How many times do you hear the classic phrase ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day!’, or how about ‘if you have to skip a meal, make sure it’s NOT breakfast’?!? Probably a lot. And you know what- it’s true. But it’s also important to fuel your body several times a day, not just first thing in the morning.
Now why is it actually important eat more FREQUENTLY throughout the day? Not necessarily 6 times, but not necessarily just 3 either. More frequently…and here is why!
1. It helps stabilize your metabolism…not SPEED it up. Think about this, if you’re eating at a constant and consistent level throughout the day AKA not overstuffing and never feeling starved, your metabolism will remain at a more steady rate as well as never having deficiency. More calories at one time are too much for your body to handle!! The best way to jump-start your metabolism is to exercise. Exercise will aid in reducing body fat as well as putting an increase to your lean muscle mass. By increasing lean muscle mass, your metabolic rate will increase and aid in the actual weight loss process. Muscle tissue uses more calories than fat tissue because it has a higher metabolic rate!! So get to lifting!!!
2. Smaller meals helps to keep your insulin levels at a steady state. Understanding how to control and balance your blood sugar is the most important aspect in controlling the cravings and actual fat loss! The most effective way of doing this is through our smaller meals and more frequent eating! Eating the right types of carbohydrates, with lean proteins and small amounts of “good” fats, will stabilize your blood sugar and insulin levels preventing energy spikes and crashes. No more roller coaster cravings!
3. Listen to your body! Don’t force yourself to eat food when you aren’t hungry. If you are trying to eat multiple small meals, try to avoid eating when you are completely full. Learn to listen to your body and make your meals even smaller if you find yourself feeling overly stuffed. Try a 200 calorie meal/snack opposed to a 300-350 calorie meal. As long as you are meeting your nutritional requirements, don’t increase your caloric intake! That leads to weight gain. But make sure you are getting the proper nutrients at each meal. Also, you NEED to avoid eating empty calories and processed snack foods while you are sitting at your desk or driving to and from work. Even though they are quick and easy- they lack nutritional value! Foods that are low in nutrients and high in calories, just cause your blood sugar to spike and then drop, creating the roller coaster cravings I talked about previously! And what this will do is make you hungrier a lot sooner! Instead, try to make each meal balanced with complex carbohydrates (whole grains!), and a lean protein! It’s all about choices– PLANNING AND ROUTINE!!
Make some changes and figure out what woks for YOU!