If you want to give yourself the best chance at succeeding in your weight loss efforts, you need to improve your metabolic rate and consume less calories than you burn. Achieving these objectives involves two lifestyle aspects: diet and exercise. They are both equally important, and as far as diet goes, it is not just the quality that matters, but also how frequently you eat. You may have heard nutrition experts constantly talking about the need to eat more often than most of us usually do. Ideally, what you need in order to improve your metabolism is eat 5 moderate meals, spaced out at regular intervals during your day. Not easy, right? Well, I hope I can help with these tips on how to eat 5 times a day.
1. Discard the Guilt
If you are going to feel guilty about eating more often, believing that you will put on weight, you are stressing yourself out needlessly. Eating more frequently is not the same as overeating. Provided your meals are healthy, you will actually burn more calories by making your body digest food more often, and this will help you lose weight faster. So, free your mind of guilt. If you are targeting 1,800 calories a day, do it over 5 meals rather than 2.
2. Control Your Portions
To hit your target of eating five times a day, you will need to change your lifestyle. Instead of a heavy breakfast, few munchies and a heavy dinner, what you need is smaller portions. That way you will have the appetite to eat more frequently. To do this, you may even need to change your concept of eating. Instead of ending your meal only when you feel satiated and full, stop when you feel like you have eaten well, but still have space for more.
3. Get in Exercise
This is great advise for anyone wondering about how to eat 5 times a day. With exercise, your body will burn excess calories and your metabolism will also improve. Consequently, your appetite will improve too, and you will be able to take in frequent meals. Remember, though, that the meals need to be healthy and low in calories.
4. The Challenge of Regular Meals on a Busy Day…
It is a big one. However, it can be done. The trick is to carry easy-to-prepare, healthy and portable food items with you to work. A bowl of chopped fruits is a small meal in itself. You could even carry a homemade fresh fruit smoothie, or prepare instant oatmeal, and add in some dry fruits. Wholegrain bread sandwiches with healthy fillings is also a great working meal idea.
5. The Right Breakfast
The key to getting in 5 meals a day is to eat right during every meal. For breakfast, what your body ideally needs is a combination of healthy proteins and fiber-rich whole grains, fruits and veggies. Oatmeal, whole grain sandwiches, whole wheat pancakes, egg whites, fruits, lean meat options, beans and skimmed milk are all healthy items. You could prepare your meal according to whatever ingredients are available. Do make some time for breakfast, though. It is important to begin your day with the right nutrition, to feel strong and energetic for all the hours ahead.
6. Dinner, Ideally…
Dinner should be your lightest meal, and should ideally be had 2-3 hours before you sleep. It is when your body is preparing to sleep, which means its processes are slowing down. It is not the time to pack in the calories. A combination of lean proteins and complex, unrefined carbohydrates should serve you well (chicken soup with whole wheat bread and herbed vegetables on the side, anyone?).
7. Your Most Important Meal
A list of tips on how to eat 5 times a day will not be complete without a mention of the most crucial meal of your day: your post-workout meal. During your workout, your body has burnt calories and depleted its stores of energy like no other time in the day. It is when it most urgently needs replenishment. 30-60 minutes after your workout is the ideal time to get in carbs to replace your energy levels and proteins to repair your muscles.
If you can apply these tips on how to eat 5 times a day, you will be taking a huge step forward in your weight loss efforts. Come to think of it, you really don’t need Jennifer Anniston’s fitness secrets. A combination of the right science, practical tips and some discipline is the best combo in the multi-million dollar weight loss industry. Do you have any tips to share?
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