Before I started this journey, hunger was ever present on my mind. I could have just finished a whole pizza or a quart of ice cream and still felt hungry. But after getting portion sizes under control, I was able to find a new way of understanding hunger.
I used to think feeling hungry had something to do with willpower. It does not! Hunger is your body’s way of telling you it needs nourishment. But it does not work if you are overeating.
You must first get your serving portions and meal times set to adjust to your body’s need for nourishment.
What worked for me was the following 1,200 calorie meal plan with sample meals. This may not work for you. Consult your physician and dietitian when you begin a new meal plan. This can be adapted to a higher calorie count by increasing portion sizes, variety and by increasing number of meals. (I started with 13 meals per day for a total of 2,600 calories.)
First Breakfast – 7:00-8:00 a.m.
Some say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I do not know about that. But I know it is important for my body to start activating my internal organs for a new day. I kick start my metabolism with a single slice of whole wheat, low-carb bread and 16 grams (1 tablespoon) peanut butter.
This meal is perfect for vegans. Low-carb fans may want to replace the peanut butter with a boiled egg.
I leave off this entire meal on fasting days.
Second Breakfast – 9:00-10:00 a.m.
My typical second breakfast consists of 14 grams (1/2 cup) of whole-grain, Multi-Grain Cheerios and 14 grams (14 pieces) almonds.
I also add some nutritional supplements such as potassium and glucosamine chondroitin during this meal.
Perfect for vegans, but my low-carb friends may want to replace this meal with lean chicken, turkey bacon, or a lean meat. (Lean to get the full stomach feeling full without excessive calories. I do not hate fat.) You can also just eat the same meal as First Breakfast.
Elevenses – 11:00 a.m.-noon
Generally speaking my Elevenses meal is the same as afternoon tea.
My typical meal consists of carrots (18 grams), two slices of low-carb bread, 42 grams of baked chicken and about six dill-pickle slices.
Lower carbs by replacing the bread with more chicken, a slice of cheese or perhaps some cauliflower.
My vegan friends will want to replace the chicken with homemade hummus.
I cut out the carrots, a slice of bread and part of the chicken on fasting days.
Lunch – 1:00-2:00 p.m.
I love to veg-up during lunch. Three cups of broccoli, cauliflower and carrots gives me a great way to carry on during busy afternoons. I add tuna, unless I am fasting.
This is perfect for low-carb dieters. Vegans, leave off the tuna.
Tea – 3:30-4:30 p.m.
See “Elevenses” above. Or make up your own.
Supper – 6:00-7:00 p.m.
My favorite supper is a bag of Green Giant frozen, Broccoli and Cheese Steamers. I add a package of tuna, except for fast days.
Perfect for low- carb dieters. If your carbs are exceeding your budget, replace this with 85 grams of baked chicken wrapped in bacon.
Vegans can easily replace this entire meal with plain broccoli or salad, along with hummus and whole wheat crackers.
Bedtime is one of the most important meals of the day, especially for those battling diabetes. You need nourishment to carry you through the night, even some carbs. When I am fasting, I wrap up my day with 9-14 grams of almonds. However, my favorite regular bedtime meal is a smoothie made with 113 grams of Greek yogurt, 140 grams of frozen strawberries, 16 grams of peanut butter and a little water; blend the whole meal together.
Vegans, replace the yogurt with almond milk.
Low-carb dieters, please save some carbs for bedtime and either go with 28 grams of almonds or simply snack on about 50 grams of cheddar cheese.