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Your alarm goes off way too early in the morning….you snooze a few too many extra minutes…you rush out the door and grab a banana….get some coffee on the way to the office, work comes full of meetings…and then a few too many calls…you make it to lunch at 1pm and you grab a healthy salad with some chicken, no bread so you avoid those “fattening” carbs….afternoon continues with more emails/calls/meetings….
It is 4 pm now and you are hangry – that mix of hungry and angry that is not cute. You are craving cookies, coffee, sweets, but you stay strong and do not give in because you want to stay on a healthy track. You are proud of yourself when you grab an apple rather than chocolate and go back to work.
7 pm now, post workout and you are about to bite your arm off. You walk in the door cranky, moody, tired and so hungry…hangry really. You are so proud of yourself for not giving in to sweets and getting a workout in that you feel you deserve a reward. You pour yourself a glass wine, enjoy some bread and cheese while you and your spouse/friend/roommate/family cook and you cannot stop eating. No amount of vegetables, proteins and healthy foods will fill you up and you just keep eating and eating and eating.
Sound familiar? It should, as this is a majority of my clients! So many of us do not front load our calories and we wait too long to satiate ourselves – we do not catch our metabolism in time – and then we eat way too much at dinner. It is a myth that eating late at night will turn into fat…but it is a truth that eating too much at one meal will turn into fat since the body does not need that much food at one time.
Get smart about your schedule, plan in advance and get those mid morning and mid afternoon snacks in so you keep yourself fueled throughout the day. You are doing things right if you do not walk into dinner starving. Or walk into any meal starving. Eat small, balanced meals every 3-4 hours so you work like a well oiled machine.
Jae Berman, MS, RD, CSSD, serves as the Regional Registered Dietitian of The San Francisco Bay Club. As the nutrition expert and dietician for Western Athletic Clubs, she thrives on helping people live healthier, stronger, more confident lives. With an extensive education in nutrition, Jae has been featured as an expert in Shape Magazine, Better Homes & Garden and more. Her background is in sports nutrition, weight loss counseling and disease management. She is also a personal trainer and yoga and Pilates instructor. Jae earned a master’s degree in Applied Physiology and Nutrition from Columbia University and completed her dietetic internship at UCSF Medical Center.