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Breaking the mealtime mold

March 19, 2009


Rather than referring to meals by their names—breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks—my nutritionist, Ashley Koff, R.D. calls them “eating occasions.” Her reasoning, she says, is to remove my preconceived notions of what each meal should include. If I think, “It’s time for breakfast,” my mind automatically goes to eggs, pancakes, or cereal, even if I’m craving grilled salmon and string beans. I also traditionally think of a snack as being a little nibble meant to tide me over until dinner, which has always been the biggest meal of the day. But I’m usually hungriest around 4 p.m.—a couple of hours after my workout—and I’ve been trying to eat a lighter dinner. Ashley’s strategy solves that problem. So what if my afternoon eating occasion has twice as many calories as my 7 p.m. eating occasion? By getting rid of the labels, I’ve started listening to what my body really needs.

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