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Eating small meals more often can be advantageous to your body and mind.

Who doesn’t like to eat more often? I love to eat yummy food all day!! I enjoy the freedom of eating more often. I feel happier, more focused and energized. And there’s always more food just a few hours away!

When eating small meals; your breakfast, lunch and dinner should consist of lean proteins, healthy fats, fruits, and high fiber carbohydrates including whole grains. Snacking throughout the day will keep your cortisol in check and your blood sugar stable. Fruits, vegetables, unsalted nuts, and low-fat cheeses are great for small, on-the-go meals throughout the day according to Eatright.org.  

*tip: Healthy levels of the hormone, cortisol help you sleep and keep the muffin-top at bay.
Healthy blood sugar levels give you energy and curb sugar cravings, according to NetMeds.com article, “Learn The Logic Behind Eating Small Frequent Meals“.

Amazingly, eating more frequently can result in eating less food all day long. The benefits of eating more often are quite abundant. Including the increase of your metabolism that results in burning the calories as you ingest them. This creates a fantastic synergy that your tired body may have been lacking because your body is using the food as fuel immediatly rather than storing it for later as fat.

Those who skip healthy meals tend to have high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. These individuals are also in danger of cardiovascular disease (stroke, heart disease, angina, heart failure) and diabetes. (see Cleveland Clinic)



Six reasons why eating small meals can provide energy:

  1. Increases metabolism (see: Cleveland Clinic)
  2. controls hormones for better sleep (see: Whats Good)
  3. calories ready to burn for energy (see: Livestrong)
  4. your brain needs frequent supply of calories (See: Eufic)
  5. stabilized blood sugar means consistent energy all day (see: eat right)
  6. no sluggishness from over-eating because we are satiated (see: sfgate)

Don’t like to meal prep? Find already prepared foods that are free of artificial colors, sugars, flavors, and preservatives (which are all energy zappers). These small snacks contain all the good nutrients that your body needs and no fillers. They’re just enough to fuel you through until lunch or dinner. I use Optavia brand. (#ad) (I coach this program)  These also contain probiotics that are great for gut health.


What an energy-filled day looks like:

  • Plan to eat within half an hour of waking.
  • 7:30 a.m.: 1/2 cup of rolled oats topped with ground flaxseed and fresh blueberries or strawberries
    Beverage: 8 oz of water and 1 cup of skim milk. Black coffee may be included.
  • 10 a.m.: 6 ounces of non-fat (plain) yogurt topped with a tablespoon of almonds.  (Hint: be aware of the contents of your yogurt. Labels can be tricky. Go for yogurts with only 3 ingredients or less. I love Fage brand (recommended below)
    Beverage: 8 oz of water
  • 12:30 p.m.: Spinach salad topped with carrots, radishes, onion, cucumber, light tuna (packed in water) and 2 Tbsp. olive oil and a squeeze of lemon; six whole-wheat crackers and a small apple. 
    Beverage: 8 oz water and optional unsweetened iced tea.
  • 3 p.m.: One cup of raw carrots or bell peppers dipped in ¼ cup of hummus Beverage: 8 oz of water with lemon, lime or cucumber (no caffeine after 3 pm)
  • 6 p.m.: 3-6 ounces of grilled chicken breast, 2 cups steamed broccoli drizzled with olive oil and a pinch of Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper Seasoning, a 1/2 cup of quinoa and a half cup of berries for dessert
    Beverage: 8 oz of sparkling mineral water
  • 8 p.m.: 50 calorie Low-fat cheese and 6 whole-wheat crackers
    Beverage: 8 oz of water or a cup of chamomile tea

source: W. S. Andersen*

Always check with your dietician, doctor or health coach to refine your meal plan for your specific body type and needs.


Get the skinny on the very best energizing foods at Healthline.com 
“27 Foods that Can Give You More Energy”


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Healthy do’s and dont’s

Illustration Brain GIF by Julie Feydel - Find & Share on GIPHY
  • Don’t – Assume that the easiest way is the best way. You may want to try the path of least resistance, because, all of this feels overwhelming at the moment and don’t feel well enough to make the best choices for ourselves. (this was me!) Don’t fall into this cycle! Building a healthy eating habit takes practice and if I did it, so can you!
  • Not all smoothies are healthy. They can contain too many calories or sugars.
  • Caffeine hinders your intake of certain vitamins like B, D, Calcium, and Iron. Drink your coffee an hour before or after you take your supplement.
  • Hidden salts and sugars: Fruit juices, canned vegetables, and legumes can be culprits. Drain and rinse your canned foods. Better yet, skip the canned and use whole fruits and vegetables to gain all the nutritious benefits.
  • Never, ever trust “No Fat, No Sugar & No Calories” claims. Trust me, just don’t. If your food doesn’t have these things, what did the manufacturer do with them? Labels lie.  Eat whole foods, they’re better for you and your body will thank you.
  • Don’t skip your healthy fats. The healthy fats carry vitamins and minerals into your system, give you energy and are good for your heart, organs, skin, and muscles.
  • Stay alert by shunning artificial sugars, soda, and energy drinks. They may help at the moment but you will cause a crash in about 20 minutes to an hour.

Summary

Achieving your best life starts with one of human’s basic necessities. Like oxygen, our body needs good, healthy food to thrive. Healthy eating will help you focus better, sleep better, feel better, relax better and give you more energy. Think of all the wonderful things that you can do if you simply had more energy, focus and drive to get things done. Living your best life has a lot to do with feeling your best!

Tobi D.


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References:

“Learn The Logic Behind Eating Small Frequent Meals”, Netmeds, https://www.netmeds.com/health-library/post/learn-the-logic-behind-eating-small-frequent-meals/

Isadora Baum, What’s Good, “The Benefits of Eating Frequent, Smaller Meals – And How To Do It Right”, what’s good, https://whatsgood.vitaminshoppe.com/small-frequent-meals/

Sarah Pfugradt, RDN, “4 Benefits of Portion Control Beyond Weight Loss”, June 27, 2019, Livestrong, https://www.livestrong.com/article/507006-three-benefits-of-eating-smaller-portions/

Linda Thrasybule, “Why the Western Diet is Making Us Sick”, Everyday Health, https://www.everydayhealth.com/crohns-disease/diet/why-western-diet-making-us-sick/

Pauline N. Harding, MD, “Eat Your Way to Better Sleep” American Nutrition Association, http://americannutritionassociation.org/newsletter/eat-your-way-better-sleep

Eufic, “Glucose and The Brain: Improving Mental Performance, https://www.eufic.org/en/whats-in-food/article/glucose-and-mental-performance

George Mateljan, “What is the Glycemic Index?”, The World’s Healthiest Foods, http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=faq&dbid=32

Kerry Glassman, “13 Foods That Fight Stress”, Prevention.com, https://www.prevention.com/life/a20444221/13-healthy-foods-that-reduce-stress-and-depression/

Sara Ipatenco, “What Are The Dangers of Overeating?”, SFGate, https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/dangers-overeating-7068.html

Tara Gidus, MS, RDN, LDN, CSSD, “Eating to Boost Energy”, EatRight.org, https://www.eatright.org/food/nutrition/healthy-eating/eating-to-boost-energy

Katherine Patton, MEd, RD, CSSD, LD, “How Small, Frequent Meals Can Help Athletes Keep Energy High, Kick up your metabolism by strategic eating“, Health Essentials Clevland Clinic,   https://health.clevelandclinic.org/how-small-frequent-meals-can-help-athletes-keep-energy-high/

Wikipedia, Cardiovascular Disease, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardiovascular_disease

Arlene Semeco, MS, RD, “27 Foods that Can Give You More Energy”, Healthline, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/energy-boosting-foods#section2

Andersen, Wayne Scott. Dr. As Habits of Health: the Path to Permanent Weight Control & Optimal Health. Habits of Health Press, 2008.


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“Never, ever trust “No Fat, No Sugar & No Calories” claims. Trust me, just don’t. If your food doesn’t have these things, what did the manufacturer do with them?” @itstobid