Friday @massholemommy and I were having a Twitter convo regarding food. More to the point, how many times we eat a day. I was going to put this in a personal email to her but I've decided to share it with all of you.
I'm Italian, food is a huge part of my life. Between my grandma, my dad, and my mom (yes, mom, even you) I learned to feed myself.
In other words: cook.
For the sake of disclosure : I'm 5' tall and as of this morning before I started typing this post I weighed 117 lbs.
I eat between 6 and 8 meals a day and although I have a gym membership I hardly use it. So for the all intents and purposes exercise is not part of my daily weight control scheme.
When I told @massholemommy how I many times I eat per day she was surprised, so I told her I would give her a simple breakdown of what I could possibly eat on a given day.
If it's a work day I don't eat before I leave the house, I just don't have time but I'm usually in my office by 7:45 - 8 o'clock. (I pack everything the night before or I already have it in the fridge at work.)
8:00am 1/2 cup Fage Greek Yogurt (Zero Fat kind)/2 Tbsp Agave Nectar/Strawberries
In the winter I make egg white omelets in muffin tins and freeze them, two to a snack bag.
9:00am Banana or in the winter 1 cup of Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal (I like McCann's) with a pat of butter and sprinkle of salt.
11:30am Salad - Mixed greens (never iceberg) usually romaine/baby romaine/spinach, cucumber unpeeled, carrots, avocado, pepper....you get the idea. No dressing.
12:30pm - 1:00pm (depending on the day) small portion of leftovers from the previous nights dinner, which could be grilled chicken or a small piece of steak/sweet potato/broccoli/cauliflower. Or whole wheat pasta with steamed vegetables, olive oil and Romano cheese (this one's really popular at our house).
2:30 - 3:00pm Something crunchy and carby. If I've made Chex Mix (classic) for the kids I'll take a sandwich bag size portion, or homemade croutons made out of left over bread.
5:30pm - 6:00pm Dinner. Whether I do meat or whole wheat pasta I always either steam or roast the vegetables, I don't boil, and I have some type of whole grain. Quinoa is one of my favorites and Trader Joe's carries a great frozen variety with squash and curry. Otherwise I bake sweet potatoes and use a smidgen of butter.
A few notes:
I usually drink water or tea at the office throughout the day, after my morning coffee that is.
I drink generic brand seltzer at home. Sometimes with a splash of fruit juice. I only buy Simply brand juices in the refrigerated section because it's not from concentrate. Their lemonades are fairly popular in our house.
I like Fage brand greek yogurt because one serving (1 cup) contains 26g of protein. Not all greek yogurts are created equal, make sure you're reading the labels before you buy. Even though I only eat half the recommended serving, the protein in it keeps me from feeling ravenous by 10am.
We eat waaaayyyy more veggies than broccoli and cauliflower but those were prevalent on this past week's menu so I went with those. Mix it up for yourself so you don't get bored.
Yes I eat butter. Real butter, not margarine or any other weird substitute. That goes for just about anything synthetic, use the real stuff in moderation and you won't be sorry. You'll be skinny.
Yes, I eat bread, sugar and flour. Just not white bread or sugar or flour.
Yes, I cheat. I'm a slave to a box of JuJuBes and I love a Coke now and then but never diet. Aspartame is literally the devil. I also love McDonald's McNuggets, they are also the devil but every few months I give in. It keeps me sane. And as @massholemommy knows I love a sausage and cheese pizza. :)
I didn't consciously eat this way when I was younger but my eating habits have evolved into this method. I also do it because I want my kids to eat better.
How do I know it works?
Three years ago the BF (at 180 lbs) began a construction job which had one morning break and one afternoon break (not usually the case) in addition to a lunch break; after a vicious fight of whether or not I would make his lunches (he loves my cooking, he just didn't want me to add one more thing to my list of things to do) or he would eat off the lunch cart, he gave in.
Using the above method, just changing the times when he ate to fit their break times...
He lost 45 lbs.
And three years later, has kept it off.