This is the one thing about my new "diet" that I really really love. The first week of meal plans from FitOrbit had breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, snack. That was the pattern every single week. WHAT?! I get to have a small meal 5 times per day? That is fantastic! When I saw Clean Eating meal plans, I was so excited because they also include 5 meals per day.
In my old eating patterns, I would eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That is how I grew up. Did we have snacks? Sure, from time to time upon request. However, my family did what every family mistakenly did. Breakfast was fend-for-yourself cereal eating. Lunch was a sandwich of some kind. Mostly fend-for-yourself once we got to be old enough. Dinner was the meal that Mom was concerned about. There would be something in the crock pot or she would bring something home. If there was any meal planning, it revolved around dinner. I grew up thinking that I needed to "last" until lunch-time rolled around or dinner was served. If I was trying to drop a few pounds, I would take this hunger in between meals as a good thing. However, I developed a mental pattern of obsessing over that next meal that was 5-6 hours away. Since I only at 3 times per day, I would fantasize about how wonderful that next meal would be. My looking forward to it is what got me to be obsessive. A couple of other patterns developed based on this activity. I would eat "plenty" for each meal so that I could be satisfied for the next 5-6 hours. That led to stupid portion sizes and/or added desserts. Once I was married, I would prefer to come home from work and pretty much eat dinner right away. I would prepare something and then go back for seconds or sit on the couch with a bag of chips because I was so hungry. To go back to breakfast, I would always try to start the day right by having a 150 calorie breakfast like oatmeal or a banana and a piece of bread. How ridiculous. I would eat breakfast at 6:00am and then my lunch time at work is 11:45am. I would STARVE any time starting around 10:00am. I thought this was good hunger to fight weight gain. Again, "starting the day off right." How dumb. Now, I eat 300-400 calorie breakfast, lunches, and dinners. I also eat at least two snacks per day that reach about 200 calories. AWESOMESAUCE. This means I try to eat around 6:00am, 9:00, noon, 3:00, and 6:00pm. This has pretty much eliminated my obsession with looking forward to the next meal. When you eat every 3 hours, it almost feels like you eat all the time!
This is not to be confused with grazing all day. I read in Slim for Life by Jillian Michaels (who also recommends snacks) that if you graze all day, it confuses your metabolism's effectiveness. Stop and consume 4-5 meals per day.
So, I have come to love my snacks. They have really helped rearrange my focus on food. They also prove to be effective for weight loss. This is just one more way that FitOrbit has helped change my life forever!