Food is oftentimes viewed as the enemy that stands in the way of being able to attain your dream body, feel good in your blue jeans, or simply enjoy life. However, we have learned from our own experiences that food is not the enemy…rather our choices sometimes are!
Good choices are easier to make when you have a set plan of action. Knowing the answers to questions like: “What foods are best to eat?”…”How often should I eat?…& “When should I eat certain foods?” have helped us make better choices and live healthier lives. Getting fit and staying fit usually boils down to three simple things:
1. What you eat
2. How much you eat
3. How often you eat
What You Eat
What you eat is vital to how healthy you are, as well as how fit you are. If you find yourself choosing more processed, boxed, or pre-packaged foods as opposed to real, live foods, you might need to rethink your choices. Live foods have more fiber and water and therefore will make you feel full faster than fake foods. Have you ever noticed after you eat a granola bar or a handful of chips that you are still so hungry and could probably eat the whole box of bars or the whole bag of chips if you let yourself? That’s because these are empty foods with lots of calories, thus they don’t fill you up.
Some people try to starve themselves into shape or drastically reduce calories in order to lose weight. This is the typical dieting scenario in America. I (Jenni) did this for years and discovered later that starving my body was actually causing it hang on to more fat!
Let me explain: You may shed a few pounds by decreasing calories or skipping meals, but you don’t know if those pounds have been lost from muscle, fat, or both. When you lose muscle, you decrease your metabolism, making your body store fat more quickly than before. So your body will do the opposite (store fat!) of the very thing you are trying to do (lose fat!) if you diet this way.
Other people have the opposite struggle…over-eating. This makes it impossible for your body to lose the unwanted fat as well because whatever calories are not burned are stored…as fat.
How Often You Eat
We have found it very effective to eat 4-5 times a day to keep our metabolism high for two reasons.
1. First, the goal is to have all of your food broken down and digested, and then used for energy every time you eat. If your body is using all your food for energy, guess what, it’s not storing it as fat!!! In other words, eating smaller meals throughout the day will allow your body to use those smaller portions as energy.
2. Secondly, once those small meals are completely digested and used as energy, your body will begin to draw upon fat stores for energy. NOW, you are a fat burning machine!
So knowing the what to eat, how much to eat, and how often to eat right is crucial to helping your body reach a place of fat burning as opposed to fat storing!