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Friday, May 25, 2012

Master Your Nutrition - To Burn Fat Is Simple - Cravings Are Hard!

Most people start their day either not having breakfast or making bad choices high in fat with no balance what so ever. Then they get to lunch and have a burger and fries, sandwich and chips, or they try to be good with soup and/or salad, not realizing they just ingested close to 1000 calories because of heavy dressing and thick, non brothy soup. At supper they pile on the carbs, eat a large piece of meat and have very little if any vegetable. I bet many people only have 4-5 servings of fruit and/or vegetables per week, and I am guessing on the high side. Not eating often enough, and eating too much when we finally get to eat can have disasterly results on our waistline and health.

The instructions are easy...just read and follow along.

I want to make this very simple. I'm not going to get into the finite details of every food you eat at this point. How about this: If it comes in an air filled bag, you probably don't need it. You need to eat simple. You can get very creative with recipes, trying to keep them healthy of course. So, here is our plan. Divide a plate into quarters. Fill 2 quarters of that plate with fruit and/or vegetable, one quarter protein (about the size of the palm of your hand/4-6 ounces), and one quarter carbohydrate. You should preferably not have any complex carbohydrates (pasta, potatoes, rice, etc.) after 3pm unless it's right before a workout.

I would venture to say that there are not many people who don't at least know that we are supposed to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables per day. This is one simple 6-8 servings of fruits and/or vegetables per day. Can't we follow just one rule? This one rule could change our digestive health immensely by adding fiber to our diet and greatly improve our gut motility. Even if we changed nothing else, we should see some change for the better. Do NOT add fat when cooking your vegetables!

Now let's make a few more small changes or add a few more rules if you will. I consider protein to be just as important as the vegetables. Most people, especially in America, are not having any trouble getting their daily protein needs met. The main problem here is choosing the wrong, fatty options instead of something clean and lean. Learn to recognize the fat content in the foods you are buying and make leaner choices. Choose your ground beef at 93% lean or even leaner. This choice tends to be leaner than most ground turkey or chicken(People tend to think of these as healthier choices than ground beef).

Don't forget your fish. Wild salmon is my absolute favorite choice. You can have this 7 days a week if you want. Salmon is high in Omega 3 fats which are excellent for the entire body's health, especially the brain and nervous system. Salmon is also very low in mercury. To stay with our simple theme, eat any other fish a maximum of once per week.

Complex carbohydrates are where the cravings set it. Munchies call for a bag of chips. Mashed potatoes are so tasty with butter, and let's not forget the gravy. Spaghetti and pizza are favorites and tend to make the meal 80-90% carbs. The problem is... once we have them, we want more. If you can control your serving size and eat them at the appropriate time of day, you will see your cravings get under control much better. Some people do best by eliminating them completely. My rule as I said earlier, is to stop any carb intake after 3pm. If you do have them in the evening, have a proper portion... not more than a cup. This should not be the staple or main course in our daily diet.

Finally, don't forget the calories with your liquid intake. You should be drinking half your body weight in ounces of water per day. If you are no where near this level, work your way up to these levels by adding 20 ounces per week until you reach your proper amount per day. Don't do this all at once. Urinating more often as you get used to the higher intake is normal and good to clean out your pipes. Most people today are walking around dehydrated which can send mixed signals of hunger. We sleep through the night, and when we awaken, the first liquid ingested is coffee, which is a dehydrator. Diet drinks are no better. Not only is the aspartame horrible for you, it triggers a high insulin response with nothing to digest creating cravings for food ( usually carbs ) shortly after intake. If you think you are hungry...drink an 8 ounce glass of water. You will be surprised. WATER, WATER, WATER!!

Well this is basic diet 101. This is how I begin care with many of my patients. It seems so easy, everybody should be doing it. I can go into so much more detail, and will in future articles. Each topic here can be separate articles by themselves. Following these simple rules will become very easy and you will be ready for the next level. This is the path to a leaner you. So, divide your plate into quarter, put proper portion sizes on it (hint: all the vegetables you want), and meet the healthier you sooner than you think.

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