Maintaining muscle mass has a one-two punch: strength and weight management. Check out how it works.
Dr. Monique Tello of Harvard School of Public Health is a working mom who takes the train to work. She needs something quick, easy and transportable as many of us do. She combines fruit/yogurt/grain/nut bowl for her breakfast, which happens to be my daughter's daily breakfast. I personally cannot eat the same thing for breakfast every day. If I have time to eat at home it's likely to be sautéed vegetables with a pasture raised egg. That is not transportable so it's only on eating in mornings I have that. In the office the fruit/yogurt.grains/nut bowl works perfectly.
Here's Dr. Tello's description of her breakfast ingredients:
- "Frozen fruit: berries, mixed fruit, fruit with kale bits, whatever. Fruit is frozen at the peak of freshness, so the quality and vitamin content can be better than what’s in the produce aisle. We buy large bags of frozen mixed berries at the wholesale club or discount grocery, as they are much more economical than fresh and don’t go bad.
- Nuts and/or seeds and/or grains of your preference: for example, unsalted nuts, toasted seeds or grains, or a combination such as a low-sugar granola.
- Your favorite yogurt, ideally plain or low-sugar.
Either the night before or the day of work, grab a plastic container that can hold at least a few cups, and fill with the frozen fruit, heaped up at the top (mine holds 3.5 cups). Defrost it in the microwave (mine takes about 3 minutes). Put a top on it. Throw that in your lunch box alongside a snack-sized baggie of nuts and/or seeds and/or grains (I like cashews), and the yogurt. Don’t forget your spoon.
Why is this a healthy breakfast?
The fruit is not a token sprinkle, nor a decorative touch. The fruit makes up the bulk of this meal. There’s fiber in the fruit, and plant sugars in their natural form, not to mention healthy fat in the nuts, and protein in the yogurt. A low-sugar yogurt will leave us feeling more satisfied, for longer. We won’t get the insulin spike that triggers hunger pangs (unlike when we eat processed carbs).
If you want to step it up a notch, ditch the dairy. We can get plenty of calcium and other vitamins from leafy greens and other veggies. Personally, I’m not there yet, as I love yogurt, and have weighed the added benefits of my beloved creamy protein and probiotics against the recognized risks of regular consumption of animal products. So, I limit my intake of animal products as much as I can, and enjoy my daily morning yogurt."
How would that work for you? Additional at work options might be whole oats that you reheat in the morning and add nuts, cinnamon and fruit.
Planning Is Key
We can have the best of intentions, but unless you have the ingredients you need at the ready, a healthy breakfast, lunch or dinner just won't happen.
If you're not sure of what a healthy shopping list looks like, contact me and I will send you one.
Ever wonder what metabolism has to do with weight gain or loss? Metabolism is basically the sum of all of the activities your body has to do to stay alive and breathing and keep you rockin'. It's calculated as a basal metabolic rate; the energy, or calories you need simply to be alive in a resting state. Calculate yours here and then come on back to see what you need to do to lose unwanted weight.
It makes sense that your goal is usually a HIGH metabolic rate and definitely NOT a low one, yes? Here are some ways to wake up that metabolism engine of yours:
1. Make sure you're eating ENOUGH. Yes, I said it; you may not be eating enough for your body to know it's okay to burn off some energy. Your body is sometimes smarter than your rational mind; it knows if you don't have enough food so it takes action and slows the burn. Not good when you're wanting to lose weight.
2. Eat regular meals. Breakfast is most important, so make it a good one filled not with muffins and bagels but with high protein foods - fish, eggs, plain Greek yogurt, and some veggies like kale, onions, mushrooms.
3. Build muscle. This is a BIG deal! Fat only burns 9 calories per pound and muscle burns a whopping 38 calories per pound. Lift those weights, practice yoga, do your squats, ladies and gentlemen.
4. Eat sea veggies, nuts and wild seafood. These give you a blend of iodine and minerals like selenium to nourish your thyroid. You need a heathy thyroid to have a healthy metabolism.
So how does my healthy eating plan fit in when we're talking metabolism?
It's all about balance. In my book Food Becomes You you can find simple recipes that give you a blend of all the foods you need to get your metabolism into just the right level. It might take some time, you won't see rapid weight loss, but rapid weight loss in the past is exactly why you might have been having trouble losing weight now.
Be patient, eat well and get moving. You can do it!
Oh, and if you have any questions or want to start a "metabolism thread" on my free Facebook Community page, click here and it will take you right over.
You can always post in the comments section below and I'll get back to you.