Diet & healthy eating is a hugely confusing area with every book you read contradicting the last one, ditch all carbs, only eat protein or starve yourself 2 days a week. Nearly all complete rubbish, so why do we go for it? Because it's easier than hard work! When people want to lose weight they pick up the latest diet book, there is a huge market for this stuff and no shortage of so called experts explain their latest diet. In this blog post, I'll cover one of the most basic weight loss tools which is 'actually eating' and often.
My view on diet is that no one needs to go on a diet, unless morbidly obese in which case a massive calorie reduction diet designed by a qualified nutritionist is required. Therefore for the rest of us all we have to do is eat healthy, eat balanced portions and eat often, that's it!
Snacking is the key
Around your main meals of the day you should be snacking, every 2 to 3 hours at least, for some this might come at a bit of a shock! 'I'm trying to lose weight, I must eat less" NO! you need to control your portions, eat sensible food at the right times of day and increase activity level.
Let's cover the WHY! Your body is designed to survive, and it's very clever at making sure you do, therefore if you decide to give it less fuel, less often, it switches to starvation mode which has the physiological effect on the body on consuming less energy, storing as much additional energy as possible as fat and lowering metabolism, all in order to conserve your fat reserves! Whoo, wait we are trying to lose weight and fat, we don't want to slow down our bodies using fat for energy! Exactly!
You've no doubt met the skinny guy or girl who eats non stop and is yet relatively slim, well these people have a well trained metabolism, they are not 'lucky' there bodies just know that they are likely to get food often and that fuel is not something they need to actively conserve so their body will just burn it up as and when it likes, as much as it likes. Having said this, it's not a ticket to get down McDonald's and go mad, off course what you eat needs to be healthy and well balanced.
The key to snacking is therefore to stop your body going into starvation mode and promote an increase in metabolic rate.
As long as it's healthy, contributes positively to your daily food portions and doesn't unbalance your food groups, almost anything is OK. Steer clear of crappy snacks with empty calories, chocolate, crisps, biscuits and the like, they have no nutritional benefit for you. Fruit, yoghurt, handful of nuts are good examples of healthy snacks.
Tone your snacks down as your progress throughout the day and avoid snacking past 7pm at night or several hours before you go to bed, make sure you start the day with breakfast and your metabolism will be on fire.