Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Carol's Monday Fitness Post (On Tuesday): "PORTION CONTROL FOR A HEALTHIER YOU!"

Portion control is essential to master for a health and wellness. I’m often asked what to eat to lose weight and build muscle, my answer is always the same, to eat a small balanced meal every three hours to jumpstart the metabolism and balance blood sugar levels. Eating a small meal is just that – eating smaller portions.

Often time’s people go all day snacking without eating a nutritious meal consisting of lean protein, complex carbohydrate and veggies. By the end of the day when they get home from work they're ravenous and end up eating the entire pantry filled with sugars, preservatives and sodium. Before they know it an hour of overindulging goes by then soon after painful bloating and indigestion kicks in. The body can only utilize and digest a certain amount of calories in one meal which is between 300 - 500 calories (depending on size and mass) then stores the rest as unwanted fat!

Did you know the body actually prefers less food? There's a reason why you feel lethargic and heavy after consuming too many calories in one meal - it's your body telling you it was over loaded with too many calories, sugars, salts and fats at one time.

The best way to know how much food is enough is to eat until you feel satisfied or until you're "almost" full. If you feel you could eat a bit more, stop eating! That feeling is your “red light” signal to push your plate aside. If you have food left on your plate, congratulations! You’re well on your way to living a longer, healthier life and that will lead to permanent weight loss success.

By eating every 3 to 4 hours your body will utilize the needed calories (if you eat clean) and will go into muscle building and fat burning mode as it digests the needed nutrients to build a lean physique. You’ll begin to feel happier and lighter. You’ll have more energy and higher self-confidence because you’ve taken control of your eating habits by incorporating portion control. It’s a great feeling!

A helpful tool to incorporate portion control is to keep a daily log/journal of your meals. By writing down everything you eat throughout the day you will think twice about what you put in your mouth because you won’t want to write it down. Keeping track of what foods you eat will also help you know how many calories you’re eating daily. Logging your meals is an excellent way to keep track of your success. Keeping an eye on your portions and following through with your diet journal is highly empowering and will assist you staying on track in reaching your health and wellness goals.

To avoid overeating you need to eat every few hours using portion control. A general rule of thumb is to go by the “palm” of your hand as a guideline for a portion size for meats and complex carbohydrates. You can eat all the fresh, raw veggies you want during the day. Use smaller salad plates rather than a dinner plate in the beginning. Visually the plate will look full so you won’t feel deprived and you’ll feel more satisfied emotionally.

It has been scientifically proven that the body prefers smaller amounts of whole foods during a single meal. Eating less will increase longevity, health and wellness. Try not to snack between meals. The first two hours the body digests and utilizes the energy and the third hour it goes into fat burning mode. When eating at a restaurant ask for a carryout carton with your meal, and then place half of your meal in the carton before you begin eating. That way you won’t be tempted to over eat and you’ll have your next delicious meal ready to go.

Be sure to drink at least 80 oz of purified water daily. Carry water bottles with you in your car and at work. Toxins will be carried out of the body; it will raise your metabolic rate and keep hunger pangs at bay.

Have your the last meal of the day by 7 pm – consider the kitchen closed after that. If you get hungry have a big glass of water or a Casein protein drink (a slow digestive protein) or some cottage cheese and yogurt an hour before bed to build and sustain muscle growth through the night.

Living a fit lifestyle requires having a positive mindset, eating small balanced meals every few hours and practicing portion control. Do your body a favor and eat less, it will reward you with weight loss, more energy and longevity. After all isn’t that really what you desire?

Living the LivFit Lifestyle in essence is like drinking form the Fountain of Youth…
Liv Fit, Train Hard & Liv Happy!

~Carol Whitaker

*Carol LOVES questions! If you have any questions at all, please post it by clicking the "comment" link below. You can request your answer to come privately. Just be sure to also leave your email address.


Brian and Kayla said...

Thanks for the fitness advice! I'm going to try implementing it starting today!

Gear Gang said...

Thanks Carol.

I have a question: I crave sweets well almost all the time, but especially after a meal and at night. What is my body needing that I am not giving it?
What can I do to get over this hump?

Holly said...

I am enjoying these positive motivating fitness posts. Actually I am enjoying all the posts! Thanks for a great blog!

Carol Whitaker said...

Hi guys,

Thanks for your kind comments, I'm glad my articles are motivating you want to live a healthier lifestyle.

To answer your question regarding craving sweets is mostly an emotional need rather than a physical desire from the body. Often times our inner child will long for the comforting foods like ice cream to relax us, especially at night. By retraining the mind by the power of thought and exercise you'll soon find that the cravings for sweets will disappear.

However, a possible reason you might be that your serotonin levels are low. Serotonin is a brain chemical that makes you feel happy & more relaxed. Sugar may increase the absorption of an amino acid called tryptophan, which the body uses to make serotonin. This means that eating something sweet may make you feel comforted & happy.

Chromium Picolinate is a mineral that studies have shown may reduce carbohydrate cravings. It also assist in keeping blood sugar level balanced.

Daily exercise will assist in decreased cravings for sweets. If you feel sweet cravings coming on leave the kitchen and read a book or talk a walk outdoors instead. You'll increase your serotonin levels and burn some extra calories at the same time!

~Carol Whitaker

Cleo Pascal said...

Nice tactics, Carol! They actually gave me ideas. I have a friend who's undergoing this holistic health and healing program that focuses on the consumption of whole foods. She told me that she kinda misses her old life, when she used to eat ice cream and chocolates freely, but then again, she doesn't want to go back to that because it took its toll on her health. I might suggest her to try these tips, IF her diet coach approves of it. Thanks anyway!


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