I met with a personal trainer and nutritionist today (a Stanford alum) and she gave me the following 5 nutritional guidelines for weight loss and management:
- Always eat breakfast within 1 hour of waking. Eating jump starts our metabolism. In fact, it takes 150 calories to digest a meal. Therefore, eating a 75 calorie apple actually burns 75 calories (nice). Her breakfast meal recommendation is oatmeal or oat bran with 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
- Eat every 2-5 hours. Eat as soon as we start to feel hungry but not starving! Feeling like we are starving leaves us vulnerable to overeat. This means eating 4-6 small meals and snacks per day. Recommended snack foods include egg whites, hard boiled eggs, cottage cheese, greek yogurt (low or nonfat). Add 1 tbsp of ground flax seed to yogurt for fiber and omega-3 fatty acid. Avocados and olive oil are good foods for slimming the midsection. High intensity cardio is also good for slimming the midsection.
- Do not eat more than 600 calories per sitting. The body cannot digest any more than that and stores the remaining calories as fat. Eat half your meal at restaurants - ask for a to go box as soon as you get your meal. Look things up before you go to the restaurant to plan meals accordingly. Try to eat 300 to 400 calories per meal and a 200 calorie snack.
- Do not eat less than 1,200 calories per day. If you eat less than this, your body hoards body fat because it thinks it is in starvation mode. Keep a food journal and track each meal (food and calories) as you go.
- Sleep 7-8 hours every night. The hormone, leptin, tells us when we are full and does not function properly when we are sleep deprived.