Here’s a little biology lesson: as early humans evolved, starvation and deprivation were persistent threats to survival. So they learned to store fat in flush times and burn fewer kilojoules when food was hard to come by – just like bears preparing for hibernation. If you go hungry all day and then eat a heavy evening meal, you’re doing the same thing.
Instead, try eating several small meals, consuming 30-35 per cent of your daily kilojoules in the morning. You’ll feel full all day and give your body a chance to burn off what you took in – rather than sleeping on it like a bear.
Dairy, eggs, whole grains and fibre. If you usually skip breakfast, start with a glass of milk or a slice of cheese with wholemeal toast. Or, if you wake up ready for a meal, have walnut-flaxseed oatmeal with some yoghurt and blueberries.The goal
To load up on kilojoules.The rationale
The protein in milk and other dairy products can increase muscle protein production, helping to promote muscle growth and fat loss after exercise.
More of the same! That’s right – eating twice in the morning means you’ll take in fewer kilojoules overall. A lot of blokes don’t have the time (or the stomach) to power down a third of their daily kilojoule allowance first thing in the morning. So breaking up the meal keeps your kilojoule intake shifted to the morning while allowing you to start your day without busting a gut.
Vegetables, beans, fruits, nuts and whole grains. Think soups and salads.The goal
To pack in as much nutrition as possible.The rationale
Lunch is the defining moment of your nutritional day. Breakfast is about kilojoule loading, and by dinner the day is shot. So lunch is your chance to feast on at least three representatives from the fruit, vegetable or legume category – which is why soups and salads are your go-to choices at this time of day.
Leafy greens and other vegetables, lean meats, fish, beans and legumes.The goal
To keep portion size down.The rationale
A Penn State University study found that eating a low-kilojoule salad before a main course can decrease overall food intake by up to 12 per cent. So start with the green stuff, and then move on to lean protein or an omega 3-rich fish (like salmon).
Yoghurt, berries, walnuts, capsicum with cottage cheese, multigrain cereal with milk, and apples and cheese.The goal
To stave off hunger.The rationale
You can’t lose weight and keep it off unless you snack! In fact, studies suggest that people who eat less often than three times a day may have trouble controlling their appetite. So don’ deprive yourself. Raid the cupboard or fridge; just choose smart.