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       Fitness Tips For 6/29/2005

Nutrition and Weight Loss Tips


It is very important to feed your body. If you body does not get an 
adequate supply of calories or the correct balance of foods it will 
enter the dreaded self-preservation stage. When the body goes into 
this panicked state it defends against starvation by storing food 
for later use and slowing its metabolism. (Metabolism is the rate 
at which the body uses energy.) The only way the body can store 
food is to convert it into body fat. However, if you are taking 
n the correct amount of calories and the correct food balance - 
your body never feels threatened, so it relaxes. When the body is 
in this relaxed state -it can utilize stored body fat for energy
and the body releases weight.


Contrary to popular belief, your body requires a certain amount 
of fat daily to function properly. You should not eliminate fats
 completely from your diet. You must simply limit the total 
amount, avoid the bad fats (animal fats, poultry skin, butters, 
whole milk and dairy products) and have small amount of good 
fats (natural oils from grains, seeds and nuts such as olive 
and canola, and from fish).


These are the sugars (fruits, juices, raw sugar in baked goods) 
and starches (pasta, bread, potatoes) and are the main source 
of energy for all the muscles and bodily functions. Carbohydrates 
are converted by the body into glucose, a simple sugar which is
 either used or stored. For quick release of weight, it is best 
to keep the stores low by limiting carbohydrate intake and 
balancing meals properly. We have limited sugars because the body 
does not need to work much to digest them and tends to easily 
store extra energy from them, making you gain weight. These foods 
also increase blood sugar and insulin response making you hungrier 
and unsatisfied. Fresh fruits, juices and white flour products 
(white bread, sugared cereals, white flour muffins) should be 
avoided when you are attempting to lose weight. Only grains 
(multi-grain breads, oats, baked potatoes) and fresh vegetables 
which are high in nutrients, fibers and low in sodium are a part 
of your meal plans.


Protein is, simply put, the most important nutrient for a person 
trying to lose weight. Protein is involved in almost every 
biological process within the body. It is required to build new 
muscle tissue, produce hormones and enzymes and support and 
enhance the immune system. In fact, protein helps control the 
rate of metabolism and regulates water balance and it is also 
extremely useful in maintaining muscle tone and muscle mass in 
dieting individuals. Lean protein sources are chicken, turkey, 
egg whites, fish, canned tuna, beans, tofu or even protein 
powder shakes. Vegetarians should make beans and tofu an 
important part of their diet to ensure they consume adequate 
amounts of protein. 

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