Tips on Meal Planning

meal planning

In the busy and demanding times we live today, most people neglect to think about what they are putting in their mouths. Many go through a drive-through for breakfast or even skip important meals. Many even forget to eat throughout the day allowing them to gorge on large quantities of food in the evening. These bad habits definitely produce an increase in weight over the months and years.

There is a relatively recent study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston that shows us that the timing of meals may be just as important as the quality of the meal. The results indicated that late eaters displayed a slower weight-loss rate and lost significantly less weight than early eaters, suggesting that the timing of large meals could be an important factor in a weight loss program. “Late” eaters were defined as eating 40% of their calories after 3pm and “Early” eaters eating 40% of their calories before 3pm.

The above study suggests that breakfast IS one of the most important meals of the day which supports an old adage: Eat like a king for breakfast, a prince for lunch, and a pauper for dinner. Eating more calories earlier in the day can help you to lose weight and maintain it throughout a life span.

Now let’s do a breakdown of each meal:

Breakfast

Research has suggested that 34% of young people regularly skip breakfast. It also shows that skipping this meal is associated with increased prevalence of weight gain, increased BMI, and obesity. As one can see, this meal should become a priority in order to reap the health gains from it. Breakfast should be eaten within one hour of waking up in order to decrease stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline (which are fat-storing) and to start the metabolism.

What should I eat for breakfast?

It is not enough to eat a piece of toast with jam or to drink a cup of coffee. Breakfast should be a balanced meal consisting of complex carbohydrates like fruit, oats, buckwheat, quinoa, or sprouted whole grains along with a protein source such as grass-fed organic dairy or eggs. Here are a few combinations you can try:

½ cup organic yogurt + 2-3 Tablespoons of oats + 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed + 1 Tbsp Goji berries + 3 crushed almonds + 1 small banana

Omelette made from 2 free-range, organic eggs, mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, and garlic + 1 slice sprouted-grain bread + 1 cup grapes

The combinations will keep you full and alert throughout your morning and will decrease the need for sweet or caffeinated foods or beverages.

Lunch

According to the Brigham and Women’s study, lunch was the main meal of the day eaten at around 1-2 pm. You can decide what to eat for lunch using something called the plate method.3

Half of the plate should be filled with non-starchy vegetables. You can make a salad and include Superfoods like alfalfa sprouts, Chia Seeds or Goji berries or steam some of your favourites like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, aubergines, asparagus, spinach, or Brussels sprouts.

One quarter of the plate should include a protein source like fish, chicken, or beef (all organic) or a vegetarian source of protein like beans or lentils.

The other quarter of the plate should include a high fiber carbohydrate. Examples are sweet potatoes, potatoes with the skin, brown rice, and quinoa.

You may also include a fruit and some organic yogurt with your meal.

There should be no more than 1-2 Tbsp of good fat on your plate. The best choices are olive or coconut oil.

Dinner

Remember that we should eat like a pauper at dinner. This doesn’t mean skipping it or just grabbing anything. Dinner can be a lighter version of lunch. Making vegetables the main part of dinner will help you to control blood sugar, regulate metabolism, and include a variety of different nutrients into your diet.

Some examples of dinner can be:

Large salad with a variety of dark leafy greens like kale or spinach, flaxseeds, and nuts.

Vegetable soup with quinoa and a variety of different vegetables.

Snacks

A review paper suggested that individuals who snack throughout the day may have improved weight control over those conforming to a rigid pattern of three meals a day.Snacking helps to regulate blood sugar and decreases the need for overeating. One should eat every 3 hours in order to gain optimal health and weight benefits. So, if you eat breakfast at 7am, a mid-morning snack can be eaten at 10am and a mid-afternoon snack at about 4 pm.

Snack Ideas:

1 cup fruit salad + 10 unsalted almonds or cashews

1-2 Tbsp dried fruit like organic raisins, Goji berries, dates, apricots + 2-3 Brazil nuts

1 ounce grass-fed cheddar cheese + 1 apple

Make sure to use your SuperBody app to get advice on meal times, meal planning, and macro- and micro- nutrient make-up. We are here to make your goals a reality in a fun and simple way!

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