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How do you space your meals?

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Old 07-27-2008, 06:33 PM   #1
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Default How do you space your meals?

Hi everyone, I've been maintaining between 260-270lbs. for about a year now (ha).

I guess I'm a bit of a binge eater. My natural eating habits are eating once a day. I'll consume maybe 4,000 calories in an hour and a half and then drink soda all night after that. Then I'll do the same thing the next day. I know that's so unhealthy and probably why I'm so fat.

Now that I'm back trying to diet I'm doing the same thing except I'll have 2,000 calories in one sitting, and go the rest of the day without eating. It feels terrible...but that's just how I've learned to eat. It seems so weird for me to sit down and eat something that's not at least 1,000 calories.

So it's time I get over this. I'm going to start doing 3 moderate meals and 3 light snacks, which is recommended. The only thing is, I have no idea what time to eat. I get up at 9, do I eat breakfast then? When do I have lunch? Dinner? It's such a change from one big meal.

So ladies if you have a schedule that's keeping the hunger away, I'd love to hear it. I feel like a baby learning how to eat again, but that's okay.

Thank you all so much.
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Old 07-27-2008, 06:42 PM   #2
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I eat 5 times a day:

Brekkie: 7:30 am (I eat a big brekkie so it keeps me full. Piece of fruit if I get hungry before lunch)

Lunch: noon

Snack: 2:30


Dinner: 5:30


Snack: 8pm
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Old 07-27-2008, 06:47 PM   #3
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Well, I have several small meals a day, one every few hours. I start as soon as I can after waking up, even though I'm not hungry yet, before I go out for my morning walk. I make an effort to stop eating in the late evening, because I find that's when my control can slip so I usually satisfy myself with tea (containing NF powered milk and a tiny bit of splenda) late in the day.

It sounds like the transition will be challenging for you since you are so used to eating such a large meal. Maybe you can try three meals a day first? Even so, you might want to make sure you have low calorie soups, salads, and maybe fiber supplements to help bulk out the smaller meals without adding a lot of calories. You can probably get used to eating smaller meals pretty quickly, but high-bulk, low-calorie foods can really help during the transition period (it's helpful to me when I start restricting calories).

Good luck! It sounds like a good approach to take for your situation!
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Old 07-27-2008, 06:58 PM   #4
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I like eating just three meals a day. I tried the "6 mini-meal" thing, but I found that it made me obsess about food more, and I felt as if I was never eating a substantial meal. When I eat my meals, I limit myself to just one, reasonable, plate full (not piled high either). I haven't left the table hungry once since I started doing this. I found that I was full with one plate, but in the past, I would have seconds and thirds just because it was there.

Whether you eat just three meals or three meals with snacks, this will take a bit of getting used to considering that you've eaten one meal a day for so long. But give it time, and you'll find that you do not need to eat as much at one sitting because you will have eaten throughout the day. Good luck!

Edited to add: I usually eat my breakfast between 7 - 8 a.m., but I like when I can hold out until 9 (rarely). I then eat my lunch between 1 - 2. Supper is usually between 6 - 7.

Last edited by lynnm39 : 07-27-2008 at 07:01 PM. Reason: Edited to actually answer the original question! :)
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Old 07-27-2008, 07:06 PM   #5
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I think eating once a day was a big reason why I gained the weight as well. One of the biggest lifestyle changes I made was to eat ever 2 hours or so
A typical day looks like:
7 a.m. - breakfast
9 :30 a.m. - snack
12:00 p.m. - lunch
2:30 p.m. - snack
5:30 p.m. - dinner
8:30 p.m. - snack

My meals are slightly bigger than my snacks, which I try to keep at 200 cals. or below.

I can't tell you what a difference this has made. It was REALLY, REALLY hard to get used to eating breakfast, but - once I did - I can't live without it now.
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Old 07-27-2008, 08:21 PM   #6
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I used to eat once a day. I agree that it's a major reason I got heavier than I would've liked.

Now I eat every three hours. If I'm not hungry, I have a small handful of nuts or drink an 80-calorie protein drink. Something to keep the metabolism churning.

Smaller portions, yes. Staying on a schedule, yes. These things definitely help!

(I can't always stick to three hours... sometimes it'll be five or six between meals/snacks and I can always tell it's harder to eat the right sized portions, when that happens. Staying mindful of it all really does help, though.)

Good luck to you!
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Old 07-27-2008, 08:35 PM   #7
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On a schedule from 8am - 11pm (roughly)

Breakfast (before 9am)
Snack (~11-12noon)
Lunch (~2pm)
Snack (~4-5pm)
Dinner (~7pm)
Snack (9 or 10pm)

Now, depending on what I'm doing I sometimes even break up the snacks as well. The ones I'm most likely to break up are my afternoon snack and my evening snack. Even with dinner I sometimes have my salad around 8pm. Some days it feels like I'm always eating.
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Old 07-27-2008, 09:59 PM   #8
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I eat
B: 6-7 am
S:9:30-10
L:12-12:30
S: 2:30-3
D: 5:30-6:30

Sometimes I eat my snacks over a whole 30 min, so I am really picking the snack ( its pre-planned and designated just eaten slower)
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Old 07-27-2008, 10:16 PM   #9
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i eat all the time

here is a typical weekday schedule:

up around 5
at 6:30 coffee w/ff half and half
at 7:30 and egg (hard boiled) and a small v8
around 9:30 oatmeal and a banana w/some milk
around 12 i have lunch (usually a huge huge huge salad w/cheese, protein and salad dressing)
around 4 snack (carrots and hummus usually)
around 7 dinner (protein veggie maybe a sweet potato and more salad)
around 9:30 or 10 a NSA fudge pop as a snack (or fruit and yogurt)

eating this way I've very slowly lost 70 pounds
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Old 07-28-2008, 12:39 AM   #10
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My typical eating schedule goes something like this:

7 am: Breakfast
9 am: Snack
12 noon: Lunch
3 pm: Snack
5:30 pm: Supper

Some days I'm hungry for an evening snack, some days I'm not. On evening running days supper either gets bumped earlier or later or split in half. On morning run days I eat a tiny breakfast quite early and then eat a large lunch when I'm home.

As I'm learning to eat only as much as my body needs, I'm becoming more sensitive to hunger signs besides a growling stomach. I can tell when my blood sugar is crashing if I get a headache, if I get grumpy, if I suddenly can't stand the kids playing at a normal volume, etc. When I ignore these signs I make poorer food choices, so eating something every few hours helps me to keep on track.
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