It appears that most people are concerned about eating properly, but many need a few tips. I have received several emails about proper dieting habits and what foods are good to eat during the day. Well, I am not a dietitian but one of my co-authors is, and this article is almost entirely Lauri Cutlipe's RN, LD, dieting recommendations. In the book Maximum Fitness: The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Cross-training, Lauri wrote the nutrition chapter.
1) Eat S-L-O-W-L-Y
Eat slowly and enjoy the flavors. Try to chew your food at least 40 times per mouthful.
2) Don't Skip Breakfast
Eat something: a piece of toast, fruit, etc. Your body's metabolism rate slows down at night and does not speed up again until you eat something. If you wait until lunch to eat, that is four or more hours that your body is burning calories at a lower rate. Eat something soon after you get out of bed and your body will burn calories at a higher rate until lunch. This is a great time for exercise too, by the way!
3) Don't Eat After 8:00pm
Because most of us work, we eat when we are told to eat. Whether we are hungry or not, if the office lunch hour is noon, then we must eat at noon or go without food. Many of us eat because it is "time" to eat. In other words, we eat out of habit, not because we need to eat. Eat snacks whenever you "need" to - snacks like fruit, vegetables, yogurt or a tuna sandwich are great mid-day snacks that will help your body stay in fat-burning mode. So, don't go more than five hours during the day without eating. It causes you to eat more at meal time and decreases your metabolism.
4) Fight Cavities
Right after eating a meal, especially dinner, go straight to the bathroom to brush, floss, and mouthwash so that your mouth is feeling nice and clean - this makes it less appealing to eat more (especially before bedtime).
5) Chew Gum and/or Drink Water if Hungry
Most people confuse hunger with dehydration. If you just drink a glass of water, that will usually take care of the food yearning. Optimal levels of water per day, as stated by the National Institute of Health is 1/2 to 1 gallon a day. Add one extra glass of water per every 10 lbs over weight too!
6) Avoid Distracting Places for Eating
If you eat your meals away from the TV and other distracting places, you will enjoy your meal more and will take a little longer to eat the meal.
7) Keep Daily Diary of Calorie Intake
Your weight in pounds multiplied by 15 will equal the number of calories per day to maintain that weight. 500 calories less per day will result in approx 1 lb weight loss per week; 750 calories = 1 1/2 lbs per week; 1000 calories = 2 lbs per week. Keep a daily diary of calorie intake. Fat, carbohydrates and protein will automatically adjust themselves to stay within allotted calories per day.
8) Exercise More Instead of Decreasing Food Intake
Personally, I would rather exercise more than decrease what I eat. If you burn these excess calories during the day through exercise, it is the same effect as dieting. And eat more OFTEN not more portions! - try to eat something every 3-4 hours - except when you are sleeping of course. This will help the metabolism stay high.
Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. If you are interested in starting a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle - check out the Military.com Fitness eBook store and the Stew Smith article archive at Military.com. To contact Stew with your comments and questions, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.