A Guide to Grazing
What is ‘Grazing?
In short, Grazing is the consumption of smaller amounts of food more regularly throughout the day, and can help the food lovers among us to strike a healthy balance between eating regularly and weight loss – perfect!
However, with the wrong advice, this can naturally lead to disaster - so be mindful when giving grazing a go.
How does grazing work?
Well the truth is that we have to eat to lose weight. Periods of reduced eating and deprivation force the body to go into a ‘survival mode’. So when we actually eat we store much of the food as fat in order to overcome another period of ‘starvation’. A lack of calories also shuts our metabolism down, so we actually burn less calories at rest too.
The key is to actually eat more, smaller meals regularly throughout the day. This will keep our metabolism high, provide us with more energy and can actually burn more body fat.
This process doesn’t mean eating six huge meals every two hours, but more modest portions that will satiate you. The main focus should be on consuming high quality proteins and fresh vegetables.
Fats should come in monounsaturated forms such as in nuts and high quality oils (e.g. Cold Pressed Olive Oil). Set your watch and consume a small meal every 2-3 hours, which should be just enough (around 2-400 calories) to raise your energy levels but not ‘over-fill’ you.
Some smaller people (e.g. 50-70kg) may only need four or possibly five small meals per day (every three hours) whereas larger people (80kg+) may go as far as six meals and some body builders even more.
Common sense should prevail in relation to these meals. Breakfast should include some high quality protein e.g. poached eggs on wholemeal toast. Then you might go for a mid morning protein shake or some fresh fruit and lunch could be a small serving of chicken and broccoli or salad with a (homemade) salsa sauce.
Mid afternoon could include some raw fresh vegetables or more fresh fruits and the evening meal should include a healthy lean protein source around the size of the palm of your hand, along with lots of fresh vegetables. Evening snacks could consist of anything from a glass of milk, a protein shake or some cottage cheese or a small amount of organic peanut butter on some celery.
Either way you will be creating a greater source of energy for your body with no hunger dips which would trigger the body’s ‘fat storing’ survival mode.
Happy Grazing Swimfitters!