Fiorella DiCarlo's Take Your Body to the Next Level

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Thursday, December 6, 2007

Instructions To Lose Weight: Eat All Day

In my experience, I’ve found that people tend to stick with the first dieting information that they ever heard. I find it so difficult to change their minds with any new information. Most people still think that deprivation or bland food is inevitable, while others have “food fears” with particular foods that they were once told were off limits.

My own mother is still afraid to eat a steak! So you can assume my dilemma when I advise people to eat five mini meals a day.

First off, I would like to stress the word MINI. The idea is to take your calorie intake for the day (and this varies from person to person according to body weight and activity level) and separate the calories between 5 mini meals.

Generally for women, I would suggest meals that are between 150-250 calories. If you enjoy having a little more for dinner you can save some calories from the earlier meals and add calories to you “Dinner” meal, which can be between 450-500 calories. Another solution is having the larger meal as “breakfast”, or simply keep the calories distributed evenly throughout the day.

The benefits of eating throughout the day are enormous. First off, it keeps hunger away because you will be eating about every three hours. This will keep your blood sugar level steady and prevent the dipping that causes our bodies to store fat. Since we now know that just the act of using energy to digest our food boosts our metabolism, this method proves ideal for keeping our bodies burning fat all day long.

Remember, eating cake five times a day does not count. WHAT YOU EAT IS IMPORTANT. Ideally, combinations of protein and a fiber rich food are best. If you can’t live without carbs, add some complex carbs earlier in your day.

Here are some ideas for mini meals:

1 cup high fiber cereal with skim milk

11/2 cups of cottage cheese with berries

Low fat plain yogurt with nuts

Lean meat 3-4 oz with fibrous veggie like asparagus

Salad with 6oz can of tuna (try Italian brands in olive oil-very tasty)

1 cup of slow cooked oatmeal with fruit or low fat cheese

Protein shake with no added sugar

1 slice whole grain, high fiber bread with turkey slices

I really can go on and on! The variations are endless but stick with what you like. If you don’t like cottage cheese, don’t bother. I love it when I add fruit or sugar free jam, it’s like a little dessert. However, it may not work for you.

By adding a fiber component to each meal it allows you to feel fuller longer, which means you will feel more satisfied. Also, adding fiber to each meal relieves any constipation that comes from eating a high protein diet.

If you’re concerned about preparing five small meals, the key is preparation. On Sundays, I hard boil eggs, make tuna salad, buy my on the go cottage cheese and hey, I have also been known to cook chicken and put them into Ziploc bags so I can bring it to work with me. This prep method works for pretty much all kind of foods and can be quick and easy. It will probably also save you a bunch of money.

I follow the mini meal plan and simply adjust my intake earlier in the day if I plan to go out for dinner. I always give myself one day a week where I can eat whatever I want. The plan will be more successful for you if you take the time to find the healthy food you like and stick with it. I love food and mini meals are a way to enjoy myself while still staying on my healthy eating plan.

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