If I counted how many times I’ve heard, “I could never just eat 3 meals a day, I’d starve. I think I have low blood sugar. I can’t go more than a few hours between meals.”, it would be in the hundreds.
Folks, you’ve been hypnotized into believing: you need to eat constantly to keep your metabolism up; you’ll waste muscle cells if you don’t constantly feed them; you NEED to eat every couple of hours or you’ll get so hungry you’ll binge and eat a horse. This is all propaganda designed to get you to eat processed, refined food products – seriously. This line of thinking started in the muscle magazines about 15/16 years ago, I know, because I was a devotee of every muscle mag out there for about 20 years. Protein bar and Protein drink makers – successfully – pushed the idea that if you ate some protein every couple of hours, you’d build muscle and get lean. Wow. Is that an idea that just took off. Their advertising and articles were accomplanied by pictures of incredibly fit bodybuilders who ate 6 or 7 mini-meals a day, a combination of real foods like meat and broccoli, with protein powder or protein bars.
A picture’s worth a thousand words, and these people looked great. However, if you read their blogs, and kept up with research on food timing, you’d be privy to the problems of constantly eating. First of all, these are pictures of COMPETITORS, who despite eating 6 or 7 times a day, have an incredibly low calorie consumption – that’s how they get ripped and lean. Second, if you attended any Body Building shows, or followed their blogs, you’d know that they cycle in and out of incredible leanness, and some degree of “not lean at all”, to plain “overweight”. Plus, jokes about chronic stomach distress, low energy, and ammenorhea (lack of menstrual cycle), are the norm, not the exception. Does that sound healthy?
When you eat low cal/low fat, the fact is that you will be Constantly Hungry. You will be consumed with thoughts of food. (study after study after study confirms this) Low Cal/Low Fat starves the body and brain of nutrients. Our body is made of: water (60%ish), proteins (16%ish), fats (15%ish), carbs (2%ish), vitamins, and minerals . The brain is 60% fat. If you’re not taking in enough FAT and Protein – your body and brain will send CONSTANT signals to get you to eat. Try to live on vegetables and lean meats, or worse, “diet foods”, and you are setting yourself up to fail.
As a matter of fact, THE BEST WAY TO GAIN WEIGHT IS TO GO ON A DIET AND CUT YOUR CALORIES AND YOUR FAT INTAKE. It’s a guaranteed “sure thing”. Plenty of studies prove this.
Need to lose weight? Eat Real Whole Foods: healthy portions of good meats and eggs, plenty of healthy fats, TONS of vegetables, some fruits, some nuts/seeds, some dairy if you tolerate it. Feed your body the nutrients it needs to thrive, and if you need to lose weight you will. What about hunger? It OFTEN – but not always – abates, when you regularly consume foods that nuture your body. I’ve worked with many, many people who thought they couldn’t eat that many calories, or just eat 3 meals, or consume that much fat, but they could and they did and they lose weight and feel great. I’ve also worked with some people who are so addicted to food and eating that it’s way more than a physical endeavor, it’s mental also.
Food addiction is something I’ve had a lot of experience with, so if this is your problem, get in touch with me. You can escape food addiction – I promise. There is hope and a future free of self-hate, negativity, and castigation.
Whether that’s your problem or not, changes in your health and weight are completely possible.
Back to the original thought about weight and meal frequency and metabolism. It’s all a big sham and here’s a few reasons why:
1) Studies show it doesn’t matter how many meals you divide your daily calories into, it still takes the same amount of energy to digest (not “burn”) that food.
2) Constantly eating means constantly high levels of blood sugar/glucose, which means high insulin. High blood sugar leads to low blood sugar, that’s the Blood Sugar Blues (weight gain, health issues, and attitude problems). Insulin and excess Glucose are caustic and inflammatory – to just about the whole body.
3) High insulin + High blood glucose = High Triglycerides.
4) Constant eating has a BAD effect on your hormones (that’s the real reason people gain weight), because constant eating means high Insulin and high Cortisol. Taking breaks between meals allows blood sugar to stablaize, and Insulin to recede, which means GLUCAGON can be released, and this hormone taps fat cells to release their energy. You could call this “fat burning”.
5) Frequent meals lead to ….. hunger, and a desire to eat more. Eating becomes habitual.
6) Back to Metabolism! A high metabolism is a sign of fast cell turnover. Fast cells are HUNGRY cells. People with fast metabolisms need to eat more often. Slow metabolisms mean slower cell turnover; theoretically, these people SHOULDN’T be as hungry. But, in America, with 70% overweight, hunger isn’t just about nourishment or an empty stomach, it’s about desire and want. (back to addiction and habit – get in touch with me)
Once again, the path to lean and healthy is “just eat Real Whole Food”. Don’t be afraid of good fats, and let hours go between meals. Food for thought.
(Don’t forget my Blood Sugar and Digestion workshops:http://www.rocksolidnutritionandwellness.com/workshops/)