By Kevin Dietmeyer, Recent Arizona State University Nutrition Student
Losing weight can feel like climbing a mountain with a peak that seems to grow larger and further away with every aching step. With so many obstacles in front of you and so many routes to the top, how do you decide which is right for you? How many calories should I be eating each day? How much protein do I actually need? Is juice bad? Do I really need to eat six small meals every day?
Eating for weight-loss and, nutrition, in general, will never be one size fits all. Human beings are unique and for that reason, each one of us has unique dietary needs. In fact, the ideal diet for you right now may not be your perfect diet or pattern of eating in five years, or even in five months. While there is no dietary slipper to fit all of us, here are three rules of thumb that can help anyone get started on the road to healthy habits and weight loss.
If it comes in a box or a wrapper, put it down
Fresh foods don’t come with instructions. If you’re cooking most of your meals with fresh ingredients, you’re on your way to a healthier you. Try to keep your kitchen full of things that have a natural expiration date. In other words, the foods you buy should have a foreseeable life span.
Eat the same number of meals every day
If you want to eat 6-8 small meals a day, then do it. If you eat three square meals each day, then do that every day. It can be easy to reduce or increase your calories if you follow the same eating pattern every day. It’s a lot harder if your eating habits look like a seven-year-old peppered the wall with foam darts. Eating eight small meals today and two tomorrow after skipping breakfast is a metabolic mess. Predictable meal timing will lead to predictable weight loss.
Drink a liter of water when you wake up
I feel like I shouldn’t have to tell a desert dweller this, but you need to drink water. In fact, most of you is made of water and your body runs a lot of important operations on waterpower. You can go days and weeks without food but you won’t last long without water. Keep a liter of water prepped for the morning and before you do anything else, start gulping it.
It’s not hard to lose weight or stay in shape. Follow a plan that works for you, and you’ll be on your way to success!