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The right meals can help you lose weight

Some people think skipping meals will help them to lose weight.

The opposite is actually correct. Skipping meals can actually make you so hungry that you basically eat everything in sight by the time the next meal rolls around.

So it does not promote weight loss, but can actually lead to weight gain.

In order to lose weight we must lower our caloric intake. To lose 1lb of body weight you must eliminate 3,500 calories.

To lose 1lb a week, calories must be cut by at least 500 per day. Most of us eat between 1,500 and 2,500 calories per day, but if you habitually eat out, your calorific range will be much higher.

Our metabolism is responsible for burning fuel and keeping our bodies in working order. When we eat food, our bodies typically start the process of digestion. After the food has been digested, the metabolism goes into “sleep mode”. This means the body is not burning as many calories. The longer you wait between meals, the longer your body will stay in “sleep mode” and the fewer calories you will burn.

Continuously skipping meals will cause your body to get used to being inactive and can result in significant weight gain and metabolic damage. Here are a few tips to help you lower your caloric intake without eating less:

Eat protein at every meal

It helps to fill you up and is more satisfying than carbohydrates or fats. It keeps you fuller longer, and helps to preserve muscle mass and encourage fat burning. Try to incorporate fish, lean meats, eggs, Greek yoghurt and beans into your meals and snacks.

Stock your fridge

Try to keep your fridge stocked with fresh cuts of vegetables, grilled meats, whole grain tortillas, salad greens, home-made hummus and fresh fruit. These ingredients are easy to grab, so you can prepare quick and healthy meals.

Swap pasta for vegetables

Simply eat less pasta or bread and add more vegetables. By reducing the portion of starch on your plate you can save 100-200 calories per meal.

Clear the cupboards of fattening foods

If you have chips, cookies and cereal in the cupboard, you are making weight loss harder than it has to be. Reduce the temptation by purging your cupboards of fattening foods.

Want an occasional treat? Make sure you leave the house to get it, preferably by walking!

Dropping pounds takes time, but food is a necessary part of losing weight. Setting goals, making better food choices and staying active will get you there before you know it. Stay focused and B-Active For Life.

Betty Doyling is a certified fitness trainer and figure competitor with more than a decade of experience. Check her out on Facebook: www.facebook.com/B.ActiveForLife