Snacks Verse Meals

9 Dec

When I met with Integrative Nutritionist Elise Museles from kaleandchocolate.com she told me she wanted me to eat bigger meals and less snacks. Her reasoning was that bigger meals keep you full and more grazing leads to too many calories. Her point was valid but like many other people, I had been trained on so many different nutrition principles, so I did some research.

My Father is an amazing Italian cook and growing up I always ate dinner with my family unless I had a soccer or lacrosse game. Meals were big with lots of flavor and several courses. Once I began modeling, I started working with a trainer and began watching what I ate. During this period the 5 meals a day was considered the trend, so I ate smaller meals every 3-5 hours. Some of the meals turned into snacks and then I found myself eating more snacks than meals. The snacks were void of nutrients and high in calories.

One of the concerns many people express when they travel is gaining weight. I always tend to lose weight when I travel. I was in Paris a few years ago and I noticed that my meals were extremely rich and quite delicious. In fact I can still remember these delightful meals and how beautiful dressed and thin many of the people appeared. I enjoyed chocolate filled croissants, lentil soups, and drank red wine with my dinner. I noticed that I didn’t see snacks anywhere and by the end of the week I no longer craved the pretzels I had been accustomed to eating in the afternoons. I was quite content with my meals. I felt lean and my clothes fit quite nicely. Even though my foods were very rich, I was consuming less calories than I had been when I was eating snacks. 

In all of the studies I have read in magazines, periodicals, and books, no one loses more weight snacking. In fact, most people will gain weight snacking unless they use very restrictive portion control. I believe bigger meals are better for you than snacks. Many people will eat smaller meals but they find that they are not content and as a result they will snack more in hopes of achieving satiety.

The key is to make the meals heavy in vegetables, moderate in protein, light in fat, and light in carbohydrates. The end result will be less calories and more nutrients. The top athletes have phenomenal physiques because they train hard but their diets are very clean and many of them do not snack at all.

My ideal day starts with an egg white omelette with tomatoes and asparagus along with 1 serving of Oatbran hot cereal with a cup of blueberries. Lunch is a big green salad with several different types of veggies, beans, grilled chicken or fish with a small soup. Dinner is fish or chicken with a side of grilled veggies and a small salad. If I eat between meals, it is usually a piece of fruit. I used to eat nuts but I found myself eating too much of them and they are very high in calories. If I am very active, I am sure to add an avocado to my salad and a side of quinoa or a sweet potato. 

Try making your meals more nutritious and more satisfying and cut out the processed snacks. It can make a big difference in how you feel and how your pants fit. What are you waiting for?

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In Health and Happiness,

Madeline

http://www.Madfitness.com

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