Fitness and Diet Tips

Here are some fitness and diet tips that I thought you would enjoy.

Fitness and diet

Diet is the major part of any weight loss or fitness regime and can account for about four fifths of your achievements. You can help improve your diet by planning your meals for the coming week and eating more frequent, smaller meals, to spread your intake over the day.

If you are serious about improving your diet, whether to lose weight or improve your health and fitness, then you need to cut down on processed foods and refined sugars – but then you knew that already, didn’t you? The kind of foods you need to include are those high in protein, such as chicken, turkey and tuna, plus fibrous carbohydrates, such as cabbage, other green vegetables and salads and also some good fats, such as olive oil, almonds and flax seed.

Breakfast is an important meal of the day, especially when trying to lose weight. When you eat, you raise your metabolic rate (how fast you use energy) and by eating breakfast after your overnight fast, you increase your energy usage first thing in the morning. This energy increase from eating can be used to your further advantage by eating smaller meals more often. You can eat small meals between five and seven times daily to help keep your metabolic rate up. It’s important, however, to remember to cut down on the amount at each of these meals to ensure your overall calorie intake remains the same (or is reduced, if you are trying to lose weight). On 6 meals a day, you could plan for 3 meals with 350 calories each (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and 3 meals with 250 calories each for mid morning, mid afternoon and supper. This would allow you 1800 calories a day and you can reduce or increase your intake at each meal for different calorie intake levels.

I plan ahead for my meals for the working week, because then I have something ready to eat when I need it and I am not tempted to buy expensive fast-food from a nearby shop! The prepared food includes protein for my meals and snacks.

On Sundays, I prepare my protein food for the coming working week. The protein part of the meal usually takes the longest to prepare, so this is what I get ready. Portion size is important and I usually count on one chicken fillet or a palm-sized piece of steak or a cup of mince for each adult person. The carbohydrate portion is usually frozen veg for meals and this only takes a few minutes to cook. For snacks or meals eaten at work, I usually use salad, which I prepare on the morning of use.

A typical week might have two fish dinners, two chicken dinners and one steak dinner. I use frozen fish, so this doesn’t need preparation ahead of time because it only takes 15 minutes to bake on the day of use. I thus need to prepare for two chicken and one steak dinners, plus lunches. For two people, this might mean cooking 2 steaks, 8 chicken fillets and 6 hard boiled eggs. The cooked steaks, four chicken fillets and the eggs go in the fridge for dinner and lunches early in the week and the other four cooked chicken fillets go in the freezer for lunch and dinner later in the week. The eggs may also be used for breakfast. This assumes cooked meat can be stored safely in the fridge for two or possibly three days.

In addition to the chosen cooking day, I use a Wednesday evening to prepare any snacks for Thursdays and Fridays, such as hard-boiled eggs.

On a closing note, always remember, failing to plan is planning to fail.

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March 13, 2012

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