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New Year, New You -Timing is Everything -Dr. Julie Monica

Anything starts with the first step, an action taken. And we all know that navigating the food world takes some forethought. And, now for many, daily routines are so jam-packed it seems challenging to fit in one more thing especially a new food plan. But we want to achieve a better way to eat and attain the benefits and even ward off disease.

Rigid routines can lend themselves to positive eating patterns. – There’s not much time to eat! So, take advantage of your tight schedule not to eat so much.

Plan doable meal times within your day and stick to them. These should be approximately three to not more than four hours apart. And consider at least three meals and a small meal (snack).

Four meals afford us less quantity per meal and provide the whole day with better, daily satiety. Understand, no “snacking” in between. According to the American Diabetes Association meal planning such as this can well manage blood glucose and other metabolic disease.

Some fruit, protein drinks and other healthful, snack like foods could be a part of or one of your timed meals. –But make sure it is nutrient balanced to carry you to the next meal.

This timing perspective goes a long way. When we are mindful that we are going to eat those few times in our day, we must be prepared. Typically, our food shopping habits will change as we fill our new, daily menus. This is a departure from buying stuff just to have because we always get it or because we like it. Your groceries will be preempted by your new, targeted, functional foods.

Many of us don’t even want to cook and prep. There certainly are quick, meal alternatives to help maintain that daily meal schedule;

If you are reading this article, then you know our area is teeming with food establishments that offer healthful, prepared meals or additions to your daily fare. Raw and green leafy veggies found on salad bars, a savior. Don’t forget to pack a second salad for the next day. On-line meals and kits, a must if you’re looking for complete and fast meals with protein, veggies and even an appropriate starch. They can add that comfort food feel with the correct macro nutrients required per your goals. – A real time saver.

Many organic, frozen foods are very convenient and now come as ready to serve veggies, meats and meals.

To think of precisely when you’re going to eat, to have a timed meal plan is often overlooked. Eating even your targeted, healthy food with no schedule can lend itself to over eating – Not good.

On the onset, this may seem strict and not easy to keep up. But, remember you are establishing those meal times, when and where you eat. You’re just committing to them.

Many people have set, family dinner times but don’t go to bed for up to six hours later. Consider another meal after dinner. This usually works out better than the two “bad snacks” we look to eat in that time. And, for some, this pushes them to the four meals per day. This can better maintain our targeted, macro-nutrient intake balanced.

If you were to go out and eat and are concerned it is off your scheduled time – you are mindful of your plan – Great! The idea is that you are aware of what meal of the day it is for you. And importantly, what type of meal, order accordingly. To be off timing with that one meal and then getting back on track with the next meal is minding your schedule successfully.

Creating when you’re going to eat and also what you will eat is a big leap into managing your metabolic health this and every year.

Dr. Julie Monica specializes in Clinical Nutrition. She is a Certified, Nutrition Specialist (CNS) and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition. Her approach is functional. In her Private Practice in Sea Girt, NJ Dr. Monica counsels individuals with guided plans specializing in optimizing metabolic health with clinical, nutritional approaches. Call 732.812.5187 for more information or to schedule an appointment, or visit


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