Intermittent Fasting … How Many Meals Should We Eat In A Day?
Should we eat 6 small meals a day, or 3 meals plus a snack? Is it good to skip a meal or a whole day? There are many different ideas and philosophies when it comes to daily eating schedules.
If we were to live off the land, we would not have scheduled meal times rather food when it is caught or available. This is called feasting and fasting. During the “fasted state,” your body doesn’t have a meal to use as energy, so it is more likely to pull from the fat stored in your body, rather than the glucose in your blood stream or glycogen in your muscles or liver.
Do you notice that some days you are hungrier or less hungry than others? Should you portion control, or make yourself eat so you do not become too hungry and over eat? Or should you always listen to your body and adjust everyday. Let’s call this your conscious eating pattern.
If we were back in the caveman days, we do not have a chance to always have a snack or a lunch break. We ate when we could. This is where we naturally implemented intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting doesn’t have to mean eating absolutely nothing for the entire day, however lighter foods and less of them. A typical day could be a vegetable juice, protein shake, handful of nuts, and a light vegetarian meal for dinner. This is not a “diet” day, however a day of re-calibration to help guide you toward your natural conscious eating pattern.
Benefits of taking a break:
- Simplifies your day. Monday’s tend to by my busiest day with work. After spending time with friends on Sunday, this is a perfect day both mentally and physically to eat lighter. Try having a vegetable juice and/or protein shake during the day and a vegetable based meal for dinner. Tuesday you can gently implement food back to your conscious eating pattern.
- Allow your body to catch up. When you don’t eat for 12+ hours, your natural and true hunger will ignite. I have a client who fasts on Wednesdays and now her husband and her implement other extracurricular activities since there are no meals to prepare.
- Promotes stronger insulin and leptin sensitivity. Which will help you with blood sugar balance, cravings, disease prevention and fat loss. Look for another blog post in the near future on insulin and leptin sensitivity.
It actually takes our bodies about 84 hours of fasting before our glucose levels are adversely affected.
We recommend giving intermittent fasting a try when you feel healthy, know your body, or with a skilled practitioner.