5 meals a day is still to this day a common practise for better health. Do 5-meals a day benefit us or are they causing havoc to our body?
The purpose of 5 meals a day
The purpose of eating frequently is usually two-fold
- To maintain constant energy and avoid hunger
- To avoid hypo-glycemia
Why would these two topics be an issue?
Usually nutrition plans that are designed for weight loss come with a low calorie plan to ensure a colorie deficit and are based on a high-carb / low-fat meals. A small portion of chicken with no skin and rice is usually a stample in such diets. The problem here is that low-carolie diets puts in a energy crisis mode. We are starving our body from nutrients and we are never satiated.
The second problem is that by having carbs like pasta, rice, potatoes as our main energy source we spike our glucose to high and the sudden drop as the glucose is being absorbed can cause hypo-glycemia, a sense of feeling tired and sleepy
It does sound like with 5-meals a day we are actually only making the issues worse!
The snacking problem
Another issue with 5-meals a day is the term snacking. I am sure you have heard “I am not hungry I just need a small snack”. Snacking can be a big issue as many people don’t even realise how often they snack or even what snacks they have. This is a very big problem because leads to over-eating and eating lower quality foods. Most people don’t snack on carrots but with cookies, cakes, or other refined fruit.
What can we do
There many things one can do, but I would suggest that eating nutritionally dense food which give the right satiety signals to our body is the right starting point. This will in turn balance blood glucose and makes have more stable energy throughout the day.
Add healthy fat to your meals : Adding some healthy fats will give you the right satiety and help with the blood glucose spike.
3-meals a day : Eating until satisfied will give you the right signals and will keep you going until the next meal without the need for snacking. Eating 3-meals a day will give you all the nutrients and calories you need.
- Snacking is the first thing to address in any transformation journey.
- Removing snacks will help with eating better, more nutrient dense foods during those meals
- Removing snacks will also help help balance blood glucose and give you a more stable energy.