Manage your weight effortlessly by eating more frequent mini meals. Today I’ve brought you my tried and tested 6 meals a day planner, that helped me fit into my old jeans like a BOSS.
Having 6 meals a day isn’t difficult as long as you plan well and make sure you meet your nutritional needs.
Just like most people, even I grew up with a “less is more” mentality when it comes to eating well and losing weight.
So I started to suppress my hunger till lunchtime, thinking to myself what a smartass move it was!
When I finally released my hunger horses, I would grab and shovel down anything within my reach!
That built up hunger blinded my clear judgment and I would find myself munching on junk food most of the time. I would end up having double the calories than my previous diet!
I may have been eating only two meals a day, but they were utterly massive! This strategy proved to be a sure shot failure in my early 20s, which lead to a 10 pounds weight gain within 3 months!
So after finding out the benefits of frequent mini meals, I followed this exact 6 meals a day planner, which I’m going to share with you today.
Ideally, you should read the whole article, but feel free to jump to any section you want.
Suggested: What’s the buzz around keto?
This post may contain affiliate links, which help keep this content free. (Full disclosure)
Why Follow 6 Meals a Day Schedule
Many studies have concluded that 6 meals a day planner helps to manage cravings, feel more energetic, and ultimately lose weight.
These are the top 3 reasons why I feel six meals a day is the way to go:
H3: You Feel a Lot Less Hungry
After 3 hours of no food, your blood sugar begins to fall. And after 4 hours, your body has entirely digested the food you gave earlier. Once you’ve crossed the 5-hour mark, your blood sugar starts to fall, making you reach for any food in sight (healthy or unhealthy).
I expected that I’d experience fewer cravings by lunchtime since I was no longer fasting till mid-day. It took me about 7-8 days to notice a difference in my hunger pangs, but when I did, it was quite significant.
In fact, I sometimes woke up so nourished for breakfast that I didn’t feel the need to have any junk food or craving throughout the day. It kept my energy levels and blood sugar levels steady and made me a more productive person.
If I woke up feeling too satiated for the breakfast, I would turn it into a 5 mini-meals day and still be on the right path. You see, it’s not mandatory to strictly follow all the six meals. You can mix and match as per your needs.
H3: Energy Levels Through the Roof
I had never imagined me working out before trying this eating plan. I’d pay my gym membership on every New Year (I know you can relate!) and set morning alarms to hit the gym, failing miserably each time.
But about a week into my 6 meals a day planner, I suddenly found a new energy source inside me. I had more energy and enthusiasm in the mornings, which helped me develop a good early morning walking routine (I don’t like structured workouts).
I’m still not a morning person to say, but I don’t wake up with the hangover-like mood as I used to in my earlier diet, where I would eat one to two massive meals per day.
H3: Easier Weight Management with Frequent Meals
The longer you spread out your meals, the hungrier you’ll get, which might turn you into a wild hungry boar by the end of the day!
On the other hand, you’re much better equipped to avoid binges and poor food choices when you eat frequently. You don’t reach that starvation point where you eat anything and everything just to fill your stomach.
Plus, your blood sugar doesn’t go through spikes and crashes, leaving you lazy and sluggish.
6 Meals a Day Planner
“Dieting” doesn’t mean you have to literally “die” from starving!
(Tip: Try to keep all your meals consistent in portions and low in fat to help keep calories under control. For example, if you’re following a 2100-calorie diet, limit each meal to 300 to 350 calories.)
Instead of three boring meals where you munch on raw veggies just to feel full; try my 6 meals a day meal plan template to kick off your metabolism and drop those stubborn numbers on the scale.
Meal 1: Kickstart Your Day
A healthy meal to get your energies flowing, choose from these alternatives:
- 1 cup of non-fat yogurt with a fruity topping
- 1 cup of unsweetened whole-grain cereal and five almonds
- Hard-boiled egg with two slices of wheat bread (Optional: 1 tsp peanut butter)
- 1 cup of your favorite juice.
Meal 2: Mid-Morning Snack
A light and healthy mid-morning meal options for your 6 meals a day planner:
- A whole-wheat bagel with 1 ounce of low-fat cheese and a small fruit serving.
- A fruit smoothie made with one banana, 3/4 cup of pineapple, 1/4 avocado and 1 cup of non-fat milk blended with ice.
Meal 3: Healthy Lunch
A healthy lunch to get you going through the day:
- Wrap 2 ounces of turkey into a 6-inch whole wheat tortilla with lettuce and mustard and serve with 1 cup of vegetable soup and a container of non-fat yogurt.
- Three ounces of grilled salmon on top of 2 cups of mixed greens with 2 tablespoons of low-fat salad dressing and three non-fat whole-grain crackers.
Meal 4: Mid-Afternoon Eats
To keep you going in the afternoon, you could opt for a light yet satisfying meal having sufficient carbs and proteins:
- Chicken breast with brown rice and asparagus
- Green salad with chickpeas, vegetables and olive oil
- Salmon with quinoa and green beans
Meal 5: Dinner Time
A “mini meal” for dinner might include:
- Greek yogurt with whole-grain granola and apple slices
- Whole-wheat pita bread stuffed with sliced turkey, tomatoes and avocado
- Protein shake made with fruit, low fat yogurt & protein powder
Meal 6: Last Meal for the Day
Finish your 6 meals a day planner with light and healthy snack which will help you sleep better or give your more energy for late night work/studies.
- 1 cup of unsweetened whole-grain cereal with 1 cup of non-fat milk and a small banana.
- 6 cups of air-popped popcorn mixed with 30 peanuts.
- Greek yogurt with whole-grain granola and apple slices
There is no strict rule to only follow the 6 meal day plan. You can easily convert it into a 5 small meals a day menu plan as per your requirements.
Further, you can even customize this meal plan with the help of snacking options explained further in this article.
6 Meals a Day Plan for Building Muscle
If you seriously want to jack up those pecs and crush your Benchpress PR, here is my recommended 6 meals a day bodybuilding plan:
Meal 1: Choose one from
- Protein pancakes with light-syrup, peanut butter and raspberries.
- Ham and cheese omelette made with 4 eggs, 50g ham and 20g cheddar cheese
- Ground turkey and egg with corn, bell peppers, cheese and salsa.
- Scrambled eggs with mushrooms and oatmeal.
Meal 2: Choose from:
- Low-fat cottage cheese with blueberries or nuts.
- Greek yogurt with fruit or dried fruits
- 1 apple and 30g peanut butter.
- Can of tuna with crackers.
- 25 gm cashew nuts
Meal 3: Choose from:
- Sirloin steak, sweet potato and spinach salad with vinaigrette.
- Turkey breast, basmati rice and mushrooms.
- Roast beef (approximately 250g), 200g roast potatoes, carrots, green beans, broccoli and gravy.
- Chicken breast, baked potato, sour cream and broccoli.
- Have a serving of protein shake with fruit, nuts, or dried fruits.
Meal 5: Choose from:
- 30 grams of whey protein mixed with 150g low-fat Greek yogurt and 100g frozen berries.
- 30 grams of whey protein mixed with 100g low-fat Greek yogurt and 1 small sliced frozen banana.
- 30 grams of whey protein mixed with 150g low-fat Greek yogurt and 1 handful of frozen grapes.
Meal 6: Choose from:
- Blueberries, strawberries and vanilla Greek yogurt on overnight oats.
- Protein shake with a fruit or dried fruits
- Jerky and mixed nuts.
- Yogurt with granola.
You should ideally aim for 1g of protein per pound of your bodyweight. Opt for lean protein sources like yogurt, lentils, low-fat cottage cheese, tofu, lean beef, egg whites, shrimp, etc to customize your meal plan.
Right Snacking for 6 Meals a Day Planner
Having 6 meals a day could be an invitation to eating TOO MUCH, hence it’s vital to know the right snacking strategies to stay on the right path.
At the end of the day, we all are humans and we LOVE flexibility. Sometimes you may want to take a detour from a rigid meal plan and explore other snack options on your own.
The simplest strategy is having low portion of foods rich in protein and fiber to fill you up. Plan nutrient-dense snacks like these:
- A serving of fruit or nuts with low-fat cheese
- Fresh veggies with ½ cup hummus
- Whole-grain crackers with 1 ounce of low-fat cheese or 1 tbspn of nut butter
- 1/4 cup trail mix with nuts, dried fruits, and whole-grain cereal
- 1 cup no fat Greek yogurt with frozen berries
When it comes to snacking, its crucial to avoid foods that encourage binge, such as crisps, sweets, wafers, or other processed foods.
Scientific Take on Six Meals a Day
Science believes that having six meals a day significantly curbs appetite and improves blood sugar levels.
According to a small study by European Association for the Study of Diabetes, a 6 meals a day planner has shown to work wonders for controlling blood sugar in obese people who had prediabetes or type II diabetes.
The study lasted six months and the participants were broken into two groups of 47 each:
The first half of the participants who were obese and suffering from diabetes or prediabetes ate six smaller meals per day for three months and later shifted to three large meals a day for another three months.
The other half of the participants started with the three full-sized meals for three months and transitioned to six small meals a day for the last three months.
In both cases, the six meals a day period showed significantly better blood sugar control compared to eating three meals per day.
MORE: How to Melt Side Fat
6 Meals a Day Myth
You might have also heard the claims that 6 meals a day planner turns you into some sort of fat-melting machine. Let me clarify that this couldn’t be further from the truth!
Even though you get a boost in metabolism, you can’t expect to have calorie-dense, greasy junk food and still lose weight (defying the laws of nature!)
At the end of the day, it all comes down to the nutritional choices you make and the portions you eat.
In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep the scale happy, have plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein.
I hope you enjoyed my 6 meals a day planner explained in this article. I have personally followed this exact template to lose over 21 pounds in 3 months!