Tips for Achieving a Strong, Lean BodyA Chapter by Sara Mercury
I don't believe in a set of absolutes when setting up a health regimen. So many fitness trainers and nutritionists say 'don't do this', or 'always do that' … as if everyone has the same problems controlling their appetites or the same excuses for slacking off from regular exercise.
For instance, my mentor, Jillian Michaels, will tell you to never eat standing up. Personally, this practise serves me well for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but for the in-between mini-meals and snacks, it does not. Because I work in a lot (and I do mean a lot) of 'up-and-doing' activity into my daily routine, I can't always stop and sit down to eat that snack food or mini-meal. To do so would mean that I would only want to eat MORE!
Brushing your teeth after meals is a good oral hygiene practise, but I don't see how it would keep you from eating more food if that is the thing that is foremost in your mind! I do find, however, that keeping a good, hot and healthy, calorie-free, low-caffeine beverage on hand is the best thing going to keep that between meal hunger monster at bay. Drinking plenty of water is good too. How can you want to eat if your belly is full of water or two or three cups of green tea?
Eating at least five times a day is a must for anyone who wants to control their appetite, and yet not deprive themselves of food. When you want to drop a bunch of weight and look like an anorexic stick bug, starvation might be your answer, but to achieve a healthy, strong body, you cannot starve yourself by eating every five to six hours! That's insanity, Folks! Plan to wait no longer between meals than four hours. After four hours, your blood sugar drops, signalling to the body that it is entering starvation mode. Then part of what you eat at your next scheduled meal will go on your body as fat!
If you give your body a little food (about 200 to 450 calories) every three to four hours as a rule (depending upon your daily calorie requirements to lose or maintain your weight), your body will soon get used to the notion that it's not going to starve to death and it will become more effective at burning those calories you take in. Of course, you can't sit down to a 600 to 1000 calorie meal and expect not to gain weight because no one's body needs that amount of calories at one time! (Shame on you!)
Things to steer clear of in a healthy lifestyle are burger restaurants and other fast-food chains. These places serve food that is so loaded in fat, calories and overly processed meats and refined sugars that no one needs to indulge in them at any time of the day! Most restaurants serve fat-laden, calorie-rich, overly processed foods as well, but some of them are getting the picture and serving healthier alternatives. But even then, you still have to use your brain when making your selection on that 'healthy options menu'. Not everything labelled 'healthy', 'vegetarian', 'low-fat', 'fat-free', 'low-calorie' or even 'calorie-free' is good for your body!
When choosing foods, fat and calorie content is important, but not all-important. Nutrition should be the most important factor in making your food choices. For example, if you have to choose between a peanut spread that's only 100 calories per serving and real peanut butter at 190 calories per serving, choose the real peanut butter! Look closer at that artificial peanut rubbish and notice why you're saving calories by choosing it. Betcha you're also sacrificing nutrition and replacing it with fillers like corn starch and a lot of sodium! In a case such as that, choose the healthier alternative. If you want to cut your calories, simply bump your portion size down a bit. Stop cutting calories by sacrificing that precious nutrition and your body will thank you handsomely for it by getting stronger and leaner!
And one more thing ...
who is on a weight management and fitness programme should know that
blood glucose regulation is the key to keeping one's weight under
control. For this reason, we must all strive to stay away from sweets as
much as possible.
Sugar, honey and all natural sources of sugar stimulate the production of insulin. When sweets are consumed in larger than one portion size (which is only a small BITE or taste ... literally!), blood glucose levels will drop suddenly when the insulin kicks in to level things out, and you get hungry and eat. Your body is telling you it needs food, but it really does NOT need food ... you have caused it to need food to level out your blood glucose. So, you eat more and on comes the fat from having to consume too many calories. So, it's not the calories in the sweets that make you FAT, it's the resulting blood glucose levels being upset that is the true culprit.
sweeteners and ZERO CALORIE sweeteners are even worse, because 'sweet'
signals the body to produce insulin, and if you don't get the sugar that
your body has prepared itself for, your blood glucose levels drop, your
body enters starvation mode and fat storing becomes easier and more
likely to occur when you eat again. That's why sugar-free sweeteners;
i.e., sucralose, stevia, aspartame and saccharin will make you FAT in
the long-term ... not because of their zero-calorie content, but because
of the havoc they wreak on your hormones and blood sugar metabolism!
Therefore, it is wise to condition yourself to steer clear of sweet foods as much as possible. Programme your body and your mind to never crave such foods, because the alternative is anything but a strong, lean body. Bottom line -- THE SUGAR FIX MUST GO!
© 2012 Sara Mercury
Added on March 5, 2012
Last Updated on March 29, 2012
From the Kitchen of Sara Mercury
Lake City, FL
AboutHello, Darlings! I am a published author, and a legal assistant, as well as the mother of a 15-year-old son. In addition to writing novels, I enjoy singing and playing piano, writing poetry and son.. more..