There are so many confusing tips these days on when to eat, how much to eat, how often to eat and anything to do with eating really! It is hard to know exactly which ones you are supposed to follow. Although these may not all be the best responses to the answers I want to share with you some of the things that I have come up with. First off, how often to eat: most of us grew up with the three meals a day routine, breakfast, dinner and supper, and I am willing to bet a majority of us have also heard the, “eat small meals several times a day” as well. This last tip actually is a myth! Eating raises your metabolism while you digest your food but it is actually the total amount of food that matters and not the number of meals. Eating too often can actually be harmful because keeping your body in a full state is not natural. When we don’t eat for a while our body goes through a cellular process called autophagy which cleans waste products out of our cells so fasting or not eating from time to time is actually good for you! Studies also show a rise in colon cancer (as high as a 90% increase!) for those who eat 4 meals a day compared to 2. Yikes!
So go back to your old routine of breakfast, lunch and supper…also eat breakfast for supper, sure done that, but why not eat supper for breakfast!? Go ahead it isn’t going to hurt; it is actually beneficial to eat a bigger meal in the morning and a smaller meal for supper. So that leads us to our next question, when should I eat? Breakfast should be consumed within an hour after waking up. Breakfast raises your metabolism so eating right away gets you a good jump start on your day. You should also never eat before you go to bed. This has also been quite a controversial issue, you do not want to eat too early in the evening and kill your day by snacking before bed since you ate too early and are now hungry, but you do not want to eat to late either because it increases your blood sugar and insulin, prevents the release of melatonin and decreases your quality of sleep. Eating at least 2 hours before bed can help prevent this from happening. So 1 hour after you wake you should have started eating, and 2 hours before you sleep you should be done- most beneficial tip is eat all your meals within 12 hours. For me, I wake up at 6 eat my breakfast by seven have my lunch at 12 and eat supper by 6, I am done eating my meals within 11 hours and I am sleeping before 10 so that leaves 4 hours before bedtime to regulate my body- simple as that! But, we still have the how much to eat question! You can see my previous blog on “Calories” to decide an appropriate amount for yourself, but as far as when you should consume these calories throughout the day the only tip I have is, if you are going to indulge yourself, do so in the morning!