Consistency is Key: Snacking
STOP starving yourself! The key to managing your hunger and your waistline isnâ€™t starvation. In fact, do the opposite: eat more consistently throughout the day with a snack or meal every two to four hours. Most people eat two to three big meals per day, which means they go six, seven, sometimes 12 hours without food. This causes blood sugar to plummetâ€”then when you do eat, blood sugar spikes and raises insulin levels. The result is excess body fat storage.
Breakfast should be a priority for this very reasonâ€”when you wake up, your blood sugar is low. If you wait until lunchtime to eat, itâ€™s even lower!
Our bodies evolved with this fat storage function. Cavemen couldnâ€™t run to the grocery store or deli on the corner for a quick snack. They didnâ€™t know when their next meals would beâ€”they only ate what they were able to hunt and would stuff themselves until they couldnâ€™t move. Why? Because they might not eat again for days or even weeks! This cycle limited our bodiesâ€™ abilities to process food as we reverted to survival mode.
When we eat, our digestive systems converts most of our food, especially large amounts of carbohydrates, to glucose. Because our bodies are in survival mode, we use insulin to convert much of the glucose to fat. This is why people who constantly starve themselves can gain weight while eating only one meal per day. Weâ€™d all like to speed up our metabolism, but our bodies havenâ€™t changed much since caveman days. Our bodies are automatically going to convert what we eat to fatâ€”even if itâ€™s fat free!
So how do you shift from fat storage to fat burning? Instead of starving yourself, eat four to six portion-controlled, balanced meals every two to four hours throughout the day. By eating this way, youâ€™ll effortlessly speed up your metabolism. Snacks are an important part of this equationâ€”see our On-the-Go Snacks for ideas. Limiting your simple carbohydrate consumption to the morning and eating protein after 4PM are other ways to promote this process.