You still need an awareness of caloric values, because at the end of the day weight loss, gain or maintenance is the net result of calories in vs. calories out. (When I say eat every hour, I don't mean a super sized fast food meal ;)
Here's how I did it:
- Have a calorie count resource, such as a website or book, which tells you the caloric value for each food.
- Aim for each hourly "mini meal" to be between 100 - 150 calories.
- Keep a running total of what you've eaten as the day progresses. This is helpful not only so that you won't go overboard, but it increases your awareness of what you've actually eaten and reminds you to eat healthy.
- Use a timer: eat something as soon as you wake up, and then set a timer for an hour. Set it again each time you eat. This is so important! I'd eat and then forget, and then three hours would pass, which defeats the whole purpose.
- When you sit down to eat with others, don't eat the same portion size as they do. This will definitely skyrocket you into a calorie count that's too high. At dinner time, I'd sit down with my husband and kids and eat the same food, just a very very small portion (max 200 cals worth). At this point of the day I'd be close to 1,300 calories, so if I had eaten a full meal, all the benefits of eating every hour would have been negated.
- Research has shown that your metabolism increases after you eat, so the more often you eat, the more often your metabolic activity is increased.
- Your blood sugar and insulin levels will be more consistent, resulting in less blood sugar being stored as fat. When your insulin levels increase, after a large (high glycemic) meal, it's harder for your body to burn fat, because insulin is then released to move glucose from your blood to be stored as fat.
- Make sure the hourly mini meals are small! Otherwise you'll simply end up eating too much.
- Pay attention to the glycemic level of each mini meal. For example, if you've already eaten some healthy stuff that day, let's say veggies at 1:00, go ahead and have a cookie (60-100 cals) at 2:00, but eat a piece of cheese with it (60-100 cals). Eating a high glycemic food (cookie) with a low glycemic food (cheese) will reduce the glycemic index (i.e. speed of increase in blood sugar) of the snack.