Eat for Energy

Photo Credit: Kander PD

Would you be surprised if someone told you to eat to lose weight? Your metabolism is the process by which your body converts the food you eat into energy. Your metabolic rate is the rate at which your body turns food into fuel. The metabolic rate is different for each person and generally slows down as you age. This is why some people get what is called “middle age spread” around the abdomen or hips. When the metabolic rate slows, but caloric intake does not decrease, you can gain weight. Depriving yourself of food is not the answer to maintaining a healthy weight. Your body needs food for energy and will slow your metabolic rate in response to a lack of energy. Starvation diets are not only dangerous, but counter-productive since the body responds to deprivation by slowing down metabolism. To maintain a healthy weight or to lose weight, keep your metabolic rate at peak efficiency by eating more often. 
When you eat food, your body responds by releasing hormones and enzymes that convert food to energy that can be used by your cells. If you wait too long between meals, the metabolism slows down. Skipping breakfast or lunch and then eating a large evening meal may cause your body to store more food as fat in order to compensate for the lack of food earlier in the day. Your body stores up fat for energy use. The problem is the body is storing more fat than you are using for energy. In order to avoid this cycle of starvation and weight gain and keep your metabolism functioning at peak efficiency, eat several small, high-fiber meals everyday. 
Eat a healthy, high-fiber breakfast, followed by a mid-morning snack. Fresh fruits, vegetables, yogurt and whole grain crackers are ideal choices. Don’t forget to eat lunch, and then enjoy a late-afternoon snack. Dinner should include foods from all the food groups. At least 1/2 of your plate should be filled with vegetables, fruits and grains. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to help your body digest food and remain hydrated. Green tea may also help to increase your metabolism because it contains an antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which may help boost your body’s fuel burning power. 
Advertisements

About Robin R.
I’m an AFPA certified personal trainer & nutrition consultant, NASM certified corrective exercise specialist, NASM certified youth exercise specialist, online fitness coach and freelance writer specializing in health and fitness. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health. I specialize in weight loss, functional strength training, total body toning, aerobic conditioning, plyometric training, nutrition planning, and home-based boot camp style workouts for women. My goal is to make every personal training session fun and effective for my clients. My services include both in-home personal training and online fitness coaching.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: