Is the five-meals-a-day pattern necessary? The “six small meals” approach has been around for quite a while. What if I don’t fit into this pattern?
There is no set script for people in recovery. The five meals notion comes from the feedback I get from most of the people I’ve counseled over the years who have recovered. It applies to me. But it is only necessary for you to plug into the basics and you will find out what works for you. Some people who’ve started out on the three-meal-a-day plan find out that they really are hungry between meals— something they never really knew because they weren’t looking for it. So, don’t worry about other people’s patterns—find your own.
Male Weight Loss Tips: Other Patterns of Eating Photo Gallery
What are the common difficulties and stumbling blocks to this approach? To some, at least at the beginning, it seems too good to be true—eat whenever you want, as much as you want until you’re full. Of course, it’s a little more complicated than that, as you know by now.
Oddly, in light of what I just said, the number one list of complaints of people starting out in recovery is: I have to eat all the time! It’s boring. I’m constantly thinking about taking food with me. My hunger is relentless—I have to eat every hour and a half! It’s interfering with my life. It’s worse than dieting!
Many of these complainers have legitimate grievances but they recover just the same. The initial changes are particularly challenging. The struggle with change has to be countered by equally formidable traits.
After the effort of keeping an optimal food supply in place, waiting to lose and the uncertainty of whether or not you are “doing it right” are real difficulties for many. Probably the most challenging aspect of recovery is the patience required for weight loss. Also, the independence of recovery—that there are no weigh-ins or objective weight goals—makes it lonely for some.
Probably the most interesting complaint I’ve heard is this: Now that I’m eating well all day long, when I go out to dinner, it isn’t special anymore. I’m not that hungry and I’m not particularly interested in ordering food I used to love to eat. It’s a little disappointing to tell you the truth. It’s just another meal, and I don’t even want dessert. I take half the food home but usually end up throwing it out. I kind of miss the old dinners out.