Meal frequency seems to be one of the most misunderstood components of weight loss. Sometimes people skip meals because they have maxed-out schedules; other times they just don’t get hungry. Mostly, they probably think fewer meals will at least give them a calorie-cutting weight loss bonus. Is this your meal plan?
That thinking is wrong. Here’s why…
Fewer Meals = Big Evening Meal + Unhealthy Food Choices
Studies have repeatedly shown that the timing of meals affects weight loss, and those who consume the bulk of their calories later in the day have a harder time losing weight.
When we starve the body, it responds by lowering the rate at which we metabolize energy. So eating sparsely before dinner means by the time we dig in, our metabolism has slowed way down.
Add to this the fact that we’re loading up on calories right as our activity level drops, and you have a recipe for hitting the hay with a very heavy stomach.
The Solution: Prepare + Plan = Weight Loss Success
Staying satisfied throughout the day is an easy way to keep your metabolism revved. The best way to distribute calories isn’t the standard 3 meals a day, however. You need to be prepared to eat 5 meals per day and have a meal plan to do it!
With all the options out there, you may be thinking, “Just TELL me what I should eat and when I should eat it to lose weight and I’ll DO IT!”
Well, here’s an eating schedule that has worked for us:
6:30 AM Start your day off with a meal replacement shake to get your nutrients and block your hunger for 3 hours (Great for before or after your workout)
9:30 AM Eat a small snack of fruit, nuts, or yogurt to keep your body fueled and metabolism steady
11:30 AM Have a sensible lunch or one of our delicious meal replacement shake recipes to curb your hunger an additional 3 hours
2:30 PM Eat a meal replacement bar for your mid-afternoon snack to keep your body feeling full until dinner and avoid carb-loading junk food snacks
6:30 PM Eat a sensible, light dinner with plenty of vegetables and protein to help your body recover from the day, but not feel stuffed.
After adopting this schedule and meal plan, you’ll soon notice your body will adjust and will naturally not be as hungry at dinnertime. Control your hunger all day long and lose weight with IdealShape! Checkout our meal replacement shake and meal replacement bar packages to get started today!