Snacks and Timing
How important it is to eat several times a day and what snacks are healthy for weight loss.
I've been trying the whole 'eat 4 times per day' thing instead of a 3-meal day. It's inconvenient. If you're an early riser like me and you eat at around 6:30 AM then the next meal is 10:30 AM, then 2:30 PM and again at 6:30 PM. So lunch with friends becomes difficult if not impossible. I acknowledge that I feel better if I pay attention and eat every four hours. I've tried it for about a week and a half. I don't care for it. I had a nap at 11:30 AM which is awkward. I felt rundown and tired which was odd. Usually, I have a nap around 2 PM or so. The timing is throwing me all off kilter. Because of this, I'm going back to breakfast at 6:30 AM, noon or thereabouts for lunch, and dinner at 6 PM. We were eating at 6:30 AM, 11 AM and 4:30 PM which is just as wrong for socializing as four times a day. Keeping glucose levels even is hard. It not only makes a difference physically but emotionally as well. What to do? I think 3 main meals a day and 2 really light snacks might do it. I'm hungry at 10:30 if I get up and eat breakfast at 6:30 AM. I just don't like to wait until 2:30 PM then to have lunch. I figure if I have a really light snack at 10:30, say one protein ball, I could eat lunch at noon and then another really light snack before dinner.
Most of the time we've done really well with not snacking after dinner. We absolutely do not eat anything after 8:30 PM. We have realized that if we don't drink anything, even water, after 9 PM then we don't have to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. It's hard not to keep drinking water though. We weren't drinking ANY alcohol during our 6-month diet. We relented during the holidays but then we only maintained, and I actually gained 3 pounds. That made us go back to no alcohol until we hit our target weight. But we like to drink water or a diet Vernor's (that's ginger ale for you southerners) even if it's after 8:30 at night.
I've found that a small amount of yogurt, say 1/2 a cup, with some granola sprinkled on top for crunch is a good snack. I buy plain or vanilla low fat or no-fat yogurt and stir in fruit only jelly. That way I know how much sugar is in it. I also make my own granola for the same reason. I know exactly what is in it. I make my own protein bars or balls because a lot of those have too much sugar or too many carbs. Read those labels. It's important. Hubby eats fruit. I found that fruit kicks my glucose up too high. I can only have a sprinkle with something else. It's the same with cheese. I can have shredded cheese on a salad or something, but I can't eat a slice of cheese. Of course, I love cheese so when I have a slice, I can never stop at just one. Kind of like potato chips. But don't get me started on those. We can't have those in the house. We will each eat the whole family sized bag. Yup. Don't buy that. You will not survive.