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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New Year’s Goals Before The New Year

The most common New Year’s resolution, especially for women, is to lose all the weight you gained during the holidays, but why wait till after the season to start? People continuously neglect to join the gym even after they make these resolutions so why keep putting it off? Why not start that diet or workout routine before you carve that turkey so you’ll be the envy of everyone at the table.

Diet and exercise

You’ll first want to start off right by getting the tools you need. Before even thinking about getting your own set of dumbbells or Stairmaster, you’ll need the basic first. Think athletic shoes, yoga pants, running shorts, sports bras and other workout apparel you will need. Sure you could do without most of those, with the exception of the shoes, but think girls, how much more motivated are you when you look good or after you get done shopping? Put that motivation to good use and buy something productive. If you want to look cute at the gym or while you are jogging then get a pair of cute shoes and matching athletic apparel, whatever it takes to get you out there and doing what you need to do. One great place to shop for athletic wear is Zappos.com where you can use Zappos coupon codes to get an ever better deal.

Now that you’re dressed to impress you need to figure out what you’re really trying to work towards. Have you set a goal weight or are you just trying to get more fit and active. Do you know which areas you want to tone up such as your arms, legs or stomach? Has there been anything that has sparked your interest at the gym such as specific classes like kickboxing or yoga? Find out what exactly you want to do with your body and how you plan to do it is very important. Take the list of the areas you want to improve and compare it to the classes you’ve found or the types of physical activities that you enjoy. Do any of them line up? If yes, then you have a starting point and if not, keep looking! Remember that many classes don’t focus on just one area; classes like Tae Kwon Do require you to work out your arms, legs and core.

Now that you’re starting to hit the gym and doing workouts that you chose, it’s time to change your eating. Many people don’t realize that you don’t need to make a complete 180 in the food you consume unless you’re eating McDonald’s every day. Simple substitutes can make the world of difference such as adding in more water and less soda, healthier snacks such a trail mix and fruits instead of chips and so on. If you love ice cream you don’t need to cut that out of your diet, but you also don’t need to eat it every day or with hot fudge, whipped cream and sprinkles on it either. Motivate yourself to eat healthy during the week so you can reward yourself on Saturday night with a delicious slice of pizza. Keeping yourself motivated is the key to losing weight and keeping it off so remember to set them up and have them worth the effort.

Steff Scholl loves food. In fact, between meals she is always snacking so it can be difficult for her to keep on a diet. But with the extra motivation of a Zappos coupon code, she was able to buy herself some nice running shoes to get off the couch and away from the M&Ms.

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