Thursday, February 23, 2017

Four diet mistakes people make in the morning

Most people like to sleep until the last possible minute before getting up for work or school.

That's normal.

The problem is that a lot of activity is crammed into a short period of time as a result.  If you have a regular exercise program (Beachbody workouts, or any other kind), you might find that avoiding a few self-defeating diet mistakes in the morning can improve your results.

Diet Mistake #1 – Too Many Calories Because of Bad Information

A lot of people who are serious about slimming down and toning up believe that there's a need for protein intake about every two hours.  I don't think it's a result of 'brainwashing', but it's pretty close.  Lots and lots of exercise gurus say this.

There's nothing inherently 'wrong' with this advice, except that it might cause you to get that protein from the wrong places - especially when you're in a hurry.  For example, a lot of folks exercising for weight loss will eat something like a 210 calorie Protein Power Bar because they are obsessed with getting 20 grams of protein. But along with that protein (which is good, but you don’t need to obsess about it) comes 13 grams of sugar and 130 calories of non-protein.

Worse, you’re actually getting low-quality protein (like soy, rice, etc.) in these bars. But we still eat the “protein candy bar” because so many say that we’ll lose muscle and our metabolism if we don’t get that protein.  That’s a form of 'protein guilt', and you need to avoid it unless you’re happy with the spare tire that comes with junk calories.

The solution: Consume real-food sources of protein like eggs, fish, chicken, beef, and nuts. Don’t stress about getting protein every 2 hours, just aim for 70-120 grams per day.

Diet Mistake #2 – Wolfing Down Food

I have a friend that can finish an entire 16 ounce New York Strip steak in less time than it takes for me to finish my small dinner salad.  Not surprisingly, my friend has a few pounds to lose.  Here’s the problem: When you eat fast, your brain doesn’t register that your stomach is full.  That leads to you over-eating beyond what you (and your stomach) need.

If that sounds like you, or someone you know, the solutions are simple.  First, chew every bite of food 10 times. You might think that’s easy, but it’s not.  Most people chew once.  I've got a puppy that often doesn’t chew at all, he just “Hoovers” his food back like a vacuum cleaner.  Don't do that!  Second, set your fork down between bites.  Again, seems simple, but it works.  It will slow you down.  Third (and this one’s “revolutionary”), if you have dining companions, consider having an actual polite conversation with them.  That will also slow you down.  And word will get around that you’re a heck of a lot of fun!

Diet Mistake #3 – Eating While In Motion (because it all adds up)

This means no eating while walking. I’ve never understood people that eat and run (almost literally) on the sidewalks here in Houston.  I still work part-time in the Medical Center and you see so many people in scrubs walking and eating. 

Another thing is eating while driving in the car.  Don’t consume any calories (that goes for liquids, too, like sugary Starbucks drinks) when you’re driving.  Not only does eating while driving lead to crumbs and spills, but the BIG problem with eating while moving is that we often forget to count these calories.  All those ‘free calories’ add up on our waistline, bulge our bellies, and leave us struggling with the weight loss plateau.  Limit your meals to sitting at a table and banish all drinks - except water and calorie-free coffee and tea - from drive time.

Mistake #4 – Chugging Down Calories

A friend, Bonnie, often found herself finishing her younger son’s sodas in the mornings.  She
knew better, but she hated to see that last half bottle go to waste.  But that half bottle was 90 calories of straight sugar.  She also added two pumps of Starbucks’ classic syrup to her coffee (40 calories), finished half a cup of her daughter’s orange juice in the morning (50 calories), and unknowingly drank 125 calories in what she thought was a calorie-free Vitamin Water. That’s an extra 300 calories each day (all from sugar!).

And then there was this: The 588 liquid calories from two “Perfect Margaritas” at Applebee’s every Thursdaynight with the girls. Ouch.  No wonder that no matter how hard she worked, Bonnie was unable to overcome the battle of the belly fat.

The solution is to eliminate all those sugar calories and switch to water, Green Tea, and straight coffee. Oh, but you can still enjoy a drink or two, just switch to red wine (that cut Bonnie’s booze calories in half).

Lastly, if you prefer to drink breakfast because of time (or other reasons), I recommend a high-density super food like Shakeology.  It's likely to be the healthiest meal of the day.


Now you’ll notice that none of the 4 diet mistakes say anything about never eating carbs.  That’s the BEST news I have for you today.

And one final piece of advice:  you might try waking up just a 'wee bit' earlier (smile)

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