There are many proven benefits to eating multiple small meals over the course of the day versus fewer larger meals. These benefits range from weight-loss to decreasing heart attack risks. For a calorie counter like me, changing my diet over to multiple smaller meals during the day is one of the best things I have ever done.

So how do you get started changing your diet over to smaller meals? For many it comes naturally. For others it takes a lot of work to change a life time of eating habits. Here are some quick tips to get started.

Divide and conquer. The easiest way to plan six small meals is to divide your usual three meals a day into two segments each. For example, at breakfast have cereal, milk and orange juice; save a bagel or banana for your morning break. For lunch have a sandwich with turkey, romaine lettuce, tomato and mustard; save the pretzels or baked sweet potato for your afternoon break. For dinner you can have vegetable-bean soup and two small rolls; saved the baked apple crisp with yogurt for an evening snack. Just don't add snacks on top of your usual diet, or you will gain weight.

Go for high-fiber foods that are low in both fat and added sugar. Eat foods like fruit, veggies and whole wheat bread. Avoid eating empty calorie snacks like donuts is a great tip for any calorie counter.

Control portion size for all foods except for veggies. Snacks are way too easy to overeat. If you are not careful you may find yourself eating more calories eating smaller meals. Your best bets are meals that come in single serving portions like yogurts and pieces of fruits.

Keep healthy snacks in you desk at work. It is way too easy to get up from your desk and put a dollar into a vending machine for a candy bar. Some ideas can include instant lentil and couscous soup, instant oatmeal, dried apricots, and flavored rice cakes. Try air popped popcorn and spray with a butter-flavored spray and sprinkled with herb seasoning.

Think of snacks as a great opportunity to eat food that you often miss. For most people, that is the vegetable and fruits. Some ideas of other foods are; broccoli and low-fat sour cream as a dip, salsa with low-fat tortilla chips, frozen grapes or bananas.

Remember that healthy snacks don't have to be time-consuming. Here are some good for you treats that are ready in minutes; cereal and milk, instant black bean soup in a cup, non-fat yogurt with Grape-Nuts cereal and a toasted whole grain waffle. All of these are under five minute in preparation time if not under a minute.

When you go out to eat, order appetizers instead of entrees. Let's face it; most entrees in restaurants could easily feed two or three people. Another option is to eat no more than half of your entrée and take the rest home as another meal.

Switching over to multiple smaller meals over a few larger meals is a great way to lose weight but also live healthier. Try these few quick tips to make that transition.

Author's Bio: 

For over a decade I have been an active contributor to multiple online health and wellness publications.