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I Cannot Eat That Much Food!

Posted by James on Sep 12th, 2008 and filed under Lifestyle. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry


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Everyone I know that has made the attempt to start a diet that involves eating every three hours has the same complaint: “I cannot eat that much food!” It’s very difficult for them to eat 350 calories worth of health food. They often gasp at the idea of eating another meal in just three hours time. It’s weird to think the same person might rather eat a 1200 calorie plate of pasta in a single meal.

I’ve been there too. The first steps into eating five or six meals a day often left me feeling over-stuffed, wondering if this diet is really some sort secret way to get us all to hate the idea of eating food, so we don’t eat so much later on. Rest assured there is nothing shady going on.

Here are some suggestions to make those meals a bit easier chow down.

Eat Foods With Higher Calorie Density

While healthy foods in general have lower calories, there are some with very low calorie density and others that are packed with calories. For example, 4oz of food “A” may have 35 calories while food “B” may have 140 calories. Both foods are a natural source of carbohydrates, but you would have to eat a full pound of “A” to get the same amount of calories as in 4oz of “B”.

If you are having a hard time eating your entire meal, perhaps you can look at trading out some of the food for something with the same amount of calories, but with less physical food to eat (higher calorie density).

Drink Less Fluids

Drinking a large amount of fluids may not be your problem, but that second or third cup of coffee in the morning right before your second breakfast can make you feel full and unable to eat your planned meal. Try drinking less before or during your meal to see if that makes a difference in how much you can eat.

Eat Faster

Our mother teaches us that it’s bad table manners to scarf down our food (queue the sound of a vacuum cleaner). If you took your time eating five or six meals you could easily blow four or more hours every day doing nothing but eating. No thanks. This diet plan calls for us to pick up the pace a bit.

One common “trick” to lose weight is to eat slower. In my opinion this only applies when eating high calorie processed foods that are not good for you. Eating slow can be detrimental when you are first starting to eat on a three hour schedule. If you eat your food in less than 20 minutes, you should be able to beat the signal to your brain that your belly is full.

Change How the Calories are Distributed Between Meals

Perhaps you are hungrier in the afternoon than in the morning? If you find that eating all of your third and fourth meal is easy while you cannot seem to eat all of your first or second meal, you may want to move the calories around.

Take some of the calories from your hard-to-eat meals and put them into your easy-to-eat meals. This may provide the balance you need. Just be mindful not to overload any one meal, as you could have too many calories for that time of day. Spread things out evenly as possible when first starting out.

Temporarily Cut Back on Calories

Only as a last resort should you consider cutting back your calories to make your meal easier to eat. However, for some this may be the only option. I recommend preparing your meal as you originally planned with all of the calories. Eat as much as you possibly can and take note of how much food is remaining. Each day, try to eat a little more so the amount left over is smaller. Before too long, you should be able to consume all of your required calories.

Relax! You Won’t Get Fat

From my observations, this may be truer for women than men: The worry if you eat that much food you will only make yourself fat. This reaction is probably more common for those people trying to lose weight. It feels odd to eat more food and stuff your belly with food when trying to lose weight. As long as you planned your calories you should have nothing to worry about.

Stay the Course

To my surprise, after a couple days of forcing myself to eat the food described in my meal plan I could comfortably eat the entire meal and was looking forward to my next feeding. Your body will quickly adapt to this new lifestyle. You only have to give it a chance. Stay the course!

Did you feel like a beached whale when starting to eat every three hours? How long did it take for you to get to a point where eating your meals became easy?

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