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Tire Trouble

Tire TroubleReaching your peak physical potential encompasses not only a good exercise & weight training regime but also proper rest and diet. These 3 go hand-in-hand, so when it comes to losing that spare tire around the mid-section, it's important that you keep some good eating habits in mind. Avoid these pitfalls, which can undermine your efforts to lose weight:

1. Not taking in enough fluids, especially water. Eight glasses of water each day is the recommended amount. It helps your body's metabolism to burn fat, flushes out toxins and by-products, prevents kidney stones and gives you good skin. In addition, it's a natural appetite suppressant. For something that costs virtually nothing, its benefits are numerous so be sure to take advantage.

2. Eating too fast. There is approximately a 20-minute lag time between the time you consume your food and the time your stomach tells your brain this, so often we reach a "full tank" before our brain gets this message. Eating too fast, therefore, can lead to over-eating.

3. Starving yourself. When you starve yourself, your body becomes trained to store away food as fat until the next time you eat so it actually does the reverse of what you want if you're trying to lose weight. Eat small nutritious meals throughout the day instead of eating a larger amount and then starving yourself for long periods in between.

4. Skipping breakfast. Despite all the reports about skipping breakfast before doing cardio first thing in the morning, we actually recommend having a very light, nutritious meal. This will get your body's metabolism up and running for the rest of the day, and actually improves your body's fat-burning capabiity. As mentioned in point #3, it's important not to starve yourself and skipping breakfast will prolong the period of time since your last meal, which is already several hours.

5. Bingeing. It's perhaps the single greatest factor in the level of obesity that is overtaking much of America. Too many people are eating meals that are too large. There is also the rampant notion that if you are really hungry, you need ALOT of food. Not so, you only need an adequate amount to satiate any hunger. There is only so much food your body can process in one sitting, after which it will begin to store excess food in the body as fat. Eating 5 or 6 smaller meals daily will actually increase your body's fat-burning capabilities by 10% and it will store less food as fat.

6. Not being aware of what you are eating. Keep tabs on the number of calories and fat you are consuming each day. You don't have to be exactly accurate but if you can get an idea of how many calories you are consuming each day, it will help you get a handle on your eating habits. The average man, who works out, should not exceed 2000 calories a day. Anything extra will most likely be stored as fat.

7. Not watching your sugar intake. It's loaded with calories and raises blood sugar levels. This causes your body to produce insulin which alters the body's metabolic rate negatively.

8. Eating too much simple carbs. White bread and pastries are all comprised of simple carbs and will make you gain weight but that doesn't mean you should cut out all carbs from your diet. Instead go for moderate amounts of complex carbs like pastas, rice and whole-grain breads.

9. Eating too healthy. Unfortunately, some of us take things to the extreme so that it actually becomes unhealthy. Radical changes to your diet can be difficult for your body adjust to. In addition, our body needs a balanced diet and new "super-healthy" diets may rob your body of necessary nutrients.

The underlying theme throughout most of the above points and the key to good eating habits is moderation. It's unrealistic to expect people to never have another serving of ice cream but instead of swallowing an entire pint next time, just have a couple of scoops instead.