There has been much discussed about how eating six small meals a day, as opposed to eating three relatively larger meals, can help you not only reduce your calorie intake but also help increase your metabolic rate. If today’s office culture is anything to go by, hours are spent at the desk with nary a peep about food. Come mealtime, however, there is a ravenous beast just waiting to gorge on whatever comes its way. This drastic swing between ravenous and stuffed-to-the-throat is what has the nastiest effect on the body. Irregular eating patterns are something every working woman or man has to deal with in today’s world. These may seem small to a first thought, but they very well have the capacity to attack and spoil your day. This is because when we skip our breakfast, the hunger caused by skipping this breakfast can make you giddy, this discomfort can make you not complete your day’s tasks and hence put enormous stress on your mind and body.
There are some basic rules about eating that always need to be kept in mind, things that our mothers told us every time we went up to them bargaining for one more cookie. Here are some of them:
– If you are feeling hungry think of the last time you ate, if it was less than three hours ago it is not hunger. Maybe just a passing attack of the munchies, drink some water and ride it out.
– If you are in the pattern of going long hours without having a bite, carry some healthy snacks with you. Fruits or a small whole-wheat salad sandwich usually works well.
– Ride out your hunger pangs, use work as a distraction but not for so long that you turn ravenous.
While it is not always easy to do the above there are some simple ways in which you can split your daily diet into six, small simple meals that can help you tide over through the day. Here are some pointers:
A timely breakfast
The first meal of the day, and also the most important meal of the day. A couple of things to remember about breakfasts, have them within a couple of hours of waking up and, most importantly, fill yourself up. Research shows that people who eat a healthy and filling breakfast run a lower risk of obesity. A doughnut is not a breakfast. Add a little variety to your breakfast, alternate between fish, fruits, meat and salads, with a little bit of egg thrown in here and there. The first meal of the day, a healthy breakfast essentially both brightens your mood as well as gives you energy for the day to come.
Portions and nutrient value
Often forgotten in the blinding beauty of a fried chicken leg dripping with juices and butter, understanding the right portion size and nutrient value of the food is essential to have a healthy diet. While once in a while that chicken leg might be glorious for the palate, regular or binge eating the same would probably wreak havoc on your waistline. If you are going for multiple meals a day note what you are eating and how much of it you are eating. A bag of chips does not count as a small healthy meal, nor does that bacon and cheese grilled sandwich, however scrumptious they might. Restrain yourself to small portions and ensure that you carry an apple or any other fruit with you in case hunger pangs strike. Having multiple small meals a day can not only balance your blood sugar levels but also even out your cravings. But it is essential to remember that multiple small meals will only work for you if you keep in mind the keyword, small, and add healthy to it while at it.
Intermittent fasting is not a bad idea
While often condemned according to conventional wisdom as it was believed it can cause you to lose muscle mass. 24-hour fasting, twice a week can often boost insulin sensitivity, lower glucose levels, lower insulin levels among various other improvements. This also sets off a process called autophagy where the body’s cells clean up the wastes building up in them. These wastes contribute to aging and cause diseases. Research shows that when fasting the human body’s metabolic rate increases, it goes down only after 2 to 3 days. Short-term fasting could be a good way to help your body burn some fat and can work well with having multiple small meals a day. It may be good idea to give your stomach a day off from all the hard work that it usually puts in.