“Eat small healthy meals all through the day!”
“Eat three large meals at fixed times all day! Avoid snacking in between meals or you’ll gain weight!”
In the past few years, you’ve probably heard about lots of conflicting studies that give advice on how to plan your meals. If you’re still confused, it makes sense to go by authoritative sources. Check out this feature on WebMD that tells you how eating smaller meals is not just good for weight loss. But, it is beneficial for overall health by keeping your energy levels high and preventing mood swings.
Should you read this report published by the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, you’ll learn that eating up to 6 small meals a day can give you a lower Body Mass Index of around 27. You’ll consume energy worth 2,129kcal in 24 hours with a dietary energy density of 1.5 kcal/g as compared to the 2.1 kcal/g that you might get by eating larger meals.
Shopping, Prepping, and Cooking Can Pose a Challenge
While eating small healthy meals is clearly a better lifestyle to adopt, incorporating it into your daily routine can pose a significant challenge. When you’re juggling the demands of a busy professional and personal life, finding the time to prepare the meals at home can be next to impossible. A better option is to order meals at a healthy food delivery near you. In addition to providing you with dishes that you can eat all through the day, such services typically offer nutritious snack options. You can also choose to divide the food into smaller portions and mini meals, and pack into reusable containers that you can bring to work. Check the menu listings for a selection of salads, cut fruit, and other items complete with their calorie content so you know exactly what to pick.
Nourishing Your Body with Small Healthy Meals has a Host of Positives
You Avoid Overeating
When you have long gaps between meals, you’re likely to get so hungry that you’ll grab the first food you can get your hands on. And, wolf it down without thinking about whether or not it is nutritious or the number of calories it contains. Further, you’ll probably eat larger portions than your body really needs.
Amy Jamieson-Petonic, RD is a dietician at the Cleveland Clinic. She reveals, “After about 3 hours without food, blood sugar begins to fall. And after 4 hours, your body has already digested whatever you sent down earlier. Once you’ve crossed the 5-hour mark, your blood sugar begins to plummet, and you grab whatever you can to refuel.”
You Maintain Insulin Levels
Eating small healthy meals ensures that you have optimum levels of glucose in your blood. Like this article on SFGate explains, a lesser amount of food prevents spikes of blood sugar and improves your body’s response to insulin. Further, when you choose foods with a low glycemic index, your body digests them more slowly. If you have long gaps between your meals, the hunger leads to a rush of insulin, and you end up with irritability and lack of energy. If you’re a diabetic, following the mini meal plan is an excellent choice.
You Maintain Even Metabolism Levels
Most studies show conflicting results when it comes to metabolism levels. Some research says that eating mini meals more frequently cannot boost metabolism that is instead linked to genetic factors. How fast your body burns calories for energy can also depend on the intensity and frequency of the activities you’re doing. But, the fact also remains that your body must work to digest the food. And, this factor can help boost metabolism. Accordingly, by eating small healthy meals all through the day, you can make your body work harder. Eating breakfast in the morning is also a good way to rev up your metabolism that, in turn, promotes weight loss.
You Prevent Bloating and Lack of Energy
When you consume a large meal, your body has to work extra hard to digest the food that is also likely to load up your digestive system for a longer time. As a result, you become lethargic, sleepy, and unable to focus.
Nutritionist Anthony Hayes reports to the Daily Mail Online, “’Grazing was the way our body was designed to eat. Large meals burden the digestive system, often causing bloating and lowered energy while the body struggles to digest them.
You Lower Bad Cholesterol and Triglycerides
To keep your heart healthy and lower the levels of LDL and triglycerides, you may want to consider opting for small healthy meals. Avoid skipping meals so you can control your appetite, and restrict the total number of calories you consume in a single day. This strategy can help you lose weight; and dropping even 5 to 10 pounds can, in turn, lower your triglyceride levels.
Healthy Snacks Can Maintain Energy Levels and Help Lose Weight
Choosing the right kinds of food for your meals can help you maintain energy levels, prevent spikes in glucose, and help keep your weight down. The folks on LiveStrong advise you to pile your plate with lots of fruits and vegetables, and go with lean meats, beans, and fish for the protein your body needs. When you need to eat a smaller meal, choose an apple or a banana and combine it with a handful of trail mix with roasted nuts and seeds. A cup of unsweetened yogurt and fruit are also an excellent choice for a meal. Add a couple of whole wheat crackers with a sliver of cheese to keep you going for the next couple of hours. And, remember to drink the mandatory 8 glasses of water to remain hydrated.
Even as you adopt the mini meal plan, you’ll start to see great results from the initial few days. You’ll feel lighter, more focused, and raring to go. Try it!