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So if you have read my first post then you know I have been really trying to eat healthier and focus on getting into better shape. I’m not going to say that once you have made changes that it’s easy to continue on with a healthy eating lifestyle. I still get cravings for meat and sweets and it’s more prevalent when going out to eat. You need to have some willpower when making changes to your eating habits. I don’t think that I will ever fully lose the cravings for the foods I once loved, but making the right decisions will help keep me on track.
One thing you can do to curb some of your cravings when making changes to your diet is to never let yourself get to hungry. When you do that you don’t really care what you’re eating and that’s when you’ll most likely binge on foods you’ve been trying to avoid. This is important when you will be out of your home for a while. When your home you hopefully have a bunch of healthy choice options around you. When you’re out you will have to try and find something, and while you’re doing that the hungrier you’re becoming, making you more susceptible to poor decisions. When you have plans to go out try to always leave feeling full and make sure to bring healthy snack options for when you get hungry to keep you on track.
Speaking of feeling full and healthy choices I would like to bring your attention to breakfast. Yes we have all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I would like to say yes it’s true. Many people who are trying to lose weight feel that they can do that by skipping breakfast. They believe that they have just cut out those calories and are on their way to hitting their goal. The problem with skipping breakfast is that you end up slowing down your metabolism which will impact your ability to burn calories. You also have the potential to over eat when you do finally have a meal which you could end up netting more calories than if you hadn’t skipped breakfast. Then there is the lower energy levels that come from skipping meals. You feel tired, sluggish and end up burning fewer calories.
There are also plenty of people out there who say they don’t have time for breakfast or time to make breakfast so they just grab some fast food breakfast as they head into work. I will say that yes cooking a full breakfast does take time, but if you pre-make your breakfast for the week all you need to do is heat it up. As for me when I switched up my diet I tried you find a quick, easy, healthy and fulfilling breakfast. I decided to go with oatmeal. This hit every category I was looking for in a breakfast. Quick and easy, you got it, this takes a total time of 5 minutes to prep and heat and maybe another 5 to 8 minutes to eat. Healthy, certainly, I eat a multi-grain organic oatmeal that I get from Trader Joe’s. Fulfilling, certainly, complex carbs are great to eat for a feeling of fullness. Plus being that they are a complex carb they will help provide energy over an extended period of time.
I find that oatmeal is a great option for people trying to eat healthier, have limited time for breakfast, and for those trying to find a good energy option for exercise. Oatmeal starts off at a low calorie meal and can be built up to a nice source of calories for those needing the extra calories and this can all be done in a healthy way. The oatmeal I eat is 140 calories for a half cup. It has 1g of fat, 29g of carbs, 5g of fiber, and 5g of protein. For me I need the calories so I build this oatmeal up by having a full cup and I add 1 cup of blueberries (great for taste and antioxidant), I use 1 cup of 7 grain milk (any substitute can be used here including water for less calories) as the liquid, and 1 tablespoon of chia seeds. This gets me to a total of 580 calories with 7g of fat (no saturated fat), 115g of carbs, 24g of fiber, and 17g of protein.
I eat this before my rides in the morning and it provides me with good source of quick energy and long lasting energy. Breakfast is a great way to start your day. Remember to take time to eat a healthy breakfast to start your day off in the right direction. Eat early, eat often and keep your metabolism active to help burn those calories.
Quick Tip: When trying to reduce that amount of food you are consuming remember to drink 16-20 ounces of water with each meal. Not only will this help fill you up, but by doing this you are at about half the amount of water you should consume on a daily basis. If you do this at snack time as well you should have no problem getting an adequate amount of water per day.