Should You Skip or Add Meals?
In the animal kingdom, eating patterns vary from eating almost constantly (hummingbirds) to snacking throughout the day (grazing animals) to going for days or weeks without food and then gorging (most predators and reptiles). For many people, three square meals a day is the norm. When you're trying to lose weight, however, you might be wondering if changing your meal patterns can help.
When you consider changing your meal patterns, the two options are to skip a meal or increase the interval between eating, or to eat more frequently. The latter practice breaks down into “grazing” – eating small nibbles of food throughout the day – or eating several small meals. Both offer the benefit of keeping your blood sugar up, which can help prevent overeating from sheer hunger. Although skipping a meal allows you to eat more at the next meal, it increases the risk that because you are very hungry, you'll overeat.
No matter how you arrange your meal pattern, eating real foods is key to weight loss. Refined and highly processed snack foods are typically loaded with fat and sugar, low in fiber, and offer little in the way of nutrition. They're also more expensive than raw ingredients and it's much easier to overeat them. Real food provides vital nutrients, like vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Adequate protein and healthy fats promote satiety (feeling full). Vegetables and fruits give you the fiber you need to promote healthy intestinal function and feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut that are critical to proper digestion and absorption.
Maximize your weight loss efforts with real foods and an eating pattern that works for you. The counselors at the Metabolic Research Center can also provide you with good advice. We'll help support you in your quest to lose weight with real foods.
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