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5 small meals vs. 3 large meals

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SparkPoints: (1,070)
Fitness Minutes: (2,397)
Posts: 100
4/16/13 12:34 A

I'm a big believer in 5 meals a definitely has helped me stay full, satisfied and on track more easily...

I agree with earlier comments re-definition of snack versus meal...same thing.

Here's the sort of thing I eat to get the 5 meals in...

- Protein shake first thing before gym
- small bowl of oats with fruit OR poached eggs on toast after the gym
- rice cakes with tahini OR berry smoothie late morning
- roast chicken salad early afternoon
- fish curry/paneer curry/dahl of some kind around 6pm

Sometimes on days when I've done a big cardio day, will throw in an extra snack of dried fruit and nuts before dinner if I'm hungry or need it...I am here to track my nutrition primarily as I'm aware some days I'm not eating enough for my needs...

Once last comment I go to bed early and rise early, hence the times may seem a little early for you...

Hope that helps a bit!

Posts: 236
4/15/13 2:34 P

I prefer 3 meals but fruit with peanut butter is always my go-to snack.

SparkPoints: (2,358)
Fitness Minutes: (465)
Posts: 92
4/15/13 2:34 P

What type of yogurt are you eating? Generally, greek yogurt fills you up more efficiently as it has more protein.

Also, you could add some PB or cottage cheese to your fruits. (I'm not a big cottage cheese eater but I'll eat PB on pretty much anything, lol.)

Hard boiled eggs are filling and very nutritious.

I munch on veggies with ranch or hummus. Also celery with peanut butter is yummy and super filling. A glass of milk helps reduce hunger. Also, drink plenty of water to keep hunger at bay.

SparkPoints: (16,942)
Fitness Minutes: (7,182)
Posts: 620
4/15/13 1:45 P

Don't get hung up on the words "meal" and "snack". A snack is just a small meal. Fruit, yoghurt or salad can count as a meal if you're making the switch to several small meals per day.

If "snack" vs "meal" is getting in the way, just think "eating small portions several times per day". That's it.

Small meals can consist of whatever you need it to to fit in your calorie and nutrition ranges, to keep you from feeling starving or light headed, to give you the energy you need to make it through the day. And those meals can be as often as you need them so long as you stay within your nutrition ranges.

Posts: 672
4/15/13 12:34 P

I am one of those who generally does 5 or 6 smaller "meals" every day. Each of mine is usually between 200 and 300 calories, although I like a slightly larger dinner of usually 300 to 400 calories. My day usually looks something like:

Breakfast (7 or 8 a.m.): cereal or oatmeal with fruit and coffee
Morning Snack (10 or 11 a.m.): home-made oatbran muffin with peanut butter and coffee
Lunch (12:30 or 1:30 p.m.): large spinach salad with meat, cheese, other veggies (I usually have meat left over from dinner the night before)
Afternoon Snack (3 or 4 p.m.): yogurt with cocoa, almonds, hemp hearts, and sometimes fruit
Dinner (7 or 8 p.m.): meat, veggies, and sometimes a grain (rice, pasta, or quinoa)
Evening Snack (10 or 11 p.m.): popcorn and hot cocoa made with milk

Dinner will sometimes be 400-500 calories (if I'm going out, or if I feel like having a grain with it), but that still fits within my ranges. I sometimes will also add a frozen yogurt bar in to the "Evening Snack" (if we eat dinner early for some reason and I have too many hours between dinner and bed time).

I try to make sure that I have a semi-reasonable mix of carbs / fat / protein with each one.

Your ideas of yogurts and salads fit right in with what I'm doing. The trick is to add some things to each in order to balance out the carbs / fat / protein. Looks like you are on the right track - hope you find that it works well for you!

SparkPoints: (11,907)
Fitness Minutes: (7,301)
Posts: 350
4/15/13 12:05 P

Recently I decided to give the whole "5 small meals instead of 3 large meals" a try. I usually have a lot of fruit, yogurt, or a salad, but I know that doesn't count as a meal and then I end up having a larger meal at the end of the day when I want to try to divvy it up evenly throughout the day. Does anyone have suggestions/tips for small meals?

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