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Reduce Meat to Lower Weight and Burn Fat

July 24, 2010
(Article first published as Low Meat Diet Possible Key to Weight Loss, Fat Reduction on Technorati.)

Consuming too much meat, especially red and processed meat has been linked to increased risk of heart disease and cancer, and now those trying to lose weight are well advised to limit total calories from all meat sources. Research reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition links a diet high in meat to excessive weight gain when compared to people eating the same number of calories from non-meat sources.

The results of this study highlight the importance of eating a well balanced, reduced calorie diet for optimal health and weight management goals. All calories are not created equal, and don’t have the same impact on our metabolism and ability to store or release fat for use as energy. Meat is high in calories and protein which alters the way our body regulates appetite.

Healthy weight loss and maintenance are the result of a combination of lifestyle modifications which impact our genes and the way we utilize energy. Lowering calories from meat sources in favor of fiber rich vegetables is one step toward altering metabolic balance. You’ll need to establish a multi-step approach to reach your permanent weight goal.

Step 1: Focus on Proper Food Balance

People trying to lose weight must be mindful of the amount of food eaten, but research from the Harvard School of Public Health suggests that eating a well balanced array of different foods may be the key to controlling weight. They have developed their own ‘Healthy Eating Pyramid’ which allows for large quantities of fresh vegetables, healthy fats, oils and grains.

The pyramid minimizes foods such as dairy, red meat, refined carbs such as rice, bread and pasta, potatoes, sugary drinks, sweets and salt. Many people find that when they follow a well balanced diet plan consisting of the proper blend of food groups, eat at home regularly and use smaller plate sizes for meals, they’re able to naturally lose weight without the need to count calories.

Step 2: Place Exercise at the Top of the List
Eating a well balanced, healthy diet is only half of the weight loss equation. Many people are able to drop some weight strictly through lowering calories, but few are able to maintain their weight without a regular exercise plan. Exercise should be scheduled at least 5 days a week. It’s best to keep track of your progress on a chart as a fun way to motivate yourself.

Most people need 20 – 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week to dramatically lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and certain cancers. You’ll also receive a mood lifting boost which will help you remain positive as you make the lifestyle changes which will lead to healthy weight loss.

Step 3: Supplement with a Multi-Vitamin

Vitamins are an inexpensive insurance policy which every active adult should be taking on a daily basis. Occasionally vitamins are maligned in the media based on a poorly controlled study showing they’re ineffective.

The vast majority of these studies are performed using poor quality synthetic versions of vitamins which may actually be detrimental to your health. Choose a good natural vitamin which clearly states that it’s made from whole foods sources. It will cost a little more, but your health is well worth the extra cost.

The balance of the foods you eat are important to your overall health and weight management goals. Excess calories from protein sources such as red and processed meats cause the body to store excess energy as fat.

While meat is an important source of nutrition, it shouldn’t account for more than 10 to 20% of your diet. Substitute healthy amounts of fresh vegetables which trigger the metabolic release of stored fat, get regular exercise and take your multi-vitamin and you’ll be well on your way to vibrant health and your permanent weight loss goal.

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