New norm or not, summer is upon us and healthy summer body might need to be jump started this year. I have reported my personal way of burning fat but wanted to follow it up with an expert opinion of a registered dietitian Matt Dengler.
Is fiber+protein needed at every meal?
- Yes, eating protein and fiber are very important part of your diet. Both of which can help improve body composition, provide micronutrients, and help aid digestion. The amount of protein and fiber in your diet should be customized to the individual and more is not always better.You don’t necessarily NEED fiber and protein at every meal but it will aid in your blood sugar spike after eating. Combining certain foods can help improve the absorption and completion of proteins to aid in muscle building/ recovery, but it’s not necessarily important they are included in EVERY meal. It’s more important to make sure you have enough for the entire day.
What about the drinks?
- Alcohol calories can’t be used regardless of what you combine them with. Alcohol provides 7 calories for every gram but those calories can’t be used, they will always be broken down to sugar and stored as fat. Even if you consume alcohol with fat and protein, your body will (eventually) breakdown the alcohol calories and store them as fat. In fact, your body spends a great deal of time to metabolize the alcohol and in the meantime, it doesn’t work on breaking down fats. So, it’s much easier to gain weight when eating and drinking. One glass (3-4oz) of red or white wine has about 125 calories and one light beer has about 90-120 calories. Prevent late night snacking after a night of drinking try having a well-balanced meal prior to drinking to help limit the effect the alcohol will have on the body. So, several drinks per week can put any balanced diet into a large surplus which causes weight gain.
What about coffee? Do cream and sugar make it a great snack or what?
- The general consensus is to limit the amount of caffeine you consume per day. The recommended amount should be around 200-450mg of caffeine/ day. You can calculate your recommended caffeine intake 6mg/ kg of body weight. Adding cream and sugar will certainly add calories to your daily routine and can add up based on the portion of the cream, sugar, and frequency of consumption. Try limiting the volume of coffee intake to help lower the amount of cream and sugar consumed per day.
Is breakfast really the most important meal, or is it propaganda from cereal and diary producers?
- Yes, breakfast is very important, it helps “break the fast” and can help you start getting energy for your day. Breakfast foods often contain many nutrients that aren’t necessarily found in other foods throughout the day. Eggs for example are a tremendous source of protein and many micronutrients that aid in brain function, eye health, weight management, and a healthy pregnancy. Eggs contain vitamins B12 and B2, vitamin D, choline, and antioxidants. Milk and other dairy products can be great breakfast foods due to their balanced ratio of carbs, protein, and fats. Furthermore, they contain other extremely important micronutrients like calcium and vitamin D which aid in both health. These nutrients can be found in other foods, but are prevalent in breakfast foods and can make an easy way to get them in every day.
How can I possibly meet my daily water goal if I can’t pee at work?
- Most people should shoot for about ½ your body weight in water per day. That can be tricky if you are not allowed to use the bathroom when needed. Best way to get around this is consuming fluids before and after work to make sure you are getting enough in. Also, try to make this a main focus on your days off from work to help improve your water intake.
I put gas in the car once a week. If food is fuel can I just eat once a day?
- One plan will never work for every single person. Everyone’s eating schedule and meal plans should be customized to the person. The best meal plan and food schedule are the ones people are willing to follow, so nothing is the same for each individual because everyone’s schedules are different. However, only eating once per day is not recommended. It’s extremely difficult to consume the required number of calories in only one sitting. That would place a heavy load on your gastrointestinal tract and could cause gas, bloating, or constipation. Ideally, we would like you spread your calories evenly throughout the day, but if that’s not doable try to break your calories up into larger meals, don’t leave it to just one meal.
When will I start burning stored fat?
- If your goal is to reduce body fat stores, a person needs to make sure they are expending more calories then they are consuming per day, putting them in a caloric deficit. Meaning, if you burn 2000 calories per day and eat only 1700 calories, you are in a caloric deficit and you will lose weight. There are many factors to how many calories you need and how many calories you burn per day. You should see a Registered Dietitian (like me!) to help you figure out how many calories you should have per day to help you reach your goals.
Why is belly fat the most stubborn?
- Belly fat is often more difficult to lose than other parts of the body due to the amount of fat cells in that area that don’t necessarily respond the same way to fat breakdown process that other areas do. The body have two different types of fat cells and one responds quicker than the other one. So when trying lose weight you will often see a reduction of fat in your arms, legs, and your face before your belly. So, remember that reducing body fat in your midsection takes a lot of time. It will most likely take around 12-weeks before you start seeing a reduction of body fat in your midsection.
What is the easiest way to lose weight?
- Again, it comes down to a caloric deficit. You need to consume less calories than you expend per day and do this consistently over time. Try to think about your body composition change as a “marathon” and not a “sprint”. Hopefully this will mentally prepare you for the time investment required for success.
Binging? What should I do if my plate is empty and my stomach full but I still feel hungry and the movie is still going?
- If you are grabbing a snack in preparation for a movie or a series of TV shows make sure you limit your portion by putting your snacks in a bowl or a small baggie. Don’t allow the ENTIRE bag, box, or carton of your snack to follow you to the couch. This will help you to not mindlessly overeat on your snacks. Eating in front of the television is one of the biggest culprits of over consumption. Be mindful of your portion size and your hunger cues. Often times we feel hungry right after a meal because we haven’t allowed our satiety hormone, leptin to be released. Leptin is released by our fat cells and tells us we are full. Leptin is released by the body 20-45 minutes after we eat food. So, if we quickly eat large portions of food we don’t allow for leptin’s release and over consume calories. My recommendation is to wait 20-45 minutes after eating before eating again and wait for your leptin to be released. Often times you will feel full and not want to continue eating.
Is chewing gum good for loosing appetite?
- Chewing gum has always been “diet hack” because it keeps us busy in between meals. Peppermint, spearmint, or other minty flavors right after dinner can help stop you from eating afterwards due to the negative taste it creates by mixing the different flavors. Chewing gum doesn’t necessarily help you lose your appetite, but it could just keep you occupied so you don’t over consume other foods.
How long does it take for food to become waste?
- Everyone’s GI track runs at different times and waste is passed through your body at different rates for everyone. People should have a bowel movement every 1-3 days, but again, can be different for everyone.
What foods should I avoid on a date?
- When on a date avoid gas producing foods that are high in fiber, fructose, and/or lactose. Foods like beans, dark leafy greens, fruits, or dairy products can cause gas in the GI tract and could cause some embarrassing moments during a date. You should be safe with some meats, rice dishes, and some pasta.
What kind of ice-cream brand is the least fattening?
- There are many low-calorie ice creams now which can be a great way to enjoy your favorite frozen treat without all the calories or guilt. Low-calorie ice cream brands like Enlightened or Halo Top has great flavors. Other ice cream brands like Breyers and Ben and Jerrys are even creating low calorie options too.
What health conditions can be addressed just by tweaking the diet?
- Your nutrition and body composition are often tied to many underlying health conditions. Most dietary recommendations are aimed at preventing obesity and heart attacks. Obesity can contribute to the development of many disease such as heart disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, liver disease, high blood pressure, and certain cancers. Addressing nutrition and diet changes can help lower your risk and help your longevity.
Both Matt and I offer free consultation, as we are passionate to help you get a healthy summer body and keep it for other seasons. Don’t be shy to reach out to us now!
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