Saturday, May 18, 2013

Eat 5-6 Small Meals Each Day for Weight Loss and Health

You have probably heard the concept of eating smaller meals more frequently. I am personally an advocate of the practice. It is a great way to promote weight loss, increase lean mass, and feel more energized.

Most of us have grown up in a culture that promotes eating 3 large meals a day and avoiding between meal snacking. This kind of eating makes you feel bloated from overeating at each meal, tired and hungry between meals, and starving at night.  Eating 5-6 small meals (about every 3 hours) will help you control your appetite, regulate your blood sugar level, and stay alert all day.

When your blood sugar drops, you will often eat the first thing you can get your hands on. When you maintain your blood sugar level by eating frequently throughout the day, you consistently feel satisfied and will be more likely to eat healthier foods.

Perhaps eating 6 times a day doesn't seem practical. However, each meal is not a large sit-down affair. Some of the meals are going to be quick snacks that require almost no preparation (ex. Greek yogurt and an apple) . 

People who try to lose weight by not eating deprive their bodies of nutrients. They may look healthy but they actually have high percentage of fat and very little muscle. Moreover, this type of diet leads to dangerous blood profiles. By eating healthy small meals, you body receives all the nutrients it needs. You will look great on the outside and inside!

Here is what a 6 meal day might look like:

Meal 1
Kashi cereal
Skim milk

Meal 2
Toast with peanut butter

Meal 3
Grilled chicken sandwich (whole wheat bread, lettuce, tomato, mustard)
Carrots sticks and hummus

Meal 4
Whey Protein mixed with orange juice

Meal 5
Sweet Potato
Spinach salad with all the vegetables you want

Meal 6
Greek yogurt

When switching to this kind of eating plan, it will be a little challenging for about the first 2 weeks. There will probably be times when you feel hungry initially. However, after your body adapts, you will feel great and begin experiencing all of the benefits of eating smaller portions more often.
Milwaukee Personal Trainer

Source: Core Performance by Mark Verstegen