The Best Time To Eat

My mother was a stickler for regular meals. Breakfast at 8 a.m., lunch at noon, and supper at 6 p.m. Day in and day out, that was the schedule. Her insistence that eating regularly promoted optimum health was so pervasive that I never even considered asking whether I could miss a meal.

With my mom, you washed up, came to the table and ate with gusto. End of story.

family meal

License: Creative Commons image source

When my mother said “It’s time to eat,” I ate

Of course, there were plenty of peculiar culinary habits my mother brought with her from Kentucky—habits that would make a health-conscious person today raise both eyebrows and run for the treadmill: things like cooking with lard, eating the fat rather than trimming it, and putting half a cube of real butter in the green beans. My cholesterol levels are on the rise, just thinking about it.

What about regular meals, though? Lard, fat and butter aside—is eating on schedule good for you? Or are regular meals a bad idea?

Don’t laugh—this is a debatable topic

Here are three reasons why you may be better off eating sporadically, instead of by the clock:

  • When you allow your digestive processes to rest, your body is able to concentrate on other internal activities—healing, for example. And a good way to rest your digestive system is to miss a meal or two (or three). Regular meals and snacks make for almost constant digestive activity.
  • Breaking the cycle (whatever your particular cycle is) makes the body stand up and take notice. Hormones that have been dormant spring into action and metabolic changes occur. Research scientists have noted that periodic fasting, for example, may stimulate internal processes that help protect against serious diseases—like diabetes, cardio-vascular disease, and cancer.
  • Recent research concerning aerobic exercise indicates those who go to the gym in a fasting state are apt to lose more fat than those who go well-fed. If your exercise routine calls for working out in order to work off a dinner of steak and mashed potatoes, you may be losing ground instead of losing weight.

Could sporadic eating help you lose weight?

Could it be that three square meals each day are a big part of the reason why I am in a continual battle with that spare tire around my waist?

Research (and common sense) may be telling us the regular meals at regular times philosophy is not the best plan. Not that we should starve ourselves, but it does seem wise to change our eating habits into non-habits.

Guidelines to help you succeed

Here’s how:

  • Break up your routine.
  • Miss a meal every day or two.
  • Keep your body guessing.

If nothing changes, nothing changes. When you switch it up and give your system something to think about, your body will react by burning stored fat.

Are those the results you are looking for? If so, why not try this free, simple, and straightforward means of change? You’ve nothing to lose but fat, and much more to gain than social approval of your eating habits.

 
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How To Look Like Miss South Carolina

Recently, the news has been full of stories about beauty pageant winner Bree Boyce, Miss South Carolina. What makes Bree so special is the fact that she used to weigh 112 pounds more than what she now weighs. Through hard work and determination, she was able to lose the weight, and keep it off. Her efforts have turned her into a role model for women struggling with weight issues. However, the things she learned along the journey of weight loss can be applied to any challenge or struggle in life. Here are a few things about weight loss that you can apply to any struggle:

Bree Boyce

  1. Take it slow and steady. Losing weight, along with overcoming any challenge, is a process, not an overnight solution. It takes a long time to change habits from something destructive to something constructive. It’s easy to start to feel discouraged when you don’t see immediate results. This can be a horrible trap to fall into and is the reason why most people eventually give up on diets or kicking that old habit. You have to learn how to take a broader perspective of the situation. It’s hard, but possible,, to train yourself to look at the big picture and not just an individual day.
  2. Figure out, and then avoid, your triggers. All habits come with triggers. Triggers are things that you have made a habit of associating with an action. For example, let’s say that every time you have a test in one of your classes, you munch on a bag of M&Ms to help you stay focused as you study. When the test is over, you go and eat a huge bowl of ice cream to reward yourself. Pretty soon, you start munching on M&Ms every time something is stressing you out, whether it’s a test or something else in life. And when something good happens, you start to crave a big bowl of ice cream. The stress is a trigger for eating, as well as the relief of that stress. The only way to avoid this pattern is by changing your reaction to triggers, or at least channeling them into something healthier, such as eating a salad or exercising.
  3. One bad day doesn’t ruin everything. Changing your habits, as mentioned before, takes a long time. You can’t expect to be perfect at it. Even after years of staying away from something, it can come back if you get lazy. However, it’s also important not to beat yourself up about one bad day, as long as that’s all it is, one day. Forgive yourself for eating half a pizza that day, and think of tomorrow as a fresh start. Changing is a process, accept it and move on if you should mess up one day.
  4. Be forever diligent. As alluded to in point 3, it’s possible to fall back into your bad habits if you allow yourself. Thus, for the rest of your life you need to be diligent. If you see yourself drifting off track, then put a few checks in place to help you get righted, such as counting calories, or not eating after 8 p.m. The sooner you correct yourself, the easier it will be to get on track again. Even 20 or 30 years down the line, you might loosen up and go back to old habits. It will get easier, but that’s no excuse for letting bad habits take control again.

 

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10 Ways to Fit Exercise into Your Day

Getting your daily exercise doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to spend hours at the gym. Often, 45 – 60 minutes is enough to keep a healthy lifestyle, and that can be broken up into several intervals. With today’s busy lifestyles, it’s become harder to find time to keep fit; these ten tips should help you find some time in your daily schedule to fit in some exercise and stay healthy.

running on a treadmill

1)      Take the stairs: Climbing stairs is one of the best leg workouts you can get. Instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs to your office. Start slow, one or two flights, then work your way up to doing at least five flights.

2)      Walk after dinner: Too many of us flop down on the couch after a big meal and then wonder why we’re not losing any weight! The key is to get up and move around. Even a 15 minute brisk walk around the block will help your meal from sticking to your hips (and thighs, and stomach.)

3)      Park farther away: The next time you go to the grocery store, park farther away from the front doors. The extra walk will not only give you some fresh air, it will tone your legs nicely!

4)      Get up earlier (or stay up later): Try setting your alarm 20 minutes earlier and do some sit-ups, push-ups or barbell exercises.

5)      Exercise at your desk: Stand up while you’re on the phone, or do some leg raises or crunches while sitting.

6)      Pop in a video: There are many quality home videos available at your local department store. All you need is about 30 minutes to get in a good workout.

7)      Play with the kids: Go to the park and kick the soccer ball around, or go for a family bike ride. It will help keep your kids in shape too!

8)      Do standing push-ups while cooking: Stand about an arm’s length away from the counter. Push your arms against the counter, and then up again. Do 10-15 repetitions for toned arms.

9)      Try 10 minutes of jumping jacks: This is a great way to burn calories and work up a sweat in a short amount of time.10) Waiting for your child’s music or dance lesson?

10)    Walk around the block: Who says you have to sit on a hard bench while waiting for your child to finish their lessons? Walk around the block. You can even add one or two minute bursts of jogging in between.

As you can see, it doesn’t take much to add up the minutes in your exercise routine. There are various things you can do every day in order to live a healthy lifestyle and they don’t take up a lot of your time. Start out with one or two of the suggestions above, and work your way up to six or seven daily activities. They will soon become routine and you will actually look forward to your after dinner walk and taking the stairs to your office. You’ll love the way your body transforms too!

Zienna Miller is a freelancer writer for many websites. Her daily exercise consists of walking her mini teacup pig with her boyfriend, Daniel Hayes.

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