What is regular eating?
- Eating at regular times throughout the day
- Avoiding long periods of time between each meal
- Keeping the same pattern of meals from day to day
- It simple terms this means having Breakfast, Lunch and an Evening Meal, with 1-2 snacks in between meals (ideally fruit or vegetables) every day.
Why eat regularly?
Eating regularly will mean that:
- You will find it easier to stop eating at the end of a meal
- You will find that you are ready to eat at mealtimes
- You will be less likely to think about foods in between meals
- You won't need to resort to high fat snacks because of missed meals
What makes eating regularly difficult?
- Work patterns
- Family/home environment
- Social life
Here are some comments that some people have made as to why eating regularly is difficult:
"I have a hectic work schedule which doesn't allow me time for lunch"
"I leave the house very early in the morning, which means I never have time for breakfast"
"I never feel hungry at breakfast time"
Overcoming barriers to eating regularly
- Make time for yourself, particularly at work to ensure that you have at least 10 minutes for your lunch
- Take a piece of fruit to have on the way to work if you don't have time for breakfast in the morning
- If you find it difficult to eat at breakfast time, this is because your body has learnt to feel hungry at certain times. So if you don't usually eat in the morning you won't feel hungry. However it is possible to change your body clock. Start by having a small amount to eat in the morning, such as a piece of fruit or ½ a slice of toast.
Tips for regular eating
1. Planning- plan in advance the times that you are going to have your meals. It might be hard at first but try to stick to your plan and things will become much easier.
2. Don't leave long gaps between your meals. The longer the gap between eating episodes, the more likely you are to become excessively hungry and this may mean that you eat larger amounts of food or calorie dense foods.
3. If you lapse from your plan and eat unplanned snacks or meals, return to your plan as soon as possible.
Step 2: Getting a healthier balance of foods
Step 3: Cutting down the quantities of food