Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Buy Less - Eat Less

"According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), obesity in adults has increased by 60% within the past twenty years and obesity in children has tripled in the past thirty years. A staggering 33% of American adults are obese and obesity-related deaths have climbed to more than 300,000 a year, second only to tobacco-related deaths." "The average adult shouldn't have more than 65 grams of fat or 2000 calories a day. One meal from Burger King, a hamburger and French fries, has 50 grams of fat and 2000 calories, which is almost enough to fill someone's fat and calorie quota for the day!" (http://www.downtoearth.org/health/nutrition/obesity-america)

The simple fact is, most Americans eat too much and most of what they eat is crap. 

When you eat is almost as important as what you eat.  Many people skip breakfast (or just have a cup of coffee) thinking they are reducing calories in a good way.  This is the first of many mistakes of the day.  Breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day.  The word explains it all, Break-Fast (you are breaking a fast).  For most people their last meal before breakfast was 12-14 hours prior.  Your body is starved for nutrition and energy.  Skipping breakfast forces your body to attempt to conserve calories and drives your blood sugar/insulin levels all out of whack.  This causes you to crave high calorie foods, which for most people is satisfied by eating high carbohydrate snacks.  These are more often than not purchased on the spot (vending machines, food carts, or at convenience stores).  These choices are always very expensive.

Breakfast foods, especially in restaurants, are almost always some of the cheapest foods available.  A good mix of 30-40 percent protein, 30-40 percent carbs, and 20-30 percent fats will refuel you for the day and give you a a longer feeling of fullness.  This helps you to avoid costly, worthless snacks throughout the first half of the day. 

But between-meal snacks are important.  If you go from breakfast to lunch without eating anything you will most likely over eat at lunch.  Again, this is expensive and fattening.  The same happens at your evening meal.  So eat a small, high quality snack about half way between your three meals.

Eating less.  Eating until you are full is eating too much.  It takes about 15-20 minutes for your body to register that you have eaten.  Eating slower and in courses will help you eat less.  You should drink an eight ounce glass of water five to ten minutes before you sit down for your meal and drink one or two full glasses during the meal.  This will increase the bulk of your food and give you a feeling of fullness quicker.  Full hydration also increases your body's ability to digest and utilize the nutrients in your food.  You get more food value for a given quantity of food.

Eat Less - Portion Size.  A portion size is what would fit comfortably in your palm. Each main meal of the day should be one portion each of protein (meat, beans, tofu, etc.), starch (rice, potatoes, noodles, etc.) and veggie or fruit.  Most meats have similar amounts of protein so buy cheaper types or cuts of meat.  Poultry is generally the cheapest and the dark meat cuts the cheapest of that.  Just be aware that dark-meat poultry (thighs, wings, legs) have the highest fat content and the most calories. 

Finish eating all the junk in your house (after all, it is already paid for) but then give it up.  American snack foods are designed to generate hunger.  It is nearly an addiction.  Whole foods that have not been over-processed do not generate the same food cravings.  Buy real food with as little processing as possible.  Processing costs money and destroys nutrition at every step.  Also try to buy local foods.  Transportation adds greatly to the costs of food and the sooner the food gets from the source to your house the longer it will last.

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