|Boo! No longer afraid of avocados|
In May 2013, during the low carb challenge, I decided to test out 3 meals a day. Elimination challenges are great times to get back to basics, baseline and then spend the next few months trying different experiments.
The change has worked well for me. I'm not a huge fan of intermittent fasting for myself, but 3 meals a day is far from that.
I did have to adapt to eating more of my foods into each meal, then go 5-6 between the 3 meals. Eating more took some practice, but at the end of 2-3 weeks, the habit was in high gear. It's working so well I never went back to between meal snacks.
I photographed a typical weekend day.( Weekdays look different)
Lunch was broccoli slaw sauteed in avocado oil, avocados, a grass fed pre-made burger, and a side of cucumbers. I was still hungry, so I had one hard boiled egg white, 3 mini bell peppers and some balsamic vinegar for dipping the peppers.
Also mixed fresh berries and 4 squares of Trader Joe's chocolate.
Lots of water and 3-4 cups of coffee (not pictured). I felt full and only normal hungry right before meals. I didn't have any emotional or binge food thoughts. I also had a lot of energy and slept well that night.
Here's what is working for me:
1. Eating 3 larger meals a day and going 5-6 hours in between
2. Prepping and re-heating, and cleaning up post food prep only 3 times a day.
3. Extra time not hauling smaller sized snacks around town for errands
4. Eating a 4th meal (snack) if I've been super active or hit 10,000 steps before 3pm.
4.5 Keeping a packet of beef jerky around for unexpected >6 hour delays.
5. Eating a pretty clean paleo template during the 3 meals.
6. Easier fasting in the AM for blood draws.
Here's what did not work for me in the past:
1. Eating every 3-4 hours, but eating high carb, but low WW points! Snack foods. 100 calorie packs, maybe multiple 100 calorie packs.
2. Having to stop to eat every 3 hours, not as convenient.
3. Hauling my cooler with cold packs worked, but it was more time consuming if I was running errands for 2-3 hours. Nicer to just have had my meal and run on my own fat burning body.
4. Eating Cliff bars for snacks to fuel during hikes or half marathon training. Hello sugar, carbs and body fat storage. This explains major muffin top and in ability to loose much weight when I was walking sooooo many miles.
5. Eating nuts for snacks messed up my emotional/binge eating slightly. It was lower level, but it was there and did effect me.
6. Wow- I would bee woozy, shaky, and truly light headed when going for fasting blood draws. I would then eat a carb filled breakfast and set myself up to store fat the rest of the day. I don't miss this one bit.
That's the scoop. I've had success doing both 5-6 meals and 3, but for now 3 larger meals a day is the routine. I'll keep that habit.