The best thing about the 3 Hour Diet is that eating every 3 hours keeps you feeling full and satisfied all day. This meal plan is based on a 1450 calorie diet, so reduce or add accordingly, depending on your fitness level and amount of calories needed to create a deficit.
Each meal -- breakfast, lunch and dinner -- should be about 400 calories, snacks are allotted 100 calories, and 50 calories for dessert. Balanced, 400 calorie meals will keep you feeling full and satisfied, with 100 calorie snacks that help you make it to your next meal. These small desserts don't make for a large, decadent dessert, but a satisfying treat is definitely possible. Choose a meal to make your daily plan, and mix and match to keep it interesting.
Eat at 7 am or so, and your meal schedule will turn out "normal" to match with friends and family. Some breakfast options are:
- Waffles: Two whole grain, low fat waffles topped with 1 tbsp peanut butter and 1/2 a banana, sliced, makes for a filling, and well-balanced breakfast.
- Oatmeal: Oatmeal is filling enough to keep you going all morning. Top 1 serving with cinnamon, berries, banana or raisins and 1/4 cup of skim milk.
- Egg Sandwich: Scramble 1 egg and 1 egg white with 1 tbsp chopped onion and a combination of veggies, Serve on a whole wheat english muffin, wrapped in a low cal tortilla, or on a slice of wheat toast with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. A little hot sauce or salsa gives it a big boost of flavor.
- High Class Bagel: Top 1/2 of a whole wheat bagel with 1 tbsp cream cheese, tomato and onion slices, and smoked salmon or lox. Toss on some capers for a little extra bite.
Have one of these snacks at 10 am to keep you going until your lunch.
- 2 cups of watermelon
- Celery with peanut butter
- A nectarine with about 5 almonds
- Low fat yogurt sprinkled with high fiber cereal
Once 1 o'clock hits, you'll be ready to eat again! Most people go light at lunch, but your 400 calorie meal will get you through the rest of your day.
- Spinach Salad: Pile spinach on a plate with cherry tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, carrot shavings and chopped red pepper. Top it with 4oz chicken, salmon or tuna. Sprinkle with reduced or low fat feta cheese and 1 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette.
- Eating Out: Find a sandwich shop that offers sandwiches under 300 calories. Try turkey on wheat, but hold the cheese and mayo! Add tons of veggies, and nosh an apple on the side.
- Pasta and Salad: 1 cup of whole wheat pasta with 1/4 of sauce and a veggie-only salad is a hearty lunch choice.
Choose from one of the morning snacks or roll a slice of deli turkey in a slice of reduced fat Swiss cheese. A small smoothie is a grab-and-go option, or 2 cups of popcorn will give you something to snack on, taking a while to eat.
Interchange lunch and dinner choices, but be sure that the protein and vegetable/fruit based carbohydrates make up the majority for each meal.
- Grill It Up: Choose a lean grilled, broiled or poached meat, such as chicken, fish, shrimp, lean sirloin or tofu and pair with a salad or steamed veggies. Have a small serving of a whole grain, like brown rice, quinoa, or a whole wheat burger bun or tortilla. Your grains should be about 100 calories, with most of the 400 calories coming from veggies and lean protein.
A little something sweet can help avoid sweet cravings later. Have 3 strawberries dipped in 1 tbsp fat free chocolate pudding for a decadent choice. Vanilla non-fat yogurt can double as a healthier option instead of ice cream. Top a dollop of yogurt with chopped peaches, berries, or apples. Or, go for the crunch with a handful of sweetened breakfast cereal.