Every aspect of what we consume is of the utmost importance because food fuels every moment of our lives. The frequency, quality, type, source, and quantity of that fuel all weigh in on our day-to-day health. They also have a huge impact on how our bodies use or store food and therefore our tendencies to either burn or store fat.

Follow the strategies below to improve your body's fuel efficiency!

1. Graze
Eat 6 mini-meals per day. Eating frequently keeps your body out of starvation mode so it's less likely to store fat. If maintained, this tactic will literally shrink your stomach! Males looking to lose weight should aim for 300 calories per meal. Females should shoot for 200 per meal.

2. Know Your Nutrients
FAT should be consumed as part of a healthy, well balanced diet. Eating fat does not mean putting on fat, the culprit is actually CARBS! Carbs encourage your body to store fat. Steer away from carbs unless you are a competitive endurance athlete. Do not dip below 70g/day without professional guidance. A high PROTEIN diet is the most successful nutrient-bias in a weight-loss plan. Protein tells your body to do something, as opposed to giving you the energy to do something.

3. The 3-Hour Rule
Eat with the aim to be hungry again soon. Implementing these outlined strategies means your body will learn to use energy as it comes in. Experiment and see what it takes to fuel your life for three hours. You should be truly ready and hungry for another mini-meal when three hours is up, if you’re not, it is an indicator you ate too much.

4. Hydrate
Front-load your meals with water to keep you hydrated and to keep from overeating. Your body registers “full” by how much your stomach is stretched. Water is heavy! By pushing H2O between or before meals, you’re closer to initiating the full feeling without having consumed calories!

5. BONUS: Go-To Mini Meals.
Keep these protein-rich foods on hand in case nothing else is prepared.
Raw & unsalted cashews, almonds, or walnuts.
Low fat Swiss Cheese slices
Greek Yogurt with frozen berries
A fruit and vegetable smoothie with protein powder
Deli meat
Cottage cheese

If this is a drastic change from your current eating habits, ease into them slowly. Try increasing water intake one week, and apply the 3-hour rule the next. New habits must be incorporated slowly; changing too many things at once triples your chance of reverting to old habits. Seek professional guidance when combining these with a formal exercise program, as nutrient ratios need adjustment based on activity level.

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