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Fresh, Fit and Healthy Fitness  

Rev Up Your Engines!Eating Right

Eating Right is Key

by Tom Bonanti

Slaving away inside your body – this very minute – is your own personal trainer working tirelessly to help you burn calories and shed fat. It’s called your metabolism, and it is the sum total of everything your body does. Every time you eat, enzymes in your body’s cells work to convert food to energy that keeps your heart beating, your mind working and your muscles pumping through grueling workouts. The faster your metabolism runs, the more energy you have and the more calories and fat you burn all the time.

What if someone told you that there are ways to rev up your engine so that your metabolism could function in overdrive? Leave it to Mark Magazine to share with you several ways you can become that lean, mean sexy machine you’ve dreamed about. u First, eat a hearty breakfast every single day! What should you be having? You should eat breakfast foods that are slow to digest and leave you fuller longer. Try a mix of lean protein with complex low glycemic index carbohydrates and healthy fats. Here are some suggestions: an omelet made from one egg and two egg whites with a half cup of mixed peppers and onions; a half cup of cooked steel cut oats with a quarter cup of fresh blueberries or raspberries; a whey protein shake with a cup of skim milk and a teaspoon of omega-3 loaded fish oil. Never skip breakfast under any circumstances – it is the most important meal of the day.

Secondly, choose protein for lunch. Cramming protein into every meal helps build and maintain lean muscle mass. Muscle burns more calories than fat, even while you’re sleeping. Aim for 30 grams of protein – the equivalent of one cup of low-fat yogurt or a four-ounce boneless chicken breast at each meal.

Third, when you workout, don’t let the grass grow under your feet! Move from set to set, muscle group to muscle group rapidly. Move around and stretch or do calisthenics between exercises. Reduce rest periods between sets to no more than a minute. Reserve socializing until after your workouts. Leave the damn phone in the car. Get off your ass and move it! You’re not in the gym to “strike a pose” but to workout that body!

Fourth, when you lift weights, count to three as you lower the weight back to starting position. Slowing down the negative or eccentric part of the movement increases the breakdown of those muscle fibers. Sounds awful, right!? It isn’t because the repair process on these tired, broken down fibers pumps up your metabolism up to 72 hours after your session. Make sure to use weights that are challenging enough and keep good form. Give each muscle group up to 72 hours to recuperate before you work them again.

Finally, hit the sack early. Count on eight to nine hours of sleep each night. Any less than this for prolonged periods of time can make you cranky, depressed, and fatigued or worse – you’ll store more fat and burn less calories!