It's the latest offering from Prevention magazine and the premise is that if you are trying to lose weight, then 3 or 4 four hundred calorie meals that are balanced and nutritious, may be the answer. The prior book offering that flew off shelves from Prevention/Rodale was The Flat Belly Diet, which emphasized using MUFAs or mono-unsaturated fatty acids as the primary "go to" fats in your diet. Those would include olive oil, nut oils, avocados, and the premise was that these fats would encourage weight loss, especially belly fat. The reality is that cutting calories and exercising so you create a "calorie negative situation," meaning you either eat fewer calories than you need or you burn off excess calories each day is the true key to weight loss. Choosing the right fats will certainly help to support health and lower the risk of certain diseases.
Certainly using specific calorie control for each meal, coupled with choosing the healthiest foods from each food group can help you to eat a balanced diet with a calorie count that will help to nudge weight loss. Superstar foods include fruits and vegetables, 100% whole grain based carbohydrate sources, lean proteins with more emphasis on non-meat based proteins, healthy fats, and non fat dairy products. Most experts agree that a 300-400 calorie breakfast that includes a protein, grain carbohydrate and dairy component with some fruit is a great way to start your day. Lunch can include a similar outline with a large salad as the base, beans or another protein, olive oil based dressing (with portion control) and some baked crackers or a small piece of whole grain bread. Dinner can include both steamed vegetables and a dinner salad to help you fill up with fiber, along with a lean protein choice, small serving of a healthy grain and some fruit.
For some people a 300-300-100-500 (600) small meal day might work better with that 100 calorie snack to tie them over till dinner, which could have 500 to 600 calories. Using yogurt with fruit, nuts and cereal as a breakfast or lunch is another great small meal template. Just remember that based on age, activity level, even gender, we all need different calories.
The concept of controlled calorie meals is a good one, however you need to work with your own hunger and daily schedule to personalize it so that you ultimately create a balanced eating schedule that reflects how many calories you should be eating to lose weight or to maintain weight.