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Eating Right During the Day

Sep 10, 2008
Part of a healthy lifestyle is maintaining a proper diet. By eating right, you avoid gaining weight, therefore having enough energy to finish the day and thus preparing your body to sleep fitfully at night. Combined with a regular exercise regimen, eating correctly will also help you lose weight, if needed, and help you avoid risk factors for ailments like heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension.

The Right Kind of Diet Needs Carbs

A balanced diet consists of the correct amounts of carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Despite the bad reputation it came to have, 40 percent of your calorie intake should still come from carbohydrates. It is the most readily available source of energy for the body. You should get most of your carbohydrates from complex carbohydrates, which can be found in food like grains and other fiber-rich food, such as vegetables. As much as possible, stay away from sugary food, as they give you a quick sugar boost but eventually cause your body to crash from the sugar high. Sugars are also easily converted to fat.

Proteins and Fats Too

Protein should make up around 40 percent of your diet. Your body needs to rebuild the muscle tissues damaged from exercise. It also needs essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. These will be important in building lean muscle mass, which burns fat efficiently, plus to maintain proper functioning of body systems. Lean meat is a good source of protein.

Some forms of fats are needed by your body for production of important compounds like hormones. Unsaturated fatty acids and high-density cholesterol are good fats that keep your blood vessels clear. They also remove bad cholesterol from the body, among other important functions. Fish and vegetable oils should be in your diet as well, as they supply the remaining 20 percent of your diet.

Six is Better Than Three

The concept of three square meals a day is passe. To have a sustained energy level throughout the day, you should have three light meals with snacks in between and a few hours after dinner. These should be approximately 3 to 4 hours apart. This prevents your body from getting too low on energy and consequently, too hungry. This decreases the tendency to overeat during your regular meal times.

Proper Meal Composition

Breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day. It provides you with the energy that you will consume for the rest of your day. Thus, it should contain the bulk of your carbohydrate intake for the day plus lots of protein. Lunch should be light and mostly consists of protein to prevent you from getting too sleepy in the afternoon. Dinner should be your lightest meal to avoid sleep difficulties.

Good Snacking

As for snacks, remember to keep them light and handy. A handful of nuts, some slices of fruit, or small sandwiches are ideal for this. Your post-dinner, pre-bedtime snack should be light enough to prevent hunger pangs and let you sleep comfortably.

There's a lot of room to work around these suggestions to fit your lifestyle. Just make sure that you eat the healthy types of food in the correct amounts
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