EAT BREAKFAST. Never skip this meal! Breakfast eaters burn an extra 55,000 calories a year. That’s like burning an extra 15 pounds just by eating more. Always include some fat, protein and carbs at this meal. This combination of foods will keep you fuller longer and rev up your fat-burning engine for the day.
- Hot or cold cereal with 1% milk and a small handful of nuts
- One or two eggs, toast and fruit
- Veggie omelet and fruit (no egg beaters or egg white omelets)
- Beans, eggs and low-fat cheese in a high-fiber tortilla
- Protein drink with added fiber
- Whole grain English muffin with lox and low fat cream cheese
SNACK. Include a mid-morning snack to take the edge off of your hunger before lunch. This snack doesn’t have to be big. If you skipped your morning fruit, have it now. If you need to boost your energy, have a fruit-protein-carb combo.
- Apple, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and crackers
- Half a protein bar and piece of fruit
- Leftover breakfast protein drink and some crackers
- Piece of fruit and a hard-boiled egg
- One or two slices of lunch meat and a piece of fruit
The Perfectly Balanced High-Energy Lunch
LUNCH. The biggest meal of the day. By the end of this meal you should have eaten 50–60 percent of your day’s calories. Eating the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fat at this meal will determine your productivity and mood for the afternoon and early evening.
Examples of high energy lunch ideas:
- Protein platter, hard boiled egg, three slices of meat, serving of cheese. Combine this with some whole grain crackers and a small piece of fruit.
- Garden Salad. Add some whole grain crackers and small cup of protein based soup.
- Chicken Caesar salad. Go lighter on the dressing and add a piece of fruit to round out this meal and add more fiber.
- Greens, the darker the better! Add at least five veggies to your salad to make it a healthy salad.
- Add some protein! A salad without protein will drive you right back to the kitchen for sugar within about two hours. Protein ideas: garbanzo beans, sliced turkey, hard boiled egg.
- Easy on the dressing. Women who eat salad for lunch, on average, consume 70% of their fat calories for the day from salad dressing. Thin out your salad dressing with a little vinegar, this will jazz up the taste and reduce your fat calories.
- Experiment! Go purple and try some beets. Beets consumed on a regular basis can help to lower your cholesterol by 40%.
- Make your sandwich on the thinnest bread possible. Perhaps a tortilla or some other type of wrap. The bigger the bread, the bigger the urge to nap!
- Think about ways to increase the fiber of your sandwich: add extra veggies on the sandwich or add a side salad or grab some sliced fruit.
- Limit the mayo and cheese. Perhaps even use avocado to give the sandwich the creamy texture you crave.
Grilled lunch ideas:
- Stick with grilled veggies and fish or chicken.
- Turkey burger or Salmon burger.
- Fajitas can be a great choice. Ask for extra veggies and skip the sour cream.
- Avoid anything white at from the grill: pasta, mashed potatoes, French fries or garlic bread.
- Soup is wonderful for your energy and also works as an appetite suppressant.
Pick a soup that is not cream based and one that also contains protein. Eating a bowl of soup with half a sandwich or salad is a terrific high energy lunch.
AFTERNOON SNACK. You should be hungry three to four hours after lunch. You need a snack here so you don’t eat a huge dinner. Also, if you are planning a pre-dinner workout, or even just spending some fun time with your family, a snack here is imperative for good afternoon energy and mood.
The top five super energy snacks to always have on hand:
1. Nuts! Peanuts, pistachios, walnuts, almonds…all are good choices. The hardest part is stopping at an ounce-think shot glass size.
2. Hard boiled egg.
3. Turkey jerky, cover the size of your palm for a good serving size.
4. Apple and peanut butter.
5. Water: dehydration can exhaust your body.
DINNER. The smallest meal of the day. If your body requires 500 calories at dinner and you give it 800, the extra 300 will be converted to fat and stored in exactly the places you don’t want it. Your dinner can be a smaller version of your lunch.
How to stop eating after dinner:
- Hot Chocolate! It will take a half-hour to drink, and by the time you finish it, your cravings should be gone.
- Brush your teeth! As soon as you brush your teeth, your sweet cravings should go away.
- Suck on some hard candy or chew some gum.
- Eat a piece of really juicy fruit. Try an orange or maybe some cherries. A banana is not going to do it.
- If all else fails…paint your nails. You can’t eat with wet nails.