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This is something that my hubs has written up for his clients. His version is more specific with the person's measurements and exact amounts of macronutrients that the person needs for their specific body type, weight, height, and so forth... I edited all that out so it wouldn't be confusing. But this may give you a better understanding as to why you NEED TO EAT. And that macronutrients are just as important as calories (ie protein, fiber, fat, saturated fats and carbs) I can't stress enough that starvation isn't the key to weight loss. Yes, you might see a loss if you live on crackers & water but you will put it right back on as soon as you take your first bite of pizza.
So in Derek's words....
Making sure that one consumes the right ratio of macronutrients is often the trickiest and most frustrating part of weight loss, however it is also the most important and demands serious consideration and effort. Exercise simply primes the body to use fat for energy and/or build muscle tissue, but it is up to our nutrition and eating habits to support and nurture the effects of exercise.
Due to increasing age and poor eating habits, an adult’s metabolism often slows to a crawl by middle age. This means that our bodies become less efficient at using the calories that we consume every day. The good news is that we are not simply slaves to effect of aging on metabolism, nor are we doomed forever to have poor eating habits. It boils down to hard work and planning. If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. I say that a lot regarding exercise and eating.
Exercise, especially resistance exercise, can speed up the body’s metabolism. So does eating several meals per day. When I say “meal” I am not referring to a 5 course feast at Thanksgiving or even a normal dinner. For example, a mid-morning meal may be nothing more than a cup of high protein yogurt, 5 ounces of blueberries, and an ounce of almonds. While this is a small amount of food to refer to as a “meal” in the traditional sense, the good news is that you get to eat again in only a few hours. In order to speed up our metabolisms, we have to exercise them. This is done by planning ahead so that our bodies get nutrients at regular intervals throughout the day.
But you’re not hungry every few hours? Of course you’re not! Your metabolism is slow. It doesn’t just speed up automatically because you think it should. It may take several days or even a week or two to force it into speeding up. You may experience temporary bloating and more trips to the bathroom during this short transition phase. One way to make this easier is to add an extra meal every two days to give your body time to get used to it. For example, if you’re only eating lunch and dinner currently, then the first thing you need to do is add breakfast. In two days, add a mid-morning snack. Two days later, add an afternoon snack as well. And lastly, add a healthy night snack before bed. And there you have 6 meals every day. That, combined with good food choices and a challenging exercise routine, is the recipe for a healthy metabolism and fat loss.
You probably already know this, but it needs to be said: The bulk of your carbohydrates should come from a VARIETY of fresh fruit and vegetables, brown rice, wheat pasta, oatmeal, and sweet potatoes. Your Fat should come from milk, nuts, low sugar yogurt, lean beef, fish, whole eggs, etc. Incidentally, this is also where a lot of your Protein intake should come from as well, also including baked chicken, turkey, and pork loin (NOT pork chops). It may be hard to eat that much meat and dairy everyday, and while whole foods are ALWAYS better for your body, you may consider a protein supplement to fill in some gaps.
With a little planning and preparation, you will have no excuse to skip meals or reach for something that isn’t good for you. Remember: FAILURE TO PLAN IS PLANNING TO FAIL. Think ahead. Pack a cooler lunch box for work and day trips. I take a cooler lunchbox to work with me every day that contains at least 3 of my meals. Pick up a few cook books that center around quick, easy, and healthy meals that you can use to fit your dietary needs. To help you track your overall calories, and to find nutritional info on foods that don’t have packages, or are poorly labeled, go to http://calorieking.com, and/or http://fitday.com. I always recommend buying a food scale that measures ounces and grams. After weighing the food item, you can look it up on http://www.calorieking.com and enter the weight and it will give you the nutritional stats for that amount of that food. Sometimes the website may not list a really specific food. In that case just look up the closest fit and use those stats. Use your best estimate in those cases. It is better to over estimate than underestimate when it comes to food. There are also other websites that may contain the nutritional information that you’re looking for, so if a specific food isn’t on one, you may be able to find it on another.