I’m sure you have heard this before, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day!” When we wake up in the morning, our bodies are in a “fasted state” which means our bodies haven’t had food for roughly 8 hours. If we don’t feed our body right away, it starts breaking down muscle tissue to use for the energy it needs to continue the day. This is detrimental when we are training so hard to reach our goals. So you must eat a healthy, hearty, balanced breakfast. This will give you enough energy to last until lunch, without burning the muscle you have worked so hard to get.
Make sure you always stay hydrated. Drink 6-8 glasses of water each day. This will decrease bloating, aid digestion and increase your metabolism.
KEEP THE FIRE BURNING
Eat every 2-3 hours. Usually this means eating breakfast in the morning, a mid-morning snack, lunch, a mid-afternoon snack, dinner and a pre-bedtime snack. This may be more than you are used to, but it will keep your metabolism burning nicely at a steady rate.
If you are eating clean, healthy meals during the week, it’s ok to have a treat once a week.
Stop hunger and cravings before they strike! Instead of going for the small 100 calorie snack, opt for voluminous foods. Pile a 100 calories worth of veggies on your plate instead. This is the trick to curbing hunger.
Each meal you make, should have a little of all three macro-nutrients: carbohydrates, proteins and fat. This is primarily to prevent food cravings and keep you fuller for longer.
Remember nutrition is 80% of a person’s physique. Once you start taking care of your body by giving it good nutrition, you can eat more unhealthy foods without harbouring the negative effects they can bring. Don’t be afraid to eat more frequently. In doing this consistently, your metabolism will be more effective and help you burn fat more easily, while still building muscle in the gym.
We all know exercise and good nutrition are necessary to maintain a healthy weight. But sleep is equally important too. Deprivation can lead to weight gain, ageing and low mood.
The lowest BMI is associated with 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. Have you often wondered why you may reach for chocolate or something sweet in the evening? Well, partial sleep deprivation may increase the risk of overeating in the evening due to low circulating leptin levels (chemical controlling appetite). Researchers noted that the evening and late hours are when overeating in unhealthy foods is more likely to occur.
You’ve probably heard of cortisol, well, sleep deprivation also increases the levels of cortisol in the blood. Heightened cortisol prompts the body to store more fat and be more inclined to use muscle as energy which means sleep-deprived dieters lose more muscle and gain more fat than those who are well rested. Impulse control and delayed gratification are powered with sleep deprivation.