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June 20, 2010 / Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN

Manage Your Weight with a Meal Routine

Many of my clients tell me at the first visit that they have cut their calories dramatically but still can’t lose weight. After weeks of trying to get rid of unwanted pounds they meet with me to see if there is something they are doing wrong. What I tend to see across the board is that many of my clients either skip meals completely or have skimpy meals at breakfast and/or lunch. Around 5 pm they feel extremely hungry because they are experiencing low blood sugar. So then they proceed to eat a lot.   And the end result is that they don’t lose weight. Implementing a routine of three regularly scheduled meals, aka breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a specific amount of food or calories at each of these meals will promote a more stable blood sugar and reduce feelings of hunger.  Try to have a meal every four to five hours.If you have a snack late-afternoon, you can usually hold off on dinner a little longer.  To keep track of calories get a small notebook and keep a daily food journal.  A great resource for calorie and nutrition information is the Calorie King book.  It’s available at all major book stores as well as www.amazon.com.  There are also an array of web sites where you can keep track of your daily calories.  These include fitday.com, livestrong.com, sparkpeople.com and calorieking.com.  A terrific free app is for calorie counting on the go is”LoseIt.” Sometimes it can take a while for people to get adjusted to eating on a schedule.  If you find that it is difficult just do it in little steps.  If you were a “breakfast skipper,” simply try to have a decent breakfast each morning.  Then proceed to establishing a more substantial lunch.  If you feel hungry around 3 or 4 pm, go for that healthy snack, such as a Kashi granola bar or a small handful (approx. 10 to 15) nuts and a piece of fresh fruit.  You should find that at dinner time you won’t be ravenous and can eat less and feel satisfied.  I would love to hear your comments and/or success stories.

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