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Nutrition to Fuel the Body: 

Guide to Losing Weight and Feeling Healthier
 Author: Jessica Jenkins 



People are always talking about diets and losing weight, but it is not necessarily about dropping the sugar or cutting the carbs out it is about timing, balance and portion size. Try to worry less about cheating and focus on getting your nutrients from whole foods. You can indulge and enjoy that delicious cookie from time to time.





                                                                                                Personalize Your Diet 

There is a variety of evidence out there to support many nutritional ideas, but the most important thing to focus on is what makes you feel the healthiest, most energetic and happy. Trial and error may be what it takes to figure out what “diet” you should adopt. Some people are lactose intolerant. Others have gluten sensitivity and the lucky ones with no diet restrictions. Again, it comes down to personal preference and choice, if you do not want to eat meat become a vegetarian. You may try eating fish only (pescatarian) or being an omnivore where you do not discriminate, you simply LOVE FOOD! Whatever your choice just stick with it, do it for you and avoid judging others for their dietary decisions. Remember, there is no UNIVERSAL MIRACLE DIET.





 Moderation Mentality 

 The “Moderation Mentality” is what I would go by if you do not have any physical dietary restrictions. Do not    treat certain foods as the devil and let yourself give into cravings, that is not something you hear every day, right? What I mean by that is you do not need to give up all the delicious items you enjoy, like those melt in your mouth fudge brownies, pasta in brown butter sauce or the “classic”, chocolate chip cookies and vanilla ice-cream.  All you need to do is control portion size and not get carried away. A few tips on how to do that is to cut a Snickers bar in half and save the rest, take a small bowl of potato chips with you to the couch for the movie or limit the number of days you can have sweets in week. Start simple, decrease portion, to keep the binge monster at bay, and learn to go easy on yourself.




Eating Slower and Be Social

Picture cooking large meals for families and friends or having a big potluck at your house, sound fun? Conversation and social interaction can help you to eat slower instead of stuffing your face, which will give your body time to digest and give more accurate full signals to the brain. Ultimately, taking breaks and setting down your silverware to tell a story will decrease the amount of food you eat in one sitting. Remember to be social and try setting your fork down between each bite. You may be surprised how full you are with smaller amounts of food if you take your time to enjoy it, instead of stuffing your face.



Whole Foods and Cook at Home 

Home cooked meals, who has time for that?  A lot of people avoid cooking for themselves because it is more convenient and less timing consuming to go out to pick up food. The best way to save money and guarantee that you are eating WHOLE FOODS is to make them yourself. Whole foods mean eating minimally processed items free of additives and artificial substances. If you are looking to drop weight utilizing your kitchen may be a perfect starting point. Here you can control your portion size and ensure that you are taking in healthy grains, vegetables and lean meats. Experimenting with your own culinary arts can be fun too! You may find a hidden hobby of yours mixing flavors and getting creative in the kitchen. Also, if you learn to enjoy it the easier it will be to create a habit. 



Nutrient Timing


Alarm Clock, Clock, Time, Minute, Hour, Arouse, Bimmeln

A topic generally overlooked by many is nutrient timing. This concept is about knowing what kinds of foods you should consume and when to have optimum nutrient absorption and use the energy most efficiently. For example: if you are going to have a sedentary day then you probably want to decrease the amount of sugar, fats and calories you take in that day. On the other hand, after a work-out it is important that your body receives glucose (sugar), carbohydrates and protein within the first half hour. Depending on the activity there is a variety of research that defines a certain carb to protein ratio that provides the best recovery. Go online and do some research into nutrition journals, you may discover something new. Remember, what you read on the internet is not always true take it with a grain of salt because each persons’ body functions differently with varying nutritional needs to feel the healthiest and most energetic.



In conclusion, take the time to test out different methods and figure out what YOUR body needs. Do your research, eat in moderation and control your portion size. If you do not normally spend time in the kitchen pick a few nights a week to experiment. It may get interesting! Lastly, diet can only take you so far you still need to hit the gym, because in the end caloric deficiency is how to drop weight, but strength training and cardio need to be balanced. Enjoy your whole eating and do not forget you can drop weight and still indulge in dessert during the week.





***Disclaimer: I am not a certified nutritionist. These are observations from my own research, personal experience with dieting and a background in physical fitness.






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