Fruits and vegetables are an important part of every meal, big or small.
Traditionally, our society has been raised to eat three meals a day. But three doesn't have to be the magic number, in fact, you may find that eating four, five or six meals a day keeps you full and better fits your lifestyle. If you are not careful, however, adding more meals could lead to weight gain. Some careful planning and prep can help keep you on track, however.
Redefine Your Idea of A Meal1.
Change your ideas about what a meal should be. It doesn't need to be a steak, mashed potatoes, veggies and a roll. Instead, it can be a handful of grapes, a few wholegrain crackers and a spoonful of peanut butter. Since you are eating more meals, they should be smaller and lighter.2.
Don't exceed your suggested daily calorie intake. For instance, if your suggested calories per day is 2,000 and you want to eat five meals a day, each should contain approximately 400 calories.
Make fruits and vegetables the star of your meals. The USDA recommends you make half your plate fruits and vegetables. They are filling and low in calories, which means they are just right for mini-meals, just as long as you are not eating them by the bucketful! Make sure your mini-meals contain foods from the other major food groups.
Plan Ahead, Pack Ahead1.
Make a list of what you plan to eat at each meal for a week. It can be on a whiteboard or a piece of paper you keep in your daily planner, for example. You may even use an app on your smartphone. The important thing is that you have a plan.2.
Hit the grocery store and get exactly what you need for the week. If you have included a lot of fruits and vegetables that will go bad quickly, you might need to plan one trip earlier in the week and another one later in the week. Making sure you have everything you need will keep you on plan.3.
Carry your food with you. You are on the go, so your food needs to be, too. Tote a cute lunch bag or stash some plastic bags with proportioned food in your purse or briefcase. Use cooler packs to keep foods cold if necessary.
Get on a Schedule1.
Try to eat at about the same time every day so your body will get on a regular eating schedule.2.
Eat before you are starving. This will keep you from eating too much. If you are eating four or five times a day, you should be eating every two or three hours.3.
Think ahead. If you have a long meeting planned, you might want to eat beforehand so you are not famished by the time you are free to eat.
- Lunch tote
- Sandwich bags
- Cooler packs
- Eat on a smaller plate, because this will make it seem like you are eating more.
- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables with different colors so you consume different phytonutrients.
- Set a timer or alarm to remind you to eat every few hours.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day.