Let’s rethink how we eat

I strongly believe if we all made the effort to eat six times a day and about every three hours, we would solve many health issues such as depression, mood swings, blood sugar lows, digestive issues, food allergies, insomnia, low energy levels - the list is endless. To make an even bigger impact on our health, if we eat protein, carbohydrates and fat in each meal our bodies will be even more delighted, (in my previous article such “Macronutrients” are explained in more detail).

When your body has the sugar it needs to function your metabolism will work more efficiently. This, in my opinion, is a healthy cure to obesity.

Most people eat three large meals a day and traditionally, for many Middle Eastern cultures, this is considered normal and healthy. Yet, they do not know that eating too much food at once allows way too much sugar to enter your circulation system in one go. And this is when a cascade of health issues arises, including many of the symptoms I mentioned above.

Knock-on effect

Your insulin levels subsequently increase, insulin is a hormone that deposits sugar into cells and also converts excess sugar to fat. When your pancreas (where insulin is made) detects high levels of sugar, it sends a large amount of insulin to deliver sugar to the cells and converts excess sugar to fat. On many people it is then stored on your hips, thighs and on your stomach area.

When your body has the sugar it needs to function your metabolism will work more efficiently

Vahdaneh Vahid

Furthermore this also causes low blood sugar and you will fall prey to the negative effects of high adrenaline and even more fat storage.

Eating every two to three hours to replenish the fuel tank and help decrease the rise of stress hormones is the most cost effective and healthy plan any person can implement in their lifestyle. And for most people, after several months of applying this principle if they find they do happen to go longer than three hours without food, then their blood sugar levels will not drop, as they have been working on stabilizing them out over time.

Some tips

EAT breakfast.

Remember you are fasting six to eight hours whilst you sleep with no food at all. So skipping breakfast will just work against you as your body will break YOU down for fuel instead. It doesn’t break down your fat; it breaks down your muscle, tissue and bone! So that is something to bear in mind the next time you give breakfast a miss.

Small meals are best.

Eat enough to feel satisfied but not completely full up, remind yourself that your next meal will be coming in the next two to three  hours. Add a little fat such as coconut oil to each meal to help with the hunger cravings if this still doesn’t work.

Tune into your body language.

No one is smarter than your own body. It sends you messages and signs when it’s telling you what it needs. If you do not pay attention to how you feel after eating a specific meal, then how will you know if it is working for you? For example, you may not have eaten enough, or any, carbohydrates (for energy) in that meal. Again, please read my macronutrients article to understand more on this theory.

My own typical meal and snack routine

6 am: wakeup

6.30 am: Breakfast (always within one hour of waking)

8.30 am: Snack

11.30-12 noon: Lunch

3 pm: Snack

6 pm: Dinner

9 pm: Snack!

10 pm: Bed

Get prepared

Buy a small cooler pack so you can place all your food containers inside and keep fresh the food that you have pre-made for the day. If you have these snacks and meals with you then you will save money, time and stress!

On the go? Be smart.

If you need to snack, buy fresh fruit, juices, shakes, milk and even cheese at any convience store or petrol station.

Remind yourself to eat.

Use your mobile phone or laptops at work to remind you when you need to eat again. This way you won’t allow yourself to become too hungry and your blood sugar levels won’t subsequently drop.

 

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Vahdaneh Vahid is a UK-based Personal Trainer who recently moved to Dubai. She has had an interest in fitness from a young age. Her motto is now “Train Don't Drain” and teaches her clients that a balanced understanding of their physical, mental and emotional wellness is key. She can be found on Twitter: @vvfitness

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:41 - GMT 06:41
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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