Eat More, Weigh Less (and get healthy)

Three filling meals that won’t tip the scales

Even thinking about dieting makes most people hungry, but eating more food can actually help you lose unwanted fat. The key is following a few simple rules (see below).

Rule #1: Eat protein with every meal or snack. Eating protein increases our metabolism and helps create a ‘fat burning’ effect in our bodies.  High blood sugar levels lead to high body fat levels, so when it comes to fat loss, protein helps keep us slim by keeping our blood sugars stable. Protein (along with good fats) also help to keep us ‘satiated’ so that we feel full for longer (and do not grab the sweets!). The only exception to the ‘eat protein with every meal/snack’ rule, is that it is okay to eat low glycemic veggies on their own (without a protein). This is explained in Rule #2, below.

Rule #2: Choose vegetables (ideally low glycemic) as your main carbohydrate source. Low glycemic veggies keep us slim by giving us antioxidants and fiber, without the added sugar spike. Because these foods do not significantly raise our bodies blood sugar, they similarly, do not cause a rise in our body fat levels either. This is why they can be eaten alone (without protein or fat). Whole fruits are also a good choice, however, because fruits cause a greater rise in blood sugar, be careful to have only 1 to 2 servings per day and always with a protein and/or fat (to keep our blood sugars stable).

Rule #3: Eat good fats. Good fats like butter (from cows that graze on grass) and coconut oil can help our bodies lose excess fat. Butter contains naturally occurring CLA while good quality coconut oil has high levels of MCTs – both are fat burning fats.

Now, let’s compare three meals with similar caloric content and see how much more you can eat and slimmer you can be.

For example, a 40-year-old woman weighing 150 lbs (68 kg), carrying 30 percent body fat, and exercising 30 minutes per day would need to consume about 1,200 calories a day to lose weight. Here are two options for three meals:

Option 1: Standard North American diet

Cinnamon raisin bagel (3 “ diameter), 155 calories
Margarine, 1 Tbsp (15 mL), 99 calories
Coffee with cream and sugar, 77 calories

Total calories for breakfast                                                         331 calories

Burger King hamburger, no cheese, 332 calories
Root beer, 8 fl. oz (250 mL), 110 calories
Small side of French fries, 244 calories

Total calories for lunch                                                                686 calories

Pasta dish with marinara sauce (2 cups),  370 calories
Glass of red wine, 123 calories

Total calories for dinner                                                               493 calories

Total calories for the day                                                          1510 calories
Total fat for the day                                                                  55 grams of fat
Total sodium for the day                                           5.66 grams of sodium

Option 2: Healthier nutrient-rich food choices


Blend into a smoothie (makes 2 cups/500 mL):
Blueberries, 2 cups (500 mL), 168 calories
Banana, 1/4 cup (50 mL), 33 calories
Flax seeds, ground, 1 Tbsp (15 mL), 37 calories
Water, 1 cup (250 mL), 0 calories
Whey protein powder, vanilla, 2 scoops, 140 calories

Total calories for breakfast                                                      378 calories

Mid-morning snack:
Almonds, raw, 10 whole                                                              60 calories

A salad with:
Chicken breast, broiled, chopped, 4 oz (110 grams) 187 calories
Spinach, raw, 2 cups (500 mL), 66 calories
Red onions, diced 1/4 cup (50 mL), 8 calories
Mushrooms, chopped 10 small, 20 calories
Carrot, grated, 1 medium, 25 calories
Vinaigrette dressing 2 Tbsp (30 mL), 30 calories
Pecans 1/8 cup (31 mL), 86 calories

Total calories for lunch                                                             422 calories
Broiled salmon with lemon wedges, 2 oz (56 grams) 113 calories
Brown rice, 1/3 cup (83 mL), 72 calories
Green vegetable medley, baked in olive oil,
fresh, crushed garlic and basil leaves, 50 calories

Small green salad with vinaigrette dressing, 35 calories

Total calories for dinner                                                      270 calories

Total calories for the day                                                  1130 calories
Total fat for the day                                                                      43 grams
Total sodium for the day                                                         2.48 grams

Why is option 2—which provides three filling meals a day—the better option? It provides not only less calories, but follows the 3 rules of fat loss and gives you more food.

To summarize: You start the day with whole fruits and a serving of fat burning protein and fats (instead of fat storing simple carbohydrates and hydrogenated fats). At lunch and dinner, lean protein and vegetables give you high-quality proteins, fats, and fiber, instead of sodium- and carbohydrate-heavy foods. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks keep your metabolism up and ensure you don’t have a chance to get hungry and overeat at meal time.

Enjoy the nutritional benefits of eating more by choosing carefully balanced, nutrient-rich foods—while losing weight.

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1. Mercola, Dr. Joseph, “Total Health Cookbook & Program”: Pg 15
2. Willett, W. et al.  Eat, drink, and be healthy the Harvard Medical School guide to healthy eating (Simon & Schuster Source, New York, 2001).