Losing weight is mostly about making good eating choices throughout your day. If you have the ability to consistently not over eat and stay within your daily calorie budget you have setup in your daily calorie tracking, you will lose weight. Some people end up having challenges in this area due to how they think about their meals.
Effective Eating Schedule: Why ‘Three Big Meals’ Concept Fails?
Many people are stuck in the old concept of three big meals, especially a large dinner. This is the type of concept that often times will contribute to weight gain, rather than weight loss. Unfortunately, these types of concepts are the ones that are ingrained in many of us from very young ages.
These are also the ones that are most difficult for us to overcome to create new healthy eating habits.
By focusing on eating three large meals a day, you may find that you have energy lows between your meals. These energy lows can lead to feelings of hunger and end up with you snacking on whatever is handy.
Effective Eating Schedule: Why to Prioritize Sustained Energy Program?
Sustained energy should be a goal for your day.
Sustained energy is an advantage over running low until the next ‘big meal’. The best way to maintain a good energy level throughout the day is to fuel your body at fairly regular intervals. The easy way to do this is to have several small meals per day that consist of good quality foods that you plan for, versus whatever you can grab when hunger hits.
For many people, this may sound like snacking your way through the day, and that may not be a bad way to think about it – so long as you know that you are snacking on good food all day long.
Let’s take a look at a sample 1,800 calorie budget for a day. Remember, your daily calorie budget may not be 1,800 calories. It’s important for you to know exactly what your daily calorie budget is to plan your day. I tend to have a larger breakfast than any other meal and have read several articles indicating that this is a good practice. Breakfast is the time when your body has gone the longest amount of time without fuel and its time to start fueling your day.
- Breakfast – 400 calories
- Mid-morning meal – 200 calories
- Lunch – 300 calories
- Early afternoon meal – 300 calories
- Late afternoon meal – 300 calories
- Dinner – 300 calories
In this example, a large number of calories are consumed in the morning to get the day started. For many people, the time between lunch and dinner is the longest period between traditional meals, hence the need for two meals in the afternoon.
Dinner should actually be the light meal of the day since there is usually minimal physical activity after that point.
The key to remember is that all this time, you are drinking plenty of water.
I also tend to drink herbal tea. Most are under 5 calories and sometimes we all need a little flavor in what we drink. They tend to be better than the ‘diet drink’ flavor additives for water that are often a mix of sugar substitutes and chemicals.
Everybody’s schedule is different, so you need to look at how your day flows to determine the best times to have your meals and how big each one should be. If you wanted to, you could think about breaking your calories up into 6 meals a day and simply divide your daily calorie budget evenly for each meal. You have to find the right balance for the flow of your day, your total daily calories and how often you need fuel for energy during the day.
Everybody is different and we each have to find what works best for us. Don’t forget, that during the day, you should be drinking at least 8 cups of water, getting some exercise in and tracking your food and exercise as it happens during the day.