We love making small, easy, healthy changes to our routines. Changes so simple we hardly notice them until, one day, we’re just feeling a little bit better. Switching from large meals to smaller meals is easy. It’s a trick athletes have used for decades.
The folks at the Cleveland Clinic describe it his way: Small meals can aid in satisfying the appetite, stabilizing blood sugar levels, and providing nutrients to the body throughout the day. Smaller, more frequent meals in your daily eating patterns also can aid in a more efficient metabolism compared to a slower metabolism when meals are skipped. An efficient metabolism allows your body to use carbohydrates, protein and fat to fuel your body.
Eat a little bit of breakfast within an hour or two of waking up. Then, every three or four hours eat another small meal or snack. By the end of the day, you’ll have eaten five or six times, and your energy level will have stayed nice and steady.
Maybe this plan sounds like it would take up too much time but remember: this does not have to be fancy. A handful of almonds and a V2O is a perfect 3PM snack. So is a couple of hard-boiled eggs and an orange. Or a banana and a dab of peanut butter on a slice of whole grain toast. Or a small can of tuna mixed with ½ an avocado and a squeeze of lemon.
If you’re eating a regular meal, an easy way to eat fewer calories is to make sure half of our plate is filled with non-starchy vegetables. Consider using a luncheon or salad plate instead of a dinner plate. It holds less! And foods with soluble fiber, such as oatmeal, pears and beans, are particularly filling.
Warmer months are the easiest time to swap large meals for smaller ones. Fresh fruits and vegetables are bountiful and most can be eaten raw or with very little prep work. After a couple of weeks, eating smaller meals will become second nature, and you’ll wake up one day and say to yourself “Wow…I feel good!”
Give it a try!