The ratio between eating healthy and still enjoying your favorite indulgences is key to your continued success. At this point we have heard it a thousand times from trainers and nutritionists; eat small meals all day long to keep your metabolism going.
It’s not just trendy fitness jargon, it’s the truth. Our bodies stay fueled when we continually feed our energy. Consuming ‘mini meals’ throughout your day is your sure bet to optimal fat burning.
Put on your mathematician thinking cap for a moment and multiply five mini-meals per day by seven days a week. If you did your second grade math correctly, you’ll discover thirty-five opportunities a week to burn fat as fuel. If only three of your thirty-five meals contain nutrient deficient foods, or in layman’s terms- comfort food, then your chances of burning fat and still moving forward to your goal, is as high as the Empire State Building. It’s all about the ratio.
So what qualifies as a ‘mini meal’?
You can utilize a very handy visual tool as your measuring guide. Take a look at your hands for a moment. Stretch them both out in front of you with palms facing toward you. Input the image of a delicious, muscle-building, lean protein like succulent grilled salmon, or fresh juicy turkey into the palm of your hand. Visualize the portion size as equivalent to the surface of your palm. Accompany that protein on the other palm with an energy inducing, carbohydrate source such as seasoned vegetables tossed in rich, brown rice. Put those two together and you have a marriage made in heaven.
This equation, protein plus veggie/good carb, equals a fat burning meal. It’s no joke that a good marriage requires constant effort and communication. Consuming a fat burning meal at every opportunity is ideal, but the truth is, life is busy and it’s liberating to know there is wiggle room in the plan.
So what is the secret to keeping your nutritional mishaps down to just three a week, and feeling fully satisfied in a lifestyle of health? Keep sugar, and processed foods to a minimum. Wait, before you freak out at the thought of letting go of your Venti Mocha, know that you can still indulge and stay within your winning ratio. Downsizing to a portion fit for a fitness buff is your smartest choice. The point is, calculated indulgences will allow you to reach your weight loss goals and still enjoy life.
Learning to control your carbohydrate consumption is like receiving a medal when you cross the finish line. The feeling of accomplishment is exhilarating. By putting forth effort to create a ratio of healthy meals weekly, you’ll take the sting out of dieting, and shift your mind-set to a living fit lifestyle that you can maintain.
To start this new mindset, you must lift the fog of ‘on the run’ processed and sugar laden foods in your diet. You’ve got to become conscious. Eating with awareness is by far the most important aspect to improving your nutritional skills. That means, having a clear understanding of ingredients in your food. Be fully cognizant of what you are putting in your body. Read labels, and ask questions at restaurants.
To dumb down the complication of understanding good nutrition, keep it simple, eat foods with one ingredient. The ingredient in grilled chicken is chicken. The nutritional label on a grab-n- go bag of fresh spinach, is spinach. Be adventurous and dress up your food with spices and great combinations, but the point is, get back to basics 75 percent of the time.
Often it’s not just about the quality of food intake, it’s the fact that eating unnecessarily has taken up camp in your unconscious mind. Stress, loneliness, boredom, sadness or anger are not reasons to go running for the golden arches. Have you ever thought about the fact that a ‘happy meal ‘ is named after an emotion? And we wonder why we are eating for the wrong reasons. Feed yourself with eyes wide open and you’ll be empowered to consume the right foods more often.
The food for thought introduced here can only benefit you, if you are willing to stay honest with yourself. In the moments when you are feeling an urge to compulsively indulge, remind yourself of your winning ratio. So-called ‘cheating’ should be extricated form your mind. It is a negative loop-hole that serves no purpose but to make you feel shameful. Living fit is about empowering yourself. Creating a ratio allows you to be human, and enjoy life. There is no start-again-stop-again behavior. It is a continual pro-active approach to loving your life now.
This article was reproduced from Active.com with the permission of De’Anna Nunez.
De’Anna Nunez, Certified Hypnotherapist, Certified Nutrition Specialist, NLP Mental Coach and Marathoner. Founder of the Mind Body Fit Club Program, A Weight Loss Journey with Girlfriends, Contributing Editor for Active.com and the Author of Burn Your Fat Pants, available now on Amazon.com