A great place to start is:
5 meals a day.
“Whaaaaaaat?????” You might be saying. It could sound strange, for sure! But! Let’s go through the reasoning of Why!??
Remember camping? Remember building a fire? Once you get the fire going with the firewood, if you didn’t add any more wood to the fire, it would eventually go out, right? No more fire, no more marshmallows. Think of your metabolism as the campfire. In the morning, you start the fire by probably having breakfast. Food in this case will resemble the firewood. Just by having breakfast, you’ve started the campfire. Now if you left the campfire until lunchtime, what do you think will happen to the fire? Yes!!! It will go out!! By lunchtime, the fire will be gone. To keep that metabolism going, we need another meal in between breakfast and lunch. Let’s call this meal, The Mid Morning Snack. Lunch rolls around, you put some wood on the metabolism fire, and you are all set for dinner…. not exactly! Now again, between lunch and dinner, it’s too long and the metabolism fire will go out. You need another snack. What!! Again!!?? How much food am I going to be eating? You may or may not be thinking. We will get to how much shortly, bear with me. The Mid Afternoon Snack stokes the metabolism fire that has been burning ALL DAY so far… Then comes dinner. We eat dinner and that’s it! We can now let the metabolism fire burn out….. until the next morning…..
A quick summary of the meals:
- Mid Morning Snack
- Mid Afternoon Snack
Sounds like a lot of food right!?? It might sound that way, but let’s break it down. First, we start with how many calories you are planning to eat daily, perhaps for weight loss or for weight gain? Let’s use weight loss as an example. Let’s say I only want to eat 1600 calories a day. 1600 calories divided by 5 meals is 320 calories per meal. Each meal would consist of protein, vegetables and fruit or rice or pasta. But the meal shouldn’t be over 320 calories.
Without getting too deep into the nitty-gritty of macro planning, for weight loss, you’ll find yourself losing weight just based on the 320 calories. It’s when you plateau with your weight loss, that we need to get more specific.
Another tip, Make sure to eat your fruit choices by your Lunch meal (meal #3).
Last tip! The frequency of the meals. Plan your meals ideally 3 hours apart. But, if you need to, 2 hours is fine in a pinch. But push for the 2.5 – 3 hour mark between meals.
This all requires planning, so sometimes it easy to plan the night before. Get your meals ready in the Tupperware or plastic lock bags, find a cooler to keep your food cool and you are set.
Of course! Any questions or if you need help with planning your food, feel free to ask – happy to help! ∎
Your online coach for fitness & nutritio