I want to lose fat and have more energy. A dietitian said to eat a bigger breakfast and protein-rich snacks.
- A 51-year-old woman submitted an average day of eating to be reviewed for Insider's Nutrition Clinic.
- She said her goals are to lose weight, have more energy, sleep better, stay fit, and maintain muscle.
- A dietitian said to eat a bigger breakfast and add protein and fiber to snacks.
- If you'd like to have your diet reviewed by an expert, fill out this form.
Sheri, 51, submitted her eating routine to Insider's Nutrition Clinic, where qualified dietitians and nutritionists offer advice on readers' eating habits.
She told Insider her goals are to lose belly fat and 20 to 30 pounds overall, have more energy, sleep better, stay fit, and maintain or gain bone density and muscle mass.
Sheri does six Peloton spin classes (at least 20 minutes each time) and two 10-minute arm workouts a week, and she tries to get up from her desk regularly, she said.
She works both from home and her office, and her eating patterns vary as a result.
Registered dietitian Jaclyn London told Insider Sheri's diet lacks consistency, and she should have a nourishing breakfast every day as well as regular protein-rich snacks.
Sheri skips breakfast when she works from home
Sheri drinks iced green tea and water over the course of the day, and London said it's great to stay hydrated. Sheri should ensure her green tea isn't sweetened with sugar though, as this is where calories can sneak into her diet.
On work-from-home days, Sheri doesn't eat until noon when she has leftovers from the night before; or a toasted muffin with one egg, one slice of cheese, and ketchup; or a smoothie.
On office days, she eats gluten-free crackers, Pop-Tarts, or "something else pre-packaged" around 9:30 a.m., she said.
A bigger breakfast can boost energy
London said Sheri should have a nourishing breakfast in the morning regardless of where she's working.
On work-from-home days, London recommended bulking up her breakfast to provide more protein and fiber, and increase satiety, such as two eggs on a whole-grain muffin with cheese and fresh tomato slices.
Having a bigger breakfast boosts energy and can lead to healthier choices throughout the day because it is satiating, London said.
"On office days, I'd aim to have a similar combo of protein, wholesome, fiber-filled carbs with some healthy fats," she said, suggesting peanut butter and banana on wholegrain toast or a to-go vegetable omelette with wholegrain toast.
"The Pop-Tarts or crackers breakfast is so much less satisfying, since it's only composed of refined carbs which can create blood sugar swings and lead to Sheri feeling less energized, less focused, and probably a bit 'han gry' for the rest of the day," London said.
Sheri snacks throughout the day
Sheri usually snacks on vegan cheese puffs, apples, fruit roll-ups, or chocolate, she said.
London said apples are a great, nutritious choice, but Sheri should try to plan snacks that combine protein and fiber to keep her full and boost energy.
She suggests an apple with nut butter, nuts with a piece of fruit, or low-fat cheese with wholegrain crackers.
Sheri has salad or takeout for lunch
On office days, Sheri either has a salad with turkey, hard-boiled eggs, and calorie-free dressing, or she orders a sandwich, burger, or burrito, she said.
London said the salad is a good option, and Sheri should try and make sure she's having fruit or vegetables with every meal to create a healthy diet without feeling restrictive, London said.
"It will add more volume and fiber to meals and snacks, more nutrients, and new flavor and texture to make meals more delicious and satisfying," she said.
Sheri has chicken, rice, and salad for dinner
Sheri usually eats chicken or turkey with rice or potatoes and green salad for dinner, or leftovers from her work lunch, she said. Sheri has a glass of wine most nights.
London said Sheri's dinner is exactly the type of meal she recommends, thanks to the lean protein, grains or starchy vegetables, and greens or other vegetables.
"I also like that she ends her day with one glass of wine — so long as she's keeping that in check and it's not slowly creeping up to one bottle of wine per night," London said. "One glass of wine per day (and with meals) can contribute to an overall health-promoting pattern of eating."
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