There has been a bit of buzz lately that eating smaller, more frequent meals can be healthier for you. The caveat is that you have to maintain a 200-300 calorie threshold for each meal if you're trying to lose or maintain weight. Some meal plans I saw online suggest for dinner you have a piece of toast spread with peanut butter and celery sticks dipped in ranch dressing. I realize that the suggestion is for muscle-building protein and fat-burning fiber, but call me crazy, that’s not dinner!
The challenge I have with eating small meals five to six times a day is in revolutionizing my thinking that these small meals are only meant to tide me over to the next small meal, and no more. I’m not supposed to feel completely satiated, just merely satisfied. I’m supposed to feed my pangs of hunger, not over-indulge so I can’t eat again for five hours, because another little meal is coming in two to three hours.
Anyone who’s seen the TV show Burn Notice on USA Network can understand the small meal concept. It’s in how the main characters nosh on yogurt several times a day. What is with the yogurt anyway? Doesn’t their grocery store stock veggies and fruit too?
Some people still prefer to eat three squares a day with a snack. The point is, no matter how your habits go, you can learn to eat healthy. I came across some sample meal plans on one of my favorite websites (next to EmpowHer.com, of course), RealSimple.com. “The Grazer” meal plan I picked is the most realistic I’ve seen compared to other snack-yourself-healthy plans, and it includes recipes for some of the suggestions:
- Whole wheat bagel with cottage cheese and a small orange, or
- Vegetable omelet, and two pieces of raisin bread with strawberry preserves
- Grilled chicken and avocado salad, or
- Two store-bought sushi rolls with broccoli and carrot slices
- One cooked russet potato with a half cup of warmed canned meatless chili, or
- Shrimp stir-fry
- Sliced Gouda
- Low-fat muffin
- Low-fat yogurt with granola
- Pita crisps with guacamole
- Fruit and nuts