A Smarter Diet Strategy

While it makes sense to reduce calories to lose weight, a very low calorie diet is a poor strategy. It only forces your body into survival mode, reducing metabolism to preserve the very fat stores you want to burn. Also intake of protein will be low which means your body will start to feed off muscle to function. The result is less muscle burning up calories.

A better strategy is to eat smaller portions more regular. When you skip breakfast for instance, you miss an opportunity to get your metabolism going early. In the morning your blood sugar level is low and your body is not yet giving signals to ramp up burning of energy stores. You can quickly change that by ingesting complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal, and protein like an egg-white omelette in the morning.

Eating 4 to 6 smaller meals throughout the day helps maintain metabolism. An example day might incorporate oatmeal and a protein source for breakfast, a mid morning snack of celery with peanut butter followed by a chicken salad for lunch, mid-afternoon snack of a protein shake, and an evening meal of chicken breast with vegetables.

A key to successful weight loss is your protein intake. Protein boosts metabolism, makes you feel full and maintains your lean muscle for a more lean and tone look. And eliminate refined carbohydrates from your diet, the kind that are most prevalent in our diet, including cereals, pasta, bread, potatoes, and rice. Get your carbs from natural sources such as whole grains and reduce carb intake towards evening.

It may be just good for the psyche, but give yourself one day a week to eat where you give in to the guilty pleasure that you want. Think of it as a reward for being good, and one day a week will not wreak your progress. It will also get you out of the cycle of beating yourself up when you slip up with your diet, which will happen from time to time.

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