“Eating a proper breakfast is a challenge. Forget that mid-morning meal at 11!”
“I don’t feel like eating anything with my evening chai, but when I sit for dinner, I can’t resist that extra roti/helping of rice/ dessert.”
If you are someone who gets caught in similar situations on a regular basis, you are inviting acidity, bloating, deranged sugar levels and weight gain!
Surprised? It’s the long gaps between meals that are the root cause of this problem.
Just make a small tweak to your lifestyle by eating a small meal between your main meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and you will reap innumerable benefits!
Chalo, let’s talk about the benefits that these mid-meals have to offer:
a) Boost your metabolism:
You pump iron in the gym, run for an hour on the treadmill, sip on cups of green tea throughout the day or chew on salads to lose weight. Why? Because these activities and foods boost your metabolism and a high metabolic rate means weight loss.
But, guess what, eating mid-meals can produce a similar effect.
The reason? By keeping a gap of more than 4-5 hours between meals, your body goes into “Starvation Mode” i.e. it lowers its metabolic rate to preserve energy (calories). So instead of using say 150 calories for blood circulation, the body will now use around 120 calories.
Due to long gaps between meals, the body moves from a fat burning mode to a fat preservation mode. Additionally, it starts using muscles as a source of energy, instead of fat which results in a decrease in muscle mass and increase in fat percentage, which further lowers your metabolic rate.
By eating mid-meals, you can effectively boost your metabolic rate by preserving your precious muscles and lowering your fat percentage. And with a high metabolic rate, weight loss should be easy-peasy.
b) Keeps sugar levels in check:
Let’s look at your eating pattern – you eat a bowl of oats porridge for breakfast, a bowl of salad with leafy vegetables, dal and two small rotis for lunch and dinner. Despite eating fibre-rich food and eating in limited portions, every time you check your post-meal blood sugar levels they are above the desired levels.
The long gaps between meals create spikes and dips in your sugar levels. After eating your meals, there will be a surge in sugar levels followed by a drop which is accompanied by dizziness, fatigue and irritability.
Eating mid-meals ensures that we are distributing food into smaller meals, which keeps the glycemic index and load of our meals low. Consuming meals that are low on glycemic load ensures negligible spike in insulin levels and sugar levels, which doesn’t shoot up the fat percentage.
By eating mid-meals, you are able to maintain steady sugar and energy levels throughout the day!
c) Keeps overeating in check:
You ate a hearty lunch at 1 and by the dinner time at 9, you whet an appetite for eating anything and everything ranging from salad to parathas, dal, curd, rice, papad and even the chips and cookies kept on the kitchen shelves.
Long gaps between meals trigger hunger pangs which are assuredly going to make you overeat at the next meal. By eating your mid-meals, you can keep overeating and subsequent weight gain in check since you wouldn’t be as ravenous by the time you eat your next meal. And not to forget that it keeps acidity and bloating, caused by overeating in check!
Mid-meals hold the key to lighter meals, especially lighter dinners and put a halt to overeating at night since you don’t experience those butterflies dancing in your stomach at dinner time.
Eating these in-between meals, ensures you are eating food in limited portions without going overboard.
d) Helps meet nutrient requirements:
Mid-meals like roasted chana with peanuts, a cheese sandwich, hummus with pita bread or a paneer frankie – are good for you since they are brimming with the goodness of taste and health courtesy the perfect blend of proteins and healthy fats.
Eating too much protein at a time isn’t advisable since proteins are difficult to digest and excess protein gets converted to fat. Through eating mid-meals, you can space out protein-rich foods more evenly throughout the day, thus meeting your adequate protein requirements.
And what’s more?
Since protein and fat promote satiety, they keep cravings for junk food and desserts in check!
Here are some options that work for your mid-meals:
• Mid-morning meal – Fruits, buttermilk, unsweetened curd, roasted chana with peanuts, cheese cube.
• Evening snack – A good chance to grab a good carb-protein balance to ensure your dinner is light like a paneer frankie, sprouts bhel or half dosa/uttapam with sambhar.
We, at bon happetee, advocate eating 2 mid-meals along with 3 main meals to ensure you can achieve your weight-loss goals and thrive on good energy levels all day long.
With our app, you get to choose from a variety of food choices every single day which take care of both your health and taste buds. So, it’s a win-win situation for you.
bon happetee app helps you manage your portion sizes, pair the right foods and gives real-time feedback for your meals. From weight loss to lifestyle changes to mindful eating to just enjoying food without guilt. This app has it all. Download the app here.
Since we believe that we must indulge the foodie within us, we have also devised occasional treats for you to enjoy without fretting about the weighing scale.
Eat what you love and love what you eat- we at bon happetee definitely help you do that!
Vishruta is a nutritionist by profession and a writer by heart. Content writing and menu planning have become her passions over the past few years. Love food, love life — is her mantra.