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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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Laura Doss
oatmeal with blueberries and almonds
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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ringwalds wrote:

@thesaghys, i agree with you. 2000 is too much for the average woman. I'm about 1350 a day to maintain and I work out and I'm in my 30's.

9/17/2012 02:28:29 PM Report Abuse
pk1479 wrote:

I just ran the "points" on WW and this would be 38 points....WAY TOO MUCH FOOD. Definitely not a plan for me.

7/1/2012 12:34:10 PM Report Abuse
celestmiles wrote:

Sounds absolutely fantastic.

8/26/2011 09:08:11 AM Report Abuse
llmoy wrote:

Wow...I'm 50 and I work out 40 mins/3 days a week and eat between 1500-2000 a day just to maintain. Maybe I have a faster metabolism than you. I would hate to have to work out 6 days a week and only eat 1200 calories. It's like a killer schedule you have there.

3/31/2011 04:43:15 PM Report Abuse
thesaghys wrote:

This might work for those under 40. If I ate 2000 calories a day I would be huge! I work out 6 days a week and eat between 1000 and 1200 calories a day and I just maintain. Fitness Mag needs to realize that people in their 50's like to be fit too and publish some articles to meet our needs/interests as well. Or....maybe I am the only 50 something still looking at them and I need to look elsewhere.

3/30/2011 08:40:00 PM Report Abuse

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