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The Transition to Eating Every Three Hours

Posted by James on Feb 12th, 2008 and filed under Getting Started. 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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This is the ninth article in the Get Started Eating Every Three Hours series that outlines how to start eating every three hours and the benefits of such a diet.

Congratulations! You now know how to get started eating every three hours. As with other things in life, knowing how to eat every three hours and actually doing so are two different things. The following is advice that I can offer based on my own experiences with transitioning to this diet. I trust it can be of use to just about anyone willing to get started.

Think of it as a lifestyle

Most people tend to think of going on a diet as a short-term adjustment to the food they are eating. This is fine if you want only short-term results. If you desire to make long-term physical changes you should approach your diet from a long-term perspective.

Approach eating every three hours as a lifestyle. You know it has become a lifestyle when you can’t picture yourself eating less than 5 or 6 meals a day. Another sign of a successful transition is if you get cranky at the prospect of missing a regularly scheduled meal. If you are consistently skipping meals or making poor food choices, you are not “there” yet.

Start with a short-term goal 

The prospect of viewing this diet as a lifestyle can be daunting for the uninitiated. Considering that, it may be easier to start with a short-term goal. I recommend setting a month long goal in which you eat every three hours consistently for a month. I feel a month is easy to wrap the mind around and is long enough for you to see and feel the results from your new diet.

My personal reason for eating every three hours was to lose weight and stop being drowsy at work. Given the overhead involved in this diet, I decided to give it a solid month of compliance; only then I would decide if the diet was worth it for me to continue. At the end of that month I had lost 12 pounds of fat and I was wired at work. From there it was easy for me to continue. 

Give it time to create a habit

Looking back to when I first started eating 6 meals a day, It was very difficult to stay on schedule with the meals. Prior to this diet I was only eating twice a day. This was a big change and the transition was not as easy as I originally thought.

Making drastic changes in your schedule and existing habits will take some effort on your part. However, you can take comfort in the fact that it will get easier with time once the new good habits start to form. Giving it a good month tryout is necessary to give the habit enough time to properly get established. You must be consistent in your efforts for this to work!

Leo Babauta at ZenHabits.net has a great article on forming habits that can easily be adapted to eating every three hours. Take a look and see if there are some tips that can help you.

Routine, Routine, Routine

Following the advice given in previous articles from the Getting Started Eating Every Three Hours Series will help you establish a routine. Establishing a routine that works for you is essential to successfully transitioning to this new lifestyle.

I am a person that is generally stuck in my ways. I put off starting this diet for months, mainly because I did not want to make adjustments to my schedule. I ended up tossing that schedule out the window and creating a new one that made eating every three hours mandatory. Doing so was one of the best decisions I ever made. 

Be flexible, stuff happens

Life will eventually throw a wrench into the best prepared plans. Work, meetings, traffic, kids or spouse can all cause you to be late for a meal or miss it all together. You will not die when this happens. If you have not yet started eating every three hours it may seem like no big deal, but once your body is tuned to getting fed at regular intervals, it will let you know when feeding time has come and gone. The main indicator will be your mood. Trust me.

Don’t listen to the naysayers

With constant media bombardment of fad diets and so called “common knowledge” regarding nutrition, there is no shortage of people willing to offer diet advice, especially in regard to weight loss. Once your family, friends or coworkers learn that you are eating every three hours there will no doubt be times when you must defend your decision to eat in this manner. I especially enjoy nutritional tips from people with a gut that looks like they swallowed a large tire.

What you should do in these situations is simply explain what you are doing and why. Leave it at that. Some folks will want to learn more about it, which is good. Tell them what you know or direct them to this website. Other folks will think you are being too strict with your diet. Dismiss those people and carry on with your day. Don’t let negativity bring you down.

That concludes this series. I hope you find the information useful to get you started eating every three hours. There is much to learn about proper nutrition, eating healthy, and adapting food to this diet. I look forward to passing on what I have learned to each of you through many upcoming articles.

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