Health and Fitness

Sequence Your Meals

Healthy eating is often related with quality and quantity of food and calories consumed. Often the calories consumed at one time and throughout the day are discussed to dominate the success of weight management. When we start weight loss, we keep a check on calories, content of nutrients, meal time and late night snacking. Along with all these your sequence of meals is equally important.

Our diet consists of nutrients like proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Every nutrient is important for wellness and health. It is essential to take all nutrients in adequate amounts to prevent deficiencies and illness. Out of all nutrients proteins, fats and fiber provides us satiety. Various researches have shown results that consuming protein and fiber in first place in your main meals help you to provide early satiety preventing you from consuming extra calories and carbohydrates than required by your body at a time.2 Carbohydrates are also essential in our meals, and instead of completely opting for zero carb diet, we can simply consume carbohydrates only necessary to our body in desired amounts by just changing the meal sequence, without starving, and changing our basic daily menu which we are used to eat for decades which helps us to make an easy sustainable change in our diet pattern. Excess carbohydrates consumed in meals is all stored as fat leading to increased obesity. Such intake can easily be put under control by simply changing the sequence of meals.

Foods which you eat in meal sequencing prior to others are termed as “preloads”. When you preload your meal with protein, fiber and moderate fat containing foods it provides you early satiety even though calories provided are lesser than usual. It makes you take only small amounts of carbohydrates required like rice or bread. Here are some of the important benefits of meal sequencing.

  • Protein foods along with vegetables and fat when consumed first provides you early satiety and keeps you full for longer period of time.
  • Proteins when consumed before carbohydrates help to slow down release of sugar into blood stream preventing blood sugar spikes in diabetics.
  • Consuming protein and fiber rich foods in the beginning can also help in improving glycemic control.1

How will you simply apply meal sequencing?

1) Protein foods like Buttermilk, Curd, Milk, Sprouts, Eggs, Chicken and their preparations can be used to start your major meals like breakfast, lunch and dinner.

2) You can add salads /soup bowl to your meal after it and can add a healthy oil dressing or almonds and walnuts added to it.

3) Check how much hungry you still and eat only those many carbohydrate foods required which breads, Indian breads, rice preparations, semolina, etc.

Sequencing your meal is a simple trick to avoid starving for weight loss and to get adequate calories, proteins , fats as well as micro nutrients and get good results in weight management and diabetes control. It helps us to get good food control, ingest just adequate calories and nutrients and eat right at right time together which can help you to improve your nutrition and manage your weight.

References:

  • Trico, et al. Manipulating the sequence of food ingestion improves glycemic control in type 2 diabetic patients under free-living conditions. Nutrition & Diabetes(2016) 6, e226; doi:10.1038/nutd.2016.33
  • Alpana P. Shukla. Effect of Food Order on Ghrelin Suppression. Diabetes Care 2018 May; 41(5): e76-e77

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