Those of us who want to eat less and exercise more seem to want that because they desire to lose weight. Strangely enough the answer can come from just eating more often, indeed six times a day. It won’t take you long to think of this as a complicated solution to the problem of weight loss. Of course, there are lots of angles to this idea and many ways you can fool yourself. But for now let’s just keep it simple.
First, take an inventory of what you eat and when you eat. If you are a breakfast-lunch-dinner type and you eat hardly anything for breakfast and lunch and then make up for it by having a really big dinner, stop that right now. Plan something simple and nutritious for both breakfast and lunch.
Yes, you need a good breakfast. It’s your first meal of the day. Oatmeal and fruit will be fine. Alternatively, once or twice a week you can have a poached egg on whole grain toast. Another possible breakfast would be a protein smoothie made in a blender from a scoop of whey protein, a little yogurt, a small banana, a handful of berries, a few slices of a kiwi, some cranberry juice. Everything should fit in an eight ounce glass. Once you get the hang of it you can put together any of the above breakfasts in just a few minutes. There are many other possibilities as well.
When you first get up in the morning, even before considering breakfast, make a cup or two of coffee or tea (green tea preferred) and start drinking water. You need a maximum of 1-2 cups of coffee or tea in the morning. Don’t drink any more during the day. The caffeine will stop you from drinking enough water. Sometimes you won’t need even 1-2 cups of coffee or tea, but if you are accustomed to more stop that now. Skip the additive flavorings also. Water is more important, indeed most important drink.
You should consider drinking half your weight in ounces of water each day. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds you want about 100 ounces of water. That’s about six 16-17 ounce bottles of water or 12-13 eight ounce glasses of water. Decide how much you need and start, slowly at first, to build up to the necessary level. Your bladder and your body may not be used to that level. You’ll want to give it a chance to adjust. Your exercise level is also a key factor in how much water you will drink. Look into this and think about it.
Consuming water at an appropriate level will suppress your appetite, increase your basal metabolic rate, help flush excess salts and toxins from your body, and will help your general health in other ways.
If you’re away at work or elsewhere after breakfast, bring along your second meal — a snack — fruits, vegetables, cheese, and multiple other possibilities. Sometimes it’s easy to prepare these ahead of time and keep it in a shoulder bag you carry with you — think in simple terms. Try to stay away from starchy, salty or excessively sweet snacks. It’s better to eat nothing that eat those kinds of snacks. This is your second meal of the day and it can be small and simple — nothing excessively sweet or salty.
If you must eat out for lunch — your third meal of the day — a place with a good salad bar is the best course. If you can make your own selections so much the better. A small drizzle of dressing will be fine. Stay clear of the salty crackers, creamy veges, and breads or muffins unless one of the choices is a whole grain unadulterated with additives.
If you get trapped (invited) to a cocktail party somewhere, have a little water. Then hold onto the glass, and talk with others. There’s usually something to munch on that won’t kill you, but you can’t always be sure. The plate and the napkin will make you look like you belong even if you don’t eat a thing. Hard liquor, beer or wine are not worth drinking later you will just need to drink more water later to try to reduce their negative effect. They will set you back. Of course, you may have to pretend to drink something even if you don’t. You may know many people there and you don’t want them to feel uncomfortable watching you. This is your fifth meal of the day.
Later for dinner at home or if out with others, order something sensible and if it’s high caloric density, eat only a little of that and take home the rest in a doggy bag, or let the waiter take it away. You can usually order a dish that sensible. Try a fish or chicken dish, or something vegetarian, non-starchy if that’s possible. They are best broiled, and unadulterated with heavy sauces. try to stay clear of heavy fatty meat selections. Dinner wherever you have it is your fifth meal of the day.
Later at home you can have a sensible dessert. A small bowl (cup) of strawberries (no sugar) is a great sixth meal of the day.
You need to exercise every day. You may be busy, but it does not have to exceed 20 min a day, but you should do something serious. Yoga, walking, working with light weights and just doing various exercises that you vary from time to time. Whatever you do, if you are generally under-active, get off the couch or away from your desk and do something. Remember that you burn the least calories while sleeping, the next least by reading or reading what’s on your computer or your smart phone or just by watching television.
In general, adjusting your eating patterns and total intake (even if you eat more times during the day) and organizing a daily exercise routine as well as various ways you can bring up your activity level, combine to bring you to suitable weight.