This may seem counterintuitive, ridiculous and impossible but there is a new idea taking hold of the weight-loss fraternity lately. There are many people out there, nutritionists included, who believe that eating three large mealsa day is outdated.
They believe that if we eat six or seven smaller meals a day and exercise regularly, we can live healthier lives and lose weight better.
Some of the first responses to this kind of diet are: this seems like a good way to control hunger and therefore reduce temptation when it comes to snacking, and also a good way to maintain energy levels.
The good news is – both of these responses have proven true. Eating six small meals every day or “grazing” if you want to put it that way – speeds up your metabolism and helps you lose weight faster. Your body has enough energy at any time of the day for exercise and you end up snacking less.
The difficult thing about this diet is turning this sort of eating schedule into a habit – the way we live our lives is not conducive to eating six times a day. The good news is – with just a few minor adjustments and some planning it can be easily done. Here are a few tips to help you on your way.
- Plan all of your meals for the week in advance
This is a little bit more involved than just writing down what you plan to eat on any scrap of paper you can find. You need to ensure that you are organized and that you utilize your planning and scheduling skills as best you can.
A good suggestion is to create a spreadsheet that has two columns for every day of the week. In column one, input each meal you will eat. In column two, input all the ingredients you will need. This makes your life much easier when it comes to shopping – you have a shopping list already organized. This can also help you save money.
- Plan when you are going to eat
When undertaking a diet like this, it pays to have set times that you eat each day. If you can’t make them – try to eat within an hour of your proposed time. This helps in that it trains your body to feel hungry and expect food at specific times of day. It also means that you will become accustomed to the amount of food you eat per meal.
There is no pressing need to organize every single detail of the meals, but for something more involved – like lunch – it pays to be prepared. When you are at the in-between times when others aren’t eating – consider using a protein shake or nutritional snack bar for those meals. Also consider keeping fruit on hand for snacking purposes.
- Eat every meal within three hours of the last one
Use the breaks that occur naturally in your day to your benefit. If you leave the office at 17:30 and you eat dinner at 20:00, eat just before you leave the office. That means that by the time supper time rolls around – you’ll be ready to eat. Just eat a smaller dinner and you’ll as full as you normally would.
- Prepare meals for later in the day while cooking
If you are cooking for a group, make extra and put it aside for later. This makes your life a whole lot easier when you’ve got to eat but couldn’t be bothered to rustle something up. It’s important to remember that by doing this, you are also lowering your chances of reaching for an unhealthy snack, which will set you back.
- Think ahead
If you keep the next day’s menu and food in mind – you won’t find yourself stuck without ingredients, staring into the cupboard in despair. It might help you to try and download a diet planning app, that sets reminders for when you need to shop and when you need to it. On this diet – it only works if you do all your planning.
- Go easy on yourself
Trying out a new diet, such as this one, is never easy. It’s a huge adjustment to make in the way you eat and there will be some teething problems. There will be some days where you forget to plan ahead or slip up and end up eating something unhealthy. This is forgivable.
This should put you on the path of eating small, healthy portions.