I have an “athletic” build and my weight fluctuates depending on the season, my diet, amount of water I drink. I don’t have a high metabolism but at the same time don’t tend to keep weight on.

I’m past the age where you can eat anything and burn the calories just by breathing but want to maintain my current weight and figure. While I’m not fanatic about it, I do know what has been working for me and I do know how it feels to be uncomfortable with my weight.

For the past few weeks I’ve been feeling better about myself and had more sustainable energy in the normal course of the day than in the last few years and can’t help but think some of it is nutritional.

Breakfast: Pills and Water
Make breakfast any pills you have to take and chug a glass of water with them. It will make you full, help the pills digest, and begin cleaning out anything left over from yesterday.

If you have time or are simply starving, eat Malt-o-meal or Cream of Wheat. Prepare with just a pinch of salt. If you want something more substantial, toast some bread and eat it with peanut butter and jelly.

Note that the toast must be as it’s called, “toast.” The blacker the better. This kills off the remaining active yeast and carbonizes the bread. Carbon is a great “filter” because it seems to bond easily with other elements. It’s anti-gas and is easy to digest.

If you’re coffee-drinker, drink your coffee during this time. The caffeine will not only perk you up and help you get ready for the day but also suppress your appetite.

Between Breakfast and Lunch (4 hrs after waking)
On good-quality whole wheat bread, eat a peanut butter and honey sandwich.

Yes, yes, I know– this isn’t pre-school. My love for elementary-school snacks aside (I’m one of those that actually liked school lunch, from the runny gravy to the mysterious fish sticks masked only by the taste of a tar-tar sauce concoction that would make modern dietitions file a class-action), it’s just something that has to give you energy without screwing up your sugar levels.

I like peanut butter and I’m not allergic so peanuts work great for me. Yes, they’re pretty oily. Yes, it’s like 25% of my daily fat intake, but this is one of those things that just works for me and my physiology. Your mileage may vary. The point is something heavy in proteins and helpful fats, a good source of energy that will last you into the afternoon.

Bread has filled up the bellies of human beings since time begin and now is just as good of a time. We hear all the time that whole wheat bread has more nutritional benefits than white bread, so make it whole wheat.

If I had to rate the importance of meals this one would be near the top, so don’t count pennies on this one. Buy the kind of bread that you’d normally think was “too expensive for bread.” You don’t have to go to a specialty store or anything, though that would be a nice perk; most big-name grocery stores carry different brands of well-made bread.

Last but not least, and one of the key ingredients: honey. I’ve tried many different sugar substitutions and this one works the best for me. I also get the added benefits of the vitamins and nutrients stored in there by the bees. It’s worth learning about on your own how honey is a very amazing substance.

If you’re not into honey there are plenty of substitutes on the market. Note, please, that the body breaks down the sugars in honey differently than it would the “simple sugar” of a potato or brown sugar. Instead of spiking your insulin levels, honey breaks down and releases its sugar slowly. Only buy the sugar substitutes that a diabetic would buy. It must have a prolonged sugar release.

Late-Afternoon Lunch
From our school and our parents we get accustomed to a routine. One of those routines is the idea of eating lunch at 12:00. I don’t have knowledge of the school schedules of any country outside of the US but in 2010, noon isn’t the most productive time to eat.

If you’ve got your snack just right, you’ll arrive at the 2:00 or 3:00 hour starving and ready to eat.

For this meal eat something heavy with proteins. I personally eat red meat but white meat works just as well. Beef is a bit heavier than the others and lasts me on into the evening. It’s also heavy with iron, one of the nutritional elements women commonly lack.

Combine the proteins with something loaded in carbohydrates. The ideal meal, oddly enough, is a burger and fries.

As with all my meals, I don’t drink until I’m finished eating. Any sort of liquid is going to dillute the properties of your saliva. Yes, it sounds gross, but I figured every aspect might be important. And besides, chewing is a frequently over-looked part of the digestion process and worth mentioning in its own right.

If you like to drink soda, keep it less than 16oz of any soft drink. If you like to drink tea this is a great meal for a cup of tea. Drink it “black,” i.e. no sweeteners or milk.

Evening Snacking
If you’ve eating the right proportions, this should carry you well into the evening. Your metabolism has been slowing down since the afternoon and is preparing for hibernation.

After 6:00, all substantial meals are off-limits, especially foods high in carbohydrates. If you feel the urge to eat, snacking on foods that cause you to feel full will curb your cravings. Apples are good for this and I often eat pistachios. Don’t eat too many– just enough for your body to feel satisfied.

Tea (no milk or sweetener) is especially helpful during this time as well. Caffeine and green tea are a diuretic so all the water you’re drinking goes to help flush you out. This is also beneficial if you have a winter cold or any other seasonal sickness.

If you’re like me and have a sweet tooth, have an ice cream sandwich or a cup of yogurt or yogurt-blend ice cream. They all fill you up and don’t have a detrimental amount of calories.  Canned pears and mandarin oranges work great, too.  They both hydrate you, make you feel full, are full of nutrients, and aren’t expensive in simple sugars.