How often should we eat for weight loss?

Today, my friends. I am dispelling one of the most common nutrition myths out there. You know what I’m talking about if you’ve ever done any research about dieting or losing weight.

If I want to eat for weight loss, I should eat every few hours.

Beachbody coaches everywhere tell their clients to never let themselves get hungry. Thousands of free diet plans float around the internet provide options for your six small meals per day. This belief is so widespread that if you ask anyone how you should eat to lose weight, they’ll tell you to eat often so you never overeat. They’ll spout some fact that eating every couple hours stokes your metabolism and helps you burn more fat.

How often should we eat for weight loss? Should we really eat 6 meals a day? I'm answering these questions once and for all.

Sounds awesome, doesn’t it?

I hate to break it to you, my friends. There is absolutely no scientific evidence (I searched!) out there that eating every few hours is better for weight loss. When it comes down to it, your body burns the same number of calories breaking down your food you eat regardless if you eat three meals or seven.

With that in mind, it’s super important to figure out an eating schedule that works for YOU. Determining how many meals to eat is a process of trial and error, because it’s all about creating habits that are easy and natural for you! 

Over the last year, I’ve switched from eating every couple hours to eating four larger meals per day. This change has helped me make progress towards my fitness goals and automate my eating. My friends, I will NOT be going back, because it’s made me super consistent with my food, regardless of where I am. Today, I’m sharing WHY I’ve made that shift but If you wanna learn exactly how I’ve found consistency, I’m sharing handful of things you need to implement daily to eat moderately, completely stress-free here.

Why I eat four meals per day

It promotes satiety

Back when I subscribed to the idea I had to eat often to stoke my metabolism, my meals were super small. And let’s be real, small meals=hungry Katherine. When you eat mini-meals, you never feel like you ate enough. You know the feeling, you finish your chicken and broccoli but you feel like you can and should eat more.

Bleh. I hate that feeling.

So, when I started eating four meals a day, spaced out by 4-6 hours, I had to start eating bigger meals. And guess what? I loved it! As I added more protein and fat to my meals that nagging feeling of “I want to keep eating more even though my plate is empty” went away.

Now, I feel satisfied for hours after each meal, which is awesome after living in a constant state of hunger for years. 

It decreases my daily caloric intake

Wine, Protein, Veggies

When I first started trying to eat for weight loss, I tracked my macros to ensure I got everything I needed. At first, I was worried I’d start gaining weight because I was eating “more.” But what I found was pretty surprising.

I was eating less than before!

After doing a bit of research, I found this is actually pretty common! When you’re eating six times a day, you end up eating more than you think. Snacks turn into mini meals and your mini meals tend to be a little bigger than they should be.

Confining my eating to four times a day has helped me keep my calorie intake within healthy ranges, even when I’m traveling or eating out.

It gives me flexibility in my social life

Eating six meals a day can make social situations more difficult. Sure, you can grab happy hour and pick at a side salad but how satisfying is that? Oh, and you’ll need to eat again in two hours, so don’t hang out for too long. With an eating schedule that includes bigger meals, your life doesn’t have to revolve around your food.

It’s so nice to be able share meals with my friends and loved ones again without worrying I’m eating too much.

I hear from women all the time that they have a hard time eating on the go. Drive-thru’s, happy hours and travel can botch even the best intentions for healthy eating. SO, I put together this super simple cheatsheet for dining out and how to stay consistent with your nutrition wherever you go. No crazy meal plans, just the handful things you need to implement daily to eat moderately, completely stress-free. Grab a copy of the FREE #ConsistentNutrition Cheatsheet here.

Now, even though eating four meals a day works super well for me, please don’t take this as a one size fit all approach. Do some experimentation! You may do best on three bigger meals, and that’s totally okay! If you want to find a way of eating that works for YOU, I’d love to work with you on your nutrition goals. If you’re ready to make some changes and reach your nutrition and fitness goals, let’s chat!

How many meals do you eat daily?

Healthy Dinner Recipes: Ready in Less Than 20 Minutes

It’s Thursday night. You’ve had a busy day at work (why do we have to go into the office between Christmas and New Year’s again?) and the last thing on your mind is cooking dinner. It’s almost 7pm, you’re tired, hungry, and surely don’t want to cook.

You’re faced with two options: order take out or whip something healthy up. And the truth is, if you don’t have a plan, you KNOW which option you’re going to choose!

If that situation sounds familiar and you’re anything like me, life is crazy, and that craziness can get in the way of eating, healthy or otherwise.

That’s why I ALWAYS have nutrition contingency plans available when life gets crazy. These contingency plans include crockpot meals, Freshly deliveries, protein shakes, and these four healthy dinner recipes.

To help you build your nutrition contingency plan, here are the four healthy dinner recipes I default to on busy nights. They are super easy and can be throw together in less than twenty minutes (although a couple are crockpot based, so you have to prep early in the day). Each meal includes protein and lots of veggies, with options to add additional carbs based on your individual needs.

Four healthy dinner recipes

If you're in a bind, these four healthy recipes will get dinner on the table in less than 20 minutes! Fast, easy, healthy dinner options.

 

 

Egg white scramble

Not sure if this technically counts as a recipe but I eat it at least once a week.

Toss pre-sliced mushrooms and fresh spinach into a frying pan with salt free seasoning. Cook until the mushrooms are browned and softened. Add egg whites and a whole egg (if you’d like to add some more fat to your meal) and scramble!

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If you need more protein, add a link of chicken sausage.

If you need more carbs, add some frozen hash browns.

Turkey and butternut chili

Take twenty minutes to prep this recipe before you go to work, and by the time you get home, you have a huge pot of healthy, protein and fiber filled chili.

I decided to make up a new chili recipe. I've made chili (successfully) before but wanted to add a little more nutritional value without also adding additional prep work. Using frozen and pre-chopped veggies, this recipe makes a complete dinner.

Chicken “stir fry”

At least once a week, I make a psuedo-stir fry. All I do is combine pre-chopped veggies and pre-cooked chicken or turkey (either from weekly meal prep or purchased-I like Trader Joe’s “Just Chicken” or their pre-cooked turkey breast) in a pan. Sauté until the veggies are softened.

Before serving, I add some of my favorite TJ’s fat free dressing to give it that soy-ginger flavor.

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Serve with rice, long grain brown or cauliflower.

Turkey burgers

Truthfully, I ALWAYS have turkey meat on hand for nights that require fast, healthy meals. This turkey burger recipe base is ideal to prep on Sunday OR when you have last minute guests coming over. It’s a crowd pleaser, for sure.

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Using these options, you can be sure to get healthy food on board without any extra stress.

If you’re looking for more nutrition guidance, meal plans, and easy recipes for fat loss to help you get back on track after the holidays, New Year, New YOU could be for you. This super effective group personal training and coaching program will teach you how to automate your eating for fat loss. I’d love to give you more information!

What’s your go-to healthy dinner?

Healthy Breakfast: My Three Favorites

You roll out of bed and walk to the kitchen to find some breakfast. You look around your kitchen and are stumped. You’ve barely got any time before you need to leave for work. You know that breakfast is important but you have no idea what to eat, so you grab a granola bar and head out the door.

This, my friends, was my entire college experience. Breakfast was overwhelming for me (even when it was already prepared for me in the dining hall) so I skipped it too many times to count. It wasn’t until I started working at Google that I got into a healthy breakfast habit.

Since I started eating breakfast regularly, I’ve noticed a huge decrease in cravings AND I find myself eating better throughout the day. This is why I’m sharing three of my favorite breakfasts and why you should eat them too! Share your favorite breakfast option below, too!

Read More »

diet plans my way

Diet Plans and Your Portion Sizes Guide

How much food is enough food?!

Such a simple question but so. so. so hard in practice because there are 1000 diet plans out there. We tell ourselves, it should be easy: eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full.

Well, it is super simple…and it isn’t. There is so much information out there that it’s hard to know what’s true, what’s BS, and what’s finally going to get you results. In reality, it all comes down to one idea, portion control, but there are a thousand ways to achieve it (this is why nutrition coaches have jobs 😉 )!

Read More »

Customizable Protein Bite Recipe

Here’s a quick, healthy snack you can throw together in no time and use for the whole week!

Hey folks! We’re so close to the weekend, I can almost taste it! Doing anything fun?! I’m considering finally buying a TV so I can watch Netflix and write/edit video/work/etc, so that and church on Easter Sunday are on the docket for me.

Often, I hear people struggling to maintain their balanced/on plan/healthy eating over the weekend. It IS hard when you’ve been sticking to your diet all week and begin to feel like you deserve something extra.

My preferred way to attack this problem is to eat towards satisfaction all week long! (If you’d like some more strategies, my friend and trainer, Paige, wrote an AWESOME post on this. Check it out.) What’s that mean? For me, it’s:

  • Sipping a glass of wine on Tuesday night *gasp*

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  • Having dark chocolate every day

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  • Adding some parmesan cheese to my salads

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  • Finding protein bars I enjoy and eating them 1/3 at a time when a craving strikes
  • Making these protein bites and snacking on them throughout the week!

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I love this recipe, because I can modify it 1,000 different ways and get a whole new taste. Craving mint-chocolate flavors? Add chocolate chips, cocoa powder, and a little mint extract. An oatmeal raisin cookie? Decrease the coconut flour, add oats and raisins. Not a fan of the applesauce? Add peanut butter, just be aware of the increased fat content. The possibilities really are endless. For this version, they were a little sticky/wet, so I rolled in unsweetened, shredded coconut.

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Please, don’t take this recipe-or any of mine for that matter-as set in stone. They are guidelines! Play around and see what works best for you. But be sure to let me know how it goes too 😉

What’s your favorite quick snack?

Easy and Quick Meal Prep Ideas

Meal prep is a hot topic on social media. But is filling these containers for you?

Eating healthy when you’re busy is a big challenge. The logical next question after last week’s post becomes centered on meal prep.

Over the last week, there’ve been a couple separate instances where meal prep has taken over the conversation. We’re definitely fascinated by specialized containers, services offering to bring you “prepped” foods, and the guarantee of healthy meals in a snap.  We are either for or against tupperwares full of chicken breast and broccoli.
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Not that simple (is it ever?). IMHO, Meal prep has gotten a bad rap.

We associate the topic with the rigidity required of bodybuilders in full on prep mode, requiring a full day to dedicate to cooking soggy asparagus and dry turkey breast.  I can say this because I used to think it! I didn’t want to be that person carrying around all her meals, so I rejected the idea.

While these are the pictures filling up your instagram feed, it doesn’t have to be how you handle your meal prep.  Since moving to Texas, I’ve changed my tune and realized it’s not black and white. Shift your mindset and you realize meal prep allows you to be relaxed on weeknights.

Meal prep is a tool to save you time and energy.

I’m now a huge advocate of doing a little “pre-work” to make my meals a little easier. Every Sunday, I do the following:

Cook two proteins ahead of time

Throw something in the slow cooker and make a huge pot of it. Need ideas? Try my Slow Cooker Chicken Piccata Recipe or Slow Cooker Hatch Chile Chicken. If you make one of these and grill some chicken breast/steaks/turkey burgers, your meals are basically ready to go.

Grocery shop for easy veggie and carb options

Pre-chopped veggies and quick carbs (like shredded potatoes or rice pasta) are my jam.

Prepare one grab-n-go snack-like my protein bread or bites

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These simple steps have changed my evenings. My meals are automated and I’m not tempted to grab takeout on the way home. With the protein already figured out, cooking time drops to just a few minutes.

One of the biggest objections I’ve heard is “I’m too lazy” but I’d argue that prepping ahead of time allows me to be lazy. Try it for a week and let me know what you think!

What are your thoughts? Do you prep ahead of time?

How to Eat Healthy When Busy: 5 Tips

Hey there! Happy Thursday!

Cooking nutritious food and subsequently eating well can be really hard. You probably have a thousand different things to do throughout the day, and planning your meals is low on the list. I get it. And honestly? I don’t currently meal plan everything I’ll eat in a week; that kind of stresses me out 😀  I follow the steps below when grocery shopping, and this ensures I have enough on hand to make quick and easy healthy meals throughout the week.

Cooking nutritious food and subsequently eating well can be really hard. You probably have a thousand different things to do throughout the day, and planning your meals is low on the list. I get it. And honestly? I don't currently meal plan everything I'll eat in a week; that kind of stresses me out :D I follow the steps below when grocery shopping, and this ensures I have enough on hand to make quick and easy healthy meals throughout the week.

Stock up on frozen fruit and vegetables

Frozen options are just as nutritious and are so easy to use. Frozen fruit can be a quick dessert or snack when added to some plain greek yogurt. Frozen spinach is a great base for smoothies. I also love that frozen veggies are already chopped and ready to go. I use these peppers and onions at least once a week to make “fajitas.”

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Buy two different lean proteins and cook them ahead of time

When you’re at the store, choose two protein sources and buy a little extra. For one person, I will buy about 2lbs of meat for the week. Cook the protein as soon as you get home from the store, seasoning with salt and pepper.

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Choose pre-chopped vegetables that can be sautéed or eaten raw

Grab a few different chopped vegetables that you can eat a thousand ways. This mix is great in salads, pasta sauce, or even just stir fried. Pre-packaged salad mixes or greens count too!

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Have the basics on hand

Here’s where we put it all together. When you have a pantry stocked with the basics (things like olive oil, S&P, egg whites, rice, pasta, pasta sauce), you pick and choose from the protein & vegetables, and there’s your meal.

It’s not glamorous but it gets the job done. Ground turkey and chopped veggies can become:

  • Fajitas when seasoned with cumin and chili powder
  • Spaghetti when you add some red sauce and fresh garlic
  • An egg bake when you add everything to a baking dish and bake for 20 minutes

Plan to be busy

Honestly, when it comes to the rest, I am gentle with myself and plan such that I have options when there’s no time to eat. I always have protein shakes in the fridge and healthy protein bars in my pantry. It’s not perfect but it gets me by!

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A couple other ways you can plan for the craziness:

  • Keep greek yogurt in the fridge. Great source of protein in a pinch
  • I like to have turkey or beef jerky around in case I need a quick boost
  • Choose fruits that don’t require a lot of work: grapes can be frozen in zip lock bags for a grap-and-go snack and apples eaten without any chopping

If you’re still struggling, don’t miss my checklist to eating for fat loss. These simple streps have changed how I eat day-to-day!

What have I missed? Let me know your best tips in the comments below

Things I’m Loving Friday #3

Hello again, friends! It’s that time of the week where we do a round up of some of the awesome parts of the week. I’d really love it to be a conversation! Let me know what’s making you smile in the comments below <3

Protein Powder Delivery

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I took a break from using whey protein powder for the month of January, giving my digestive system a break and utilizing alternative protein powders. Now I am ready to try something new! Gnarly has good reviews and doesn’t have any crap in it, so we’ll see how it tastes!

Yard Bar

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With Juno back to full activity (yay!), we’ve been frequenting a local dog park/bar. GUYS. It’s amazing. They serve food and drinks and also have yard monitors helping keep play positive. Great place to hang out and relax with your pup.

JUNE-O-BUG

Google is definitely known for its wacky employees but today was a display above any I’ve seen. We had a doggie fashion show happy hour, complete with a dog treat bar and kissing booth. It was definitely fun to relax and hang with all the dogs. Unsurprisingly, Juno had a great time 🙂

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Heading Home!

This is my last weekend in Austin before flying home for President’s Day! I’m so looking forward to being with my family and furbabies. We’re taking the dogs up to the snow again-though it’s the first time Juno will be able to run and play freely-and I cannot wait.

Have a great weekend, lovelies!

Slow Cooker Chicken Piccata Recipe

Hi everyone!

How’s your week going?! Congrats on making it to Wednesday! Quick post and a quick recipe today <3

If you are anything like me and the last thing you want to do on a hump day is spend a ton of time prepping and cooking a meal, keep reading.

When I was a kid, one of my favorite meals was my mom’s lemon chicken piccata. Breaded chicken, creamy lemon sauce, artichokes, and capers. Mmmmmm. Now that I am an “adult,” I’ve decided to try making it a little healthier.

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Let me know if you try it!