Three Square Meals

by cassandra on January 21, 2013

Are you a grazer and can’t lose weight?

Try switching to 3 meals-per-day to allow your body time to convert to fat burning mode between meals.

For many years, the common advice from trainers and weight loss specialists regarding meal timing and size has been to:

“Eat three meals a day plus two snacks” or “Eat five-six small meals per day”

This type of grazing, it’s been argued, keeps your blood sugar levels equalized and therefore keeps hunger more effectively at bay. For some people.

If you are one for whom grazing works – your weight is ideal and your digestion is working optimally – then keep on grazing on.  But if not, then 3-squares is worth a try. If you re-train yourself to eat more calories at each meal – balancing sufficient protein, healthy fat and fiber – you will be happily surprised when you don’t get hungry for quite a while. This is beneficial for a number of reasons.

  • Your body will convert to fat burning mode as your insulin levels drop between meals, and you will burn more stored fat.
  • You don’t have to think about, or procure food for yourself so often
  • Your digestive organs will get time to rest during the day.

Be prepared however; if you’ve been grazing for years it may take some time to adjust to the 3-squares approach. Some tips for success:

  • Schedule more time to eat meals.
  • Take deep breaths to switch your body into rest-and-digest mode (aka parasympathetic response).
  • Make the meal low in starchy, refined carbs or you may get drowsy after eating. This is always a good idea, whether the meal is large or small.
  • Your body may not be accustomed to larger meals, which require more digestive enzymes and stomach acid to break down. If you feel too full, experience more belching or poor digestion, take some time to let your body get used to the new mode. If these symptoms persist, you may have low stomach acid or digestive enzyme production.

To your good health!

Cassandra Mick, CNE

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