No Time for Weight Loss or Food
Unfortunately, a very common complaint that many people have, especially men who desire to lose weight, is that they don’t have time to eat during the work day. Oftentimes, added onto this need is the inability to take meal breaks consistently, leaving just brief moments available for someone to grab and go as they can throughout the day.
Over time, this will create metabolic issues and definitely the strong sense of hunger, leading to overeating and lack of quality nutrition as fuel for the body. These imbalances will definitely cause weight gains and other health and quality of life issues that many find difficult to get on top of and turn around.
Previously, in several posts, I’ve outlined how imbalances in three key areas will keep anyone from achieving and sustaining weight loss: Hormonal, Inflammation, and Metabolic issues. (Read How To Stop Losing the Same Weight Over and Over Again.) Reset Your Weight Daily Resets will help you address these issues depending on the time you have available.
All Day Lunch Snacks to Balance Metabolism
In this post, at the request of my busy working husband, I searched through dozens of healthy, grab and go recipes that will work with his inconsistent meal time schedule. His parameters for these “food mini meals” were:
- small meals that are nutritious (healthy fats, fiber, low non-veggie carbs)
- need to be substantial in protein to satiate his hunger
- refrigerated or room temp options for grab and go
- multiple options throughout day
- will help shrink stomach but be filling
- not leave him starved right after eating it
Ingredient List Must-Haves
I narrowed my search to real ingredients that are high in fiber and healthy fats, like recipes with a base of nuts and whole grains. While his desire is to eat sweets and yet not eat sweets, I stayed away from fruits, especially dried fruits, and too much added natural goodness like honey. The reason for this is the need to stabilize blood sugar levels, which will not cause him to overeat or crave more goodies.
Since bone broth is exceptional at stabilizing blood sugar and super nutritious, I encouraged him to keep using his bone broth powder as a hot drink at work at least once a day (actually, I threaten to take his broth powder if he doesn’t use it!). Read this post for broth product recommendations.
Specifically, with a bone broth powder, you can add it to any recipe easily just like you would for a recipe that calls for a protein powder. Why do many recipes that are low carb call for added protein powder? Protein is very necessary for a healthy weight loss that will retain muscle mass, and it is metabolized slowly in the digestive system.
Healthy fat is the second must have ingredient for these mini meals. In brief, the body uses two types of “food fuel” from the immediate meal: fat or simple sugar. Healthy fats like those found in lean, organic animal meats, raw nuts and seeds or their oils, and coconut are excellent choices for turning your body into a fat-burning machine.
Take a look at this great PDF from the Big Picture to understand the significant role of fat:
“At this point lipids, like sugars, become fuel for aerobic respiration in the mitochondria. Respiring a gram of fat releases more energy than a gram of carbohydrate. This is because fatty acids are oxidised completely.”
In contrast, simple sugars are burned up pretty much on the spot, creating instant energy and then storing the rest of the sugar as fat in the body’s cells since it cannot possibly use up all of the available fuel at the time of eating. The high is followed by a crash and added weight.
Dr. Mercola discusses this in relation to a Ketosis Diet: “Your brain will work better in general when burning fat rather than glucose, as fat has been shown to be both neurotherapeutic and neuroprotective. While fats are unable to cross the blood brain barrier, ketones, being water-soluble fats, can cross it and feed your brain. They also appear to lower markers of systemic inflammation, such as IL-6 and others. Many times, improved cognition and mental acuity are among the first things people notice when entering nutritional ketosis.
“Ketones are the preferred source of energy for your brain in general, but especially for those affected by diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and maybe even ALS, because in these diseases certain neurons have become insulin resistant or have lost the ability to efficiently utilize glucose, which causes the neurons to die off. When ketones are present, these neurons have a better chance of surviving and thriving.”
Complex carbs are actually good, and should be eaten with the healthy fats. Examples of these ingredients are veggies and whole grains. Store bought foods are labeled as such to help, but discern the marketing difference between the two; buy the 100% and here’s why:
“There are two diﬀerent varieties of the Whole Grain Stamp, the 100% Stamp and the Basic Stamp.
- If a product bears the 100% Stamp (shown on left), then all its grain ingredients are whole grains. There is a minimum requirement of 16g (16 grams) – a full serving – of whole grain per labeled serving, for products using the 100% Stamp.
- If a product bears the Basic Stamp (shown on right), it contains at least 8g (8 grams) – a half serving – of whole grain, but may also contain some reﬁned grain. Even if a product contains large amounts of whole grain (23g, 37g, 41g, etc.), it will use the Basic Stamp if it also contains extra bran, germ, or reﬁned ﬂour.” (source)
Need more convincing to eat healthy fats? Dr. Mercola states that:
“The optimal level of insulin to glucagon is achieved by a diet that contains carbohydrates balanced with proteins in a ratio of approximately two to one – that is, approximately two grams of carbohydrate per gram of protein and gram of fat per meal or snack.” Read the full article, Understanding Adrenal Function.
The Role of Fat
A small amount (3/4 tsp. to 1 tsp.) of fat (butter) or cold pressed vegetable or seed oil should be a part of each meal in order to help control the rate of entry of glucose (blood sugar) into the bloodstream.
8 Metabolism Boosting Mini Meal Recipes
(All recipe images taken from original sites)
Birdseed Treats on Allrecipes.com
- Nuts and seeds are high in fiber and healthy fats
- I’ll sprinkle in some bone broth powder and decrease the honey a touch
Green Goddess Dip on Daily Burn
- Not chickpea based veggie dip
- I’ll add some probiotic milk kefir to the greek yogurt to introduce food-based beneficial bacteria into the gut microbiome
- herbs are great for boosting metabolism!
Sweet and Savory Rosemary Pecans Recipe on Daily Burn
- He will have to eat less nuts for this one 😉
Zesty Black Bean Hummus Recipe by Daily Burn
- beans for fiber and protein
- good for dipping veggies
Crispy Lentil Energy Bites by The Honour System (great site!)
- I’m really excited about this recipe since it uses cooked lentils AND it didn’t scare away my picky eater!
- includes the healthy fat of coconut, which also fights Candida (the sugar loving and craving bacteria thrives off sugar in the gut)
6-INGREDIENT NO-BAKE QUINOA PEANUT BUTTER CRUNCH CUPS by Blissful Basil (another great site I discovered!)
- quinoa grain based (gluten free as well to decrease tummy issues for many, which “appear” as you start to eat cleaner-FYI)
- healthy fats of coconut for immediate fuel source and satiety
Dark Chocolate Dipped Crunchy Coconut Cashew Sesame Bars by Half-Baked Harvest
- full of nuts, seeds, and whole grain
- dark chocolate, which is an anti-oxidant (good)
Sweet Chipotle Snack Mix on MyRecipes.com
- raw nuts with a spice kick!
Munch Away To A Faster Metabolism
Once these mini meals are made at home, we plan on portioning them into smaller grab and go bags that he can pile into his lunch bag. For those who “forget to eat” until their stomach is yelling at them, you can use your phone’s timer and set it for 2-3 hours to signal you to eat. This eliminates the guess work out of “when did I last eat?” and “is it time to eat yet?”
Crave soda with these mini meals? Try a healthy probiotic fizzy drink instead to boost weight loss through a repopulated gut: 5 Probiotic Drinks That Will Help You Lose Weight.
Hope you enjoy this round up of mini meals that will work to rebalance your metabolism!