A 32-year-old woman submitted an average day of eating to be reviewed for Insider's Nutrition Clinic.
A nutritionist said to eat larger meals, incorporating carbs, protein, fat, and fiber.
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Lindsay, 32, submitted her eating routine to Insider's Nutrition Clinic, where qualified dietitians and registered nutritionists offer advice on readers' eating habits.
She told Insider her goal is fat loss and she lifts weights six days a week following a progressive overload program, walks 12,000-14,000 steps daily, and is a full-time mom who stays active with household chores.
Registered nutritionist Vanessa Zingaro told Insider that Lindsay seems to have a very active lifestyle and it's great that she's strength-training and walking a lot.
Lindsay eats lots of protein, which is great for helping muscles recover from workouts and also helps the body hold on to muscle while losing fat. But carbs, fiber, and fats are important for overall health and energy too, Zingaro said.
It's also important to eat enough to make a calorie deficit sustainable for fat loss, Zingaro said.
Aim to have protein, carbs, fiber, and fat at every meal
For breakfast, Lindsay said she has a scoop of protein powder in coffee with almond milk, plus two hard-boiled eggs.
Zingaro recommended that Lindsay aim to have a protein, carbs, fiber, and a fat source with most meals.
"For example, looking at her breakfast, a good addition could be whole-wheat toast with jam, oatmeal, or fruit so she would have more carbs, fiber, and total calories with her first meal," Zingaro said.
Eating too little can backfire for fat loss
At lunchtime, Lindsay drinks a protein shake and eats a handful of crackers, she said.
Zingaro suggested adding more fiber, carbs, and calories to this meal as well, in the form of a pasta or bean salad.
While a calorie deficit is required for weight loss, Zingaro said that eating too little can backfire as it's unsustainable. For this reason, she recommends Lindsay track her food intake for a week or two to better understand how much she's actually consuming and how much she needs.
"While it looks like Lindsey is undereating from the example she provided, what is likely the case is that some of her days look like this (a low calorie intake) but other days are much higher since the amount she is consuming isn't sustainable for her," Zingaro said. "Those higher calorie intake days are taking her out of a calorie deficit for the week and therefore she's not seeing fat loss progress."
By eating a little bit more at each meal, Lindsay may be able to find a sustainable calorie deficit that gets her results, Zingaro said.
Don't be afraid to cook with fats such as olive oil
For dinner, Lindsay said she eats a chicken breast with plain broccoli and four 60-calorie low-carb tortillas, followed by a container of low-fat Greek yogurt with a serving of sugar-free chocolate chips.
Zingaro said that Lindsay's dinner sounds "really balanced" but she shouldn't fear adding some fat, such as olive oil, to make it more enjoyable and add some heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Other examples of healthy unsaturated fats include avocado, salmon, and almonds.
"Dessert is a great choice too as it's high in protein and more satiating," Zingaro said. "She could add some fruit and granola to the dessert to add more carbs to her snack."
Bulking up her meals will provide Lindsay with more calories, fiber, and food volume to keep her full.
"She is going to be more satisfied with those meals, and the changes are going to be a lot more sustainable for her long-term," Zingaro said.
Read the original article on Insider