Eating smaller amounts more frequently may make it easier to control your weight, especially if you’re over 40, says Chris Robinson, author of The Core Connection. Eat five or six of these tasty mini-meals throughout the day, and you’ll never feel hungry and you’ll keep your blood sugar steady.
Many of my clients eat five or six 250- to 300-calorie mini-meals every two or three hours, including before or after a workout. By eating every several hours, their blood sugar stays steady and they never feel hungry. Women over 40 add that mini-meals seem to control bloating and weight gain.
I favor grazing, as long as you keep your mini-meals truly mini. If they start to inch toward maxi, you may eat more calories than you need and actually gain weight.
I asked my clients who favor grazing throughout the day for a few of their favorite mini-meals. Try one, try them all.
- Top a whole-grain frozen waffle with 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter and 1 medium sliced banana.
- Mix 1/2 cup cottage cheese with 1/4 cup whole-grain cereal; top with 1/4 cup fresh berries.
- Stir 1 small handful sliced natural almonds into 1 cup low-fat fruit yogurt.
- Peel a medium banana, then split it lengthwise. Spread with 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter and drizzle with 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup.
- Spread 1 slice whole-grain bread with 1 tablespoon natural almond butter and 1 teaspoon honey or sugar-free jam.
- Spoon a dollop of low-fat fruit yogurt on 1/2 cup fruit salad; top with 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts.
- Sauté 2 egg whites in a nonstick pan, top with 1/2 ounce reduced-fat cheese, and wrap in a small whole-wheat tortilla.
- Stuff half a whole-wheat pita with 3 ounces smoked turkey breast and a few leaves of lettuce or spinach. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar.
- Top 1 cup mixed greens with 3 ounces grilled chicken; drizzle with 1 tablespoon nonfat dressing, and wrap in a whole-wheat tortilla.
- Top a whole-grain English muffin with 1/4 cup pasta sauce and 1 ounce part-skim shredded mozzarella. Pop it under the broiler until the cheese melts.
- Combine 2/3 cup cooked brown rice with 1/2 cup canned black beans and 1 tablespoon lime juice; top with 1/4 cup low-fat cheddar. Microwave for 1 minute on medium.
- Mix 2 ounces canned tuna (packed in water; drained) with 2 tablespoons fresh, mashed avocado. Scoop onto 10 bagel chips.
- Microwave a medium potato for 10 minutes on medium setting. Slice open lengthwise and top with 2 tablespoons salsa and 1/4 cup shredded reduced fat cheese.
- Spread 2 tablespoons fat-free black bean dip, 1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheese, and 2 tablespoons salsa on a whole-wheat tortilla. Bake for 10 minutes in a 400-degree oven. Add 1/4 cup shredded romaine. Roll up and enjoy with extra salsa on the side.
- Microwave a whole-wheat pita for 1 minute on medium. Cut into triangles and spread with 2 tablespoons store-bought hummus.
- Spread 1/2 small whole-wheat pita with mustard; top with 2 thin slices of deli-sliced turkey breast, cucumber, and sliced tomato.
- Top 1/2 whole-wheat English muffin with 1 ounce reduced-fat mozzarella, green bell pepper, and tomato slices.
- Top 1 slice whole-wheat toast with 1 scrambled egg and 1 slice turkey bacon.
- Layer 2 slices deli-sliced chicken breast or ham, tomato slices, and lettuce on a whole-wheat tortilla. Top with a thin slice of avocado and 1 tablespoon salsa.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Robinson, the author of Core Connection: Go from Fat to Flat by Using Your Abs for a Total Body Workout (Copyright © 2009 by Chris Robinson), is an elite personal trainer whose clients include celebrities, athletes, and top executives on both coasts. A lifelong athlete, Robinson is a two-time Muay Thai kickboxing champion and ran track and field at San Diego State University, where he earned a degree in kinesiology. He is also a certified Pilates instructor, and studied with the legendary Romana Kryszanowska, who learned the craft from Joseph Pilates himself. Robinson is the founder and president of Core Coach Center, Inc.™ (www.corecoach.net), based in La Jolla, California.
- Learn more about The Core Connection by Chris Robinson
- Browse more articles about healthy eating
- Browse articles about losing weight
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