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Think Nutrition in 2006

By John Perry

Food, it does the body good. It is the fuel that improves performance.

Most clients always want to talk about food and meal preparation. The problem is they never want to prepare.

Most of them look at preparation as ordering from a menu in a restaurant or at the drive-thru.

Take a deep breath. Relax. Let me open up a whole new world called meal planning.

If you are even remotely serious about your health and fitness, then you must make good choices about what you are putting in your mouth.

I am a firm believer in not restricting my clients or my readers so severely they loathe the thought of sitting down for a meal. I am of the mindset you can still eat what you enjoy and be fit. You may have to learn to eat a few new things, however.

I don't want to overwhelm you in one sitting. So, let's begin the New Year with my top 7 "Hip-Bits for improving the fuel you are putting into your "tank."

7) Lets begin with sweets.

I actually have a friend who eats dessert first. She orders a dessert first at a restaurant. Now, according to her she does this to control the amount she eats. When she goes out, she focuses on what dessert she wants, then orders and eats it first"usually about half of it. Hey, works for her.

I like part of this strategy. I think you should have certain sweets you crave or are your "targeted sweets." Then you can pick certain nights to have them. This way you know you will get that favorite cookie, ice cream or piece of pie. If you are trying to lose weight you are going to need to be a little picky about what sweets you eat and how often you are eating them.

Have "dessert night or nights." You could even plan at the beginning of the week what dessert will be on which night.

This will give you a sense of control and allow you to indulge your sweet tooth at the same time.

6) Eat slowly.

This is one I really need to work on. In the past I would be done with my meal before my wife finished saying grace...just kidding. I did eat fast though.

You will eat more if you eat fast. Your brain will not "decide it is full until you have inhaled everything on your plate.

Enjoy the experience. Have a conversation with someone at the table. Savor the food and the moment.

Set a time limit. You have to eat for 20-25 minutes, for example. Try this, it works!

5) Plan your next meal after you are done eating.

First of all, you are full.

You are most likely in the kitchen and can take a survey of what you could potentially eat.

Now, you may have already planned your next meal, but maybe you want to tweak it based on what you just ate.

If you ate too much or decided to go with the cookie at lunch, you will need to adjust the next meal anyway.

4) Figure out the difference between being hungry and wanting to eat.

If you eat every 3-4 hours throughout the day, you won't be "starving all the time.

You will realize you are fueling the body, that you are diligently working out and this food is feeding your muscles, brain and nervous system.

3) Three meals and 3 snacks a day.

That is, Breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a snack in between. If you stay up and "play on the computer late at night, a light snack that is "protein laden is o.k.

Stick with the protein and carbohydrate ratio you will see in the next "Hip-Bit."

Planning your next day's meals after your last meal of the day is fun. I recommend writing them down, but you can at least get an idea in your head.

2) 2.5 to 1 carbohydrate to protein ratio. (2.5 grams of carbohydrates for every 1 gram of protein).

For example, a meal would have 25-30 grams of carbs and 10 grams of protein.

Proteins are basically meat, fish and nuts. Carbohydrates are basically breads, pastas, fruits and vegetables.

If you are exercising on a daily basis, your muscles will need fuel in the form of protein and carbohydrates.

Don't be afraid of the carbs; they will help with recuperation and your energy needs.

1) Change your mindset about eating.

Food is fuel for the body, it makes it go-just like gas for a car.

If you put in the wrong type of fuel or don't put in enough fuel, your body will not operate properly.

Look at food as the fuel to help you reach your fitness goals. Feed it well.

Bonus: Drink plenty of water.

Your entire body is made of water. It is a great fuel for the body.

Water helps you eliminate wastes from the body.

Water will help with your energy levels by keeping you hydrated.

If you exercise daily, I recommend drinking 0.5 to 1 ounce of water for every pound of bodyweight.

Eating can be pleasurable. Just give it a little thought.

Have fun with your meal planning in 2006!

Copyright 2006 John Perry

About The Author
John B. Perry, P.T., C.S.C.S. is a fitness and biomechanics enhancement expert. He writes a weekly newsletter, writes e-books and articles, produces fitness videos and performs seminars and teleseminars on Health, Wealth and Fitness.

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