Eating early and often creates a metabolic reaction in your body. By eating small, well-portioned meals throughout the day, you continually stoke and strengthen your body’s engine.
Good eating habits begin with breakfast. Think about what happens when you skip breakfast: You might not feel hungry until noon or even later, but once you start eating—watch out. You’re likely to overeat for the rest of the day.
On the other hand, if you start your day with breakfast and continue to eat frequently throughout the day, you never give your body the experience of feeling ravenous. You gently rev your metabolism all day long as you feed your body good food in reasonable portions. Eat every few hours, and you will maintain and gain lean muscle mass and burn excess fat. You’ll stop cravings and sharp hunger, and you’ll have more energy. You’ll even think more clearly and be less grouchy!
To keep your metabolism going all day long, try the following:
o Eat breakfast within two hours of waking up.
o Eat five to six times throughout the day. This should include three meals and two snacks.
o Do not let more than four hours pass between one meal and the next.
o Choose a time in the evening to end all eating. The best time is two to three hours before you plan to go to bed. Don’t worry if you feel hungry; that’s your body telling you it’s burning calories. You’ll soon grow accustomed to your new routine.
EATING THE OUTDOOR FITNESS WAY: A SAMPLE DAY
Egg-white scramble (made with three to four egg whites and one yolk, chopped veggies, and 2 tablespoons of salsa)
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup blueberries
Grilled chicken salad with 1 tablespoon of vinaigrette or lemon juice
Small handful of almonds and apple slices or a no-sugar protein shake
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Dinner salad with 1 tablespoon of light dressing
Broccoli with lemon