Below you will find an example of a healthy eating plan to give you an idea about timing and food choices you could use to develop your own eating pattern. This is not intended to be a structured diet plan, but only to illustrate what a typical day might include. If you do not like these choices, don't worry. You can eat whatever you like, just try to keep to the carbohydrate and protein/fat combination.
Remember that eating right means eating every 2-3 hours and including carbohydrate with protein and/or fat at each meal and snack.
This will definitely help prevent food cravings that are resulting from physical hunger (though there still be some cravings for emotional reasons). Portions are not listed here because I want you to ultimately use your hunger and fullness cues to determine portion control , rather than choose some random amount.
7 A.M.: Breakfast (choose 2-3 of these options, aiming for at least one carbohydrate and one protein)
* Bagel with Cream Cheese
* English Muffin with Butter/Margarine
* Hot cereal
* Deli meats, Canadian bacon
* Toast with Butter
* Protein shake or Carnation Instant Breakfast
* Yogurt smoothies with Protein Powder
* Cereal (your favorite kind is fine--read the labels, they are basically the same--I usually go with Lucky Charms!)
9:30 A.M.: Snack (usually one or two of the following--combine protein/carbohydrate)
* Breakfast bars with protein and carbohydrate Example: Kashi, Balance, Luna
* Deli meats
* Hard boiled eggs
* String cheese or cheese cubes
* Cottage Cheese
* Fruit (must be combined with protein or it will not hold you)
12:00 P.M.: Lunch
* Pasta with meat sauce or chicken
* Chinese food with noodles and meat/chicken
* Mexican food with beef/chicken and tortillas
* Hamburger and fries
* Sandwiches with chips and fruit
* Soup and sandwich
* Frozen meals (recommend regular, not diet--if you do choose diet, add something to it like pudding or yogurt, etc)
* (Absolutely No Salads! They will not hold you and you will overeat later.)
3:00 P.M.: Snack
* (same as above)
* Cookies or brownies
* Candy bar--preferably with nuts
5:30 P. M.: Dinner (if you will have dinner much later, you may need to add another small snack before to avoid overeating)
* (Same as lunch)
* Bag dinners, frozen--Bertolli, stir fry, crock pot, etc
* Frozen meals
* Chicken/Beef/Fish/Pork with 1-2 starches and a vegetable (starch includes bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, etc)
* Soup and Sandwich
(Crock Pots and George Foreman Grills make cooking quicker and easier--this convenience may be just what you need at the end of a long day)
8 P.M.: Snack (same as above)
* Ice Cream Bar
* Small bowl of cereal
* 1/2 Peanut butter and Jelly
* Cookies or brownies (any preferred dessert)
I hope this gives you an idea of what a healthy eating plan might look like. Remember that you are an individual, and this plan does not take in your personal preferences. Please use it only as a suggestion of structuring your meals through the day. It is intended to jog some ideas about what you might like to do to create your own healthy eating plan.
If you are in doubt about eating this frequently in the day, I would invite you to try it before coming to any conclusions. Most of my clients resist this pattern of eating. When they finally do use it, they come into session saying "wow, eating through the day really makes me feel better (more energy, fewer food cravings, less grazing)". Try it--you might like it!
Read More About Healthy Eating & Wellness:Healthy FitnessPortion Control
Contact us with any questions about eating and mental health issues. You or someone you know may be in need of outpatient eating disorder treatment.
Jennifer Pereira LPC, RD - Counselor & Dietitian
1. Do you worry that you have lost control over how much you eat?
2. Do you make yourself sick (or use laxatives/exercise) if you feel uncomfortably full?
3. Do you currently suffer with or suffered in the past with eating issues?
4. Do you ever eat in secret?
5. Does your weight affect how you feel about yourself?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, or if you are not satisfied with your current eating patterns, contact us for more information.