Day 10Today, we’re going to focus on meal frequency. Your body is constantly burning calories, so the last thing you want to do is eat all your calories in one or two meals and then starve yourself the rest of the day.
Here’s a list of today’s assignments. You’ll find more details down below!
- Choose a meal frequency that’s right for you.
- Track the calories you eat today, paying particular attention to calories eaten vs. daily calorie goal. Listen to your body! If you’re hungry but have already reached your daily calorie goal, then you need eat more and raise your calorie goal.
- Come on over to Facebook, Twitter or Google + for support (or use the comments down below).
- Fill out the Daily Habits Awareness Sheet for Week 2 at the end of the day.
Here are a few reasons to eat smaller, more frequent meals:
- Eating frequently helps control cravings. When you don’t eat often enough, your blood sugar levels drop. And when that happens, you end up feeling really hungry and your body’s entire focus is on getting food. Any kind of food. You’ll grab whatever’s nearby, without thinking about it.
- Eating frequently helps your body burn calories more efficiently. When your body isn’t getting food on a regular basis, it starts thinking that maybe there’s no food around, so it starts burning less calories. Not to mention that your body is constantly working throughout the day, keeping you alive. It needs those calories and vitamins and minerals to work properly.
- Eating frequently helps keep your energy levels up. When your energy levels are up, you’re more active. And when you’re more active, you’ll burn more calories!
- And eating frequently – say, every three hours — helps you create a pattern of regular eating. This way, you’ll be more aware of the food you eat, instead of just eating mindlessly.
The most typical meal frequency is: 3 meals, 2 snacks for women (or if your calorie goal is under 2000 cals). If your daily calorie goal is over 2000 calories, you may want to opt for 3 meals and 3 snacks.
You also have to take your lifestyle into consideration. Sometimes you’re on somebody else’s clock and you have to eat when it’s “lunchtime” or “breaktime”. Or, if you’re working out, you’ll want to manage your meals and snacks around that.
There are other ways to split up your daily calories. You could split them up equally into 5 or 6 meals. Or you could taper your calories – which is where you eat more at the beginning of the day and less towards the end of the day. If that suits you, go for it! But if you’re not sure what to choose, go with either the 3 meals/2 snacks or 3 meals/3 snacks option.
FitWatch has a Calories Per Meal Calculator to help you figure out your calories per meal based on your daily calorie goal. You’ll see that the calculator asks for your carbs, protein and fat percentage goals. Just leave those numbers set to the default; we’ll be focusing on carbs, protein and fat next week.
After you use the calculator, write down the amount of calories per meal and snack and compare these numbers to how you’ve been eating over the past 9 days. See if eating smaller, more frequent meals helps to keep cravings and hunger at bay.
And if you find you do better with three square meals a day, that’s fine too. This boot camp is all about finding out what works for you.
Here’s some more information about meal frequency: Can I Eat All My Calories for the Day in One Meal and Still Lose Weight — Even if I’m in a Calorie Deficit?.
Weight Loss Excuse Buster of the Day
Your Excuse: I Feel Like I’m Being Punished by Dieting and Exercising.
Share Your Experience
How frequently do you eat during the day? Do you spread out your calories or eat one or two big meals? Do you eat breakfast?
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Prep Day | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7
Week 2 Prep | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Day 11 | Day 12 | Day 13 | Day 14
Week 3 Prep | Day 15 | Day 16 | Day 17 | Day 18 | Day 19 | Day 20 | Day 21
Week 4 Prep | Day 22 | Day 23 | Day 24 | Day 25 | Day 26 | Day 27 | Day 28 | Graduation Day - Beyond the Boot Camp