How can we eat MORE and LOSE weight?
The idea of eating more to lose weight and increase your metabolism seems counterintuitive. A client who’s goal is fat loss recently asked
“I’m eating a lot of vegetables and more often than usual. I feel like I’m consuming more food, so how am I supposed to drop fat?”
The short answer: Following a habit based approach, “Eating Every 2-4 Hours” will ensure that we don’t overeat or under eat. This also curbs the likelihood of choosing the “easy” or “wrong” foods (which are usually not whole and high in empty calories).
Think of the metabolism like a fire. We need to feed it to keep the flames from going out. For our members, this is an important thing to remember. Since resistance training is a part of their lifestyle, if we aren’t properly fueling the fire we can end up with higher fat storages and less muscle mass. Even if you don't lift, continuing to eat healthy foods frequently will even out blood sugar peaks and valleys compared to those who go long periods without eating.
Where Do We Begin?
The answer to that question can depend on who is asking it. If you're someone who has been into fitness and nutrition for a longer time, eating every 2 to 4 hours comes down to planning and projecting your schedule. For someone just starting out, just getting in the habit of eating frequently would be a great place to start.
With that being said, if you’re already working on the “4 Simple Wellness Hacks” we can now focus on eating every 2-4 hours.
How to Eat Every 2-4 Hours
Prepare snacks and small meals for busy days. Have one food to eat twice a day, then as we pick up on this habit, we can try two different foods. Bridging the gap between meals will save us from overeating and indulging in poor food choices. Check out “Slaying the Meal Prep Monster” for some easy meal prepping tips.
Add vegetables and lean protein with every meal. Slowly eating fibrous vegetables before the other foods on our plates will send signals to the brain that we are getting full and therefore reduce overeating. Again, we are still consuming calories and fueling the fire, just in a smarter and more methodical way.
Make the time to food journal. This is an easy way to objectively look at what we’re consuming, when we’re consuming it, and how we feel afterward. Compare and contrast energy levels and mood on days without filling the gaps versus days with extra meals or snacks.
Consuming more “good” foods and eating more often seems like a pretty sweet deal, right? In the beginning, just focus on eating foods you like, frequently. As you get more experienced, slowly work towards nutrient dense choices. With the adaptation of the “Eat Every 2-4 Hours” habit, we can lose weight, have a better metabolism and feel better throughout the day.