Written by Ari Antila
Eating three square meals a day is drilled into our heads early on in our lives. However, in today’s world of driving instead of walking and desk jobs that don’t demand much more physical activity other than typing on a keyboard, eating three large meals just doesn’t seem to make sense. The excess calories that come with eating big meals won’t be utilized right away which in turn, will cause them to be stored as fat. To adjust to the current lifestyles, consuming 5 to 6 smaller meals throughout the day makes more sense and will help stabilize your blood sugar levels to curb cravings and give you sustainable energy throughout the day.
Within a few hours after your last bite to eat, your blood sugar levels start to decrease which leads to hunger and cravings. We all know how easy it is for your hunger to get the best of you and tempt you to stop by the nearest vending machine for a sugary soda or unhealthy snack. However, if you’re eating smaller meals more frequently then your blood sugar levels stay higher and consistent which assists in preventing those unhealthy cravings. On another note, it’s very easy to get caught up in a busy life and not realize you haven’t eaten for long hours. Eventually, the calorie-deficiency will catch up to you and besides just feeling tired, you have a greater tendency to binge eat and consume an abundance of calories when the chance to eat does come around.
Not only do long intervals between meals make cravings and binge-eating more likely to occur, but they also cause your energy levels to drop and make you feel fatigued. In order to keep energy levels high, fueling your body with smaller amounts of nutritious foods every 3-4 hours will do the trick. While eating large meals until you’re stuffed can lead to laziness and inactivity. We have all experienced a situation like this; think about a time when you overloaded on pasta, vegetables, a bread roll, mashed potatoes, and or just about anything you can get your hands on. Does going on a 2 mile run after that heavy meal sound appealing? Probably not. Sitting back on the couch and resting sounds a lot more tempting. On the contrary, if you eat small, spaced out meals then you are more likely to be more active during the day which can help with weight loss and just assist in living a healthy lifestyle in general.
So, as crazy as it may sound, eating more frequently can often lead to eating less. The key to the best results is to make smaller meals throughout the day that consist of nutritious foods including a variety that allows you to hit all the food groups. The quality of food being eaten is also important. The benefits of healthy eating in smaller quantities throughout the day could help boost your health and weight loss goals. Remember exercise and physical activity will only add to the beneficial effect of small, nutritious meals so eat smaller servings, eat often, stay healthy, and stay happy.