Monday, March 7, 2011

Living Healthy and Strong Challenge #2

(Favorite snack is Salsa and baked chips--use a light mist of olive oil on the chips instead of Pam)

Challenge #2: Eat Five to Six Meals a Day

Studies have shown that having 'less food more often' has numerous health benefits including preventing the blood sugar fluctuations that contribute to overeating and to fat storage while increasing your metabolism and lean body mass. (I used the books Flip the Switch. Proven Strategies to Fuil Your Metabolism and Burn Fat for 24 Hours a Day and The Abs Diet for Women to learn more about this subject)
There are so many studies documenting the facts that if you want to look slimmer, feel fitter, and live longer, then you need to eat more often. A study in Japan found that athletes who ate the same amount of calories a day from either two or six meals both lost an average of 11 pounds in 2 weeks. But the ones who ate six meals a day lost 3 pounds more fat and 3 pounds less muscle than the ones who ate only two meals. Interesting, huh?
There is science to support that more meals work, but the common sense reason is that it helps me feel satisfied and full. This reduces that temptation to eat junk food because it is fast and easy and/or to evereat because I am STARVING:) I am noticing a big difference in my energy throughout the day and I have lost a few pounds since commitiing to eat smaller meals with healthy snacks in between. It feels great!
I must wrap this up, I have a little boy waiting to play Connect Four---but I will post our dinner menu later this evening AND lots of easy and healthy snack ideas for those mini meals.
What healthy snacks to you love?


Rachel Holloway said...

I've got to say for me, I just can't do this--I eat a snack each day, but I have found for me if I start the day with a good breakfast, I don't usually NEED something before lunch--always have an afternoon snack, but for me 4 times of eating is plenty! It isn't about deprivation, just more about how much my body can handle!!

Melanie Anne said...

Hi Rachel,
Well--you know what works for you and that is working:) My body has really responded well to keeping my blood sugars more even. I have always felt full quickly at meals--but I get hungry fast--so i think this works great for me! Thanks for your imput!

Shannon said...

At our house we must keep our blood sugar levels stable or we all get so cranky. It's not pretty! So we snack. I find that if I'm eating out or at a sit down meal, there is too much food and I get too full and I hate that feeling. I'd rather just eat until I'm not hungry and then eat again in a couple of hours when I am hungry. Snacks? I love raw almonds, chips & salsa, granola bars(homemade), dried fruit, fresh fruit or veggies, hummus and crackers or chips, air popped popcorn, spoonful of peanut butter and a handful of dark chocolate chips, etc. There are so many good, whole foods to eat!

the mama monster said...

ok so it looks like we totally have the same heatlh outlook/goals! have you ever heard of bill phillips body for life program? i am currently doing it and am on week 9. eating 5-6 meals a day is a huge part of the program. since i started i have lost 8.5 lbs and 4% body fat. i have always been a big eater and grazed all day so it works perfectly for me. the whole goal is to eat a protion of carbs and a portion of protein at every meal with as many non-carby vegetables as you want. snacks-
oatmeal with nut butter/banana
,veggies+hummus, string cheese+ crackers or fruit, nutrition shake, popchips,greek yogurt+fruit+ nuts, eggs in every way! i love my snacks! can't wait to see everyones ideas.

Mindy Halladay said...

I love smoothies any time of the day for a snack! I also love some of the above mentioned suggestions including fruit, veggies, salsa and chips, dreid fruit, and my treat - kashi granola bars! YUM! I am with you on the smaller meals more often - not only has it been good for blood sugar, but also because I am not eating so much at once (my tummy which has been giving me grief prior to eating less food, more often). Thanks for the tips!

Anonymous said...

I met with a Personal Trainer recently who recommended eating six small meals a day and explained the science behind it to me. It made a lot of sense. Let's say your daily caloric intakie goal is 1800. We split that into six 300 calorie mini meals. She said every time your body eats, it burns 200 calories digesting. That meals we have an extra 100 calories per mini meal. Multiply that by six meals for a surplus of 600 calories per day. If we eat those same 1800 calories in three meals that's 600 calories per meal minus 200 burned in digesting for a suplus of 400 calories per meal x three meals per day leaves a daily surplus of 1200 calories. By eating less more often, we burn twice as many calories just by digesting, not to mention any exercise that we do. This made the whole concept seem very sensible for me.

Melanie Anne said...

Thanks for all the great snack ideas everybody! And mama Monster--I have heard of the Body for LIfe. I have heard that porgram really brings about great results! I think there is lots of strenght training involved --so important. I am going to be adding that soon to our challenge:)

Thank you for the added insight! That is a cool way to explain the benefits of eating less more often. I think working with a personal trainer would be awesome!

Lauren said...

As a college student, I find I am rarely home at mealtimes to cook a decent breakfast or dinner. I would love more good ideas of snacks to take with me on campus!
Usually, I depend on easy-to-transport things like fruit, yogurt, and granola bars... but I am in need of new ideas! I love eating lighter, smaller portions throughout the day, but I also want things that will psychologically fulfill my need for a meal.

john said...

well done (and look yum !)
as well, it Doesn't matter what diet you're on, the hardest obstacle in dieting is control hunger pangs and cravings.
You might like to try out a product that does exactly that: fresh-frozen Hoodia (a well known appetite depressant) in the form of small and convenient ice cubes – hence its name, the ice cube diet.
It just helps you eat less and makes your dieting easier.
Good luck to you all and for those who do try it out, please do share your experiences with me – John -

the mama monster said...

made some baked chips and already had that salsa on hand. so good and totally satisfied my salty craving. thanks!

scratch-made wife said...

I actually started eating five to six small meals a day after reading Skinny Chicks Don't Eat Salads (love that book). I was trying to find a way to watch what I ate and eat healthy without starving all day long. (I was really trying to watch my weight so I could look amazing in my wedding dress!) Needless to say, I love the small meals, and I've yet to quit this program seven months later. It has done wonders for my energy - and moods!

anniebobannie said...

I too do this smaller meal thing! I love it! I had a gastric bypass so I can't eat a lot but I get hungry often. SOme easy portable snacks are turkey jerky and veggies,string cheese and fruit, hard boiled eggs and veggies, Granola Bars made with protien powder or peanut butter and an apple, banana rolled in a whole wheat tortilla and Peanut butter or almond butter, Hummus and veggies, Crackers and cheese and my favorite Pistachios and clementines!!!

Anonymous said...

I love my version of a PB and honey. I make my homemade whole wheat bread in mini loaf pans. Use fresh ground almond or peanut butter (our local grocery store, WinCo, has a michine that grinds it. I just push a button. LOVE this!) and agave nectar sandwiched between two pieces of my mini loaves. This makes a great post workout snack too, packed with protein for quick muscle recovery.

Anonymous said...

Try dipping CUCUMBER SLICES in salsa. The first bite is a bit different, but you will quickly get used to is a no guilt treat! (on the old weight watchers points system, it was zero points...probably still the same!)

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