It’s often challenging to stick to a healthy eating plan and stay within your target calorie goal for the day, as the danger exists to eat too many calories, or not enough, and unnecessarily slow down your weight loss. A healthy eating schedule is a daily plan that helps you take in the optimal number of calories so you can easily lose weight and achieve your goal weight.
If you eat too many calories in the early part of the day, you’ll be hungry and dissatisfied for the rest of the day. If you don’t eat much during the day and try to cram in all of your calories in during the evening, you may sabotage your weight loss. A healthy eating schedule puts you in control because it helps you avoid surprises. You plan out your meals and snacks ahead of time, and you eat them at scheduled times throughout the day.
Here are three things to consider when creating an eating schedule:
How Many Calories? The first thing to consider when creating your healthy eating schedule is: how many calories do you need to consume in a day? Let’s use the example of 1, 500 calories a day. Creating a healthy eating schedule allows you to space out the calories so you don’t feel too hungry at any time. Let’s say you create a schedule that includes 3 meals and 2 snacks. Each meal will contain approximately 400 calories, and each snack will contain approximately 150 calories. Be sure to compose these meals and snacks from foods that are healthful and nutritious; avoid highly refined “junk” foods that contribute nothing to your body except calories, fat, sugar, and chemicals.
What’s Your Life Like? The next thing to consider is which times during the day are convenient for you to have a meal or snack. If you have a traditional first-shift schedule, you will probably find it easiest to eat your first meal in the morning, have a snack at mid-morning, lunch around noon, another snack at mid-afternoon, and dinner in the early evening. However, if you have a different work and family schedule, you will probably need to make some adjustments. You may prefer to split up your calories more evenly by eating 5 small meals of 300 calories each, rather than some larger meals and smaller snacks.
How Often Should You Eat? The most important thing is to be sure you are eating every 3 to 4 hours. Leaving bigger gaps between meals and snacks could cause your blood sugar levels to drop too low, resulting in energy slumps, mood swings, and the temptation to overeat. Eating frequently keeps your energy stable and your stomach happy. It boosts your metabolism and helps you burn more calories than you would by starving yourself.
If you haven’t stuck to a healthy eating schedule like this in the past, be prepared to be surprised by how good it makes you feel! You will notice almost immediately that you have more energy, as well as better mental clarity and emotional resilience. You are providing your body with the fuel it needs to function properly, and you’ll feel the difference.
Can I Eat All My Calories for the Day, But Still Lose Weight?