Literary critic Barbara Johnson once said, “My idea of a balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.” If only it were so easy! While many of us might like to think that oatmeal raisin qualifies as health food, nutritionists would have a very different take. In this world in which yesterday’s dessert is today’s superfood, planning a nutritious meal can seem all but impossible. If you are looking to optimize your performance and keep your weight down, here are some meal time strategies that you might want to consider.
Eat Three Square Meals
This strategy can work well for those who have a schedule that only allows breaks at traditional set meal times. If you have no room for a smoothie break, eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner can work, for weight loss, as long as manage to your keep your total calorie intake low while making sure your meal is big enough to keep you satisfied. Try to get at least 30 grams of protein in each meal to maximize synthesis of proteins to ensure that you keep on muscle mass from exercise.
Eat 4 or 5 Small Meals
If you’re a snacker, this one may work well for you. This calls for reducing the portions of your normal meals and adding one or two snacks. This will help you balance calories without drastically transforming your eating habits.
Eat Around Your Workout Times
When you exercise, your insulin sensitivity increases, and, as a result your muscles not only desire carbs but are also better able to process them, If you want to coordinate your carb intake with muscle recovery, should make sure to eat all your daily carbs during and after a workout and try to focus on foods rich in protein for the rest of the day.
Fast Two Times a Week
Brad Pilon’s book, “Eat, Stop, Eat” popularized this weightless strategy, which advises eating whatever you want five days a week and fasting for the other two. The logic behind this is backed by the probability that you cannot possibly eat in five days what you eat in seven and the result will be an overall calorie cut. Although there is nutritional skepticism about the health consequences of fasting , this diet has been proven to be effective for many people.
Don’t Eat After 8 PM
Although there does seem to be some belief in the theory that eating before sleeping is inefficient for calorie burn, it is more likely that calories are calories and it doesn’t matter when you consume them and when you burn them. Rather, the aim of this strategy is simply to help cut down on late night binging. If you are going to try it, it will be helpful to make sure your evening meal is adequate in size and includes enough fiber and protein to prevent late night hunger pangs.
If your New Year’s Resolution has centers on weight loss, these all may be some pretty effective options for you. Let us know if they work or if you have any of your own to offer!