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Meals To Keep You Going All Day

As CBS News Health Correspondent Dr. Emily Senay continues her monthlong series,The Great American Weight Loss, on This Morning she tackles one of the most bothersome problems encountered by people taking on the battle of the bulge: diets.

Excuse of the Day: Diets don't work for me.

The fact of the matter is, diets don't work for anyone, says Dr. Pamela Peeke, a nutrition and metabolic specialist and Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Peeke says that diets are "built on a crazy premise."

"You starve, you lose weight, you get thin," she explains. "Forget it! We're talking about health and fitness, not thinness."

Instead of following the common diet plan of starving themselves all day, then eating only dinner, Peeke says people should do the opposite.

"Eat a healthy breakfast, wonderful lunch, great mid-afternoon snack, and deprioritize dinnertime," Peeke advises.

To illustrate what consists of a healthy daily menu, and what does not, Peeke gave two examples of good meal plans, all available from a diner.

First, the bad meal plan:

  • Breakfast: Coffee, bagel or muffin topped with cream cheese or butter.
  • Mid-morning snack: Pretzels.
  • Lunch: Leafy salad with tomatoes, roll, and diet soda.
  • Mid-afternoon snack: chocolate treats or cookies.
  • Dinner: Meat, few vegetables, pasta, bread, fat-free ice cream with fat-free cookies, diet soda.
  • After-dinner snack: potato chips or cookies or a bowl of candy.
Peeke says that, in the bad meal plan, the breakfast contains high-calorie convenience foods, coupling fat - cream cheese, for example - with starchy breadstuffs.

The bad lunch doesn't provide enough food for a hungry person, while all three snack meals are high in calories. The meat and pasta in the dinner are a fattening combination as well, and the enormous amount of desserts to compensate for a restrictive diet counteract everything the person hoping to lose weight is trying to accomplish.

In general, avoid eating carbohydrates such as pasta and potatoes at night. Instead, try to have them in the middle of the day.

What can you eat? Here's the good meal plan:

  • Breakfast: Shredded wheat, berries or banana, skim milk, coffee.
  • Mid-morning snack: Fruit (such as an apple, a pear or a banana).
  • Lunch: Turkey sandwich on whole-grain bread with mustard and lettuce, a piece of fruit, and water.
  • Mid-afternoon snack: Fat-free yogurt with a teaspoon of Grape Nuts.
  • Dinner: A large salad with green leafy vegetables, peppers, cucumbers, radishes, mushrooms, kidney beans, shredded low-fat cheese, fat-free croutons, and balsamic vinegar; grilled chicken or tofu with grilled vegetables; a bowl of fruit antea.
  • After-dinner snack: Air-popped popcorn or fruit.
The shredded wheat in the good breakfast is filling, Peeke says, with little fat and lots of fiber. The lunch is also satisfying and includes turkey, a lean form of protein. For dinner, there is plenty of colorful variety in the salad, while all three snacks are leaner, yet pleasantly substantial.

Peeke also says that when you stop eating is important.

The Great American Weight Loss Tip of the Day is: Eat 80 percent of your food before 5 p.m. Eat nothing after 8 p.m.

"If you eat after 8:00, you gain a lot of weight," Peeke says.

Peeke suggests eating less towards the end of the day.

Reported by Dr. Emily Senay