We’ve all heard that eating frequent snacks and meals is best to support your body during weight loss, but why is this so?
Whenever you eat food, your body converts the carbohydrates into glucose, or blood sugar. It is your blood sugar level that can make you feel hungry — and also feel either energetic or sluggish. It is what causes your body to either burn fat or to store it up.
Your body’s pancreas produces insulin that is a vehicle to carry glucose to all the different parts of your body. When you eat refined sugars and starches they quickly turn into glucose. Your pancreas, receiving this jolt, goes immediately into overdrive to make enough insulin to carry all this sugar.
While all of this is going on, your brain gets a message that your body has an abundance of available energy. A “STOP” signal then goes out in an effort to stop the intake of carbohydrates and sugars. Once this signal is sent, your body registers that someone or something has been alerted and your body essentially stops burning energy and begins storing it as fat for future use. For this reason, many people realize significant weight gain when they eat an abundance of sugars and carbs.
Why, then, do we say the best way to eat right is to eat often?
Part of the job of insulin is to remove too much sugar from the blood. Whenever you have an insulin surge it will drop your blood sugar level quickly. This experience is often called a “sugar low” and will make you feel tired. In addition, low blood sugar also makes you feel hungry. If you pick up more refined carbohydrates you will once again flood your body with another surge of sugar — triggering yet another insulin surge and still another sugar low. The cycle repeats itself over and over again.
This is what many people refer to as a “crash diet” cycle.
When you don’t eat your body slows your metabolism and stores fat to be used as a future source of energy. When you don’t eat for days your body thinks it’s starving and does everything it can to store fat. Any energy you expend starts coming from muscle — which is why people who don’t get enough food start to take on an emaciated appearance.
The best way to keep your body burning fat efficiently is by maintaining a healthy level of glucose — thus, the best way to eat right is to eat often. When you eat several small healthy meals throughout the day your blood sugars stay level and your body runs at top efficiency. The best thing about eating small frequent meals is that you won’t feel hungry and tempted by junk food.
Now let’s shift the emphasis to eating the right foods. Your meals should be healthy and the portions measured out ahead of time. Instead of eating three big meals a day you will eat five or six small meals. They should include foods that are high in healthy fiber (good for regulating your glucose level), natural protein found in nuts and legumes, fresh fruits and green, leafy vegetables.
The best way to eat right is to eat often. When you do, your body will maintain healthy blood sugar levels. You won’t experience sugar lows that make you feel drag and feel tired; instead you will have lots of energy. And the best part of all is that you will never feel hungry!
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