When it comes to philosophies on food, there’s no shortage of people out there ready to share their thoughts on what you should be eating and when. I’m always a little careful with who’s philosophy I follow because you never know why they’re pushing what they’re pushing.. and the more popular they are, the more questionable their choices. At least, that’s how I see it.
On the Facebook fan page, someone asked for my thoughts on the “6 meal plan” offered up by Dr. Oz.. who I kinda have a little crush on, but who doesn’t? The details are pasted below:
Mini-meal #1: Protein
You can choose from a variety of food choices, but your first meal must be a protein. Healthy options include:
- Greek yogurt
- Lean meats
Mini-meal #2: Healthy Fats
Again, there is flexibility in the kind of healthy fat you can have, but keep the food in the same category. Options include:
- Canned salmon (which contains Omega-3s)
- Sunflower/pumpkin/flax seeds
Mini-meal #3: Whole Grains
- Whole-wheat bagel with low-fat cream cheese
- Brown rice
- Whole-wheat bread, pasta or crackers
- Wild rice
Mini-meal #4: Fiber
- Grains and whole-grain products
- Beans, peas and other legumes
- Nuts and seeds
Mini-meal #5: Metabolism Booster
Salad with hot green peppers
Mini-meal #6: Healthy Sweets
To ensure that you experience at least SOME kind of weight loss, you’re encouraged to take at least 10,000 steps each day (counted by a pedometer), as well as taking a few vitamins. What are my thoughts?
Hmmm… I mean, to me, I think it’s almost too compartmentalized to be appropriate for every lifestyle. Someone who has to do a lot of business meetings for lunch might find it difficult to stick to a strictly whole-grain lunch. I think it’s an awesome challenge and would be valuable for anyone to jump on it, simply because getting used to having these things in your daily diet is a great thing to have. However… would someone get so frustrated by the limitations that they’d quit altogether? That’s an interesting question, to me.
The question of whether or not one could remain full off of an eating plan like this was posed to me.. and I’ve got to tell you.
I eat six times a day! I have a short breakfast, a quick brunch, lunch, a snack, dinner, then a last quick bite. I am never hungry. My tummy doesn’t even rumble any more because it knows that food is coming. Because my stomach doesn’t rumble anymore, I no longer eat (or overeat) based off of hunger. I’m no longer forced to stuff myself until that “hungry” feeling goes away.
So, in short… I don’t think the Six-Meal Plan is for beginners to the “healthier lifestyle” movement. I think it’s almost too radical and different to encourage long-lasting changes. I DO think the way it allows the dieter to really focus on specific food groups is an awesome way to get in the habit of making sure we’re getting the good stuff everyday. I love the six times a day eating schedule, and do recommend it for everyone.
What do you think? Opting to give the plan a try?
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on my question to you. I think the meal plan would be perfect for people who are more discipline in weight loss journey than beginners. For example someone who loss 20 pounds and want to loss 10 more.
A newcomer like myself, I find the restriction to be too much but maybe down the line I’ll try it out.
Mstarenetta, You’re very welcome!
I definitely don’t recommend the plan for newcomers – I think it’d be a fast way to turn someone off to healthier eating. It’d be too much of a massive change. I DO think, however, that it helps one become better acquainted with highlighting and focusing on better nutrition… making sure you’re getting these things in on a regular basis.
If you’re a newcomer? DEFINITELY focus on the small victories. Gotta win the battles in order to beat the war. 🙂
Helena, that’s the exact point! On this plan, you’re eating a little bit of something every couple of hours, so your body doesn’t get the chance to really get hungry. It’s really the best bet.
Great post Erika!
Love this site.
Dr.Oz ^ meal plan is good for me because I like to eat throughout the day. Since eating is frequentI feel full and don’t feel a need to go on a starvation induced binge.
I have two simple questions about Dr. Oz’s meal plan, and as you have followed it and seem to like it, I thought I’d ask you. I hope it’s not a bother!
–What serving size/how many calories are you supposed to aim for for each of the mini-meals? I’ve tried looking for this information, but can’t seem to find it. For instance, what size is the whole wheat bagel that Dr Oz recommends for meal #3?
–Is this the entire day’s food? (I’m assuming it is, but you know what they say about assuming…)
Eva, I’ve not followed this plan verbatim but I can attest to the fact that while it is strict, it is definitely beneficial. This is the entire day’s worth of food, and I think the average caloric intake is somewhere around 250cals a piece. That’s on average, though – you can borrow from an earlier meal if necessary.
It doesn’t seem like a lot of food but after your body gets used to real food, you will find yourself becoming full much quicker. Thanks for the question! 🙂
I would like to know how MUCH of each item one should eat. Otherwise a person could eat an insufficient amount OR one could eat too much. Anyone who has ever dieted knows that portion control is very important.
I just recently saw The Dr.Oz 6 meal plan segment. How did the meal plan work for you? Did anyone find out the quantities?
I love Dr. Oz but you are right. I tried it and I felt a tiny bit restricted.
It seems more like a diet. I absolutely agree it can be a tool to eating more healthy foods from those groups. I don’t think a restrictive meal plan is helpful because it’s not realistic. Just my opinion.
The thing is Dr. Oz’s diet is not really that restrictive. It just challenges us to try new things. For example, a yummy whole grain that is packed with protein is quinoa. You can eat it as is, make a salad of it with tri-bells and greens, lots of stuff. Also he doesn’t tell you to dump carbs like bread but just opt for the whole grains (stoneground) wheat. Certainly sugars are missing but in terms of food choices, it really is vast.
I think it’s about finding what works for you and running with it.
I once tried the meal plan that they use in Herbal Magic (minus the suplements you’re supposed to buy) – I used to know someone who had all the info/plans. It was similar to this with the designated meals 6x a day and the same idea as protein at breakfast, fiber at lunch. After a week or two, I gave up. It was way too restrictive and I found didnt work well with my life. I’m out of the house for 11-12 hours a day with work and my commute and I found having to eat specific things at specific times a challenge. Now I eat 6 times a day, 5 of those times at work or on the commute (almost always packed food from home) but I have the flexibilty and choices to pack what I want.
Well everything doesn’t work for me so I try to find something new in any program that would help.
My digestion cannot handle 6 meals all the time. I feel bloated. Right now I do 3-4 small meals. I do fiber and nuts in the morning. Lean protein, grain and veges for lunch..fruit and nuts for a snack. Then dinner protein, with veges or grain.
I am not or never been a yogurt lover, my system doesn’t work well when I eat diary. I eat most of the food he suggest but in a way that works for me.
I too am concerned about how compartmentalized the diet plan is. It’s pretty difficult to organize meals around one central component of the food pyramid. I find it easier to have two, if not three different areas at each meal. I feel like it helps me have more energy throughout the day and keeps me full longer. I do eat 6 meals a day, but I can’t imagine being confined to these specifications. I think a combination of whole grains, lean proteins and veggies are the most effective for long-term satiety and general deliciousness 🙂
hey Erika! so im new @ eatting completly clean and i do follow the 6 meals a day thing! i love it! it works for me because i love 2 eat thru out the day. and i never really feel hungry. like sometimes i get that im hungry feeling mentally but i know that its just that i want smething 2 kinda put in my mouth, so i usually just drink some water instead. bt my question is this: when i drink a green smoothie n the morning, does that count as a “meal” or just a drink?
I just had an interesting though- what if one combined this plan with the use of an app like myfitnesspal? I personally use myfitnesspal to keep track of a daily tally of calories (at my calculated daily goal) but I sometimes struggle with knowing what to spend those calories on and end up using some percentage of them on unhealthy crap. But to look at Dr. Oz’s plan and think of breaking up my days into these small sets and food groups, seems like good guidance. I’m going to save this post and try it ONE day this upcoming week and see if it feels restrictive or what… Just a thought! (Sorry so long winded)
I wouldn’t consider myself a beginner, but this is way too restrictive for me. But it was a good reminder to make sure I’m getting enough proteins and fiber in my diet. I also have a little crush on Dr Oz and am woman enough to admit it! LOL
Erika, Did you happen to read Dr. Oz’s article in the Dec 3, 2012 issue of Time magazine? I am super curious to hear your thoughts. I was a bit taken aback my many of the things he said.
No, but I guess I’ll start looking now. LOL
This looks really simple. I have to try this.
This is something I can actually stick to while I am pregnant…I have been so concerned about maintaining my health during this pregnancy.
Im amazed because this is what I eat almost daily (not necessarily in that order) I track all my calories on my fitness pal. I hadn’t really counted them all as meals but heck, im never hungry so I don’t have to worry about overeating. Good to know Im on track!!
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