy sauce, cider vinegar or lemon juice.
•Expand your grain repertoire with whole-grain complements, such as kasha, brown rice, wild rice, barley or whole-wheat tortillas.
•Use herbs and spices to add color, savory taste and sensational aroma. Add cilantro to rice or bean dishes. Sprinkle rosemary on roasted potatoes or grilled meats. Add freshly chopped chives to omelets or pasta salads.
•Explore world cuisines. Discover and enjoy foods from around the world: Mexican, Latin American, Indian, Greek, French and Asian cuisines, just to name a few. Some of the world’s most intriguing ingredients — quinoa, edamame, bok choy, bulgur — are as healthy as they are delicious.