If you can make it to one of my Indoor Cycling classes, you will most likely hear me say at least one time, “If you wait until you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.” This fact also stands true when it comes to eating.  If you let yourself get too hungry, your metabolism makes adjustments to fit your starvation, therefore slowing down.  When you allow yourself to eat right again, the metabolism cannot just immediately speed up to keep up with the change in your eating So, it is much harder to lose weight. One thing that has remained a constant in the “Food Facts” world has always been that breakfast is essential. Eating a meal of complex carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats within an hour or so of rising can rev up your metabolism and give you fuel for an active day As soon as you notice your body's hunger signals, make sure you eat within an hour. Irregular eating patterns and skipped meals can confuse your body and mess up your metabolism. Plus, if you wait until you’re feeling ravenous, you may be more likely to overeat. ? But what about the meals after breakfast?
I believe that all the 5 to 6 “small” meals that you should be eating throughout your day are also essential.  Keeping the body fed with a combination of the 3 macronutrients (Protein, Carbohydrates, Healthy Fat,) you can keep the metabolism going strong enough to promote weight loss, improve energy levels, help stabilize blood sugar, and preserve lean muscle mass.  Think of it as keeping the fire going throughout a cold winter’s day, by constantly adding wood to the fire. As long as you continue to add wood, the fire will continue to grow stronger.
If eating that often begins to cause you stress, remember to start out slow.  What is super important, especially when attempting to lose a significant amount of body fat, is that you decrease your portion sizes and therefore decrease your total caloric intake each 24 hour period. Watch the amount of food you are consuming during each of these “small” meals, just as close as you would have for 3 basic larger meals.  I like to think of 5 to 6 meals a day, as basically eating 5 to 6 healthy, well-balanced “snacks” a day.
 Many people who follow a reduced-calorie weight loss plan struggle with hunger. Eating more frequently throughout the day can help with feelings of fullness and satiety, so you're more likely to stick with your plan  Always remember when counting calories, that it is equally important to make sure your body receives all the nutrients it needs for proper maintenance. Since this is extremely hard when reducing calories for fat loss, you should be supplementing with a doctor recommended multi-vitamin. If you need 90 grams of protein every day, for example, you would need to make sure that at least  1 grams of protein per small meal.
This is what a *sample day of mini meals might look like, based on a 1,800-calorie diet.
7:30 am - 1/2 cup unsweetened juice; 1 slice whole wheat toast with 2 tsp. margarine and spreadable fruit; 1 hardboiled egg (Nutrition Total: 320 calories; 44g carbs; 10g protein; 12g fat)
10 am - 2 oz. of natural cheese thinly sliced on 4 saltine crackers; 1 piece of fresh fruit; water/tea (Nutrition Total: 325 calories; 59g carbs; 15g protein, 19g fat)
12:30 pm - 2 oz. of turkey breast on whole wheat bagel with lettuce leaf and 2 slices of fresh tomato with 1 tablespoon of spicy brown mustard; 1 medium banana; 1/2 cup of 1% milk or soy milk (Nutrition Total: 405 calories; 76g carbs; 18g protein; 3g fat)
3 pm - 1/2 cup of sugar free pudding; 4 vanilla wafers; 1/2 cup of 1% milk or soy milk (Nutrition Total: 211 calories; 30g carbs; 7g protein; 7g fat)
6 pm - 2 oz. of falafel with whole wheat pita halves; 1/2 cup of broccoli; water/tea (Nutrition Total: 386 calories; 60g carbs; 16g protein; 12g fat)
8 pm - 1 oz. almonds; 1/2 cup of unsweetened juice (Nutrition Total: 222 calories; 20g carbs; 6g protein; 14g fat)
(Sample Meal by Tanya Jolliffe)

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