Have you been hitting your workouts hard but your weight loss has plateaued? It may be time to look at your eating habits. Here are some simple fixes to get you back on track.
The Most Important Meal of the Day!
Some people skip breakfast in an effort to lose weight. Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can actually make weight control more difficult. Breakfast skippers tend to eat more food than usual at the next meal, or nibble on high-calorie snacks to stave off hunger.
Make Breakfast King. There’s an old saying that goes, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.” Some people believe that to maintain a healthy weight, your first meal should be the largest. Think of breakfast as the switch to turn your body on and get your metabolism moving!
Here are some quick and nutritious morning meals you can eat while driving, walking, or sprinting out the door.
Fruit and Cheese
A balanced, easy-to-assemble make-ahead morning meal: Grab an apple, wrap 1 to 2 ounces of Cheddar in plastic, and toss ¼ cup of fiber- and protein-rich walnuts into a re-sealable plastic bag.
Peanut Butter Waffle
Instead of dousing a whole-grain or bran toaster waffle in syrup, cut the sugar and boost the protein and fiber by spreading it with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. You can also sprinkle on 1 tablespoon of raisins, sesame seeds.
Combine a packet of vanilla or strawberry instant-breakfast powder (look for the no-sugar-added varieties) and 1 cup of low milk or soy milk. (You can also mix this the night before.) If you have time, use a blender to add strawberries or a frozen banana, and a scoop of protein powder.
Stop Skipping Meals
People trying to lose weight often think that skipping a meal is a fitness shortcut. But, some studies show that no food to digest slows down your metabolism, and your body will break down its next meal slower and store the food as fat.
Skipping a meal is likely to make you feel hungrier when it comes time to eat, and this could cause you to eat more calories than you would have otherwise. Plus, skipping a meal causes your blood sugar to drop, which leads to feeling sluggish and tired.
Skip the Late Night Snack, but if You Must, Eat This…
Mindless late night munching can pack on the pounds and fast! While you’re watching TV at night, get out of the kitchen, chew gum or brush your teeth.
It can be hard to fall asleep with an empty and growling stomach. Thankfully, there are plenty of healthy snacks to help curb your hunger before bed, the key is selecting snacks that are low in calories and high in volume to leave you feeling full without pushing you over your daily calorie limit.
To get the greatest amount of food for the fewest number of calories, choose snacks that are high in water and fiber. Vegetables fall into this category. Eating a cup of raw carrots sticks, celery, bell peppers, snap peas, cucumbers, broccoli or zucchini provides between 25 and 50 calories.
Eat This to Get the Most Bang From Your Calorie Back!
Fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains are fiber-rich foods you should stock up on. Fiber takes longer to digest, so you feel satisfied longer.
Protein is one of your body’s biggest allies. Not only do you burn more calories digesting and metabolizing protein than any other nutrient, but protein leaves you feeling fuller longer than eating an equally calorie-dense carbohydrate. You can get high-quality protein from plant-based sources such as whole-grains, nuts, vegetables and legumes, and also animal-based sources like low-fat dairy, white meat poultry, lean beef and eggs.