Strategies to mastering your meals

Learn the power of eating in 3's to reach your health goals

  • Jun. 10, 2015 4:00 p.m.
Strategies to mastering your meals

Understanding these strategies will provide you with a structure to seamlessly consume the best foods as you fuel your day. Learn the power of eating in 3’s to reach your health goals.

#1 – Don’t Count on the RDA

The recommended daily allowance or “RDA” of nutrients for each person, based on a 2000 calorie diet. It recommends what the daily intake of nutrients should be. These standards are good for vitamins and minerals however they are completely inadequate for protein, fat and carbohydrates. The RDA for macronutrients is too broad and too high for carbohydrates and much too low for protein. The reality is that is you follow the RDA guidelines your blood sugar will likely be unstable. Understanding your personal meal parameters will provide you with the correct nutrient ratios and calories per meal to stabilize your blood sugar.

#2 – Know the 3 Core Principles of Blood Sugar Stabilization

Think about your core principles of life. Once they are set they remain intact and unwavering. Your choices however may continually change and evolve as you go through life. This same logic can be applied to your nutrition. Your blood sugar will always remain stable if you consistently apply 3 core principles.

Eat a balanced meal every 3 hours (5-6 meals a day)

Maintain balanced nutrient ratios (protein, fat & carbohydrates)

every meal

Consume the correct amount of calories per meal

#3 – Believe in the Importance of the Quality of Food

Eating “Clean” (high quality food) is a key factor in achieving your goals quickly.

4 factors that determine the quality of food:

The number of ingredients in the food – the more ingredients listed on the food label, the more processed the food. Food items that are more processed get digested faster and may spike your blood sugar.

The state in which the food is eaten (dry/liquid, coarse/finely ground, raw/cooked) The closer to it’s natural state the food remains, the slower it is digested. Slower digestion yields better blood sugar stability.

The quantity of fiber in the food – Since fiber can not be digested, it slows down the rate of digestion. This assists with maximum blood sugar stabilization

The amount of sodium (salt) in the food – Salt enhances the taste of food and it is a great preservative, however every gram of sodium holds onto water molecules. This causes the body to bloat and has a negative effect on how your body processes food. The lower the sodium content the higher the quality. Your goal is to limit your sodium intake to 1,500 – 2,000 mg per day.

#4 – Follow Your Mealtime Guidelines

Feeding your body consistently and frequently throughout each day is the key to increasing your metabolism and releasing stored fat. You can accomplish this by eating several meals per day.  Your mealtimes will depend on when you wake and when you go to bed each day.

Meals should be consumed every 3 to 4 hours

If you miss a meal, simply eat one as soon as possible. Don’t feel like you have to make up a meal your body will tell you when to eat. Eat when you feel hungry, it’s your bodies way to telling you to catch up on calories.

The goal is to be ready to eat (not starving) and satisfied after each meal.

If you are starving at mealtime you have waited too long and if you are full after each meal, you ate too much. If it’s been 4 hours since your last meal and you are not ready to eat, cut the meal in half. If the meal made you feel full instead of satisfied, cut the meal into a quarter the next time this happens.

Eat before bed. If you eat a balance meal before bed your blood sugar will stay stable and you will NOT store fat, you will actually increase your metabolism. Your body is designed to last 6-8 hours without food (during sleep) That is why it’s important to eat before and within an hour upon waking, it reduces the chance of creating any caloric deficits.

#5 – Focus Only on Complete Protein as Your Protein Source in Your Meals

Protein is the main factor in the growth, repair and maintenance of your body’s tissue. It is composed of amino acids that contain both essential (your body cannot make them) and nonessential (your body can make them) amino acids. There are 2 types of proteins; complete & incomplete.

Complete Protein – Has all the essential amino acids and can be used immediately by your body, it comes from animal sources like chicken, beef, fish and turkey, or from animal by-products like milk, cheese and eggs. For vegetarians, soy, quinoa and hemp.

Incomplete Protein – lacks one or more of the essential amino acids. They can be found in fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains. They must be combined with another source of protein to become complete. For example; combining rice and beans creates a complete protein combination.

Picking a complete protein source is the key to keeping your blood sugar stable. Many people think that peanut butter is a source of protein but peanut butter, as well as all nuts and nut butters, contain only incomplete protein. (They lack one or more of the essential amino acids) It is an excellent source of fat and it’s grams of protein are not counted.


#6 Learn How to Order in Restaurants

Restaurant food is typically loaded with fat, sodium, complex carbohydrates and a lot of calories. Which is the reason you may feel sluggish and bloated after every restaurant experience. But it is possible to follow a nutrition program and eat correctly in restaurants, simply follow these few guidelines.

Decide whether you are eating “on” or “off” plan at the restaurant

Make sure you blood sugar is stable when you get there. Don’t go starving!

Request all sauce and salad dressing on the side

Request all food items be prepared without oil or butter. Understand this meal will still have more fat in it even though you have requested no oil or butter

Enjoy your meal, eat it at a slow pace. Your goal is to finish your meal feeling satisfied not stuffed. eating slowly will prevent you from overeating.

For more detailed information visit

Darlene Neilsen

IBNFC Certified Nutrition Coach