How you eat has been said to determine up to 80 percent of the way you look. If you want to build muscle and stay lean you must follow an effective nutritional plan. Far too many people who are striving to achieve results stumble in this important aspect. By following these simple guidelines, you can create an eating program that will help you reach your goals.

Schedule Times For Your Meals

Eating meals throughout the day at specific times helps you have a more efficient metabolism. Depending on how you feed the body, you will either increase its metabolic rate to supply you with more energy throughout the day or slow it down to conserve what little it has left. If your body isn’t supplied with a steady stream of nutrients to use as energy, it will start shutting itself down, by giving your body less energy to work with.

Stick with a regimen of eating 6 to 7 meals a day as you have intelligently planned. It may take a few weeks for your metabolism to speed up to operating at the rate it should. Soon you will actually be hungry and anticipate when you get to eat your next scheduled meal.

Keep It Simple

“What are we going to eat for dinner tonight?” Some people put a lot of thought and effort into just deciding what foods they are going to enjoy during a future meal. The more difficult you make it to vary your meals the tougher it will be to prepare your meals ahead. Simple meals help you stay consistent with your eating habits.

Calories Consumes vs. Calories Burned

You can’t just diet by avoiding fattening foods if you want to lose body fat. When the day is done you must have burned more calories than you eat. It doesn’t matter if all the food you eat is healthy, wholesome or clean if the total calories you eat are not lower than the calories your body burns each day.

Don’t Skip Meals

Once you have missed a meal it is gone forever. You can’t make up a missed meal by eating two the next scheduled time because the body can only assimilate so much at one sitting. Eating every meal is an important part of both the muscle-building process and the fat loss process.

Eat Your Vegetables

Besides providing an excellent sustained source of energy these fibrous carbohydrates allow you to eat a larger amount of food by volume than starchy carbohydrates (such as rice, pasta, potatoes) and do so with fewer number of calories. You can practically eat as many vegetables as you wish during a meal and easily stay within your allowed daily caloric intake. The ability to eat more food by volume is a huge mental benefit when forced to restrict daily calorie consumption in an effort to lose excess body fat. Just about all the calories in the vegetables you eat are negated by the work it takes to digest them. The opposite is true when eating starchy carbohydrates. A person must be careful not to include too many calories in starchy carbohydrates in his or her diet – which is hard to do.If you had anything close to resembling a “secret weapon” that you could offer in terms of nutritional practices it would be to eat as many vegetables as humanly possible.

Because of the low glycemic value in vegetables your insulin levels are managed more efficiently than when you eat starchy carbohydrates. That means fewer ups and downs in energy levels, fewer mood swings, and less chance for excess calories to be stored as unwanted body fat.

Eating vegetables also slows down the digestive process. Slowing down the digestive process will ensure that your body efficiently utilizes the precious protein it depends on to repair muscle tissue. Eating vegetables is not as satisfying as eating a delicious bowl of oatmeal or rice but after the time to wean off starchy carbohydrates you will hardly notice the difference. Although some people believe fresh vegetables are best for you don” be afraid to take advantage of the convenience of frozen vegetables.

Dieting will Take Dedication

Whatever method you choose to lose body fat there will be some sacrifices. When it comes to dieting to lose body fat there is no substitute to hard work. If you have too much body fat you are simply eating too much food, not burning enough calories, not dieting for a long enough time, or a combination of those factors. It is not because you have not found the “right diet” for your body and it is not because you have a slow metabolism.

It is not because you do not know enough about nutrition. It is not because you don’t have enough bodybuilding and training experience. It is not because the ratio of protein, carbohydrates, and fats are 40-40-20 instead of 50-40-10 or even 40-30-20 it is not because you are carbohydrate sensitive. It is not because you can’t afford the right nutritional supplements.

If you are carrying too much body fat than you would like, the problem is that you are eating too many calories to meet your objective. You must either eat fewer calories or lower your standards for what you expect.