#FitnessFacts: EATING

WHAT you eat plays the largest role in nearly any health & fitness goal, but HOW & WHEN you eat can also make a huge difference!

First a quick tip on HOW to eat: Don’t eat with your mouth full! If you already have food in your mouth, don’t put any more in until you’ve properly chewed & swallowed the previous bite.

One trick is to put your food down in between bites. Try not to hold your food or utensils in your hands throughout your whole meal- put them down and talk to people you might be eating with, or take sips of water in between bites.

This allows time to let your mouth absorb nutrients in the food, rather than sending the food straight to the stomach. It also allows the food to be properly chewed so it’s more easily digested.

But most importantly it gives your body time to let your brain know when it’s full! It can take the digestive system 10-20 minutes to send the signal to your brain letting it know that’s it’s full- so eating too quickly can easily lead to overeating & weight gain.

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day! Eat a well balanced breakfast or snack within 1-2 hours of waking up. Doing so jump starts your metabolism & helps provide energy for your morning.

Eat a small healthy snack every 2-4 hours throughout your day. This keeps your metabolism running, provides stable energy, & keeps you full so you don’t overeat at your next meal.

Don’t eat a large meal within 3 hours of bedtime. Food is more easily digested when you’re standing upright, so lying down strains the digestive process. If you must eat before bed, opt for a light snack that's high in protein, like yogurt, cheese, or a protein shake.

-Eat within 45 minutes of finishing your workout! At least drink a beverage with some vitamins & minerals, or eat a meal or snack such as yogurt, a protein shake, granola bar, or a light sandwich. It’s important to replenish your body’s storage of fuel- not doing so can slow down fat loss & muscle gain.

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