General Rules for Most Diets

    Men like rules. Rules are what make things interesting. After all, how much fun would it be if you had endless downs to reach the goal line, if the strike zone were an infinite expanse, or if the only time you got called for a double dribble was when you stopped to gawk at a cheerleader?

    Not very. Rules are what make the game. Rules are how you know who’s winning and who’s losing.

    At any given moment, even at rest, your body is breaking down and building up protein, a nutrition and exercise researcher at the University of Connecticut. Substitute the word “muscle” for “protein,” and you quickly understand just how dynamic your body is and how your muscle content can change considerably in the course of just a few weeks.But muscle doesn’t come just from pumping iron, hauling lumber, or visiting Roger Clemens’s “nutritionist.”

    Muscle buildup is triggered by eating protein. In fact, every time you eat at least 10 to 15 grams of protein, you trigger a burst of protein synthesis. And when you eat at least 30 grams, that period of synthesis lasts about 3 hours, and that means even more muscle growth.

    Eat protein at all three meals, which can include meats and eggs or other options such as cheese and milk. You need to boost your protein intake to between 0.8 and 1.0 gram per pound of body weight in order to preserve your calorie-burning muscle mass. That’s a total of between 83 and 126 grams daily for a 185-pound guy.

    That means aiming for approximately 30 grams of protein at your main meals, and two snacks of at least 10 to 15 grams of protein. Eat at least one serving of fruits or vegetables at every meal. You can and should eat as much of them as you want to help satisfy cravings.

    Make a snack out of yogurt once a day. A University of Tennessee study also found that people who added three servings of yogurt a day to their diets lost 81 percent more belly fat over 12 weeks than those who didn’t eat yogurt. And a study in Molecular Systems Biology found that yogurt-based bacteria can prevent the body from absorbing fat. Bugs that eat your fat! Who knew?

    Regularly skipping breakfast increases your risk of obesity by 450%. And breakfast is the one meal where, calories be damned, eating more is almost always better than eating less, in an ideal world, you’d get between 500 and 750 calories at breakfast alone. Just make sure some of those calories come from protein.

    In a 2008 study, researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University found that people who regularly ate a protein-rich, 600-calorie breakfast lost significantly more weight in 8 months than those who consumed only 300 calories and a quarter of the protein. The big breakfast eaters lost an average of 40 pounds and had an easier time sticking with the diet, even though both groups were prescribed about the same number of total daily calories.Check out our natural enhancement line for the best weight loss and fat burning supplements.

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