Thursday, February 23, 2006

A Painless Way to Lose Fat (and Lower Your Cholesterol)

by Jon Herring

If you want to reduce your cholesterol levels, increase your energy and alertness, burn more calories, and control your body fat, there's a painless way to do it: Eat smaller, more frequent meals.

Eating smaller meals at regular intervals throughout the day will cause your body to release less insulin. In turn, this will cause your body to store less of the nutrients that you're taking in as fat.

And here's something else to consider. A British study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, looked at two groups of women. The first group ate a few large, irregularly spaced meals. The second group ate six smaller meals at regular intervals. The researchers found that the latter group consumed less food, burned more calories, and had a lower level of LDL cholesterol (the type of cholesterol often associated with heart disease).

Here's how to go from two big, sleep-inducing meals per day to six energizing meals:

1. Split up your portion sizes. Instead of having a big lunch, enjoy half of that meal as an early lunch and the other half as an early afternoon snack.

2. Eat regular snacks (mini-meals). Example: a piece of fruit, an ounce of almonds, and a cup of green tea late in the afternoon.

3. Eat a high-protein, fiber-rich breakfast to get your day started right. The protein will help you think better and the fiber will help control your blood sugar and energy levels throughout the day.

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