You are here
Eat All Day and Never Get Fat
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.
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
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
What to Eat at 1:00 P.M.
Toast 1 whole wheat pita. Spread with 1 tablespoon pesto. Top with mesclun greens, 2 ounces grilled chicken breast, and 3 grape tomatoes, halved.
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
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.