ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Eat Often to Lose Weight

Updated on June 7, 2014

When I first got into personal fitness I was lucky enough to come across some great information that has continued to work year after year for me. Most of what I’ll talk about here is based on what I have learned from two books. Those books are Body For Life and Eating For Life, both by Bill Phillips.

These days Bill Phillips has moved more toward the inspirational mind/body weight loss genre which is a little too much for me. Although I have little interest in his newer works, I continue to periodically reference the before-mentioned books for dietary tweaking and healthy recipes. What follows is a combination of diet and exercise which has worked well for me.

Eat More?

Well, kind of. The key here is to eat more frequently. There is a whole lot of technical research backing this idea. What it all seems to say is that eating smaller, more frequent meals keeps your metabolism running efficiently. This helps to eliminate harmful spikes in blood sugar and insulin as well. These are important factors to consider for healthy weight loss. I’m sorry to break it to you, but eating three meals a day is not the way to go.

Proof of this concept can be seen in the fact that humans, like many animals, used to be grazers. Before civilized living came about, human beings ate food as they found it. There was no refrigeration and food was not as abundant and easily obtained as it is today. If you found some berries you ate them right then and there and maybe saved some to eat as you foraged for other food. Obesity at this time was pretty much non-existent.

Eating several smaller meals rather than just the big three (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) helps to control overeating. Think about it. When your meals are fewer and farther between, your appetite is voracious by the time you eat. You tend to load up your plate and eat quickly because of how hungry you are.

Eat What?

The type of foods you eat is important as well. You want to consume quality calories. Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats are the way to go. Each meal should ideally be composed of one portion of complex carbohydrates, one fiber rich veggies, and one portion of lean protein.

What is a proper portion size you ask? According to the books, a good way to judge proper portion size is by using your hand. A serving of carbohydrates should be about the size of your balled up fist while a serving of protein should be the size of your open palm. This can vary depending on your fitness goals. Those portions sizes are effective for losing weight. I tend to go a little bigger on the portion sizes since my goal is to add lean muscle mass which demands higher calorie intake. In this case I have learned what works for me. You should be satisfied but not stuffed at the end of a meal.

How Many?

How many meals you should eat is up for debate. The general consensus is that six meals a day is best. That may sound like a lot, but some of these meals may take the form of quick snacks. I usually have three main meals with three snack meals in between. Snack meals allow you to eat quickly and on the go. This is important for the fast paced lifestyle that most of us currently enjoy.

Snack Meal Examples:

  • Cottage cheese and fruit
  • Cottage cheese and yogurt
  • Nutrition bar
  • Protein shake
  • Low-fat cheese and whole wheat crackers
  • Oatmeal with protein powder
  • Hardboiled egg and fruit
  • Small turkey wrap
  • Tuna and crackers

Snack meals can be prepared beforehand and packed in a lunchbox or purchased on the go without much effort.

The three main meals are a little heartier. I try to include a serving of veggies with these meals for the fiber and nutrients that you just don’t get from the snack meals. These meals are what would typically be breakfast lunch and dinner.

Main Meal Examples:

  • Veggie egg white omelet, whole wheat toast
  • Oatmeal, scrambled egg whites
  • Whole wheat turkey sandwich
  • Chicken breast, steamed broccoli, brown rice
  • Steak, asparagus, sweet potato
  • Grilled fish, brown rice, salad

Main meals may also be prepared beforehand and packed in Tupperware containers for easy microwaving. It is also becoming increasingly easy to find healthy choices on restaurant menus which resemble the examples given above.

How Often?

If you are eating the proper foods in the proper amounts your body should tell you when to eat.  In my case this is every two hours.  This is due to a very active lifestyle which includes exercise and weight lifting on a regular basis.  Ideally, you should be eating at least every three hours.  This allows meals to be spaced evenly throughout the day and helps to keep energy levels up.  I actually find that might mental clarity improves with more frequent food intake as well.

Exercise?

This is important. Human beings were meant to be active. I know it’s hard to get a workout or a run in with our busy schedules but is 20 minutes too much to ask? I’ve had great results losing weight by jogging 20 minutes every other day. On the days that I don’t jog I lift weights. I usually spend about an hour with my weight lifting routine but even 20 minutes of weight lifting is better than none at all.

Many people who are trying to lose weight tend to shy away from lifting. Consider the fact, however, that your resting metabolic rate increases with the amount of lean muscle mass you have. This means faster weight loss!

I usually lift weights on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with jogging or bike riding on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. This alternating method allows the various muscles to recover and rebuild while also providing some variety in daily routine.

Supplements?

You can get in great shape without any supplements at all.  I’ve done it before just for comparative reasons.  They can be very helpful though when trying to get all your nutritional requirements on a tight schedule.  I tend to stick mostly to the basics when it comes to supplementation.  My tried and true favorites are:

  • Protein powder
  • Meal replacement shakes
  • Omega 3-6-9 essential fatty acids
  • Multivitamins
  • Creatine

Protein powder and omega oil supplements are by far my favorites.

Optimum Nutrition protein powder gives the best quality for the price and has a lot of great flavors.

Udo's choice is my favorite omega supplement because it provides a blend of high quality of omega 3,6, and 9 oils all in one capsule.

Personal Experience:

This is the basic outline of what I have practiced for a number of years now. The latest testament to its effectiveness came after about an eight month period of inactivity, fast food, and beer drinking. While I was still not obese by any means I had definitely gained weight and my energy levels were extremely low. In a period of about two months I was able to lose all of the weight and add back the muscle I had lost by following this advice.

The hardest part of all is just getting started. If you can stick at it for a few weeks it will become routine and you will actually look forward to it everyday. Nutrition really is about 80% of the battle. It may seem hard to believe but you really can lose weight by eating more often.

Good Luck!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • ZWorkz profile imageAUTHOR

      ZWorkz 

      8 years ago from Florida

      When Body For Life first came out it was a relatively new idea to eat more frequent meals but it seems to have caught on quite well in recent diet programs. It really works well!

    • Patti Ann profile image

      Patti Ann 

      8 years ago from Florida

      I also used the original Body For Life program when it first came out - I didn't know he released a new book. This is an excellent hub filled with great info. I have also found that eating smaller more frequent meals is the way to go.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)