Following a regular eating schedule is what helps Lauren Versluis, a married, full-time graduate student and intern from Tampa, Florida maintain the energy she needs for her super busy schedule, and lose five pounds in the process. “I eat at the same time every day and add it to my schedule. That way, it’s a routine.” Versluis packs all of her food for the day in a lunchbox and eats every three hours.
Eating every three hours may seem like a lot (especially when you may not be hungry), but this kind of schedule also helped Martha Mele'cio, a full-time freelance consultant in Chicago, Illinois. Despite her hectic schedule she lost over 40 pounds without deprivation. “The best advice I ever got was to eat when I wasn’t hungry. [Before] my brain was trained to devour everything once I hit starvation mode; I would run around taking care of everything; then when it was time to sit and chow down, I would -- in a huge way. It was like I was making up for all the meals and snacks I missed during the day.”
Eating at set times throughout the day can maintain blood sugar levels and help you avoid making those bad decisions at meal times that come when you are ravenous. Mele’cio replaced supersized meals with smaller, lower calorie mini-meals, and Versluis automatically helps to restrict her portions and comes prepared with a healthy arsenal of food by packing healthy meals and snacks like apples and nuts to keep her satisfied.
Make It Work For You: Whether or not you decide to eat several small meals or three squares a day, one thing is clear: if you eat too many calories, you won’t lose weight. Try Versluis’ lunchbox idea and pack one full of as many healthy snacks and meals as you’ll need to get you through the day. (Here are some great under 200-calorie snack ideas to help get you started.)