Friday, March 18, 2011

Time Your Meals Right to Lose More Weight

When it comes to eating for weight loss, timing is everything. You know that for the best results, diet and exercise must go hand in hand, but the story doesn't end there. You can think of diet and exercise as a couple that must coordinate their actions throughout the day to get along in the very best way possible. If done correctly, it's a match made in heaven!

When thinking about timing, the first point to consider is how many times a day you will actually eat. In terms of revving up your metabolism, or your body's ability to burn calories, it's best to eat smaller meals more often rather than just three larger meals as breakfast, lunch and dinner. Eating 6 or more times a day, in regular intervals, not only keeps your blood sugar levels more stable, but your body is better able to utilize the calories that you consume, keeping your energy levels up and the fire (that is, your metabolism) burning steady all day long.

The next factor to consider is how to coordinate meals or snacks around workouts. If you're working out right in the morning, many experts argue that moderate cardiovascular exercise can burn a greater percentage of calories from fat if it is done on an empty stomach. Your body will dip into its own stores for energy, rather than using the energy that was most recently consumed if you had eaten something beforehand.

If you are working out later in the day, you'll have to do a little bit of juggling. Theoretically, it's better to work out first and eat after if you have to choose between the two, as the exercise will boost your metabolism and then burn your post-meal calories more efficiently. However, if you have time for food, say an hour or less prior to a workout, it's a good idea to have a small, carbohydrate-rich snack like a banana for fuel so that you can give it your all. If you've got more time than that, have a small, balanced meal including complex carbohydrates (like whole grains), some protein and a small amount of fat. A bowl of whole grain cereal with some fruit is a good example, or a small sandwich.

If you're a regular gym goer looking to lose weight, just focus on hydration while you're sweating away, you don't need an energy boost during your workout. This is not true, however, if you're exercising for over 90 minutes, for example, if you're playing a long game of hockey or running a marathon. In that case, you might need to top up your carbohydrates with easily digestible sources like an electrolyte beverage such as Gatorade or an energy bar or gel. After your workout, have a well balanced, high quality meal. Your body will be hungry for energy and will need to repair muscle tissues that were damaged during your workout.

With these tips in mind, combined with a healthy diet and exercise regimen, the sky's the limit when it comes to reaching your health and weight loss goals.


Unknown said...

I agree that diet and exercise is match made in heaven when you want to loose weight.great post!Irvine dentist