3 Square Meals A Day Doesn't Cut It Anymore!

There are so many people who think losing weight is about cutting your daily caloric intake to an extremely low amount. There are so many people on roller-coaster diets, probably too many to count, and most of these people are unsuccessful in their weight loss efforts. These low-calorie diets are not successful because they slow down your metabolism, and this causes your body to enter into “starvation mode.” In starvation mode, the body burns very few calories because it is attempting to store the few calories it is being fed for energy. These diets can cause extreme fatigue and hunger, which is the reason for their lack of success. 

Successfully losing weight is a learning process. It involves making healthy food choices, paying attention to portion sizes, and eating small frequent meals throughout the day. The average female adult consumes 1,500 or more calories per day, depending on her activity level. To determine exactly how many calories your body needs daily, calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Basal Metabolic Rate is the energy (measured in calories) expended by the body at rest to maintain normal bodily function. The calculating formula is different for men and women and also changes with age.

In order to lose weight, caloric intake should be less than caloric expenditure. 
The formula for calculating BMR is as follows:
Women: 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)
Men: 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years)

The activity level of a person must also be considered. To include physical activity, follow this formula:

Multiply the BMR by:
1.2 if sedentary (little or no exercise)
1.375 if you exercise 1-3 days per week
1.55 if you exercise 3-5 days per week
1.725 if you exercise 6-7 days per week
Once you determine your BMR, you can divide the calories into five or six small meals per day, to increase your metabolism. By eating foods high in protein, and decreasing your consumption of fats and complex carbohydrates at each of your five or six meals, your metabolism will become extremely efficient at burning calories. 
To maximize the metabolic aspects of your food intake, you should incorporate five or six evenly-portioned meals throughout the day. The first meal should be within one hour of waking up, and each subsequent meal should be spaced two to three hours apart for the remainder of the day. People have to abandon the thought process of three meals a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Instead, get into the habit of adopting a nutritional pattern of Meal 1, Meal 2, Meal 3, etc. The reason for this is that traditional meal titles in this country are associated with eating certain patterns such as; breakfast should consist of eggs, bacon and bagels, while dinner should be meat and potatoes.
So how does splitting your daily caloric intake into five or six small meals a day increase metabolism? The human body’s metabolism is like a furnace. If you eat three meals a day, the furnace will begin heating up at the first meal and then die down until lunch, where it will heat up again, cool down until dinner, where it heats up one more time. By eating five or six small meals during the day, the furnace will continue burning throughout the day without the cooling-down periods. This means your metabolism is functioning at an increased rate all day with little fluctuations.
Another way that eating small meals frequently will help contribute to weight loss is by a mechanism called the thermic effect of food. When you eat a meal, your body begins the process of digestion, and this process requires the use of energy. The body actually burns calories while it is digesting food. This is sometimes the reason why people’s body temperature increases when they eat. It makes sense that if the body has to digest more frequent meals throughout the day, then the daily caloric expenditure will be increased. 
Another advantage of eating small frequent meals during the day is it will help to balance blood sugar levels and prevent hunger attacks. This is in direct contrast to the low-calorie diets that cause blood sugar levels to experience increases and decreases through the course of the day. Frequent meals also regulate insulin levels, which is necessary for muscle growth and glycogen storage. One of insulin’s roles in the body is to transport glucose and amino acids into the muscle cells, where they can be used for energy and muscle growth.
Adopting this type of lifestyle will require a bit of meal planning and preparation, but it is certainly worth it. Purchasing some Tupperware and a food scale and following this weekly meal plan can help get you started. This meal plan is based on 1,500 calories per day, consisting of 25 grams of Fat, 179 grams of Carbohydrates, and 127 grams of Protein. Once you calculate your BMR, you can adjust serving sizes to meet your individual daily caloric needs.
Sonia_foodDay One
Meal One: 1 cup cooked oatmeal, 8 oz. skim milk, 1 scoop whey protein and ½ cup blueberries
Meal Two: 1 protein bar (15 grams protein/20 grams carbohydrates)
Meal Three: 6 oz. grilled chicken, 4 slices fresh tomato, 2 pieces Ezekiel toast
Meal Four: 1 medium peach
Meal Five: 6 oz. baked tilapia, 1 cup grilled zucchini, 1 cup steamed asparagus
Day Two
Meal One: 4 egg whites and 2 slices Ezekiel toast.
Meal Two: 1 medium apple, 6 oz. nonfat plain Greek yogurt (no fruit in bottom)
Meal Three: 6 oz. tuna and 1 cup raw vegetables, 4 Tbsp low-fat raspberry vinaigrette dressing
Meal Four: ½ cup low-fat cottage cheese and 12 almonds
Meal Five: 6 oz. grilled salmon, 1 cup steamed green vegetable of your choice
Day Three
Meal One: 6 oz. nonfat Greek yogurt (no fruit in bottom) and 1 cup sliced fresh melon
Meal Two: 1 protein bar (15 grams protein/20 grams carbohydrates)
Meal Three: 6 oz. turkey, 1 cup cooked quinoa
Meal Four: 12 unsalted cashews and 1 large plum
Meal Five: 6 oz. turkey burger, 1 cup steamed spinach, 2 cups green salad, 4 Tbsp vinaigrette dressing
Day Four
Meal One: 4 egg whites, 1 cup cooked rolled oats (not instant).
Meal Two: 1 scoop whey protein, mixed with 8 oz. skim milk/almond milk (or water) and 1 cup fresh strawberries
Meal Three: 2 cups chopped lettuce salad with ½ cup chickpeas, 4 oz. chicken, 2 Tbsp low-fat dressing
Meal Four: 2 pieces string cheese and 12 almonds
Meal Five: 6 oz. baked cod, 2/3 cup cooked lentils, 1 cup steamed broccoli
Day Five
Meal One: 2 Ezekiel toast with ½ Tbsp natural peanut butter and ¼ cup blackberries
Meal Two: 1 protein bar (15 grams protein/20 grams carbohydrates)
Meal Three: 2 cup lettuce, 6 oz. cooked shrimp, 2 Tbsp low-fat dressing, 2 pieces Ezekiel toast
Meal Four: 1 cup cubed melon, ¼ cup unsalted walnuts
Meal Five: 6 oz. grilled lean sirloin, 1 cup acorn squash, 1 cup cooked couscous
Day Six
Meal One: 4 egg whites, ½ grapefruit
Meal Two: 4 Tbsp low-fat hummus, 1 cup raw vegetables
Meal Three: 6 oz. tuna, ½ pita bread, dijon mustard, 1 medium peach
Meal Four: 12 almonds, 6 oz. nonfat Greek yogurt
Meal Five: 6 oz. grilled chicken, 4 oz. baked sweet potato, ½ cup sugar snap peas
Day Seven
Meal One: 6 oz. nonfat Greek yogurt with ½ cup low-fat granola, ½ cup raspberries
Meal Two: 2 pieces string cheese and 12 almonds
Meal Three: 4 oz. chicken, 2/3 cup cooked brown rice
Meal Four: 1 scoop whey protein, mixed with 8 oz. skim milk (or water) and ½ banana
Meal Five: 4 oz. baked flounder, 4 tomato slices, 1 cup acorn or butternut squash

Do you want more meal plans and ideas like this one?  Join my team with a free beachbody account and you can customize your meal plan and print out a grocery list!  Plus get customized support from me as your coach!