Eating frequently throughout the day is beneficial to keep mood and energy high, blood sugar levels stable and help with increased metabolism and weight loss. If you can remember to eat something every 3-4 hours, you can benefit in many ways.
Fueling up first thing in the a.m. is easy. Here is an idea of how a typical day should look:
- Your first meal is at 7:30. Grab a hard-boiled egg with ½ apple or plain oatmeal with a scoop of peanut butter mixed in with berries on top.
- The next meal would be around 10:30. Make sure each “meal/snack” has protein. Controlling your appetite with healthy snacks should be done twice a day. For example, cottage cheese or Greek yogurt, walnuts, berries, apples and cheese. Eating twice in the morning means you’ll take in fewer calories overall and not overeating at breakfast helps start your day without feeling over stuffed.
- Lunch is around 12-1:00. Goal for lunch is to take in as many nutrients as possible. Vegetables, beans, lean meat, nuts, fruits. Think soups and salads.
- Snack again around 3:00-4:00. This snack is probably the most important. It prevents overeating at dinner and after dinner.
- Dinner at 6:00 or 7:00. This may seem late to some. I recommend eating 3 hours before bedtime so this may be different for everyone. Many find that if they eat too early then they get hungry right before bedtime which can interfere with sleep. Goal for dinner is to keep portion sizes down. Think leafy greens and other vegetables, lean meat, fish, beans and legumes. Start with the greens and lean protein like fish for heart healthy omega 3’s.
- If the snacks are calling your name at night, try non-buttered popcorn or Greek yogurt.
This may seem like a lot of food to some. Most people I meet with are not eating enough and discover the difference in how they feel when they start eating more frequently. I recommend to set a timer on your phone to buzz to remind you to eat at certain times of the day just like your meeting reminders. It’s never too late to try to eat more frequently to feel better inside and out!