Whether you are diagnosed with diabetes and your doctor has suggested eating frequent meals, or you are on a restricted-calorie diet and want to prevent hunger throughout the day, eating six small, balanced meals a day is a healthy alternative to the standard three. By eating six small meals, you can curb your hunger and keep your blood sugar at a stable level, provided the food you are eating is nutritious.
Eat a protein-rich breakfast that includes fiber as well as fruits and vegetables. Because you will be eating another small meal in the late morning, avoid overeating and keep your first meal of the day as light as possible. Try eating oatmeal with bananas, strawberries and nuts on top, or a breakfast burrito with black beans, egg whites and a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Eat a small second breakfast, more like a mid-morning snack, approximately three hours after your first meal. Using a lean protein source like yogurt, add fruits like blueberries and stir in wheat germ or sunflower seeds to create a balanced meal.
Provide your body with a nourishing lunch, like sliced, skinless chicken breast on whole-wheat bread with lettuce, tomato and avocado. Avoid eating salty snacks like chips and popcorn, which are high in saturated fat and will raise your calorie count for the day significantly.
Snack on a small, high-protein meal that's packed with vegetables about three hours after lunch. Eat a small salad topped with nuts or seeds, or a handful of vegetables like celery, carrots and broccoli dipped in nonfat Italian dressing.
Eat a balanced, small dinner that is full of vitamins. For example, steam salmon, brown rice and broccoli and add a small amount of olive oil and fresh-squeezed lemon juice as a dressing. Avoid overeating during dinner, as you will still get to eat a small snack after dinner.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with a nutritious dessert. Freeze fruit, like strawberries, bananas and blueberries, and mix them into a smoothie or eat them as-is for a satisfying, cold treat.
Things You'll Need
Nonfat Italian dressing
Practice portion control to avoid feeling overstuffed while eating six meals per day.
Consult your doctor before altering your diet to six meals a day, especially if you have diabetes.