Grazing is a pattern of eating that involves consuming multiple meals throughout the day. The idea is that if you eat small portions every few hours, you will keep your hunger under control, metabolism elevated and energy levels high. By adopting this eating pattern, you will obtain other health benefits as well. A study conducted at the University of Cambridge found that eating more frequently lowered levels of artery-clogging LDL cholesterol, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
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Stock up on healthy foods. Even though you are going to eat smaller portions, choose foods that are high in nutrients and low in fat, sugar and sodium. Chicken breasts, lean beef, fish, turkey loins, eggs, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans are quality foods. These foods are quality sources of protein and complex carbs, which can help fill you up and keep you felling full between meals.
Prepare ahead of time. Spend several hours on the weekend baking and preparing foods and meals to have on hand for the week ahead. Cook a dozen chicken breasts and yams, mix up and saute vegetables for a stir fry and simmer a batch of beans and brown rice. Place everything in containers, and store them in the refrigerator and freezer. Include small containers with portioned out servings as well. You can easily take these to work and heat them up for quick meals.
Begin your day with breakfast. People who eat breakfast regularly tend to eat a healthier diet, according to GoAskAlice at Columbia University. Prepare a bowl of oatmeal with low-fat milk and berries, or chop up some vegetables and make an omelet.
Eat every two to three hours for the rest of the day. Combine protein and complex carbs with every meal. A whole-wheat pita with sliced turkey breast, lettuce, tomato and mustard is a balanced meal example.
Include nutrition bars and meal replacement shakes into your meal plan. These give you easy access to meals if you are traveling, at work or in a remote location. Use a shaker cup and cold water to mix up shakes. Have nuts and dried fruit on hand at all times. They are easy to store, and they do not need refrigeration. Watch your calories, though, because nuts are high in fat.
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To lose weight, you need to reduce your caloric intake. A pound equals 3,500 calories, so you can lose one to two pounds a week by reducing your daily intake by 500 to 1,000 calories, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Take this into consideration when you are figuring your calorie amounts per meal. For example, your current intake is 3,000; if you reduce it to 2,500 and eat six meals a day, your average intake per meal will be about 415 calories.