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Home / Articles / Columnists / Healthy Fitness Tips /  For Optimal Health, Eat MORE Often
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Tuesday, March 6,2012

For Optimal Health, Eat MORE Often

By Dana Gore  

When I was growing up, I believed that skipping meals was the key to a slim physique. Without having an understanding of the human body and all of its magnificent functions, it made sense to me that less food meant less weight… PERIOD. Neglecting to eat breakfast was normal and counting calories was a strategy that made me feel like I was in control of my body.

 

Since gaining some much needed insight into how the body really works, I am here to enlighten you about why it is so important to eat several times a day. Being properly fueled not only benefits our waistline, but our physical, mental and emotional well-being.

Let me explain. When we go without food our blood sugar drops. Blood sugar, also known as blood glucose, is our primary source of energy. Without it, our bodies go into starvation mode. Muscle gets broken down to release this energy if it isn’t available and this slows down metabolism. We typically have just enough glucose to last us for about 3 hours or so of activity if we eat properly… meaning…when we eat whole foods containing fiber, healthy fats and lean protein. When this source of energy runs out…and because our nervous system depends on glucose, things can get stressful.

Have you noticed if you go for a while without food suddenly you’ll reach for as many of the “bad” (although I prefer the term useless) carbs you can find and then BINGE? Welcome to low blood sugar! Our body will shut everything down to protect and feed our brain… so if you find you get tired, cranky and lose focus you will now understand why this is a physiological problem rather than a lack of willpower.

Eating several smaller, nutrient dense meals also keeps us from eating huge portions. We only need a certain amount of food at one time, so if we feed ourselves more energy (calories) than we need to survive, once the body has distributed this energy to all of our living cells, the rest has no use and goes directly to the fat stores…an end result most, if not all of us look to avoid.

Keeping our blood sugar steady allows us to function at optimal capacity. It really is no different taking a road trip with an empty tank!

 

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