Power Eating
by Dave Herber

Whether you are fitness professional, a bodybuilder, a fitness model or just someone ready to make the change to a healthy lifestyle, you must come to the realization that your diet is a very important part of that change.

Rather than go into the different restrictive diets and percentages of carbohydrates to protein to fat you should be consuming to be successful. I'd like to touch on something that will help you stick to your "diet" and help you reach those fitness goals faster.

That something is power eating. You have heard it a million times, spreading your calories out over five or six meals a day will help you keep your metabolism revved up so that you burn more fat and gain more muscle. But who has the time to take a meal break 5 or 6 times a day? Well, if you want to lose the weight and change your body quickly, you will make the time. In this age of Tupperware and microwaves, fitting in 5 or 6 meals is easier than ever. Of course, it takes planning, but so does your workout routine, so lets get to it.

Eating 5 or 6 times a day requires you to consume a meal every 3 or 4 hours. Let's take a look at the 5 times a day model:
6am - Breakfast -
9:30am - Mid Morning Snack
1:00pm - Lunch
4:30pm - Afternoon Pre-Workout Meal
7:00pm - Post workout meal.

Assuming Breakfast and your post workout meal will be consumed at home, lets concentrate on the mid morning snack, lunch, and pre-workout meal

Mid Morning Snack (MMS)
Depending on the breakdown of calories your MMS should be between 300 and 500 calories. A good Meal Replacement Powder (MRP) or Protein Powder with some fruit would be an excellent choice. Load up a shaker bottle with the MRP or protein powder before you go to work. Put some fruit in a Tupperware container and take it with you as well. Can't afford MRPs or protein powder? Pack up some yogurt and fruit with some oatmeal or other cereal.

Prepare weeks worth of lunches on the weekend, Saturday or Sunday. Grill up boneless breasts of chicken, lean red meat, or fish. Split up what you grill into equal serving sizes. The serving size should be dictated by the amount of calories you need to be consuming to reach your goal. If you are building mass, you need more calories so give yourself a large portion. If you are trying to lose weight, use smaller portions. Then add a vegetable. The vegetables can be fresh or frozen. Brown rice is also a good side to whatever meat you'll be eating. After you've combined your meat and veggies into one container, throw it in the freezer. Now you have your lunches all prepared for the week and won't have to worry about fixing your lunch the night before. Just pull it out of the freezer and throw it in your gym bag, briefcase, or lunch bag. Not only will this help you save time during the week, it will help you save money. When you prepack your meals for power eating you are less likely to spend money in your company's cafeteria or go out to lunch at a fast food restaurant and consume a high calorie, high fat value meal.

Preworkout meal
This meal should be consumed 1 or 2 hours before you are going to workout. Again you want to consume a high quality protein and some form of carbohydrate so that you'll have energy to get you through your grueling workout. I find that a can of tuna provides me with a good amount of protein with a cup of frozen broccoli or some other green vegetable. To spice up your can a tuna, try using spicy brown mustard rather than mayonnaise, you'll save calories and fat grams and actually add some flavor to a meal that can seem quite bland. If you can't fathom putting brown spicy mustard on your tuna, try it with pepper sprinkled on it, another low calorie, low fat alternative to mayo.

Try power eating today. Save time, money, calories, and reach those fitness goals faster.

Dave Herber, the author, is certified by the American Council on Exercise in Personal Training and Lifestyle and Weight Management Consulting. He has his MBA in Marketing from the University of Baltimore and is the program manager of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission fitness center in Washington, DC. He is the president of www.w8lifter.com a fitness consultant and personal training website.


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