By naturopath Margaret Jasinska
Are you under the impression that it’s best to eat several small meals per day in order to control your blood sugar and achieve a healthy weight? We are often told it’s best to eat breakfast first thing in the morning and eat every three hours throughout the day to boost our metabolism. Doing the opposite may work much better for you.
Researchers in Prague fed two groups of 27 people food that contained the same quantity of calories but was either spread over 2 meals or 6 meals. The people who ate 2 meals a day lost more weight than those who ate 6, and their blood sugar dropped. They concluded that diabetics may be better off eating fewer larger meals instead of several small meals.
I agree with the recommendations in this study. Humans are not designed to eat all day. Whether you call it snacking, nibbling or grazing, eating too frequently is not beneficial for most people’s metabolism or digestive system. Digesting food takes up a lot of energy and can leave you feeling drained and lethargic. It can also worsen digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome. You are more likely to end up feeling bloated and gassy at the end of the day if you’ve eaten too frequently.
If you’re a diabetic and you’re overweight, eating frequently can leave you with chronically elevated blood sugar and insulin levels. Eating less often results in lower blood insulin levels. This is great because it forces you to mobilize your fat stores and use them for energy.
I recommend most people eat three meals per day. Two meals per day works well for people who are naturally not hungry in the morning and don’t wake up at the crack of dawn. It is fine to snack occasionally, if you’re feeling particularly hungry that day. Sometimes a bad night’s sleep or a very cold day can make you feel hungrier than usual. It’s best not to make a habit of snacking though.
If you have poorly controlled diabetes or hypoglycaemia, please consult your doctor before changing your eating plan. If you know you haven’t been taking care of yourself and you’re keen to improve your health, the Dr Cabot 15 Day Cleanse may be for you. It is easy to follow and helps improve the health of your gut, liver and immune system. It comes with a healthy meal plan that can give you the kick start you need to start a healthy way of eating.