When I was growing up my meals consisted of breakfast, lunch, and supper. Like most families. Sometimes there would be after school snacks or bed time snacks thrown in but meals were meals and snacks were snacks.
Meals were always big. They always were portioned with your carbs, proteins, and sometimes fats (or things were cooked with oil).
Snacks were snacky foods. Crackers, cheese, popcorn etc. They were supposed to be small but didn’t always end up that way. I think the term used now is “snackcident”.
I think a lot of us grew up with this framework of eating and grew accustom to it. I eat in a very similar way still but instead my five meals are what I consider “meals”.
Here is my definition of meal:
- In a “meal” there should ALWAYS be a source of protein.
- It should be portioned in a way that you can have five in a day without over eating
- It should completely satiate you (you should feel satisfied after and not “still hungry”)
The reason why I like to refer this eating pattern as meals rather than snacks is that I find snacking can get way out of control. If you throw in a snack here and there I find it either doesn’t fill you up and leaves you really hungry before your next meal and causes over eating. Or secondly you mindlessly munch without portioning and end up eating more snacks and eat more during those snack period sometimes than you would during a meal.
The best way that I find to eat or lay out my day of eating is to aim to eat every three or four hours. This makes for your five meals per day. These meals are planned and portioned so you don’t have any “snackcidents” or overeating incidents.
Every time you start eating your body starts a whole process of releasing certain digestive hormones, secreting insulin to control blood sugars, and inducing protein synthesis. This is important in terms of controlling blood sugars and with building muscle as well.
When you include a protein with every meal and are turning on protein synthesis just by eating. You are aiding in maintaining or building a leaner physique (accompanied by training of course). Not to mention this way of eating is also a lot easier on your digestive system.
Unless you are an intermittent faster and that works and is sustainable for you to do long term. Consider eating five small meals per day. Never let yourself get too hungry and get creative with your meals too.
One great idea that saves some brain work and planning is to plan out to have the same meal twice in one day. Especially if it’s tacos… Each taco here contains just under 500 calories and has 28 grams of protein each. Perfectly portioned each but would be way to much for one meal. Also was super psyched to have this meal twice.
Eating or feeding doesn’t always have to look like breakfast, lunch, and supper. Save yourself from mindlessly snacking all day. Think outside the box and think more about portion sizing and fully satisfying yourself with each and every meal.