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How to eat and exercise to lose weight

This guest column was written by Sarah Scrafford. Sarah Scrafford regularly writes on the topic of ultrasound technician schoolsultrasound technician schools. She invites your questions, comments and freelancing job inquiries at her emai...

Exercise right to lose

There are some people who are fitness addicts, and others who are fitness fanatics. While the former are not happy until they get their daily fitness fix, there's nothing wrong with what they're doing, as long as they eat sensibly and don't overtax their bodies. But it's the latter that have cause to worry, because they're fanatic in their attempts to lose weight and never gain it back.

woman eating banana

And so they work out and work out some more, and they compound their woes by not eating enough or not eating at all. What's the perfect balance for exercise and eating? Read on to find out.

Finding a healthy balance

Yes, you need to limit your caloric intake and exercise on an intensive level if you want to lose weight, but you have to achieve a perfect balance between the two if you want to remain healthy as well. So if you're looking for guidance on eating and exercising and knowing where to draw the line in both, here's what you need to know...

About exercising on an empty stomach

While it's ok if you're not a diabetic or have other medical ailments like high blood pressure and erratic blood sugar levels, you need to remember to keep it down to between 30 and 40 minutes of moderate or slightly intensive work outs. Early mornings are the best times of the day to exercise on an empty stomach as your body has energy reserves to last you for a while. It's not advisable to starve yourself for more than seven or eight hours and then exercise at the end of the day. If your body has no energy to fuel your workouts, it uses up your muscles, and this is not a good thing because muscles help boost your metabolism and assist in faster weight loss.

About working out with weights and eating

When you want to tone or build muscles, you need more protein in your diet. And you definitely need to eat well. Strength training or weight training takes up a lot of energy, and you need food to provide this energy. Bodybuilders eat many meals that are spaced throughout the day, focusing on protein, foods low in fat, and complex carbohydrates for their energy sources.

Look here for our article on the truth about protein in your diet >>

About starving yourself

You must eat the number of calories required to sustain you throughout the day. If you starve yourself, your body tends to go into the conservation mode where it hoards the remaining amounts of fat in your body as a safety deposit for times when it's not likely to get food. The human body is amazingly resilient and adapts itself to any situation for a while, so it prepares itself accordingly when you deny yourself food for long periods of time. And this is why you don't lose weight when you starve yourself. Besides, starvation or eating very minute amounts of food is not possible on a sustained basis. So when you do succumb, you tend to binge on food – again, not something that's conducive to weight loss.

About eating breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You must eat a healthy breakfast if you're serious about losing weight. A good meal at the start of each day provides you with the energy needed for the whole day. It kick starts your metabolism and keeps you from snacking on unhealthy food as the day progresses. If you skip breakfast, your body is without food for at least 12 hours, and then you become so hungry that you tend to eat anything you can get your hands on before lunch time. Besides, if you do this regularly, your body will start hoarding fat deposits to burn during the long periods of time it gets no food.

Get some tips to make breakfast easy here >>

So exercise sensibly and eat sensibly if you want to lose weight and keep it off in a healthy way.

More on fitness and nutrition

What to eat after exercise
5 Fitness mistakes to fix now
Everything you ever wanted to know about exercise

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