Meal patterning is an alternative to “dieting.” By meal patterning, I mean eating patterns chosen over a long period of time. My goal is to document everything I eat for two years. But the meal patterns I developed are intended to last a lifetime. While working on weight loss, I reduced calories from each meal. But the meal pattern will still be intact when I add back calories after reaching my weight goal.
Meal patterns involve several factors including personal preferences, timing and frequency of meals, portions, types of foods, nutrient levels, and personal illness or health considerations.
Because I had a heart flutter and advanced, Type II diabetes when I started this journey, my meal patterns have focused heavily on the health of internal organs such as the heart, pancreas and liver. Because of my anxiety, I also focused on micronutrients that effect mental health. Because of my personal battle with hunger, I chose to eat every two hours. Because of my advanced sleep apnea, I chose a weight loss goal consistent with 25 BMI.
When battling diabetes, it is best to keep your carbohydrate intake constant and level throughout the day. It also helps to break up your diet into several small meals and a bedtime snack than to eat just two or three large meals a day. That is why I chose a seven-meal pattern with carbs in every meal.
Many choose Keto to control diabetes. This also is a meal pattern that keeps carbs fairly consistent throughout the day by almost eliminating them.
For all my meals, I chose a smaller plate, a saucer really.
Elevens, lunch, tea and supper all have higher levels of low-starch vegetables matched with other carbs and protein in equal measure.
Because of my meal pattern, I was able to put my diabetes in full remission.
Due to heart concerns I started with more nuts and less fatty meats. This also helps me restrict calories. After I reach my weight loss goal I can increase fatty meats in my diet.
At first I greatly restricted salt, increased physical activity and drank a lot of water. My salt intake increased as my heart received a healthy clearance from my cardiologist and local physician. As long as I stay well hydrated and maintain my physical activity, my salt intake should be fine.
I no longer have a heart flutter.
Because of my arthritis, I restrict the amount of dairy I consume. Studies are conflicted in this regard. Many say a diet high in vitamin D and calcium is important for healthy bones. Others show that protein from dairy causes bad things for your joints. To be safe, I reduced dairy and increased vitamin intake through other foods and supplements.
Due to mental health concerns I focused more on micronutrients than on macros. I take supplements of B vitamins and multivitamins. I eat a lot of tuna and low-fat chicken for the types of micros they contain.
All this to say, your meal pattern of choice, your diet, is very personal and should be person-centered based on your individual needs.
Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! Do not let my heart incline to any evil, to busy myself with wicked deeds in company with men who work iniquity, and let me not eat of their delicacies! – Psalm 141:3-4 ESV
Please consult professionals when beginning any new meal plan.