How often should you eat?

How often should you eat during the day? Should we eat 5-6 small meals spread during the day or have 1-2 bigger meals in shorter time window? Here are 3 areas to consider from a longevity stand point.

Growth Hormone

Human Growth Hormone (HGH) stimulates growth, cell reproduction, and cell regeneration in humans. It is very important in human development. Production of HGH is affected by many factors such as age, sex, diet, exercise, stress. HGH is playing an important role in many areas such as

  • Strengthens and increases the mineralization of bone
  • Increases muscle mass, and protein synthesis
  • Stimulates the growth of all internal organs
  • Stimulates the immune system
  • Improves cognitive function
  • Helps maintaining/ gaining of lean mass (muscle, bone and skin) which are all factors for anti-aging
Increase of Growth Hormone during fasting

HGH has such a powerful effect that it was widely used (via injections) by performance athletes. However this approach has it’s side-effects and you don’t even need that. Growth Hormone is naturally stimulated during deep sleep, and extending the period of not eating for a few more hours can trigger the secretion of HGH by 4-fold. Further to this combing exercise before your first meal of the day will turn you into a real power-house!

Calorie Restriction

Reducing the calorie intake is the one single thing that most research tends to agree extends lifespan. Research is looking at longevity from a different view points, all somehow converging to a similar conclusion. Less stress to our digestive track leads less cellular damage and better organ functioning. Over-eating (and cooking food) is why human pancreas is around 3 times the size compared to other animals of similar size. The pancreas has to work very hard to produce the required enzymes for digestion and also pump insulin every time we eat. It is very important to realize that our bodies need time to rest.

Of-course calorie reduction should not be achieved in favour of good nutrition. It comes then without much thinking that we need to increase the nutritional density of our meals. This can simply be achieved be cutting out empty calories. If you can achieve better nutrition in 1200kcal from a 2000kcal what would you choose?

Supply and demand

Additionally to calorie reduction, supply and demand need to be quite balanced to avoid creating very oxidative damage to our body. The mitochondira that are the energy producers in every single cell in our body, are responsible to take the food particles, combine it with oxygen and produce through a very complicated pathway energy. However, when there is more supply from food than needed, the cells can not handle the supply very effectively and the system starts leaking. Over a over a period of time this reduces the available energy in the cell and the organs capability to function. This is a normal aging process which can be prolonged though by having a balanced food supply and demand. The easiest way to achieve a more balanced diet can be achieved is by calorie restriction and fasting.

So what is the optimum feeding window?

In my opinion eating in a window of 4-6 hours in a 2 meals a day format is ideal. An 18 hour fast will give sufficient recovery time to your gut, boost your HGH, improve your immune system and make it easier to control the amount and quality of food you eat.
How ever you decide to proceed, eating and snacking all day is a no go and you should avoid it. Continuous spikes of insulin, empty calories will eventually take it’s tall on the body.

Key Takeaway

  • Easter is over and now is good time to start with intermittent fast.
  • There are countless health benefits to fasting even for a short period of time.

If you would like to learn how to start with intermittent fasting sign-up here to the Ketontrack newsletter to get a 2-week introduction schedule with detailed easy steps to follow.

Further Reading

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