One of the easiest things to control your weight is to eat around the clock. Some foods work best in the morning, others at night. So it’s not entirely about giving up pasta forever, but rather knowing when to eat carbs during the day to avoid overeating and hunger.
What should you eat at every meal?
Breakfast: Combine fiber and protein. This will maintain your blood sugar levels and provide with energy throughout the morning. Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD, says that fiber and protein take longer to digest keeping you full until lunchtime. Best food: whole wheat English muffin topped with 2 egg whites and 2 pieces turkey bacon or 6 oz. non-fat Greek yogurt mixed with high fiber cereal like Fiber One and raspberries. Or try scrambled eggs with herbs and mushrooms and a whole wheat wrap.
Lunch: This meal will determine your energy levels throughout the afternoon, so keep it under 500 hundreds to avoid drowsiness.
“You also need to make sure you have protein for staying power,” explains Lona Sandon, Med, RD, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. “Have veggies and fruits at lunch, especially high water foods such as soup. This will keep you hydrated for the day. Just 1 to 2 % decrease in hydration can really affect how you feel. Too often women are hunger after eating a salad and this is because they either don’t get enough calories or they skip the protein.”
Zuckerbrot recommends having a bowl of bean soup and a side salad, turkey sandwich on a whole wheat bread, or large mixed salad with lean protein, healthy fat dressing and a high fiber bar.
Snack: The experts are not in agreement when we dive into the subject of snacking. Some think that we should avoid eating at every time we want. However, they agree that one of the best snacks is a broth-based soup. Zuckertbrot recommends having a snack in the afternoon, no more than 200 calories, a combination of protein and fiber such as yogurt and cereal, apple and nuts, whole-wheat crackers and low-fat cheese or F-Factor high fiber bar.
Dinner: Eat three hours before going to bed. You focus should be on protein and vegetables. However, Sandon suggest that a small amount of carbs will help some people to sleep. So cereal and milk could be a good choice for some.
Fasting will sabotage your diet
One of the worst mistakes to lose weight is to skip meals; in particular breakfast.
“Did you know that in order to gain weight, sumo wrestlers in Japan aren’t fed breakfast? Skipping breakfast slows down the metabolism, In fact, a study at Vanderbilt University found that women who changed their diet to include breakfast lost 28 percent more weight over 12-week period than women who skipped the morning meal,” adds Zuckerbrot.
If you want to avoid hunger and to keep the energy up while losing weight make sure that you eat whole grains, proteins and a little bit of fat for satiety at every meal. As Sandon says, if you manage to get those in your meal, you’ll get the other nutrients such as iron, zinc and B vitamins which are so important to keep your metabolism working at its best.
Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD
Owner, Tanya Zuckerbrot Nutrition, LLC
Lona Sandon, MEd, RD
Assistant Professor at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, American Dietetic Association Spokesperson