Eating small amounts of food several times a day has kept the weight off for Michaela McKenna.
“In the past, I’d be too busy to eat until the afternoon,” McKenna says. “Then, when the kids came home from school, I’d start grazing. I’d eat 4,000 calories by bedtime.” Now her daytime food choices consist of yogurt and a handful of almonds, or a high-protein cereal bar and fruit. At dinner she eats a small portion of whatever her family is having, such as fish and whole-wheat pasta. Eating frequently keeps her blood sugar level even, so she doesn’t have the energy highs and lows that used to lead to cravings.
If you graze throughout the day, make sure to keep the quantity per sitting to a minimum, says Molly Kimball, RD, of the Ochsner Clinic’s Elmwood Fitness Center, in New Orleans. “Aim for 200 to 300 calories per meal, about every three to four hours.”