Any person who is involved in any kind of fitness regime, knows that eating small meals frequently throughout the day, is better than having a few large meals. There are numerous benefits to doing the same. Increased meal frequency appears to have a positive effect on various blood markers of health, particularly LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and insulin. It also appears to help decrease hunger and improve appetite control.
However, due to varied lifestyles, it may not always be possible to have small meals throughout the day. The logistical requirement of carrying around your meals with you throughout the day, the availability of a microwave to heat them before consumption, and adequate time and place to actually have the food, puts a lot of people off. Nevertheless, if you are someone who has decided to go ahead and adopt such a meal plan, here are a few pointers to get you started.
- Eat a snack during the time you are without food the longest during your waking hours
- Eat small meals every 2.5 or 4 hours throughout the day
- Plan 3 meals and 2 or 3 snacks distributed throughout the day, every 2.5 to 4 hours
- If eating less than 3 meals, eat an additional meal
- Introduce breakfast by drinking milk, fruit or vegetable juice
- Add an additional food to breakfast
- Eat cereal for bedtime snack instead of a high fat snack food
- Prepare extra for meals so leftovers are on hand
- Plan time for preparing a nutritious lunch or snack for hard to get away times
- Slightly decrease portion sizes of your largest meals
A little bit of planning too, in this regard, would go a long way.
- Write weekly menu with accompanying shopping list
- Keep shopping list (with pen or pencil) conveniently located in kitchen
- Prepare foods the evening before and refrigerate for the next day
In order to make this change to your lifestyle more motivating and to keep yourself committed to it, you may try doing a few more things. Pick one goal each week that you feel confident you can modify in your diet for years to come. Every week, record date of commitment by goal. Share your goal with those close to you and put a note of your goal on your refrigerator so you are more likely to succeed.