While there is no magic formula that you can calculate that will guarantee you success in achieving your fitness goals, there are certainly a few key eating habits you can incorporate into your daily routine that can make all the difference between lean flat abs or a bloated belly. When done habitually, passionately and with patience and dedication, your body will react and respond to your new habits faster than you can say string bikini!
1) Listen to Your Body
I am FASCINATED by the human body! I see my body as something sacred that I nurture each day, like a science experiment. It amazes me how the body responds to what you put into it. Once you listen closely to what your body is telling you, you will notice how it responds to the amount (and type) of food, exercise and rest that you give it. Remember, it is YOUR CHOICE how you care for your body- nobody else’s. You can either give it the best fuel available and fine-tune it like a Ferrari or let it rot like a 80s junk car waiting to be made into scrap metal. Get to know your body and focus on what it feels like when you are at your very best and just aim to feel that way every day of your life. Trust me, I know from experience how horrible my body feels after a night of drinking and bad food but more importantly I also know how wonderful I feel when I eat right, drink plenty of water and get my rest. I opt for the latter and so should you!
2) Know Your Daily Caloric Intake
While you don’t need to neurotic about every bite you take throughout the day, it’s always in your favor to have a ball-park figure of what you need to consume to maintain and/or lose weight.
Average Daily Calories to MAINTAIN Your Weight:
Here is a simple formula) courtesy of Discovery Health that can also help you figure out how to lose a few pounds. Simply take your weight and multiply it by 12 and that is the amount of calories you need to consume daily. For example if you weigh 135 pounds than you should be consuming 1,620 on a daily basis.
3) Eat More and More Often
Don’t starve yourself! Your body will go out of whack and go into survival mode by going after your muscle tone (NOT the fat) and will only leave you feeling weak and “skinny fat”. Eating more often helps maintain a steady level of blood glucose levels which helps give us steady energy levels throughout the day. Steady energy comes from steady intake of foods. By eating 3 meals and 2 snacks per day you will boost your metabolism and your body will burn stored fat (provided that you are exercising on a regular basis).Remember, when calories are consumed, there is a thermic effect that takes place, and your metabolism rises in order to process those calories.
It is very simple; the more often you eat, the more 'thermic' effect the body is getting, thus a higher metabolism overall. When I eat this way, I can feel my metabolism responding and hear my body saying “thank you!”
Average Daily Calories to LOSE Weight:
To produce a weight loss at the safe rate of one to two pounds per week, all you need to do is subtract calories from your daily total. If you want to lose one pound, you should shed 500 calories per week. For two pounds, you should ditch 1,000.
To learn more about making better choices for your calorie budget, visit the website for Calorie Count Plus where you can search for the calories in all your favorite foods.
4) Be On “Portion Patrol”
Who wants to weigh foods to practice portion control? Certainly not me! Although it’s always good to have a food scale in the kitchen for measuring out tricky portions, it’s not always practical. In order to keep your “guesstimated” portions in check (I doubt there will be a food scale handy when you sit down to eat) you can use every day household items as a mental reference guide.
Here are some examples of standard serving sizes:
• Cereal (1 c.) = a baseball
• Salad Dressing (2 Tbsp.) = a shot glass
• Nuts (1 oz.) = a cupped palm
• Cheese (1 oz.) = a ping-pong ball
• Lean Sirloin Hamburger (3 oz.) = a mayo jar lid
• Peanut Butter (1 tsp.) = one die
• Beef (3 oz.) = a bar of soap
• Rice (1/2 c.) = an ice cream scoop
• Potato/Sweet Potato= a computer mouse
• Butter (1 tsp.) = a Scrabble tile
• Fruit (1 c.) = a tennis ball
• Cooked Pasta (1/2 c.) = a golf ball
• Fish (3 oz.) = a checkbook
• Chicken (3 oz.) = a deck of playing cards
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