What is a mini meal? A mini meal is a small, ¼ cup to 1 cup, healthy meal or snack. It contains a low-fat protein source along with healthy fat or carbohydrate. These small, frequent meals help you to keep your body running smoothly and reach your nutrition goals after surgery. Here are some of the benefits:
Blood Sugar Control. Six small, protein-rich meals help to keep blood sugar levels within a healthy range, minimizing peaks and valleys. The valleys, dips in blood sugar levels, cause the stress hormone cortisol to rise. A higher cortisol level can lead to cravings, increased belly fat, hormonal imbalance, and decreased immunity.
Blunted Reward System. Rewards are good, right? Not-so-much when it comes to food. When we eat larger meals or sweets, the brain releases chemicals that increase feelings of euphoria. Over time, we learn to see food as a reward and are more likely to reach for it when we’re not hungry. Avoiding added sugars and eating smaller meals helps us to enjoy food and the emotions surrounding it in a moderate and controlled way.
Concentration and Mood. Mini meals fuel your body evenly so you’re able to stay focused and calm. Waiting too long to eat crashes your blood sugar level and you feel irritable and agitated. Eating larger meals diverts blood to your gut to aid in digestion– leaving you feeling sleepy and unfocused.