Eat more to lose weight


 “I’ve been told time and time again that if I eat three meals and three snacks a day that I will lose weight. I know portion size is important, but I can’t seem to accept that if I eat all day I will lose weight. Can you help me understand how frequent eating can trim my waistline?” — Yvonne B.

The most common mistake you can make when wanting to lose weight is to allow more than three hours to go by without eating. Simply put, when you allow too much time to pass without consuming a meal or snack, you can cause your energy to plummet, increase the likelihood of over eating, experience intense cravings at night and you slow your metabolism which hinders your weight loss progress.

The more energy you have the more likely you are to exercise and go the extra mile to eat healthfully. The same rings true for all ages. Children who don’t eat every two to three hours for instance, can become anxious and irritable. There are studies that have demonstrated when children eat in a “timely manner,” he or she is less likely to experience a dip in blood-sugar levels and have their energy sapped. As with children the same pertains to adults.


If you were to eat a large pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you can be assured that you will gain some significant body fat. The point I am making is that the size of your meals and snacks do matter. In brief, you want divide your meals and snacks over the course of a day and not eat less than 1,200 calories for women, and 1,500 for men. To give you a thorough example and explanation of portion sizes, consider our Diet Free Life Workbook, which is in our online store.


To maximize your metabolism it is important that unless you’re exercising within one hour of waking, you want to eat a balanced breakfast that has at least 30 grams of protein. Then the goal is to eat two more fat-burning meals before the day is over. If you can get in a snack, make it a goal that its fruit. Lastly, don’t eat too close to sleep.

It is also important that you eat something rather than nothing. There is no perfect world and you’re not perfect. So if you find yourself in a situation where your options of healthful foods are limited, make the healthiest choice.

When you workout first thing in the morning, depending on the intensity of the exercise, it may be to your best interest to eat a snack (i.e., apple, pear) 30 to 60 minutes before you workout. And following your workout it is important that you eat in a timely manner (within 30 to 60 minutes following your workout).

Eating three meals a the day is a surefire principle for maximizing your metabolism, energy and weight loss efforts. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like some examples of what a day would look like if you implemented “timely eating.”

Robert Ferguson is a nutritionist, researcher, best-selling author, speaker, host, NAACP nominee, creator of the Diet Free Life methodology, and Chief Nutrition Officer at iCoura Health, Inc., who serves on the Presidential Task Force on Obesity for the National Medical Association. E-mail him at, or visit his Web site at











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