Summer of 2012 Food Plan:
1)3 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit.
*why?–studies have shown that those people who make sure they eat these every day are more than likely to make better choices overall with their food plan. It also assures you that you are getting essential vitamins and minerals.
2) minimum of 64 oz of plain non-caloric water.
*why?–studies have shown that often times we think we are hungry when we are actually thirsty. Also, by making sure you have drank a minimum of 64 oz, you will also flush out any hidden sodium in foods you have eaten and it will aid in digestion and elimination. It also helps you deal with the summer temps since quite often we feel more hot simply because we are dehydrated.
3)3 meals and 2-3 snacks per day.
*why? Studies have shown that when we eat smaller meals we accomplish three things: we are exercising portion control which is critical in not only losing weight but also in maintaining the weight we have lost; we keep our body’s metabolism more actively using the fuel we have given it since it takes fuel to keep that fire burning; and it also keeps our blood glucose on an even keel which also aids in preventing binges due to erratic eating schedules and meal sizes.
4) eat within 2 hours upon awakening.
*why? studies have shown that those people who ate something for breakfast and did not miss this important meal did not overeat when it came time for the remaining meals of the day.
5) eat every 3-4 hours thereafter.
*why? again, studies have shown that eating smaller and more frequent meals stablizes our appetites and blood glucose. We are not ravenously hungry and therefore are less prone to binge.
6) no eating after 9 p.m.
*why? studies have shown that eating the majority of our calories during our waking hours allows us the opportunity to use that food as fuel for our everyday activities. Eating before we go to bed, unless it is doctor-advised, simply means that it will be only aiding in developing a late night need to nosh and added weight gain.[NB: exceptions are those people who are working a second or night shift. If you are, then you have to take this advice of meal spacing and do it in reverse. Need help, ask!]
7) no added sugar at all!
*why? added sugar in foods ends up creating the dreaded belly fat we all seem to get as we age. However, look around and you will notice that children and pre-teens are now showing more rounded middles than we did as kids. Where will added sugar be lurking? Cereals, cookies, cakes, candy, colas, condiments like ketchup and salad dressings, some yogurts and some microwave popcorn. Again, reading the food label in the store before you put it in your grocery cart will eliminate bringing it home and then having to stare it down where you are more prone to give in.
8) stay within the alloted calorie range for your weight, height, age and physical activity level.
*why? It is recommended that you do not go below 1200 calories unless by doctor’s orders. You need food for fuel and fuel is what keeps our metabolism running at its peak performance. The quality of calories count as well.
9) measure your food.
*why? studies have shown that if we are left to our own way of serving up portions we will always “underestimate” the amount of calories we are eating and the portion size. Since nutritionists and dieticians fought hard for the FDA to label clearly what we are ingesting, it is only smart to start utilizing this important piece of the weight loss puzzle. Follow the guidelines on the label as to what one portion size is. The way you will benefit will be on the scales. Most people who say they don’t eat that much are either unaware of how much they eat or they are eating high calorie foods (which usually come in smaller portions ironically.
10) record what you eat–everything!
*why? studies have shown that when people take the time to record what they eat they will become more aware of exactly how much they eat, what they are really eating but also how they eat. Overeating is a behavior and it is one that can change if we are willing to put in the time. Write down the time of day/night you are eating as well. Ideally, pre-plan your meals and write down what you will eat before you have eaten it. This will also serve to stop you from overeating once you begin to enjoy your meal/snack.
So, there is what you will be reporting on this 99 day challenge. Follow these points and you will see weight loss.