Help with my high-metabolism food shopping list
February 4, 2008 7:42 AM   Subscribe

What are some sample meal plans or food lists for a high-metabolism, frequent small meal diet? Looking for specific ideas for the "eat 5-6 times a day" routine.

I've been reading a lot about the benefits of eating less, more often. My eating habits as of late have been atrocious (lots of heavy dine-out foods and snacking in between). I can see the benefits of eating smaller portions designed to keep your metabolism working to your advantage (I think I'm subconsciously sabotaging my metabolism!).

So I ask your help in finding specific food shopping lists and food plans to help me get in the routine of eating this way. A sample of what I'm looking for:

• 7:30 a.m.—1/2 cup cooked oatmeal; one cup skim milk; one slice of whole wheat toast with one tablespoon peanut butter; one cup of blueberries
• 10 a.m.—8 ounces of non-fat yogurt with a tablespoon of walnuts or flax seeds
• 12:30 p.m.—Large spinach salad (two cups) topped with carrots, radishes, onion, cucumber and two ounces of tuna (packed in water), a teaspoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of vinegar; six whole-wheat crackers; one apple
• 3 p.m.—One cup of raw vegetables and one-quarter cup of hummus dip
• 6 p.m.—Three ounces of grilled, skinless chicken breast; one cup of brown rice; 1.5 cups of steamed broccoli; one piece of fruit
• 8 p.m.—One piece of fruit or three cups of light microwave or air popped popcorn


I'm NOT looking for generic "eat high protein/high fiber/low calorie foods". I need specifics. I need a shopping list. Foods I can stick to exclusively and know that I'll be relatively safe until I get into the routine. I don't necessarily need the specific schedule as laid out above (though it would be awesome and very helpful if you have some daily plans like that!), but specific food choices would be great.

Thanks all!
posted by sprocket87 to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
This pdf has a basic description of the Zone diet and gives examples of meal plans. The Zone is a pretty effective, easy-to-follow diet that suggests eating these types of frequent meals.
posted by Durin's Bane at 8:10 AM on February 4, 2008

Here's a few of my regular small meals

cottage cheese with canned pineapple or fresh fruit

a salad with cold chicken and assorted vegetables served with a slice of whole grain toast

my husband likes a small can of tuna over lettuce with salsa on top - yuck! But he likes it.

a smoothie made with half a frozen banana, half a cup strawberries, protein powder, splenda and nonfat milk

vegetarian sausage patty cut into small pieces served with pasta sauce over whole wheat spaghetti or spaghetti squash

veggie burger, half a cup of mashed sweet potatoes, 1 cup vegetables

Good luck with your plan
posted by Melsky at 8:52 AM on February 4, 2008

Two pieces of string cheese (or two oz. of sliced cheese) with whole-wheat crackers and a small container of no-sugar-added applesauce.

Sometimes I sub a hard-boiled egg for the cheese, or other fruit for the applesauce.
posted by cabingirl at 9:11 AM on February 4, 2008

Oh, also try a hearty soup like chili...even a cup's worth will be reasonably filling and have both fiber and protein.
posted by cabingirl at 9:12 AM on February 4, 2008

A bowl of soup or stew, especially one heavy on vegetables with a (relatively) healthy protein source like chicken, fish, or even tofu makes an excellent small snack. I like eating soups cold, but they also microwave incredibly well. Make a large pot of soup, keep in the fridge, and eat a bowl of it as a snack.

A simple fish soup recipe:
onions, garlic, carrots, parsnips
season with bay leaves, or herbs of your preference
Cook together, then add bite-size pieces of fish (whitefish works best)
Once fish is nearly cooked, add frozen peas, frozen corn, or red pepper (whatever you like)

The parsnips, carrots, and onion make this broth incredibly sweet tasting without loading you up with calories. The fish offers lean protein. There's very little fat and, aside from starches and sugars from the carrots and parsnips, few carbs as well.

If the tuna on its own sounds icky, you can make a very tasty salad by blending a can of drained tuna with a can of drained white beans (Cannelloni, or Great Northern), a clove of smashed garlic and some salt. You only need to eat a small portion of this to feel filled up (maybe a half cup? I don't need to watch portion sizes [yet]).

Muffins are perfectly sized for a satisfying snack, and there are probably dozens (if not hundreds) of healthful recipes that you could try. But do not, under any circumstances, buy them from bakeries as they are death in small packages (absolutely loaded with fat and sugar).
posted by Deathalicious at 9:29 AM on February 4, 2008

Response by poster: Excellent, thanks for all the replies so far! Durin's Bane, that PDF looks like it will be quite helpful, if I'm able to discipline myself to that degree. The meal ideas are sure to be beneficial nonetheless.

Oh, and re: plain tuna - I love the stuff, so no issue there :)

I'm compiling all these suggestions to create a master meal/shopping list, so keep 'em coming. Thanks all!
posted by sprocket87 at 9:36 AM on February 4, 2008

this might be totally off your list, but when i can't make a real meal happen (one of the bigger ones) i keep some kashi chewy protein bars around. abt. 300 cal each, and work really well for me in this regimen.

tasty salad dressing with no fat or oils whatsoever is a chicken marinade from goya. super cheap; basically citrus juice and spices. great over tomatoes.

wasn't sure if you were doing carb restriction throughout the day (so that you do carbs earlier and proteins later), but my trainer recommended that. has been working well for me in building muscle and losing fat content. it's a really slow, natural weight correction, easy to maintain -- i have a super-fast metabolism and i think i've lost something like 20lbs of fat since august of last year.
posted by patricking at 9:44 AM on February 4, 2008

Here's a week's worth of meal plans for grazing on 5-6 small meals a day.
posted by scody at 10:33 AM on February 4, 2008

9 AM: cereal w/milk OR two eggs and toast OR granola bar
10:30: handful of almonds
12: salad-bar salad with dark leafy greens, some kind of bean, whatever veggies look good, tofu if they have it, cheese. OR 1/2 sandwich and soup OR baked potato with cheese and chili.
1:30: banana
4: yogurt OR granola bar OR cheese stick (Serving size - a full cup of yogurt is usually a little much; I usually can't quite finish that amount.)
6: toast w/hummus+cheese, or pb&j, OR small serving of leftovers (eg homemade soup; pasta with sauce; roasted potatoes with green peas; black beans and rice)
9: dinner - bowlful of pasta with sauce and veggies; black beans and rice and salsa; veggie risotto; veggie patty and roasted veggies; mac and cheese with green peas; chili with rice and cheese; etc. (Serving size example - for beans and rice I eat probably 3/4 can of black beans and an equal amount of rice, and then I have the remaining 1/4 for later.)
11: apple OR toast OR another small helping of dinner; etc -- about 10 bites of food?
1: another little snack.

So, this is tiny meals all day and a bigger meal at dinner. As you can see I'm vegetarian, so YMMV on some of this. I don't know how to convert for meat portions.
The granola bars I like are the Kashi ones that are mostly nuts. I keep a stash of them, as well as a big tub of unsalted almonds, at my desk.
Homemade soup and pasta sauce will be much healthier than storebought, because they'll have much less salt among other things. Both freeze well, so it's ok to make extra.
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:10 PM on February 4, 2008

If you're going to do this, and you're not naturally a tiny-meal person (who fills up fast), be sure that you clear out the tempting simple junk food (chips etc) from your pantry. You'll come home from work desperate to eat, and if those foods are there, look out. You need a stock of very simple, no-prep things that you like to eat for those moments. I use whole-wheat toast with hummus for that moment of desperate "must eat NOW", but if there are salty snacks around I find them very hard to avoid.
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:24 PM on February 4, 2008

I've just come across this post, and I'm curious. There's nothing here which I would think of as being for a high metabolism. In fact I see the above as more like a weight reduction strategy. I have a very high metabolism myself and for me the difficulty is in putting on and keeping on weight. So, just in case you are interested in the kind of diet I use for high metabolism, and everyone here is on the wrong track, here's a sample of what I might eat in a day:

7AM/breakfast: 8oz of lean ham, 2 pieces of well buttered toast, bowl of oatmeal, either a stack of 4x5 inch pancakes or 3 eggs scrambled. Coffee with cream and sugar.

Midmorning snack: 2 granola bars, bag of baby carrots with dressing for dip, can of non diet soda.

Lunch: 2 grilled chicken breasts made into sandwiches with 2 kaiser rolls, large (3 cups) caesar salad, 1 lb of frest fruit, can of non diet soda.

Midafternoon snack: small bag of plain tortilla chips with salsa or cheese dip, roast beef sandwich. Bottle of fruit juice.

Dinner: 3 cheeseburgers (5 oz patties made with lean beef), large portion of roast vegetables, slice of fruit pie (one quarter of thick 9" pie). Non diet soda or fruit juice.

Mid evening snack: Another slice of fruit pie or a bag of microwave popcorn. Fruit juice or whole milk.

Supplement with additional granola bars, fresh fruit, sandwiches made with lean meat, glasses of whole milk as desired to a maximum of 6,000 calories per day.
posted by polysigma at 6:54 AM on February 10, 2008

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