You started a fitness program which includes cardio and weight training exercises. Your goal is to lose weight and tone your body, the problem is that after several weeks of tireless exercise you feel stronger but still weigh the same or maybe even a little more. Looking at the scale at this point can be depressing and send you into a feeding frenzy. There are a couple of reasons this could be happening such as the fact that muscle weighs more than fat and you may be building muscle faster than you are burning fat.
Here are few key points to consider:
Your meals are not errands or chores – sit, eat and enjoy what you eat.
Balance your meals throughout the day: Eat a light, balanced breakfast (1% or fat free milk with whole grain cereal; yogurt with granola or fruit; cottage cheese with fruit; egg whites with piece of toast, tea or coffee), followed by a lunch filled with raw foods, lean protein, and healthy carbs, and an equally healthy, balanced dinner.
Fuel your body with healthy carbs and protein before and after exercise: Healthy carbs such as fruits, whole grain foods, legumes; protein from lean meat, fish, poultry, and eggs; for the vegetarian this means protein from soy, legumes, nuts and dairy.
Stay away from fast food and specialty coffee shops — at least for a while: A frozen coffee can has as many as 350 calories, a burger with fries=over 1000 calories easy
Include lots of raw foods and whole grain in your diet: if you need a snack between meals or need that 3:00 pm lift you want to look at all fruits and vegetables (except potato) but including sweet potato; whole grain breads, brown rice, whole grain cereals, and low fat dairy products.
Log what you eat each day: Helps you stay on top of your nutrition goals. Log every bite, every candy, every potato chip and every drink. Do this for a couple of days just to see where your calories are going.
Read the food labels: Very important that you become familiar with food labels—how else will you avoid eating something you shouldn’t.
Avoid foods high in sugar and sodium: Aim for balance. Some foods are low fat but have a huge amount of sugar and sodium to make up for the lack of taste and nutrition. These foods will not fill you up for long.
Drink plenty of clear water before during and after exercise: Sip it throughout the day, sometimes you’re just thirsty, not hungry.
Keep healthy snacks handy at all times for days when you have to eat on the go: Granola bars that are high in protein and fiber; home-made trail mix (granola, dried fruit, nuts, whole grain cereal in zip lock bags or plastic containers); portable fruits such as apples, pears, bananas, oranges.
Your body will react based on what you put in it, regardless of how hard you exercise; losing weight requires that you provide your body with well balanced nutrition and exercise. It doesn’t have to be a chore and it doesn’t have to be difficult for you or your family. Change the way you eat and your family will follow. When you eat healthy together you are more likely to make this a part of your family’s healthy living style and everyone will benefit in the long run.