Commandment #2: YOU NEED TO FUEL YOUR BODY
We need food for energy – food is what fuels our body. Conversely, we tend to choose our food choices based on taste and convenience, not necessarily on how good they are for us. Equally important, we need to consider how many calories or “how much fuel” does our body need in a given day? Generally, the more active you are, the more energy your body needs for daily life. For example, a marathon runner will require more calories per day than a desk jockey that doesn’t work out. When fueling your body, it’s important to keep in mind, when you over eat, your body will reserve the extra energy as fat.
Why is fueling your body important? It’s so important to keep your fuel intake moderately even throughout the day. If you wait until the last minute to eat after so many hours, there’s no denying you may over eat or worse yet eat the wrong foods to fuel your body. When you start this cycle of over eating at one meal, not eating enough at the next meal or skipping meals all together is has a huge affect on your energy level. This up and down eating cycle can leave you feeling tired, irritable and make it more difficult for you to lose weight. When you eat small frequent meals you avoid overeating. Stick with foods that help keep the edge off hunger. Be sure to include protein and fiber rich foods at each meal.
How to fuel your body? The first thing is to figure out how many calories you need to eat per day? Check out ACE Fitness Daily Caloric Needs Estimator to get a general idea of how many calories to consume per day. Let’s say you need to consume a 2,000 calorie diet. Your goal is to eat even sized meals every four hours. Your diet may look like this:
- Breakfast (7 to 8 a.m.): 500 calories
- Lunch (11 a.m. to noon): 500 calories
- Mid afternoon snack (3 to 4 p.m.): 400-500 calories
- Dinner (7 to 8 a.m.): 500-600 cals
What are the best foods to fuel my body? There is no such thing as the “one, two or five perfect foods” to fuel your body. The key to fueling your body is variety. The more varied your diet the better because each food has its own unique nutrient profile. Plus adding variety in your diet, will help you stay more consistent with your healthy eating plan. In general, you want your meals to contain both complex carbohydrates and protein. Choose plenty of colorful vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean protein sources at each meal.
How often should I fuel my body? Eating more frequently throughout the day can help you to avoid binge eating and/or food cravings because your body is constantly being fueled at more frequent intervals. Your goal is to eat every 3 to 4 hours throughout the day. Basically eating 3 meals and one snack or 3 meals and two snacks, depends on what works for you.
References: ACE Fitness Caloric Needs Estimator
Asian Salad with Peanut Ginger Lime Dressing – By Lisa Marie
Ingredients for Asian Salad:
1 medium zucchini shredded – 4 cups or more
2 cups of shredded red cabbage
1 cup red bell pepper diced
1 cup of diced carrots
1 cup of diced golden delicious apples
1 cup of cooked quinoa
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup hemp seeds
4,4 oz cooked chicken breast cut into bite size cubes
Ingredients for the Peanut Ginger Lime Dressing:
1/2 cup of peanut butter (almond butter works well too)
1/4 cup of fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. Bragg’s Soy Sauce
1 inch piece of ginger root or 1 tsp of ground ginger powder
1-2 cloves of garlic
1/4 tsp of ground cayenne or more for a kick!
Place ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. If it’s too thick add 1 Tbsp. of water at a time to thin it out. Adjust seasonings to your taste. Enjoy!
Assemble all the ingredients in a large bowl and fold in the dressing