Some people may not agree with me. It is quite a controversial subject. But please hear me out…..
Each person is an individual in every sense. Each person has a different personality, a different soul, reacts differently to certain situations, has a different response to events than others.
So wouldn’t it make sense that our bodies are different too ?
And so it follows our bodies will react and respond differently. This is an important point as there are many generic “Diets” out there that say it works for everyone. While many will actually work for you in the short term, they may not be nutritionally sound, will not be sustainable long term or are simply based on someone else’s experience.
Have you been trying all the current trends in an effort to lose the extra weight that has crept up on you lately (or over a long time) and have been unsuccessful, it may be that you need to try something different. Snacking does not help. It is a false assumption that 6 small meals a day will help to keep our blood sugar levels level. How the body works is not that simple. Over time the extra snacks can cause digestive problems and the frequent foods traveling through means that the body cannot heal the lining of your Gut.
When you eat three larger meals a day your stomach acid has time to build up so it’s nice and strong. A higher acid level means that the food is digested properly and the digestive processes work better with the digestive enzymes that are released from the cells in our stomach lining. In effect we “get more bang for our buck” meaning that we obtain more nutrition from the same food than if our stomach acid was more diluted due to still having to digest the previous snack.
I must say here that for some people the idea of extra snacks does work, as every body is individual, but it is also about what types of foods they are having as their snacks and how fast their metabolism is, as well as how much exercise they do each week. Another influence over your body is exposure to environmental toxins and chemicals over your life time.
An important part of Digestion involving Sugar
When you eat food your body releases either Glucagon or Insulin from the Pancreas. Glucagon and Insulin are both hormones.
We have an article about Sugars, Read here.
Insulin is released when our blood sugar is creeping higher which happens when we eat foods that contain sugar or foods that are converted to sugar such as carbohydrates.
Too much Insulin in our bodies is very inflammatory and causes problems. Insulin stores the excess glucose (sugar) from our diet in our fat cells if our muscle reserves are full (if we haven’t used that glucose reserve in our muscles by exercising). By eating small snacks/meals frequently, it means our blood sugar in constantly high, requiring more Insulin to be released.
When our blood sugar becomes too high Insulin is released. When we eat foods containing sugar or foods that are converted to sugar such as carbohydrates, it is broken down quickly by digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid, releasing the glucose into our blood stream, triggering a release of Insulin because our body knows that too high blood sugar can be very damaging. Sugar also causes the Immune system to stop working….. but that’s another whole subject for another day !
Glucagon regulates the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood that is obtained from the food you eat and also works with the liver to release the stored glucose found in our Fat cells called Glycogen (this happens mainly at night during sleep). When you are not awake and eating your body still needs to have a fuel source and so uses your fat stores to fuel the detoxification, repair and maintenance processes that happen while we sleep.
Tip: Glucagon can be triggered by eating Protein. When you start your meal always try to eat 2 to 3 bites of the protein component of your meal first, before you hoe into the other yummy parts of your meal. Doing this will reduce the amount of Insulin released over the period of digesting that meal, thereby reducing Inflammation.
So the take home message here is to basically have only three meals each day. No Snacks. If you are finding you are getting hungry more than an hour before your meal, then that is a sign that perhaps you should be increasing the amount of protein in particular (as well as fats, carbohydrates vegetables) at the two previous meals. In other words increase your meal sizes and do not snack and you will find over time that you do not suffer from cravings or hunger as your body is getting enough nutrients (vitamins and minerals).
Have at least 4 hours between meals (preferably 5 hours) to allow for the stomach to be emptied and then focus on increasing the stomach acid in preparation for the next meal.
Reduce the amount of Sugar in your diet. I’m talking about all forms of Sugar either added to a food or food product, or in the form of carbohydrates that are converted to Sugar in the body.
Tip: When looking at the Nutrition panel on a food product, take particular attention to how much Sugar is in that product: look at the per 100 grams column à if it says there are more than 5 grams of sugar per 100 grams weight, then you know it should be consumed in a small amount or not at all.
Eat a few bites of Protein at the start of your meals to release Glucagon first to reduce the amount of the highly inflammatory hormone Insulin.