Adopting a pattern of eating smaller, more frequent meals provides a number of benefits to both your health and weight loss goals. You're less likely to overeat, and you'll have a regular influx of energy to help keep you active. All the while your body will be burning calories more efficiently.
The conventional method of eating more frequently is to have three meals a day, plus two or three snacks between meals. But if possible, try eating more consistent amounts throughout the day with mini meals.
Plan to eat about every three hours. Count the number of hours you are awake in a typical day, and divide by three. For example, 6 am to 10 pm would be 16 hours or about five mini meals spaced about three hours apart.
A quick and easy way to plan meals is to think half! For instance, enjoy half of your lunch at noon, and then eat the rest 3 hours later.
When planning your meal regimen, the objective is to stay within your caloric needs. (It may be snacking between meals that got you into trouble in the first place!) Use the BMR & RMR Calculator to figure your caloric needs for a day and divide by the number of mini meals you plan to eat.
Eat smaller, more frequent meals and you'll soon notice your energy pick up and your waist trim down. If you notice weight gain, your mini meals might need a little trimming themselves.
Megan Porter, RD