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Get in shape with 8 nutrition tips

It takes a lot of discipline to achieve an enviable toned body but with some basic nutritional knowledge you can achieve your goals faster than you thought.

  • Eat more often
  • Don't forget breakfast
  • Eat slowly
  • Importance of protein
  • Cut the calories
  • Carbs are good
  • Drink more water
  • Don't eat late

1. Eat more often
By spacing out your meals to every 2.5 - 3 hours you'll help yourself lose weight. Instead of eating 3 large meals a day, divide this into 6 smaller meals. Not only will the more regular flow of nutrients into your body raise your metabolism (and burn more fat in the long-run), you'll also feel less hungry.

2. Don't forget breakfast
Research has shown that people who miss breakfast find it harder to lose weight. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and is essential for getting your metabolism firing. Let this be your biggest meal of the day. After all, you've starved yourself for at least 8 hours whilst sleeping.

3. Take your time
After you've eaten, it can take up to 20 minutes for your brain to register that your stomach is full. Don't rush your food. Savour every mouthful. The more slowly you eat, the fuller you'll feel.

4. Eat protein at every meal
High protein foods make you feel fuller quicker and for longer. Choose meats such as chicken, turkey, or low fat mince, or any type of fish. Protein is also essential for muscle growth and repair.

5. Cutting the calories
You don't need to become a calorie counting junkie, just stop eating foods you don't really need. Increasing the amount of cardio exercise will also help burn the fat. Start off slow and build up: try running for 30 minutes 3 times a week and if you've got more energy, try longer/more regular intervals.

6. Carbs are good
Despite what you may have heard, carbohydrates are not the enemy. They provide the energy source for short bursts or long-sustained exercise. Without carbohydrates our bodies would find it hard to adjust to this inherent energy deficit. The Glycemic Index ranks foods based on their immediate effect on blood sugar levels. Higher GI foods (i.e. more sugary) are required after exercise to replenish drained sources. The rest of the time, the body needs lower GI foods. As a rule of thumb, stick to complex carbohydrates (vegetables, whole grains, and beans) which take a long time to digest and have a more prolonged release of energy.

7. Drink enough water
Water is a fundamental part of our lives. It's easy to forget how completely we depend on it. Aside from aiding in the digestion and absorption of food, water regulates body temperature and blood circulation, carries nutrients and oxygen to cells, and removes toxins and other wastes. Water also plays a major part in weight loss. Since water contains no calories, it serves as an appetite suppressant and helps the body metabolism stored fat. It may possibly be one of the most significant factors in losing weight. If you find yourself getting hungry, try drinking water to curb your appetite.

8. Try not to eat before bed
If you're trying to lose weight, this is an excellent tip. Energy levels plummet whilst we sleep so it's harder for our bodies to burn excess calories eaten late at night. Save your food for when you're awake.

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