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Blog: Tips on how to avoid the Fall gains

The days are getting shorter, and the nights are now getting a lot colder. With fall approaching, winter is just around the corner. So many people, like animals, gain weight when it gets colder. This gain is our body's way of keeping us warm, in pre-historic times. In this day in age, our bodies don't need that stored fat for warmth, we live in houses with heat, and we have warm jackets and sweaters. But our genetic make up hasn't evolved in such a way that our bodies don't gain when it gets cold.

As I was sitting on my deck, reading and sipping my tea, I looked at the birds at the feeder, and noticed that their feather are all fluffed up, and they look "thicker" and I had a feeling of dread that I wasn't far behind. So that got me thinking: there has to be a way to avoid that winter "pudge", but still enjoy all that warm fall/winter comfort food. Doing what I do best, I hit the net and my books and did some research. Here is what I found.

1. We eat WAY too fast!!! Did you know that the average person consumes their meal (the whole thing) in 5 to 10 minutes? WOW!!! Talk about speed eating. Try using a timer the next time you eat, just to see if I'm right!! A meal should take at least 20 to 30 minutes to eat. In other words you should "stop and taste the food". Eating slower will help you to know when you are actually full (not stuffed), and you will naturally eat less. Also you will save some heartburn later. Eating quickly tends to make us bloated, and gassy too, (so not a good thing on a first date for sure). So when faced with a steamy bowl of stew or a plate of casserole, SLOW down. Take your time. I promise the food will not run away.
2. I've said this before and I'll say it again. Our plates have gotten bigger, along with our waistlines. Why not hit up the yard sales before they end for the season and seek out smaller dinnerware. Or...if that isn't an option, use the salad plates as your main plate. Not only will you think you are getting a "full" plate, you will eat fewer calories in the end.
3. At Inches we always stress the importance of measuring your food. We really aren't kidding. Measure every morsel that you eat. Plan meals ahead of time, and before you even sit down, portion it all out. If a recipe states it makes 4 to 6 servings. Portion out 6 servings, put the extra servings away, in the fridge or freezer, and have your portion. Simple as that. NEVER go blindly when serving up your grub.....
4. We all have our guilty pleasures. ALL of us. The key is knowing what your weaknesses are and not having them around for easy consumption. Usually when you have to get ready, get the shoes on, and head to the store for your chips or chocolate, you will just give up. Write down what your weakness are, and make those isles off limits when you head to the grocery store. Ask yourself why you are craving that particular thing at that particular time. Use your food journal. Try to find alternatives to your guilty pleasures. If you love chocolate, try dark chocolate (like Lindt 95%), if it's chips try rice cakes (but watch the fat content) or bake your own pita chips (only 2x weekly though). There are all kinds of recipes you can find that will be a healthier option.
5. JOURNAL! Write everything down. That is part of our program, and any program that assists you to lose unwanted weight. When you write it down you have a visual of what you are putting in your body. It makes you more aware. Many people journal their food these days. Tyra Banks (supermodel) even journals her food daily (she said it on her show). Journaling what you are eating, when, why, and with whom is key. Also keeping track of your water is key, 8x 8oz glasses daily is the minimum water intake. So pick up a journal (only $15.00) and start recording your meals today!!
6. Eat!! Yes eat. People always fall into the foolish thought that if they don't eat they will "burn" off fat. WRONG!! Your body will go to other stores first. Like muscle. And muscle burns fat!!! YES that's right muscle burns fat!! We at Inches recommend eating 5 to 6 small meals daily that include a balance of all categories in the Food Guide. Have protein at every meal!!! Protein helps us to build muscle, takes longer to digest so you feel fuller longer, and is high in good fats (depending on the cut and type). Choose lean sources of protein: beans, egg whites, lean red meat, low fat dairy products, chicken, turkey, salmon, etc...your body will thank you for it later.
7. NEVER skip breakfast (see the blog on never skipping meals). When we wake up in the morning we have literally just gone 5 to 8 hours without nutrients. They body starts to drop its blood sugar levels after 3 hours. So we are literally starving when we wake up, even if we don't feel it. You MUST eat a good, healthy balanced breakfast. You are probably saying: "oh but I never feel hungry in the morning" or "oh if I eat breakfast I feel sick". Well guess what, you HAVE to re-train your body. In all reality NO ONE gets sick form eating a healthy diet, and breakfast is part of that. Full stop! Start with a small breakfast: ½ cup cottage cheese with some berries or a smoothie. Work your way up to a full breakfast, and soon you will wonder why you every skipped it in the first place. And you never know...all that energy you get from having breakfast may just make you stand out at that next department meeting because you are "on the ball" and you get a nice big raise.....it's possible. So please....eat breakfast.

These tips make sense no matter what the season. But with the cooler weather fast approaching, it's important to review some smart eating tips. For some great recipes or to help you along with your menu planning come visit us at Inches and we'll help you "Every step of the weigh".


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