I get many questions about this and I would like to share with you ideally how much you should be eating. This is an EXTREMELY important key when you decide to transform your diet into a lifestyle. Because remember, we don’t want to “go on diets,” we want a diet that is a lifestyle. Don’t worry I will be beating this into your subconscious until it takes! Diet = Lifestyle, Lifestyle = Diet!
We were all taught that three square meals a day was the norm. But over the years I have learned that this is not the best way to divvy up your food intake for the day. There is a certain amount of calories we should all be ingesting per day. To maintain your weight: it is approximately 1500 calories/day for women and approximately 2000 calories/day for men. So how do you divide up those calories wisely throughout the day to not only satisfy your hunger, but also to eat all healthy calories? How much should you be eating? The best way to answer that is to have 4-5 meals a day. And none of those meals should really exceed 500-600 calories a meal.
You see, we need to have smaller portions but more meals. Think of it this way: when you eat a meal your body will only burn a certain amount of calories at one sitting (approx 300-500). When it cannot burn the excess food that you are eating (you are overeating at this point) your body stops burning and stores that extra amount. That goes for whatever it is that you are eating, healthy or not. Then that extra amount turns to fat, YUCK! If you eat 4-5 small meals a day, divvying up those calorie amounts, it will force you to make smaller meals and be less hungry as you are eating every few hours instead of every 6 hours.
Now that I have explained to you the calorie allotment and how many meals a day you should be having, you should really divide up those calories to be 4-5 meals at approximately 300 calories for women and 400 calories for men. Now again, I am not trying to be super strict on you. I realize in life you have to be flexible, but if you can do this 70-80% of the time you will be in a very good place. But for example, if you know you have a business lunch and your lunch will be a more calories that you normally would have, that is no problem, it’s all about allocation and just making sure you account for them by adjusting your other meals accordingly. And just a little hint on spending your calories: remember most whole foods such as fruits and vegetables are much lower in calories and you get a lot more food by eating whole foods instead of processed foods and complex carbohydrates. This helps fill you up as well as put the best fuel into your body resulting in continuous sustainable energy instead of getting into a food coma or having a sugar crash.
I realize this takes a lot of effort and planning as I do this in my household and make all of our meals each and everyday. But by being conscious of what I actually am putting in my mouth, it has made a WORLD of a difference. When I finally realized how much I should be eating, not only did I feel SO MUCH better throughout the day but my digestive system is liking me a whole lot more too!
We are all guilty of overeating. JUST SAY NO to overeating!
I hope this helps and as you know I would love to help you directly in anyway that I can!
Yours in True Health and Vitality,