In recent years, research has showed that eating 5 - 6 mini meals throughout the day, also referred to as grazing, is more beneficial in aiding weight loss than eating 3 larger meals in a day.
Why Mini Meals Work
There are a couple of reasons why mini meals are so great for people trying to lose weight. First, it teaches portion control by default. If you pre-package a mini meal or snack, such as a 100 calorie package of almonds, you will likely eat much less than if you were just snacking on a large bag of almonds. Second, losing weight and changing your dietary habits is very challenging for many people.
Therefore, knowing you will be able to eat something every 2-3 hours by following the grazing strategy for weight loss can help relieve some of the stress and worry that many dieters fear about being hungry, not being able to snack, and having to be so restricted in very limited food choices. Third, eating smaller meals more often can help boost your metabolism, which in turn, helps you burn more calories faster. Plus, smaller meals are easier to digest than larger ones for the obvious reason that there just isn't as much work for the stomach to do, which is helpful for people with sensitive stomachs and sufferers of colitis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Mini Meal Suggestions
Mini meals can be anything that you'd normally eat as a larger meal and reducing the size by at least half. Many other options include pre-packed smaller meals like yogurt, 100 calorie snack packs, cheese sticks, a few slices of turkey, fruit, a sushi roll, 1/2 a sandwich, a small bowl of cereal, a granola bar, or anything you can enjoy in small quantities. Food manufacturers have really caught on to the popularity of grazing and have responded by offering many of the products in smaller portions, so just being aware of this while shopping will also open your eyes to many new options.
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