Love to eat and are trying to lose weight? You may want to listen up. Due to the way your body processes food for energy, you may lose more weight by eating more often. This doesn’t mean stuffing your face with whatever kind of food you want as often as you want. But this is a diet plan that suggests you eat smaller, more frequent meals of the right kinds of foods.
Like the sound of this type of diet plan? Read on. It may be just what your weight-loss goals need.
Start your day with breakfast. Many people think that they’ll lose weight if they skip meals, but this is a myth. The meal most people skip is breakfast, but just like mama said, it really is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast gets your metabolism fired up and gives your body the energy it needs to start the day.
After a healthy breakfast when should you eat next? It may not be best to wait four or five hours until lunch, as doing this may result in excessive hunger and overeating. You may do better to eat a small, healthy mini-meal or a large snack sometime in the middle of the morning. Then at lunch you won’t be overly hungry. The same goes for the afternoon. If you’re feeling weak and hungry with hours to go until dinner, it will pay off to pay attention to your hunger and go with a mini-meal. When dinner rolls around, it’ll be easier to eat less and feel satisfied.
Eating every three hours or the equivalent of five or six small meals can be an effective way to eat fewer calories throughout the day. When your body gets to the point of extreme hunger on a regular basis, it stores extra calories as fat to be used as energy when hunger strikes next. However, when your body is on a regular eating schedule and knows it’ll get the energy it needs at the right time, it’ll burn up the extra calories as energy rather than storing them as fat.
The key to weight loss is burning more calories than you eat. So if you find that you eat fewer calories by eating smaller, more frequent meals, then this diet plan may be for you. Experts recommend that if you’re exercising several times a week along with watching what you eat, aim to eat around 1,200 calories spread out over four to five small meals. Work out more frequently and lead an active lifestyle even when not in the gym? If you are a female looking to lose weight you should aim to eat 1,500–1,900 calories over the course of five to six small meals (300 calories each). And for men, around 2,000-2,500 calories.
Just remember that your six meals aren’t the size of a typical meal. They’re miniature, so make your six meals about half the size of normal meals. And include lean protein, carbs, and healthy fats in each one of them.
As with any diet plan, there are positives and negatives. Knowing your eating habits and dieting weaknesses, consider the following risks and benefits to eating smaller portions more often:
– If you find that once you start eating you have trouble stopping, eating more often isn’t for you.
– Frequent meals take planning and preparation. If you don’t time to plan additional healthy meals this diet may not work for you. An easy way to try it out is to make regular-sized meal portions and split them in half to save for later.
– If you get cranky and/or feel starved when the normal meal time rolls around and often find yourself overeating, eating smaller meals at regular intervals may benefit you. Feeling full and satisfied throughout the day can help you stick with your diet plan.
– Making healthy food choices and eating at regular intervals can go a long way in your weight loss endeavours.
Ready to give your new diet a shot? Get to eating!
Jack Wheeler is a personal trainer and owner of 360 Fitness in Red Deer.