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Eat All Day and Never Get Fat

Munching more often can stave off hunger and help you maintain a healthy weight. Here, how to make this food lover's diet work for you.

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Woman eating bread
Laura Doss
Chris Gallo
Chris Gallo
Chris Gallo
Chris Gallo
Chris Gallo
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Eat Smaller Meals More Often

Consuming five small meals daily instead of three square ones can keep you fit and trim, nutrition experts say. But what exactly is a small meal?

"Four hundred calories every three hours or so throughout the day," says Connie Diekman, RD, director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis. (That translates into 2,000 calories, the number an average active woman needs daily to maintain her weight. If you're looking to lose, aim for 1,600 calories and eat only four of the meals below. Space them every four hours instead of three.)

"Eating this way helps prevent your blood sugar from crashing and keeps you satisfied." Since you won't be starving, you'll be able to make smarter food choices and stick to your diet. Kick-start your meal makeover with this 2,000-calorie menu from Au Bon Pain executive chef Thomas John, who recently created the low-cal Portions line for the chain.

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What to Eat at 7:00 A.M.

3/4 cup oatmeal (instant or quick-cook oats made with water) with 1 tablespoon honey. Top with 2 ounces (about 50 small) blueberries and 1 ounce (about 23) almonds.

PLUS 1 cup coffee with skim milk

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What to Eat at 10:00 A.M.

5 celery sticks, 5 carrot sticks, and 1 medium apple with 2 tablespoons peanut butter

PLUS 1 cup fresh orange juice

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What to Eat at 1:00 P.M.

Pita Pizzetta

Toast 1 whole wheat pita. Spread with 1 tablespoon pesto. Top with mesclun greens, 2 ounces grilled chicken breast, and 3 grape tomatoes, halved.

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What to Eat at 4:00 P.M.

1 ounce Brie cheese, 1 small bunch grapes, 1 ounce walnuts (about 14 halves), and 6 whole wheat crackers

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What to Eat at 7:00 P.M.

Grilled salmon with tomatoes, eggplant, and quinoa

Combine 1/4 cup quinoa and 1/2 cup chicken broth in a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Lightly coat 3-ounce salmon fillet, 1/4 eggplant cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices, and 1 large tomato, cut into wedges, with olive oil. Grill until salmon starts to flake apart and veggies are soft and tender; season with salt and pepper. Place cooked quinoa in the center of a plate and top with the grilled salmon, eggplant, and tomatoes. Sprinkle with basil leaves to taste.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, September 2008.

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What do you think? Review this slideshow!

ruthiejames95 wrote:

I have found this to be such a good thing. It makes it so your body never goes into starvation mode. I always lose more weight when I eat small meals throughout the day. Thanks for sharing the tips! Ruth James |

1/28/2014 12:06:51 PM Report Abuse
riannan922 wrote:

It says "If you want to lose weight,eat only 4 of the meals below." Where are they?

11/18/2013 12:22:47 PM Report Abuse
jenniferinboise wrote:

this is way true and does work!! remember to make whole food choices that are smart and healthy....I am 47 and have eaten this way for 2 years!! luv it!!

12/27/2012 10:09:32 PM Report Abuse
kironpolard555 wrote:

Thank you for your great information about this topics.Start your day with a delicious low glycemic food,a portion controlled shake that is a completely balanced meal with protein, carbs,vitamins and the right amount of fat! Full Strength provides hours of satiety while turning on the fat burning, turns off the appetite and will help you manage your blood sugar levels. For more information please visit :

7/4/2012 04:28:24 AM Report Abuse
lbsamuels wrote:

i think this is a good tip, but i don't think this necessarily works for everybody. personally, my body responds better to three square meals and 2-3 snacks, depending on my hunger levels throughout the day. eating is not one size fits all! but i love fitness magazines and their meal ideas are awesome!!!

8/30/2011 10:44:48 AM Report Abuse
libertyanstead wrote:

hi everyone

8/19/2011 10:23:03 AM Report Abuse
limam11 wrote:

I correct that... it took a few moments for the page to load fully! Hit the printer icon and then look for the very faint print or print all option above the slide info but below the advertisement; there is also a link to go back to the slideshow.

3/31/2011 10:08:47 AM Report Abuse
limam11 wrote:

"click on the print button and there are then two choices " NOPE! No choices for me if I hit the print icon on the page nor if I use print from the browser. They need to FIX THIS issue!

3/31/2011 10:05:55 AM Report Abuse
anonymous wrote:

I have been on a similar diet. Only I don't start until 9-10 AM. I eat 2-3 Wasa lite crackers and PB w/Banana or apple. 11:30-12:00 I eat more fruit with a PB sandwich. In between these periods, I munch on flavored Almonds. I eat more PB Crackers and fruit 3:00-4:00. I eat a well balanced Dinner that includes dessert. I have lost another 5 pounds in the last couple of months, when I swore I was gaining! Don't like this one, make your own with healthy filling foods.

2/20/2011 02:01:15 PM Report Abuse
anonymous wrote:

I hate that every time I want to prnt something I have to do it in tiny incriments. When you push print the whole article should come up for printing to save time, ink and paper. What the heck is that all about?

2/16/2011 11:24:21 AM Report Abuse
marsha_gephart wrote:

According to my height, weight, and age, I should only eat 1200 calories to lose weight.

2/16/2011 10:33:36 AM Report Abuse
lbl03c wrote:

Also, a women in her 20's would have to be maintaining a weight of over 180 pounds to need 2,000 calories per day. A 26 year old women who is moderately active can maintain with between 1900 - 1950 calories per day which means for lots of people, eating 2,000 or more calories in a day is going to translate in to weight gain.

1/5/2011 10:58:43 AM Report Abuse
lbl03c wrote:

I counted all the calories from this food and it equals 2,372! I know it's different from person to person, but according to my BMR equations(, only a severely young and obese and active person would be able to lose weight eating that many calories per day.

1/5/2011 10:56:09 AM Report Abuse

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