By Sarah Deschene
How many times have you tried a diet, only to have no success? Or even worse, tried to lose those pounds only to put them right back on plus a few extra for good measure? There is a food reason for this, and that reason is that DIETS DON’T WORK!!!
The key to healthy and permanent weight loss is your metabolism. No big secret, right? But how do you gain control of your metabolism and rev it up for good? The answer is simple, and it’s called “the glycemic index.” In order to stabilize your metabolism, you need to simply find a way to stabilize your blood sugar levels. The glycemic index was initially developed to determine the best food choices for diabetics by rating the effects different foods have on one’s blood sugar levels. The glycemic index has since been proven a powerful tool in determining a healthy diet for us all, diabetic or not.
The glycemic index ranks food on its immediate effect on blood sugar levels. High glycemic foods are low on the glycemic index have a slower absorbtion rate, resulting in a gradual, low rise in blood sugar levels.
By sticking to a diet made up of mainly low glycemic food choices, you will maintain a stable blood sugar level throughout the day. Keeping blood sugar levels stable through the day promotes fat burning, allowing your body to maintain its lean muscle mass. It also provides us with lasting energy and focus.
So what does this all mean really?
When you wake in the morning, your body needs a high quality carbohydrate from whole grains to level out your blood sugar from the overnight fast and to give you a slow release of energy throughout the morning, paired with a protein for muscle growth and tissue repair. Add in a fruit for minerals and vitamins to facilitate energy release and you have a perfect breakfast. Think whole grain English muffin with egg beaters, fat free cheese, and some berries.
Throughout the day, you should be fueling your body with sources of carbohydrates from whole grains and vegetables as well as sources of lean protein and small amounts of fat. It is important to space your meals three hours apart. Therefore, three hours after breakfast, your morning snack could be a protein smoothie with frozen berries and a quarter cup of oatmeal, all in the blender…YUM! Follow that three hours later with a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread with fresh spinach and tomato and an apple or cup of strawberries. Your afternoon snack should consist of a carb from whole grains and a protein, but at this time you want to avoid fruits, as they are loaded with sugar (although natural, it still has the same effect on your blood sugar levels). A great choice would be a serving of all bran crackers with an ounce of 75% lowfat cheddar.
Moving on to dinner: after five in the evening, it is time to say goodnight to the carb sources from whole grains and focus on lean protein and vegetables. We do this to allow our bodies to use the stored energy from carbs ~ In other words, as we sleep, our bodies will use fat as an energy source. For dinner, pair some lean grilled chicken with fajita seasoning on a bed of fresh baby greens, throw in some red bell peppers and tomato and you have a scrumptious dinner.
Follow this model and you r muscle, allowing you will be well on your way to losing body fat while holding on to you to maintain your metabolism ~ and look and feel great the healthy way!