Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner is for Beginners

beginners diet

By this time you have undoubtedly heard about the importance (perceived, real, or otherwise) of eating smaller, nutrient rich meals more frequently throughout the day.  Ditch the massive breakfast, lunch and dinner and divide your calories between 5-6 meals throughout the day.

My guess is you’re not a 19th century farmer, waking up at 5am to tackle a 12 hour workday in the fields…so why are you eating biscuits and gravy, a pot of coffee, 2 glasses of orange juice (also known as a days worth of salt and fat).

You’re probably also not a competitive eater, so why are you binging on “empty” calories like those 4 baskets of chips and salsa you ate while waiting for your dinner (after you haven’t eaten for 6-7 hours since lunch)?

But trying to find that sweet spot can be difficult.  Eat too little and you won’t feel full (and if you’re miserable, you’re probably not going to stick with it).  Eat too much and you’ll feel TOO full when it’s time to eat again.  (for more details check out my Fit Dad Quick Start Guide).

The good thing is there is no exact science to exactly when you have to eat.  I shoot for every 3-4 hours and I have a very nutrient rich meal that consists of at least 30 grams of protein (and a healthy mix of fats OR carbs depending on my training; but not both).  This keeps me satiated throughout the day and helps me find balance.

The benefits of this type of schedule are:

  • The protein (remember, 30g or more) will help you feel full.  Protein is the most satiating macronutrient.  Nutrient rich (but not calorie rich) veggies will have that same effect.  So 2 chicken breasts and a plate of steamed broccoli will help fight off cravings while giving your body the tools it needs to build lean mass.  Slamming a 64 oz soda and a bag of chips will make you feel horrible, and also hungry earlier.
  • You decrease the odds of binge eating.  If you have lunch at noon (healthy or otherwise) and then make dinner plans for 7p…you’re probably going into that dinner starving and ready to eat!  If the restaurant has a long wait and your food doesn’t come until 730 or 800pm…well I’m just going to guess that your brain and stomach are going to win out over your amount of discipline.  Don’t set yourself up for failure.
  • You keep your metabolic engine revving.  Most aspiring Fit Dads are trying to add lean mass, and we have to get that engine cooking!  Bonus:  eating every 3-4 hours can also keep your blood sugar more stabilized.

So plan your meals out (or use the simple, detailed plan I have laid out for you), make sure you’re getting 30g or more of protein at each meal.  You can do this!

What do you think?

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