It’s Not Too Late!
Don’t want to settle? Willing to make a few changes? A few small changes. You can make a few changes that may surprise you by how good they taste and feel. By tweaking the quality and the timing of food you eat you can be leaner at any age. Not up for tackling all of them at once? I’m with you. Focus on one. Then move on to another.
1.) Plan your meals around your protein source. Start with about 4oz of high quality protein (poultry, fish, seafood, beef, etc) or plan carefully if you’re vegan to get the same amount (25-30 grams of protein) per each meal. According to research since 2008 (read more) the upper limit of protein percentages is necessary to spare your lean muscle mass.
2.) Increase your protein at breakfast. Above all, don’t skip breakfast as 60% of Americans do. According to research in Obesity (2013, and 2015) timing of protein intake is important. Start with a high protein breakfast, recently 35 grams at breakfast for 12 weeks resulted in subjects voluntary reduction in calories over the day of 400.
- eggs = 6 each
- oatmeal = 5-6 grams
- protein powders= 20-26 grams
- Greek yogurt = 20 grams (read labels:only applies to specific brands)
- nut butter = 8 grams per Tblsp
3.) Check for leucine content in your foods. Especially if you’re supplementing with protein powders, leucine, an amino acid, plays an important role in sparing lean muscle tissue. You want between 2.2 and 3.0 per meal (or serving of protein as it goes into your smoothie).
4.) Spread it out evenly. In an earlier study in Obesity Journal, protein and calories spread evenly over the day between breakfast, lunch and dinner had a more positive effect on weight and fat than eating the same number of calories skewed toward evening.
It’s not the total, it’s per meal or sitting so that your body gets adequate amounts of the essential amino acids at one time and not more than it can handle.
5.) Increase your intake of healthy fat. One of the first thing to go for a traditional “dieter” would be fat. Today we know better, at least logically. Emotionally, you may still be a little attached to the fear of too much fat making you fat. Medium Chain Triglycerides, especially however, play a big supporting role in satiety and fullness. Even better, they help you use fatty acids for energy and make it hard to store as fat on you.
Bonus: Don’t do any one of these at the expense of other foods. Include plenty of non-starchy vegetables, berries and citrus fruits every day. Some more starchy veggies can be a boost in energy for your active days. Nothing is off limits. It’s about finding your optimal energy and foods that work for you. Then you do those most of the time. You can still tolerate your ‘treat’ foods sometimes and be OK. As you increase protein and fibrous foods you’ll increase energy. Once you start moving and feeling better, you may find the foods that you were emotionally drawn to just don’t have the same seduction for you as they once did.