Good nutrition (and a hot bod!) is easily attainable with these five tips
Okay, so maybe it’s not itsy-bitsy-bikini season for everyone, but it’s definitely swimsuit or shorts season, at the very least. Here are my top-five nutrition tips to help you feel your best in those skin-baring summertime styles.
Eat More to Burn More
Eat more frequently, that is. Aim to eat something small every three to four hours or so. It may seem counterintuitive, but every time you eat, you actually increase the number of calories your body burns. Plus, spacing your food intake throughout the day simply keeps you from getting too hungry, which sets yourself up to overeat later, and keeps your blood sugar and mood on an even keel.
Curb Your Carbs
Emphasizing fiber-rich, complex carbohydrates will help keep you feeling full while stabilizing your blood sugar levels. You know which ones you need to focus on by now: sweet potatoes, beans, whole grains, fresh fruits. Limit insulin-spiking refined, simple carbs like white grains, soft drinks, fruit juices and most baked goods.
Try to limit, or at least cut back on, carbs at night. You don’t need the energy surge right before bedtime, plus late evening is when many people are likely to overindulge in starchy carbs.
Pack in the Protein
More energy is needed to digest protein-rich foods, compared with foods that are high in fat or carbohydrates. And a steady supply of protein is needed throughout the day to minimize any muscle lost while you’re cutting calories.
Try to reach for lean proteins like filet mignon, extra lean ground beef, pork tenderloin, as well as the standard skinless chicken breast, turkey, and seafood. Incorporate protein into your breakfast and snacks with foods like eggs, low-fat cheese, peanut butter, low-fat cottage cheese, even protein powders and protein bars.
Satisfy With … Fat!
There’s no question that fat can make food taste better. Even better is the fact that fat helps keep you feeling fuller, longer. And without enough fat in your diet, your cells can’t burn body fat effectively. If you’ve been eating mostly fat-free foods, consider switching to lowfat products instead, to provide a few grams of fat.
Know Your Weaknesses!
So, you can’t say no to cheese or chocolate? Be proactive and do not keep these temptations around you—and ask your family and coworkers to do the same. If you know you’ve got a serious weakness, don’t think that you can outsmart it with willpower.
I cannot live without caffeine. I drink about seven cups of coffee per day, and I am now shaking. What can I do to stop drinking so much while keeping the boost I get from the caffeine?
Trust me Glenn, I understand your obsession with coffee—my day doesn’t officially start till I’ve had my cup o’ java. But seven cups? No wonder you’re trembling throughout the day! This much coffee is unhealthy. The American Dietetic Association recommends that we keep caffeine consumption under 300 milligrams daily. Excessive caffeine intake can lead to anxiety, sleep disturbances, heart palpitations, and may be linked to an increased risk of coronary heart disease.
To think of your coffee intake in terms of numbers, each cup gives you about 135 to 200 milligrams of caffeine, depending on how strongly it’s brewed. That means you’re taking in about 950 to 1,400 milligrams a day.
If cutting your caffeine intake to the recommended 300 milligrams is too drastic a drop for you at one time, start by trying to cut it in half—you should still feel the buzz, without the tremors. I know a concern for you is to maintain good energy levels without so much coffee. It may seem really simplistic, but a top priority is to be sure you’re well-hydrated. Drinking such large quantities of coffee through the day dehydrates your body, which leaves you feeling sluggish and lethargic, and craving more coffee. As you’re cutting back your coffee intake, make an extra effort to drink plenty of other fluids through your day, and you should maintain pretty steady energy levels. Also, remember to eat regularly—every three to four hours or so.