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FITNESS CHALLENGE: More food, less fat
health column pic
Preparing meals in advance is a good way to make sure you eat healthy all week long. - photo by NANCY ANGEL / The Journal

In a perfect world, we could eat as much food as we want to and not gain an ounce of fat. But in the real world, we have to work our butts off to moderate our food intake and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Since I started my “Get Fit, Stay Fit” challenge with the Journal’s editor Kristina Hacker, my diet has changed dramatically. For starters, I eat a lot more! I put food in my mouth every couple of hours and wind up consuming five to six small meals a day. My diet is now prepped for the entire week and it is rich in protein, vegetables and good carbs like brown rice and sweet potatoes. I also literally drink a gallon of water a day.

By eating five to six small meals per day, you will increase your energy levels, accelerate muscle growth, and speed up your metabolism without storing fat. In fact, frequent eating will actually allow you to eat up to 50 percent more calories without storing an ounce of it as fat.

It’s been a challenge though. Don’t get me wrong, I love to eat clean. But sometimes I like to enjoy a fatty meal (I’m only human).  Last night I had a dream that I devoured an “In n Out” cheeseburger with animal fries and a strawberry shake. I woke up with my mouth salivating and yearning to take a trip the nearest In n Out. Instead, I grabbed some celery sticks and stuffed them in my mouth.

Whenever I’m having a crazy craving, something fattening or sweet, I snack on something healthy to satisfy my appetite. Sometimes I’ll stuff a handful of dried cranberries in my mouth, and when that doesn’t work I’ll munch on a protein bar.

Since I’ve been eating a lot more these past few months, my workouts are just as intense. I make sure I kick it up a couple of notches during my boot camp classes at the Harding Performance Boot Camp. Since I’ve altered my workout regime and diet, I’ve noticed a big difference in my body.

I haven’t weighed myself since I last stepped on the scale with Anthony Harding five weeks ago. My focus isn’t whether the scale goes up or down; my goal is to increase my muscle mass and feel stronger. So far I’ve been doing great.

I can’t wait to eat a cheeseburger once my fitness challenge is over, though. I’m counting the days.