Image by: Tella Chen
By MacKenzie Nelson-Greene
While all of us have different needs for nutrition, it is important to discover what the best way for us to lose weight actually is. If you have found that eating smaller meals throughout the day is helpful to you, then this is the article for you.
Eating smaller meals throughout the day is a great technique for those of us who get hungry quickly after we eat. If you are watching your calorie intake while you are eating smaller meals, you might find yourself starving before your next meal comes along. Well, ladies, that changes today.
There are great ways to eat smaller meals, but not feel excessively hungry throughout the day. Avoiding fast food and other empty calories is the first step to creating a meal plan that works best for you.
If you are curious about figuring out the best meal plan for several smaller meals throughout the day, check out these three foods that should be at the top of your list!
#1) The Power of Protein
Protein fills you up, gives you energy, and makes you feel fuller, longer. It is a great way to supplement foods that are high in calories and fats. Most proteins have a little bit of extra fat, but most of those fats are actually good for your body.
Therefore, it is important to incorporate some form of protein in every meal that you eat throughout the day.
If you begin your plan with five smaller meals throughout the day, make your first meal in the form of a protein shake. You can get protein powder (I prefer soy protein) at any local grocery store or health store. In general, it seems a bit pricy; however, those canisters last quite a bit of time, so they are worth it in the long run.
For breakfast, make yourself a protein shake with bananas, blueberries, dark chocolate almond milk, and protein powder. I like to add some flaxseed meal and almond meal to up the protein and fiber in my protein shakes.
Not only will this shake fill you up, it will give you tons of essential vitamins and minerals as well as protein.
To add protein to the rest of your meals, incorporate a small portion of high-protein trail mix as a side to your meals throughout the day. I like to make my own trail mix by buying from bulk bins at the grocery store. This way, I can keep the sugar content of my trail mix down, and the protein content way up!
For your lunch and dinner, add a small portion of fish or white meat chicken to a salad to keep your protein high.
#2) Fill-Up Foods
As always, you want to avoid empty fillers and empty calories. These consist of foods that make you feel full for about twenty minutes before you begin to feel that starving feeling again. I suggest trying to stay away from most breads or tortilla shells. Replace these items with smaller portions of whole grains.
Whole grain toast is much better than sour dough or an onion bagel. Whole grain toast will help you feel fuller longer while it helps you clean out your digestive system.
Add a piece of string cheese to the mix to help you get a little energy boost, and to keep you feeling fuller, longer.
Additionally, I like to add a salad to every meal. I eat the entire salad before I begin eating the rest of my meal. This is a great way to fill your belly with veggies that are high in vitamins. I rarely add cheese to my salad as a way to keep the calories down. However, if you’d like to add a little bit of shredded cheese to your salad to keep your protein levels high, go for it!
Adding a vibrant salad before everything I eat is a great way to make it feel as though you are having two meals for the price of one. Additionally, you will eat less fatty foods as long as you eat a salad before you jump into your main dish.
#3) Eat Longer, Eat Less
For a lot of us, the feeling of hunger is something our bodies try to tell us exists even when it isn’t hungry. A lot of issues with overeating are psychological. Therefore, in most cases, the hand to mouth and chewing motions are the only things we need to feel appeased.
So, when I say eat longer, eat less, I am telling you that the longer you spend eating one item, the more full your brain will tell your stomach it is. This is why you should always keep carrots, celery, rice cakes, and sliced cucumbers on hand. These items take quite a bit of time to eat, and they give you the nutrients your body needs to fill up.
As an added bonus, you can keep a container of hummus with these veggies for a little added dipping. Hummus is extremely high in protein, which we all know is wonderful for these smaller meals!
If you are eating smaller meals throughout the day to help you with your diet program, it is important to stay away from the empty calories that can actually make you more hungry. Remember that protein is your best friend in these situations, because it helps to keep you fuller, longer. Additionally, keep your eye on fill-up foods to help you ensure that the amount of calories you are eating are actually filling you up. Next, make sure you find foods that take a little time to eat. This will help you trick your brain into thinking you are eating more. What are some ways to stay up on eating several meals throughout the day? Share with us in the comments below!