A Simple Tip: The ‘3 for 3’ Formula
When trying to lose weight and eat clean, the questions of when to eat, what to eat and how much to eat are plenty!
What should I eat?
How often should I eat?
What times should I eat?
How much should I eat?
How much protein?
How much fat?
How many carbs?
How many meals?
How many snacks?
And the list goes on…
I get it, it’s confusing. But the simpler that you can keep it, the easier it will be. The “3 for 3” formula is a very simple tool that you can use to help ensure your body is getting the proper nutrition throughout the day. The formula works like this: eat all 3 macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein and fats) every 3 hours.
Why? Carbohydrates, protein and fats work in unison and actually help balance eat other out and nourish the body. Balanced meals and snacks will help ensure maximum energy, and help to balance blood sugar. Skipping meals, or ignoring a particular macronutrient, can throw the body out of balance affecting blood sugar balance, which can lead to increase food cravings later on in the day. It’s at that moment, when your blood sugar is low, that you enter the temporary rage of wanting to eat whatever you can get your hands. Hello, hangry! You turn to the box of Timbits at the office, the Starbucks cookie, or the late-night-nobody-is-looking ice cream. Not good for business.
By simply balancing your meal or snack with all three macronutrients you’re setting yourself up for success, and it’s that simple. Don’t skip meals. Don’t fear nutrients. Eat real food. And eat it regularly.
So, what does that actually look like in terms for meals? Eating all three macronutrients doe not mean a roll of bread with a t-bone steak and a generous dollop of butter. Here are some simple, well balanced examples of the ‘3 for 3’:
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with vegetables hash and avocado slices.
- Carbohydrate: Vegetables
- Protein: Eggs
- Fat: Avocado
Snack: Apple with almond butter.
- Carbohydrate: Apple
- Protein Almond Butter
- Fat: Almond Butter
Lunch: Green salad with veggies, salmon and olive oil dressing.
- Carbohydrate: Vegetables
- Protein: Salmon
- Fat: Dressing
Snack: Carrot sticks with hummus.
- Carbohydrate: Carrots
- Protein: Hummus (Chickpeas)
- Fat: Hummus (Tahini)
Dinner: Red Thai Shrimp Curry with Rice
- Carbohydrate: Vegetables & Rice
- Protein: Shrimp
- Fat: Coconut Milk
Remember, some foods play “double duty”, as they are sources of more than once macronutrient. Beans and lentils are sources of carbohydrates and protein; nuts and seeds are sources of fats and protein; and certain fish are sources of protein and healthy fats. If you need a helpful little tool to remember which is which, check out my blog post on macronutrients.