Eating 3 meals on time, every day sounds way too boring and too much like I am your mother speaking, to be important. But, yeah, it’s important. We’ve talked breakfast, looked at variety in meals, what healthy eating is not, now let’s look at the whole day.
When meals are all over the place or lopsided, your body gives up on giving you clues to eat or not to eat. The listening to hunger, satiety and fullness clues to feed yourself and to know how much to eat, is lost and you start eating for other reasons…
I feel like something crunchy or maybe salty…
Something sweet; that’s it.
Mmmmm…that looks gooood.
Or, you don’t even know why you just ate that box of crackers. Before we can address eating that has nothing to do with physical hunger, we need to establish regular eating times. Times that your body can get used to and predict. ‘Cause here’s the thing –
if your body doesn’t ‘know’ when you will eat next – maybe in a couple of hours or maybe in 7 hours, it will scrape every last calorie it can and save it for later.
That’s an obvious simplification of biochemistry and my former professor would be mortified, but it makes sense, right? Our body hoards and stores if there isn’t a constant supply. Your best defense against hoarding and storing is to eat.
Eat. Regularly. On time. Every day.
Sounds like a restaurant slogan!
Isn’t it ironic that I say eat more to eat well? We are talking basics here, not specifics. And if we don’t have the basics first, the specifics won’t make a spit of difference. That’s why jumping on the latest headline, like pomegranates for instance, won’t singularly solve our nutrition problems. I mean nutrition opportunities. That sounds more positive.
The general guideline is to eat meals 3 – 4 hours apart.
Literally plan your day to include 3 meals regularly spaced, if you don’t already. If you get physically hungry before the next meal, eat a snack to get you there; not to be full and spoil your appetite. If you eat too much for a snack, you throw off your regular meals and the vicious cycle begins…
It likely will take a few tries to get ‘regular’ but stick with it. If you have eaten irregularly for years, your body will need some time to catch on that this is here to stay. Then you are on your way to trusting your body and your body trusting you to tell you how much to eat and when.
An upcoming topic is more about snacking (I can’t live without ‘em), but we will also chat about a trend of lopsided meals.
Hugs and blessings,