Sunday, January 10, 2010

I don't have time for 6 meals a day!!!

When I tell people that I do 6 meals a day there is often a look that I recognize as "I would never be able to do that". I sit down with clients who claim that they wouldn't be able to do 6 meals because they work full time, have too busy of a schedule or just don't have the discipline. I then have them keep a food journal for a few days asking them to eat as they would normally. 

We discover that 7 times out of 10 they are ALREADY eating 6-7 times a day. What they are eating however are chips, candy bars, fries, juice, sodas, granola bars, cereal or other things that are not ideal. Wouldn't it be better to plan a little and eat great things for your body and consume as much or even more than normal but less calories? To have more energy and some great habits that will last a lifetime!

There are people who consume 3 meals or less a day but what I find with them is that they consume a lot of calories all at once with large spaces in between which according to some research messes with metabolism

There are three types of meals in these plans.

Grab meals- these take little work and can be ready in less than 3 minutes. Nuts and fruit for example or shakes.

Make and Grab meals-
These do take some initial preparation. Like the protein pancakes and casserole for example. You make them ahead and then they become grab meals for the rest of the week.

Make and eat meals- These take preparation. If we are going to eat healthy we need to learn how to make healthy food because the prepackaging industry and the fast food industry are not doing it for us. Still I try to select meals that are easy, contain only a few ingredients and are not all that time consuming.

I was forced into the 6 meals a day when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes my first pregnancy. I was extremely diabetic to the point where I needed to take medication. I asked my doctor however if I could try to work on my diet for the first week or so to see if I could get my blood sugar under control. It was difficult those first few weeks as I tried to figure things out and as I had to poke my finger ever couple of hours. 

I stayed with it however and was able to manage my blood sugar. It was interesting to see how little things would influence my levels to a great degree. I found it difficult to only eat half of what I was used to in one sitting and I found it difficult to have to remember to eat only 2 hours later but my body quickly adapted and I found great rewards in the process. 

I found that I didn't have to eat until my body said it was "full" that if I stopped before that point I was much better off. I found that I would get a "buzz" from eating healthy foods for an extended period of time, something that I never dreamed would or could happen.

Some diet plans call for 5 meals a day. If this works better for you then do it! I believe if you follow the biggest looser they do 5 meals a day. The morning pre-workout shake is an easy one to omit especially if your lifestyle doesn't accommodate and early morning workout.

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