More Advanced Tips:
- Meals should start big and get smaller throughout the day.
If at all possible; breakfast should be the biggest meal of the day, with the highest carb content. Dinner should be the smallest meal with the highest protein content.
Don't eat carbs after 6:00 PM.
If you're planning to hit the sack around 10:00 or 10:30, you should stop eating carbs 4 to 5 hours prior to that - 5:30 or 6:00. It's important to go to bed with little to no carbs in your belly, as mentioned above.
When I was young, my wife and I could split a large bag of M&Ms then doze off to sleep with no problem, but that's not the case any more! If I eat junk-food before going to bed, it keeps me awake for hours; or I get to sleep then I'm wide awake two hours later. Also; the carbs I eat at night show up on my waistline within 24 hours! It seams that way at least.
Reduce your stress levels!!!!!
Studies have shown that muscles can't accept nutrition as well when the body is under stress. Long-term stress lowers the metabolism, reduces your muscle mass, and causes your body to store excess energy in the form of fat all over your belly, hips, thighs, etc..
One of the best ways I know to reduce stress is moderate to low-level exercise - biking, walking, elliptical machines, rowing, and yoga are examples of low-level exercise. I also find Meditation (2) helpful.
Your heart rate should remain below 120 to get a good stress relieving benefit from exercise. If your exercise routine pulls your heart-rate above 140, this can act as a stimulant. Intense cardio is great for your heart, but it doesn't relieve stress as much as a moderately-paced walk.
If you are a single mother, an over-worked executive, or an over-trained athlete, you should consider adding low-level exercise at the end of your routine and throughout the week. I see lots of body-builders walking on treadmills at 3mph several times a week. Their weight-lifting routines push the envelope of human capability, which causes extreme stress. They use the treadmill to reduce stress and help avoid over-training. Low-level exercise for 20 to 45 minutes is one of the best ways to reduce the negative effects of stress on your body.
Don't eat just before you go to bed
If you've read the previous tips, this should be obvious. However, I've talked with a number of people who work 2nd or 3rd shift who say this is one of the only times they can eat.
If you must eat just before hitting the sack, then eliminate all carbs from that meal: Protein and fat only. And keep the meal small. It's really not a good idea to sleep just after eating a full meal, so I suggest you avoid doing it.
Men; have you ever seen a skinny guy with a big gut? Try this diet for a couple years and you will!
- Skip breakfast (and maybe even lunch).
Eat a high-carb meal just before you go to bed.