One of the main questions among those who want to lead a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet has to do with whether eating between meals is bad. There are tons of theories about whether it is better to eat three or five meals a day, each with its own supporters and detractors.
It is important to note that a healthy diet is one that complies with four basic principles. On the one hand, it adapts precisely to the energy expenditure needs of each person. On the other hand, the eating plan must be varied to provide all the nutrients that the body needs for its proper functioning. Also, the diet has to be palatable. And finally, it must be balanced, consuming the amount of each food that the body needs.
Why does it bite between meals?
Everyone has experienced that bite to eat between meals at some time in their life. Although in the vast majority of cases it is hunger , in others it is the result of anxiety and stress . Of course, sometimes it is also simply given on a whim: it is not that you are hungry as such, but you simply want to have a sweet or a bag of potato chips.
It must be borne in mind that food does not only represent a contribution of energy to the body . It also responds to the need to take a break from work, in addition to providing glucose and calories consumed throughout the morning or afternoon.
Five meals a day: yes or no?
The first point to note is that the fact that the body demands food is completely normal. This occurs especially in those people who carry out a certain physical activity , either in their personal or professional life.
The vast majority of experts agree on the benefits of eating five meals a day to maintain good health. This habit is also of great help since in this way you avoid starving, thereby preventing the body from accumulating reserves.
Therefore, it is clear that consuming food on a regular basis is the most advisable to maintain the line . However, it is important to distribute the amount of food properly between the five meals a day.
The problem is that the vast majority of occasions the foods that are chopped between meals are not healthy at all, such as industrial pastries or snacks . They have a high caloric content and, in addition, they are empty calories that do not provide any type of nutrient to the body.
That is why it is so important to choose foods that will be consumed at lunch and snack with care: fruit, yogurt nonfat, tea .. . They are highly recommended foods since they have a very low caloric intake and a very high nutritional value.
Why is it not advisable to eat three meals a day?
Eating three meals a day means starving between them, which leads to consuming more food at meal times. An unhealthy habit with which you tend to eat more calories . In addition, the body accumulates more reserves to be able to nourish itself during periods of hunger. Thus, the end result is weight gain.
Snacking between meals: how to do it without getting fat?
There are a number of principles that are important to keep in mind so that snacking between meals becomes a healthy habit.
- Best time to do it: Ideally, lunch should be two hours after breakfast and snack two hours before dinner. The body needs fixed hours in order to function properly. That is why it is recommended to eat five meals a day always at the same time.
- Forbidden foods: although they tend to be abused when snacking between meals, they are not the healthiest option in a balanced diet. They are salty snacks, soft drinks, shakes, French fries and sweets.
- Quantities: of course, it is very important to pay the utmost attention to the quantities that are consumed. It is recommended that both lunch and snack do not exceed 200 calories.
- Water: experts point out that it is very important to accompany meals with water, never with soft drinks or industrial drinks.
- Time: and, finally, it is interesting to know that the feeling of satiety takes approximately 20 minutes to reach the brain. Therefore, it is essential to chew slowly and calmly so that the food reaches the stomach better. At work, it is not always easy to have those 20 minutes to eat lunch or a snack. When you have little time, it is better to eat less and calmly than a lot and in a hurry.
The best foods to snack between meals
- Fruit: one of the best options to snack between meals is a piece of fruit. Provides a large amount of minerals, water and carbohydrates. Also, its caloric content is very low, which is a great plus. It is best to contribute seasonal fruits since they are the ones that provide the most nutrients.
- Nuts: among all the nuts, walnuts and almonds are the healthiest varieties to snack between meals. They have very little fat and their caloric intake is minimal. These types of nuts have extraordinary nutritional value; high quality proteins, minerals, vitamins, essential fatty acids… The recommended amount is a handful.
- Yogurts – Dairy products play a very important role in a healthy eating plan. Thus, natural yogurts are a very interesting alternative to eat between meals.
- Turkey breast : turkey breast is another highly recommended food due to its high content of proteins, which are of high quality and easy for the body to digest. Unlike other sausages, it has hardly any calories and fat.
- Mackerel: for those who suffer from a great caloric burnout, mackerel is a fantastic food to eat between meals. It offers high quality proteins and Omega 3 fatty acids.
- Olives: olives are a good alternative for lunch or a snack. A food of plant origin with a low caloric intake.
- Infusions: and, finally, infusions are a very suitable option. Green tea is antioxidant and calming.
Healthy snack recipes
- 1 cucumber
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 tablespoon of salt
- To begin with the preparation of the recipe, first the cucumber is peeled.
- It is then finely cut.
- In a glass bowl, mix the vinegar and salt.
- The cucumber slices are added to the bowl and then placed on the baking sheet.
- They are baked at 100ºC for five minutes. And ready!
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 cups raw chickpeas
- 1 lemon
- Olive oil
- First, the chickpeas are soaked overnight. It is important to use a large container as they tend to increase significantly in size.
- The next day half of the water is conserved.
- Chickpeas, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and garlic clove are added to the blender glass.
- All the ingredients are whipped. If the mixture is a little thick, add a little of the water that has been reserved in the second step.
- It can be taken for lunch or as a snack accompanied by whole wheat bread.
- Ground black pepper
- The first thing is to cut the pumpkin into sticks. The thickness depends on the tastes and preferences of each person.
- The pumpkin sticks are washed and placed on a baking sheet.
- The salt is added and then the black pepper along with the previously ground garlic and onion.
- The canes are baked for 10 minutes at 120 degrees, until crisp.
One of the main challenges of a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle plan is to avoid the temptation to avoid snacking on foods that do not provide nutrients and do provide a large amount of calories . That is why it is very important to learn to eat between meals in the proper way, choosing healthy foods to maintain the line and a good state of health.
A good option to eat between meals is to prepare healthy snacks , such as the recipes outlined in the previous section, and take them to work. It is the best way to avoid ending up falling into the temptation of buying chocolate bars or bags of potatoes from the vending machine.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.