Firstly, let me point out that this post is not referring to being on a diet but simply referring to diet as a way of life. I personally don't think diet's work especially extreme diets because they are not a long term solution and nine times out of ten the weight lost in an extreme diet goes back on and sometimes more goes on on top. We all know this deep down don't we?
This post isn't to lecture you on how you should eat or what you should eat, it is just advising you on what I find is working well for me both for my weight loss, health and wellbeing.
Firstly, I find eating five times a day works for me, this is something a lot of health and fitness guru's advise people to do anyway because it keeps the metabolism ticking over and working faster so it stops you from ever being 'starving' and reaching for something quick and easy to ease those hunger pangs. If you eat at regular intervals in the day your body will digest it and burn it off quicker whereas if you eat at all different times of the day and each day varies then your body is confused and unsure when to expect it's next meal i.e. next source of energy and so holds on to food longer and that eventually turns to fat.
So, I eat five times a day - three meals and two snacks. My meals and snacks are all very similar in portion size but obviously the meals are slightly bigger. Portion size is my biggest problem - especially at dinner time! - and I found it very hard to cut down at first. However now, I am used to eating a smaller dinner. I also find I no longer get to a point where I am 'starving' now either, I will just start to get a little bit hungry by the time I am due my next meal or snack.
TIP: Avoid serving your dinners on large plates as this will give you the illusion you haven't served enough food and therefore pile on more than you need.
So, when do I eat?
Well, I of course have breakfast pretty much as soon as I wake up (by the time I have made it and sorted Savannah out it is approx 7am), I have a mid morning snack around 10am, lunch is approximately 1pm, my last snack is around 3-4pm and then finally we have dinner at about 6.30. These times of course all vary depending on what I am doing that day, how Savannah is and all things LIFE basically but it gives you an idea of how I eat. There should be two to three hours between each meal / snack. Even if you are not hungry, eat to keep your metabolism ticking over and even more importantly make sure you eat after an intense work out to feed your muscles. This is very important!
In between eating I always make sure I drink plenty of water, I always drink water as my choice of cold drink any way but some days would hardly drink any at all then get to about 8pm and be dying of thirst or ravenous even though I had just eaten dinner. I find starting the day of with a big glass of water before you even have your morning tea or coffee really helps and wakes me up too. I have been drinking a lot more water this week and have noticed a big difference in my energy levels and my hunger levels, drinking water has really helped me cut down my food portions to a healthy size too.
My tip for you if your are thinking you need to eat more often and cut down portion sizes would be: KEEP GOING! it is only hardest for the first couple of days, once you have got through them it is much easier as your body will be getting used to it's new eating routine and you will only feel hungry when you are due your next meal.
I would also again say drink lots of water. We all know it is good for us and we all know that sometimes you think you are hungry when actually you are thirsty. If you are peckish but think that you shouldn't be then have a big glass of water and wait fifteen minutes, if you are still hungry then have a healthy snack but if you are not and were actually thirsty then your 'hunger' will pass quick enough.
You will love your new energy levels and the fact you know when you should be eating and what. You will also love not starving! If you are still worried you will quickly reach for something unhealthy then prepare - preparation is key! Take the time in the evenings or mornings to prepare your food for the day, there is ALWAYS time if you want it strongly enough.
That is pretty much it for this post, if anything doesn't make sense or your have questions please comment below!
In my next post I will talk about what I eat.