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Diet and Exercise Tips
Eat every 3-4 hours. This is a great way to maintain your blood sugar levels, keep up your energy and prevent you from becoming hungry. When your blood sugar levels drop by not eating regularly enough, your bodies physiological response is to consume fast acting glucose to use as energy. As a result you crave sugar and go looking in the pantry for that energy fix. This tends to be high calorie convenient foods.
Eat breakfast. Most people don’t eat enough breakfast, they have it too late or do not eat it at all. Eating food increases your metabolism for a period of time and you burn more calories at rest. It’s a good way to kick start your day and increase your energy levels. Breakfast should be a big meal. Eating more for breakfast will make you less likely to snack poorly during the day. Breakfast should include carbs for energy and protein to help fill you up. Cereal or wholemeal toast with eggs are a good choice.
Lunch and dinners should be a protein source and vegetables or salad. Lean protein such as chicken, beef or soy are great at filling you up while salad or vegetables are high in nutrients and low in calories.
Have a morning and afternoon snack. We do this maintain blood sugar and energy levels throughout the day. Good choices for snacks are fruit and nuts. Protein shakes are even better. People that have high protein diets lose more weight than those on lower protein and higher carb diets. You should try to consume protein with every meal. It helps slow down digestion so you release energy slower and longer throughout the day.
Don’t eat after dinner or only have a light protein meal. This is of much debate but whatever you do don’t eat a high-energy carb snack. This will get converted to fat while you sleep. You don’t need much energy when all you’re going to do is watch TV and go to bed. If you want to eat something have a protein source such as yoghurt.
Cut out alcohol and sugary foods. Alcohol is empty calories. Substitute that glass of wine at dinner with soda water and lemon. It’s quite easy to trick yourself as you often aren’t even aware of what you’re drinking. Most alcoholic drinks are about 100 calories. If you have a couple of drinks a night that’s 1400 extra calories a week. Sugary foods are high in calories and make your insulin levels spike so you store it as fat. Most people see significant weight loss if they cut out alcohol and sweets.
Exercise every day. ACSM recommends exercising for an hour everyday to counteract the bodies tendency to put on weight over your lifetime. That doesn’t mean that you have to go to the gym every day. Some days may just be a walk or a swim or whatever you like to do for exercise. It doesn’t matter what it is so long as you’re doing something everyday. It’s a great routine to get into. You will lose weight.